Clifford Chance launches in Australia via double merger

Clifford Chance has become the latest firm to launch in Australia after the partnership voted through a dual merger with boutique firms in Sydney and Perth.

The double tie-up will see the magic circle firm join forces with Chang Pistilli & Simmons (CP&S) in Sydney and Cochrane Lishman Carson Luscombe (CLCL) in Perth, creating a 14-partner presence in the country.

The move is part of Clifford Chance’s wider Asia strategy. It plans to double revenue in the region to £250m by 2014, around 15 per cent of firmwide turnover. A spokesperson for the firm confirmed that the tie-ups may be followed by further office openings in the Asia Pacific region.

Both firms will be branded as Clifford Chance once the mergers formally go through on 1 May this year.

Clifford Chance Asia head Peter Charlton said: “”The importance of Asia to the global economy and to our major clients has already resulted in substantial growth for our market-leading Asia operations.

“Any credible growth strategy for the Asian legal market can no longer ignore the importance of the Australian market to the region, both as a destination for, and a source of, investment.  I’m pleased that in CP&S and CLCL we’ve found such a good solution for our clients, and I’m looking forward to welcoming the partners and staff of both firms to Clifford Chance.”

Firmwide managing partner David Childs added: “Our ability to respond to the internationalisation of the corporate world, and that of our clients’ businesses, has underpinned Clifford Chance’s strategy and success over the past 30 years.  

“As globalisation enters a new phase, the balance of economic power – and our clients’ attention– is shifting to Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. In many of these markets, Clifford Chance is already known and widely respected.  However, we need to continue to evolve our business to reflect these bigger changes, as witnessed by this important move in Australia.”  

This financial year, the firm has already opened new offices in Qatar and Turkey and made a number of partner-level hires in Greater China.