Clayton Utz ends Hong Kong association to focus on Australia

Australian firm Clayton Utz and its Hong Kong association firm Haley & Co have broken off their relationship, with the former retrenching to focus on its domestic market.

The association will formally end on 30 June 2014, four years after the two entered into a formal association.

Clayton Utz chief executive partner Darryl McDonough said the move reflected the evolution of the firm’s international strategy and its renewed focus on Australia.

“We had been undertaking work in the wider Asia Pacific region for several years so it made sense to have an on the ground presence in Hong Kong,” said McDonough.

He added that the strategy had changed while Clayton Utz focused on growth in Australia while developing relationships with a network of top firms in key international jurisdictions. ”The success of that clear strategic focus led us to a mutual agreement with Haley & Co. to withdraw from our association,” McDonough said.

Apart from the association in Hong Kong, Clayton Utz has not opened any overseas offices. The 10-lawyer Haley & Co will continue its operations with partners Glenn Haley and Ilan Freiman.

Clayton Utz’s only Hong Kong-based partner Colin Dodd will remain with Haley & Co and retire as a partner of Clayton Utz on 30 June.