Australia's law firms are among the most profitable in Asia.
They are sophisticated, large and close to southern Asian
markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia. At first glance it is
no surprise then that rumours of international mergers
Mallesons Stephen Jacques, Australia's largest firm, is now
rumoured to be talking merger with Linklaters & Alliance
and earlier in the year it was linked with Clifford Chance.
Linklaters denies such talks, but whatever the truth is, it
seems that UK firms are now thinking seriously about expanding
So far, though, only a handful of foreign firms have made
the move and of those that have, none are from the UK. Sullivan
& Cromwell opened there when an Australian partner based in
New York got homesick. He now works from Melbourne. Coudert
Brothers is there too. So is Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher
& Flom. But firms are hardly pouring into the market. With