Norton Rose-Deacons merger: UK firm pinpoints Asia without diluting profit

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  • The fact that Deacons instigated this is very interesting. I think it's fair to say Norton Rose see this as a punt - if it doesn't seriously help them in Asia there's not much cost to them.

    Obviously, they did want the other one, but I imagine they would have driven a much harder deal. I suppose they might try to gradually poach Deacons HK now but if they couldn't before I don't see how a Canberra office will help.

    Is it possible this isn't just about Asia at all, but also Norton Rose's approach to outsourcing? This won't offer the savings of sending work to India but it also doesn't carry the quality control risks.

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  • Good luck to them. I used to be at Deacons in Hong Kong and you would never know they had arm in Australian, either in terms of referal, marketing or general communication.

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  • I too am a former Deacons HK lawyer and agree with the posting on 6th July. Deacons HK has no significant Asia/China practice, despoite trying for years and simply can't handle the big deal finance stuff - you only need to look at the deals to see that. Why would anyone want just a HK practice? Deacons Australia must have got fed up that the jv with the HK firm was going nowhere. It's a good move for the Australians, and gives Norton Rose - which remember has a great name in HK from its time with JSM - the ability to focus on building China on the back of its HK reputation. China is a finance orientated pratice for western firms. Norton Rose has the skills and with the Australians they can bring in the "grunts" to do the work at half the cost. Whether it'll work remains to be seen, but its got logic.

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