Freshfields decides not to target Australian/Korean markets

April 21, 2014 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has said that it does not intend to follow other international law firms into the Australian or Korean markets, preferring instead to focus on existing in Hong Kong and Singapore, while working with local firms in other jurisdictions.

Last year it was reported that Freshfields was looking onto merger opportunities with Allens, King & Wood Mallesons and Herbert Smith Freehills but the firm seems now to have steered away from those options.

"(With regards to) Australia, there's been a great rush into it. It's a very well lawyered market, [and] clients are very well serviced by international firms and strong domestic firms" said regional managing partner Rob Ashworth.

"Our approach has been to work closely with a number of the firms that we have relationships with and service clients through an onshore/offshore capability and we don't see that approach changing."

"We have a Korean capability which we run out of Hong Kong, [and] we use that capability to focus on cross border Korean work which is principally outbound," Ashworth said.

"Korea is an important economy and we pay a lot of attention to it but I do not anticipate that we will change our approach."

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