Australian firm Allens Arthur Robinson is closing down its London office at the same time as announcing a link-up with a Thailand law firm.
The London office, which is a joint venture between Australian practice Allen Allen Hemsley and Arthur Robinson Heddwicke, closed its doors to new clients from 1 July but the office will remain open for a short time to look after existing matters.
Partner Duncan Walls, who has headed the office for 15 months, will leave the firm to set up consultancy specialising in tax, banking and corporate finance work.
Steve Walker, managing partner of Allen Allen & Hemsley's Sydney office, said the firm had decided to concentrate on its Australasian offices. “UK clients remain a very important part of our business and we are going to service them direct,” he said. He added that clients “don't need or want a middle man in London”.
Walker said that the firm's link-up with Thai firm Siam Premier was a further step in the firm's regionalisation strategy.
“We've been operating with Siam Premier for some time now and have had a partner there for a year,” he explained.
He described the link as a “true joint venture” and said the practice had four lawyers who were part of the Thai law firm.
Allens is the second Australian firm to close down its London office – Freehill Hollingdale & Page did the same earlier this year.
Allens' office survived a crisis in the early 1990s when the then managing partner of the London office, Adrian Powles, was jailed after becoming involved in a bond scandal.