Categories:Australasia

Herbert Smith green lights October merger with Australia's Freehills

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Readers' comments (39)

  • An emphasis on structure is the wrong approach for the two firms to take. It focuses on the firm and suggests that the priority is on partner profits and profit sharing, rather than on client service and the platform that you bring to the clients.

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  • Mixed feelings about this "excitement" - some of those who took redundancy (due to the powers that be deciding less of us can do the same work) are still at the firm - bit insensitive to suddenly spring this on everyone - great timing, was it Willis' idea I wonder

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  • I have worked with both Herbies and Freehills as a client. Both firms were average at best. The new Freebies firm poses no competition for the Magic Circle firms. If we use them at all - and that's a big IF - it will be for the commoditized work that a chimp sitting in front of a word processor could do.

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  • I must congratulate the Herbert Smith PR people for popping up so quickly in the comments section to put a positive spin on the story before the great hordes of real people put in their more cynical view. I would just like to reassure them that they style of comments are exactly what we would normally expect to see on these pages and I can't imagine anyone will be able to tell which are real and which are puffery. So don't worry - it will work brilliantly and you will not look at all desperate or sad.

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  • That is a bloody good idea! Chimps in front of word processors. Why didn't I think of that myself?!? Just think of how many associates and support staff we could make redundent by replacing them with chimps in front of word processors. I'll get right on that - will call it Project Bananas!

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  • Senior management has been pounding everyone over the head for months about the "merits" of this merger and partners were "strongly encouraged" to support the merger. Notwithstanding that the merger managed to pass the FIRST vote, many partners are highly skeptical. Let's see what happens at the next vote when the sacred lockstep partnership is up for sacrifice as part the true financial integration.

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  • Isn't Herbert Smith the same firm that once referred to themselves as a "mini Slaughter and May"? The reality is they have been in decline for years. Who knows if the merger can pull them out of their long spiral downward. Probably not. Can't think of any truly great law firms who merged their way to greatness.

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  • Lots of firms have merged their way to greatness. Why there's ... uh .... well ... I'm sure there must be at least one. Maybe.

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  • Freehills needs herbies much more than the other way around.
    Anyone with the slightest understanding of the profession can see that.
    Freehills has failed appallingly in every non-Aussie venture it has tried including the UK, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand.
    In the past 2 years freehills has been left behind by the magic circle breaking ground in its australian backyard.
    Now every top partner and law student wants to join CC and A&O here.
    So what will herbies do, now that it is saddled with rubbish from downunder?
    Force Freehills partners to commit to international mobility? What a joke! Cite the Freehills track record of wasting time and money anywhere outside their country. Surely this international mobility "commitment" was oh-so-subtly written into the contract by freehills as a plan B excuse for its failing partners...
    Forget the hype - Herbies will have to do what it does best these days - sack and sack again...

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