Hogan Lovells and K&L Gates focus on entering Australian market

May 29, 2012 Hogan Lovells and K&L Gates are the latest large international law firms to focus their attention on entering the Australian market via a tie-up with a local firm.

Hogan Lovells is assessing its options, and is reported to be looking to merge with a mid-tier Australian firm. A team of representatives, led by Asia and Middle East managing partner Crispin Rapinet and co-chief executive David Harris, have met with a number of Australian firms over recent months.

Rapinet said: "We have been expanding our Southeast Asian offering as part of our plans for growth in the Asia region and in that context have been closely monitoring the recent activity in the Australian market."

He added: "In this respect, we have had informal meetings with a number of top Australian firms to help shape our view."

K&L Gates has also held talks with several local firms, including mid-tier independent Middletons.

Other international firms that are looking into establishing a presence in Australia include Mayer Brown and White & Case, which are both considering how best to enter the region. Herbert Smith is in ongoing talks with local firm Freehills, and Linklaters has recently agreed to a formal alliance with Allens Arthur Robinson. These firms are keen to follow the lead of Ashurst, Norton Rose, Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy, all of which have entered the Australian market through a combination of mergers and local launches.

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