Two mergers between Australian and international firms go live

March 1, 2012 Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques formed a Swiss Verein structure with China-based King & Wood. The structure is composed of the partnerships of the two firms along with a third entity which represents the combined partnerships of both firms in Hong Kong.

Sources say that full integration within the next three years is an "aspirational goal," but there are no concrete decisions on this front yet.

Meanwhile, Australian firm Blake Dawson will rebrand itself under the Ashurst banner as of today, with the full integration of the firms' Asia practices. Full financial integration of the remainder of the firm will be put to a partnership vote in 2014.

Blakes managing partner John Carrington said that the firms planned to invest further in Asia, but added that the importance of "old world" onomies such as Europe should not be underestimated. "There is no doubt that the growth rate of the Asia economies is going to surpass that of Europe and the UK, but [Europe and the UK] are still going to remain very important on a global basis," he said. "We want to be part of an international firm - not just a regional firm."

Read more at au.legalbusinessonline.com.

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