Firms look for pastures new

There are plenty of international initiatives kicking around. Richards Butler is about to launch in Dubai, A&O is reviewing the status of its troubled Tokyo office, while Clifford Chance appears to be embarking on all sorts of associations around the world in apparently random jurisdictions.

The latter has launched an association with Romanian firm Badea & Asociatii and has staffed its Tokyo office with New Zealand lawyers from Chapman Tripp.

More dramatically, SJ Berwin is looking at an entire revamp of its international strategy and is seriously inspecting possibilities in China, India and Russia. It is too early days yet to know whether the silver circle firm will launch offices or go for local associations.

Former senior partner David Harrel is checking out India (perhaps on the basis that he spent the first two years of his life there), IP partner Ray Black is looking at China and arbitration co-head David Goldberg is looking at Russia.