DWF launches two offices in Australia through local tie-up

DWF has launched two offices in Melbourne and Brisbane through a combination with independent firm MVM Legal.

Along with the offices, the association will bring 20 lawyers and six partners to DWF including MVM Legal founders Jamie McPherson and Damien van Brunschot.

The firm already has a foothold in Australia, gained through its acquisition of Triton in January.

DWF managing partner Andrew Leaitherland said: “Australia is an influential and integral part of Asia’s growing economic and political influence and therefore core to our strategy.

“We already have a strong foothold in the region, and the time is right to build on that as part of a wider Asia Pacific strategy.”

The announcement follows a strategy of growth for DWF over the last two years. Since launching its first foreign office in March 2015, the firm has opened offices and allied with firms in 12 different countries.

The expansion plan has been led by Leaitherland, who was elected as DWF’s first managing partner in 2006. When he won the contest, the firm had just two offices in northwest England and turnover of £34m.

Since the beginning of the year, DWF has launched in France, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, as well as a triple opening in Latin America giving the firm offices in Argentina, Panama and Colombia.

DWF recently appointed ex-DLA Piper chair Sir Nigel Knowles as the firm’s global chairman. Knowles oversaw drastic expansion at his old firm during his nearly 40 years at DLA.

McPherson said: “Our commitment to doing things differently from the outset and our unashamed client focus has led to our success. With an ambition to grow as part of a bigger, entrepreneurial, client-focused business, DWF is the right match for us.”

DWF is the latest firm to announce a growing presence in Australia after Pinsent Masons launched its third office in the country earlier this year while announcing the expansion of Vario in Australia.

Kennedys opened its Melbourne office in August and Norton Rose Fulbright voted through a merger with Henry Davis York in June.