Categories:Australasia

Freshfields on Australia: the A&O way is not for us

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  • An interesting counter point to the A&O Aussie foray.

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  • "It’s also difficult to position ­Australia as a gateway to Asia due to the distance and differing timezones.”
    From Sydney and Melbourne maybe, but Singapore, HK, Kuala Lampur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Beijing (and indeed all China) operate on the same time zone as Perth. Aside from Beijing, the others are 5-7.5 hrs flying time away.
    A&O has tapped into the Perth growth bubble - as The Lawyer has noted in a related article. The Australian government has also relocated a large part of its foreign affairs department to Perth to take account of the shift.
    Not just waving the flag for my hometown, though, as I agree with the other statements in the quote re local competitors and legal infrastructure.

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  • The Virtues of the Morphogenetic Field Unifying the Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Wellington Legal Marketplaces
    It's always been fascinating to me how certain London-based intellectual virtues have been maintained, refined and preserved with a greater degree of purity by the Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Wellington marketplaces from a legal point of view. I have always admired how these distant places interconnect to form a morphogenetic field of sorts echoing and taking ideas and legal precepts that originating once in London and Oxbridge, taking them from there. This conceptual transmission band transcends geography and gives these four markets a distinct voice. Additionally, plenty of local knowledge about Asia is enshrined in these walls. But from a practitioner's point of view advising as counsellor in cross-border matters, next to the New York perspective, plus the European-continental, it is the distinct voice of the London legal community reverberated and mirrored oftentimes so capably by the legal profession in Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Wellington all at the same time, which proffers a third dimension to looking into things and at closure of legal argument. Each of the BRIC nations either borrows from such distinguishable New York, Paris/Frankfurt and London/Singapore/Hong Kong/ Sydney/ Wellington respective perspectives. This interconnection is embodied in case law that to the date looks to the London High Court, the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary and now, since several months, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom for precedential guidance. Konstantin von Mettenheim is a man with considerable erudition, but even in the recent debate on stealth takeovers in the German home market, pathbreaking precedents were cases from New Zealand (Perry 2003) and Australia [Glencore, 2006] that in their intellectual rigour surpass the quality of the more recent CSX/TCI (2008) decision by a Southern District of New York federal judge.

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  • Ami de Chapeaurouge what the hell are you on about?

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  • to: Perplexed

    Fair enough, this is democracy - give me a call or write to me, I'll attempt to explain my train of thought and clarify my appreciation of the quality of legal work out of Australia and New Zealand, exemplified by a couple of recent decisions on cash settled equity swaps, and their interconnectedness with Asia rendering them as suitable conduits for an Asia-practice.

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  • This is a banking/corp split. CC will finally shack up with Mallesons at some point presumably.

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  • okay some of what Mr Mettenheimer says is reasonable, but I agree with my fellow Perthite that the differing timezones/distances comment is plain silly - on the contrary this is one of the real strengths of Perth, and even Tokyo is only 1 hour ahead.

    Other firms are making it work, betcha Freshfields are going to make the move or tie-up and just don't want to show their hand..

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