Linklaters still keen on Asia

LINKLATERS still has Asia set firmly in its sights. China has proven to be a lucrative market for Linklaters this summer. The firm recently advised Australia’s Telstra Corporation on its $254m (£135.6m) cash acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in China’s largest real estate and home improvement website, SouFun Holdings.

Asia managing partner Simon Davies comments: “We’ve enjoyed a terrific run.”

The firm’s Hong Kong office saw the return of partner Keith Johnson from Europe to head the firm’s Hong Kong corporate/M&A practice, while the Shanghai office was bolstered by partner Paul McNicholl, who transferred from the London office.

As The Lawyer exclusively revealed (14 August), the magic circle firm is set to overhaul its strategic agenda, including reviewing the possibility of launching in India and Korea, subject to deregulation.

But Davies is cautious. “We don’t open new offices lightly,” he says. “We prefer to have the minimum number of offices necessary to service clients.”

Davies feels that Japan in particular is an “underlawyered market” and says that Linklaters is “moving along well” with its joint venture there.