Australian international firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques has closed its Taiwan and New York offices to cut back on costs.
But Mallesons' London partner Greg Hammond emphasised that its London office was staying open. “We have just reviewed all our overseas operations and the decision was taken to close the New York and Taiwan office but very definitely to keep the London one open,” he said.
The one-partner New York office was opened in the early Seventies, initially with largely New York-based financial institutions as clients.
However, the client base has since changed and the New York partner was having to advise corporate clients with headquarters in cities all over the US.”He was spending more time travelling than in the office,” said Hammond.
US clients will now be serviced from Australia via the Internet and email with lawyers working in particular areas travelling to the US as they are needed.
The Taiwan office opened eight years ago. There is one ex-patriot partner who will come home and one local partner who will make new arrangements. Hammond said the office mainly handled inward investment to Australia and since Taiwan is in the same time zone as Australia, it was more cost effective to deal with clients from headquarters.
Mallesons also has an office in Hong Kong and Beijing and the firm was concerned that the Chinese authorities might resent the firm having an office in Taiwan.
Two weeks ago rival Australian firm Freehill Hollingdale & Page announced it was to close its London office.