Clyde & Co: today BLG, tomorrow the world

Merged firm plots moves in Brazil, Zimbabwe, Singapore and the US

Michael Payton
Michael Payton

Clyde & Co is to ratchet up its international growth strategy after its merger with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG), with planned launches in Zimbabwe and the domestic Singaporean market as well as expansion in Brazil and the US.

In Africa, Clydes has a joint venture with Tanzanian firm AKO Law that it inherited from its merger with Shadbolt & Co in 2010.

Senior partner Michael Payton said Clydes wanted to make a long-term commitment to the continent and is in talks to launch a best friends relationship with a Zimbabwe-based firm.

“One of our lawyers had some business with a prestigious firm in Harare and they started ­talking about the future,” he said. “Potentially, it’s a wealthy country and this is one place where we’re happy to be ahead of the crowd.

“We’re placing our faith in the future of Zimbabwe and want to make a long-term commitment.”

In Singapore, Clydes has agreed an association with local firm Clasis LLC, which is a separate entity to Clydes’ Indian best friend Clasis Law.

Clydes managing director for Asia Michael Parker said: “This association with Clasis LLC is a significant development in the firm’s regional offering as it allows us to offer our clients, through Clasis LLC, advice on matters in Singapore.”

Clydes is also investigating onshore opportunities in Brazil and more office openings in the US, although details are yet to be finalised.

“We’re looking hard at South America,” said Payton, adding that the pending merger between Beachcroft and Davies Arnold Cooper would give the resultant competitor firm “real firepower in the region”, prompting Clydes’ move.

On the expansion of its US network, where Clydes has three bases, Payton said: “There’s more to come from us in the US; there’s much more low-hanging fruit we can pick.

he firm has developed in different ways in the US and we expect that to continue.”

In the past 24 months Clydes has opened offices in Canada through a merger with Nicholl Paskell-Mede, replaced ALMT with Clasis Law as its best friend firm in India, added an office in New Jersey and completed a merger with construction boutique Shadbolt.