Phillips Fox joins up with Perth outfit

Australian firm Phillips Fox is to merge with the Perth partnership of Gadens Lawyers, boosting its presence in the Western Australian city.

The merger, which excludes Gadens’ volume banking practice, will help support Phillips Fox’s increasingly international client base following the firm’s tie-up with DLA Piper.

Phillips Fox chief executive Tony Crawford said: “The range of services offered by the merged team in Perth positions us well to service the growing demand from our international clients. The timing is perfect in this regard.”

The merger comes four months after Phillips Fox opened its fully integrated office in Perth, having operated a franchise in the city for almost seven years.

Chief executive officer at Gadens Perth David Prentice said: “It’s our belief that being part of a national firm is strategically important for us. Phillips Fox knows where it’s going and is making the decisions necessary to get there.”

As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (15 June), Phillips Fox will rebrand as DLA Phillips Fox and will become a formal member of the DLA Piper group later this year.

The Australian firm’s partnership recently split over the firm’s tie-up with DLA Piper, with its two Vietnam offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi deciding not to join the DLA Piper network, despite the firm’s eight Australian and New Zealand offices joining. However, Nigel Russell, joint managing partner at Phillips Fox Vietnam, did not rule out joining DLA Piper at some point in the future.

The merger between Phillips Fox and Gadens comes only a week after after Hunt & Hunt and Macrossans Lawyers announced their alliance in Brisbane, which is due to begin in October this year.