Morning Briefing: Eight firms form network across ASEAN countries; New partners ditch Slaters

by NZ Lawyer22 Aug 2014
Eight firms form network across ASEAN countries
A team of eight law firms with a total of 500 lawyers has been formed in Singapore. The network, created by Rajah & Tann, aims to better serve clients with increased M&A and other cross-jurisdictional matters in the ASEAN region. Joining forces gives all members of the new network access to partners across eight countries including Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore and Malaysia. There is also an office in Shanghai. Major law firms have been strengthening their presence in the region ahead of next year’s launch of the ASEAN Economic Community.

Recently acquired firm’s partners seek to exit Slaters
Partners from a recent acquisition by Slater & Gordon are believed to have exited the firm or handed in their resignations. The consumer section of UK firm Pannone became part of Slaters at the start of the year and it’s reported that two partners have already left with others seeking to exit. This is despite a potential loss of share options and capital for leaving before three years after the acquisition.

New research launched into lawyers’ addictions, depression and anxiety
A major new research project aims to find out the extent and nature of substance abuse and addiction in the legal profession; estimated to be twice the level of that in the population as a whole. The study has been launched by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation together with the American Bar Association and should benefit the whole profession. The research will establish a new baseline understanding of where the legal profession currently stands in relation to the historically substantial challenges presented by substance use and other mental health problems. All areas of the profession will be studied including law school in a bid to understand any early issues.

Same sex marriage take-up is slow says law firm
The level of same-sex marriages in the UK has been slow since the law changed at the end of March. Andrew Newbury of Slater & Gordon says it is likely to be because of the high number of couples who are already in civil partnerships; they are not able to convert them to marriages until later in the year. Newbury says that the firm has had a lot of enquiries about converting a civil partnership and is expecting a surge from December 10.

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