Leader: HSF disputes stars crave recognition

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  • Apparently there was a 25% litigation block vote against the "merger" with Freehills. The merger was odd on a number of levels, not least because Herbies' real problem was (and still is) the lack of a credible US offering. Freehills is principally a domestic corporate firm. And it's still not clear what is being done to address the underperforming corporate partners (other than brinigng over a couple fo Freehills partners to run corporate in London).

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  • It's not all about practice group frictions. The Herbies partners in the 25% block had questioned the sanity of doubling partner numbers in return for a firm with single jurisdiction presence and expertise in a smallish and crowded market (Australia) - they knew like everyone else that Freehills had failed miserably in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia and its foray into London had been terminated after their City office burned a pile of partner cash and failed to land any real clients.
    It does not help that the Australian partners are telling anyone who will listen that Freehills is taking over and the merger was a reverse takeover.

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