If at first you don’t succeed… So, three years after it last set out on the long path to an Australian merger, Clifford Chance has finally got its Men at Work in the Land Down Under (see story).
The firm can’t be accused of exactly blazing a trail in the outback, given that A&O (see story), DLA Piper (see story) and Norton Rose (see story) have all set up shop in marsupial country over the last couple of years.
It also looks like it’s a case of baby steps for the firm, with a mere 14 partners being incorporated from Cochrane Lishman Carson Luscombe and Chang Pistilli & Simmons – a far cry from Mallesons Stephen Jacques, which Clifford Chance had previously coveted (see story).
Still, with both boutiques posting decent profit figures in recent years there shouldn’t be the kind of financial integration issues that, for example, A&O could be facing. What’s less certain is whether Australia really does provide the kind of launchpad for Asia that CC envisages.
Asia, after all, is a very big place.