MINTER ELLISON has bucked the recent trend of Australian firms pulling out of London with the posting of a second partner to the capital.
Robert Hanley, an ex-Freshfields lawyer who is both Australian and UK-qualified, arrives at the London office this week from Sydney.
Freehill Hollingdale & Page closed its London office a year ago, while Allens Arthur Robinson will close in the next couple of months.
But Hanley said his firm was more durable because London managing partner Michael Whalley had been here for 15 years and had built long-lasting relationships with clients.
Minter Ellison, one of the top three Australian firms, was the first to set up in London in 1972. Hanley said: "We have always considered the London office as a major link in the firm's global operations and have treated appointments there as strategic rather than as short stepping stones to other career opportunities."
Both Hanley and Whalley are dual-qualified, unlike the lawyers at the other Australian firms with a remaining London presence, but Whalley said that while his firm had the benefits of a multinational practice, it was not interested in competing with UK firms from which it received referrals.
Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Blake Dawson Waldron have both indicated that they are also looking to expand their UK practices.