Herbert Smith enters negotiations with Australian firm Freehills

January 23, 2012 Herbert Smith has entered into merger talks with Australian firm Freehills, with a number of different options on the table including a full merger, a Swiss verein-style deal or a joint venture agreement.

While Herbert Smith has not put the idea to its partnership yet, Freehills reportedly held a vote at the close of last year canvassing partners on whether the firm should pursue discussions with Herbert Smith.

If the pair were to merge it would create a firm with combined revenue of around £770m and rank 14th in the Am Law Global 100. Herbert SMith would gain offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, as well as two associated offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Herbert Smith has been investigating an entry into the Australian market for some time, holding discussions with Australia’s Blake Dawson last year, before the firm agreed a merger deal with Ashurst.

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