Australia’s Blake Dawson closes London office

Australian firm Blake Dawson Waldron (BDW) is to close its London office on November 30.

The firm has reviewed its international strategy, concluding a physical presence in London was not essential, with a preference to build up the South-East Asian practice.

Managing partner John Atkin said BDW’s clients were working directly with Australian offices as communication technology improved.

“As a result of these improvements and an expanded direct client contact program that provides a more flexible and targeted level of service, our UK and Europe-based clients are assured of direct access to the firm’s expertise across all practice areas whenever it’s required,” Atkin said.

“The decision to close our London office will therefore have no impact on the firm’s continued provision of high quality Australian legal advice for our UK and Europe-based clients.”

Atkin said BDW had never planned to provide local legal services in the UK, or to build a significant local capability in London. The firm had two partners based in London.

BDW has recently strengthened its Asian practice with the appointment of senior partner Justin Shmith in China, and two partners in Japan in late 2004.