A&O sets up shop in Deacons’ old home

Wim Dejonghe

The magic circle firm has signed a deal to take on the space in the country’s largest city for a year. It will then review its requirements.

Fourteen partners – 11 of them from Clayton Utz – will be based there, while A&O is currently expecting to bring on board a further 40 lawyers there and in Perth.

A&O global managing partner Wim Dejonghe confirmed that the firm was currently looking for premises in Perth, where it has hired three partners from Clayton Utz, ahead of a 1 March opening, but he said that it would take temporary offices if necessary.

Norton Rose merged with Deacons last month, making it the first top 10 UK firm to have an Australian base.

A Norton Rose spokesperson said that the presence of A&O in Australia would provide “healthy competition”.