Phillips Fox Vietnam shuns DLA to wed Slaughters ally

Allens Arthur Robinson (AAR) is to bolt on the two Vietnam offices of Phillips Fox following their decision to shun a link-up with DLA Piper.

The Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City practices of Phillips Fox will link with AAR from 1 January 2007, subject to regulatory approval, taking over the premises for the two partners and 17 other lawyers.

Phillips Fox is to rebrand DLA Phillips Fox later this year and become a member of the DLA Piper Group – firms which share the brand and access to resources, but remain financially independent – as reported on (15 June).

The rated Vietnam practice in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City spurned DLA Piper’s advances, and opted out of the link-up, splitting from the Phillips Fox partnership, as reported in The Lawyer (4 September).

Vietnam partners Bill Magennis operates in Hanoi while Nigel Russell will join in Ho Chi Minh City. The practice includes five foreign senior associates and 12 Vietnamese lawyers, while the 16 support staff, all ongoing client matters and website will all come under AAR control.

AAR managing partner Tom Poulton said: “Our aim is to be the leading legal firm in the Asia Pacific region and expanding into Vietnam is another important step in this process.”

The addition of Vietnam will give AAR, the Australian best friend of Slaughter and May, 14 offices in eight countries. The firm already has Chinese offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, and is present in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Thailand, plus an association in Indonesia.

The Vietnam practice covers projects, energy, corporate M&A and banking and finance.