Allen & Overy Aussie head to leave the firm

Allen & Overy’s (A&O) Australian senior partner Grant Fuzi is to leave the firm at the end of this year, four years after he launched the magic circle firm’s offices down under.

The announcement regarding Fuzi’s retirement from the firm’s partnership was made internally on Wednesday 11 June. He will remain at the firm for a transitional period until the end of 2014.

A spokesperson indicated that that Fuzi is looking for a new challenge elsewhere outside of private practice and has no intention to join another law firm after leaving A&O.

Fuzi was among a team of 14 partners who left Clayton Utz at the end of 2009 to set up A&O’s Australian offices in February 2010 (8 February 2010). He became the UK firm’s Australian managing partner at the time of the opening in Sydney and Perth.

His defect from Clayton Utz to the UK firm caused certain controversy, which led to a dispute with his previous firm. The claim was understood to revolve around an A$700,000 (£460,100) retirement payment allegedly made to Fuzi on the condition that he would not join another firm. The case was settled in May 2011 (23 May 2011).

As A&O’s Australian offices grew, Fuzi was appointed to country senior partner in February 2013. At the same time, Sydney financial services partner Jason Denisenko was promoted to Sydney office managing partner. In Perth, the office has been overseen by mining partner Geoff Simpson since its establishment.

It is understood that A&O has no immediate plan to appoint a new senior partner for Australia. The firm currently has 23 partners in Australia.

The story was first reported on Australian publication Lawyers Weekly.