'Big four' accountancy firm moves into Chinese legal space

by NZ Lawyer19 Mar 2014
 [Australia] Firm snares 5 partners in self-proclaimed 'hiring spree'

Mills Oakley has brought five new partners and 30 legal staff on board for its Sydney offices in the last two months, boosting the firm’s total number of partners to 52. 

The new partners – Simon Champion, Malcolm Davis, Susan Warda, Jason Leonard and Rohan White – all joined the firm between January and March this year.

The firms Mills Oakley recruited from include Piper Alderman, Sparke Helmore, Herbert Geer, Coleman Greig and HWL Ebsworth.

Mills Oakley CEO John Nerurker said the appointments reflected the firm’s plans to expand the Sydney office more in line with the scale of the firm’s Melbourne operations.

“As we take on more ASX200 clients, we are adopting an ambitious growth strategy for the Sydney office to better serve clients," he said.

Source: Australiasian Lawyer

[China] Ernst & Young tap into Chinese legal market

Accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) is in the process of launching a legal services unit in China through the acquisition of Shanghai-based Chen & Co.
The move will be seen as significant for marking the global accountancy firm’s first reach into China’s legal services market, a route that remains closed  to international law firms.

The ‘big four’ accountancy firms have enjoyed a dominant position in China’s accounting and auditing industry for decades without many restrictions.

Accountancy giants, EY, KPMG, PWC and Deloitte, have expanded extensively in the country by acquiring Chinese accounting firms. By expanding into legal advisory work they aim to build on the amount of work they are already doing for top Chinese companies.

Source: The Lawyer 

[USA] Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney/Fowler White Boggs merger set to create one of USA’s largest law firms
Pittsburgh-based Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has announced it’s merging with Tampa-based Fowler White Boggs, creating a 530-lawyer firm that would become one of the 100 largest in the country by headcount.
The combined firm will be known in Florida as Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney/Fowler White Boggs for one year, then revert to the name Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.

The firm will be based in Pittsburgh and led by Buchanan Ingersoll CEO John A. "Jack" Barbour. It will have 18 offices throughout the country, including six in Florida that will house more than 100 attorneys in the state.

Source: The Legal Intelligencer

[Australia] Freehills gender target will be a ‘tipping point’: Ricketts

Herbert Smith Freehills' Australian managing partner Jason Ricketts has said the firm’s ambitious 30% gender target for women in its global equity partnership ranks will be a ‘tipping point’ for the firm’s culture if it is reached as planned by 2019.

On Friday, the firm announced a 30% gender target for the proportion of women in its global equity partnership by 2019, with an interim stepping stone of 25% set for 2017.
The firm joins the likes of fellow global law firm Baker & MacKenzie and the UK-based Pinsent Masons in setting equity partnership targets of 30% for women.

“Thirty per cent is a tipping point; at that level of diversity, you start to see the benefits flowing through for the firm as a whole,” said Ricketts.

Baker & MacKenzie set its global target almost a year ago, and the firm’s Australian offices have made progress towards them during that time period. According to a spokesperson, 63% of new partner appointments in FY13 were women, or five out of eight lateral and promoted partners.

Source: Australasian Lawyer

[Singapore] Local firms ‘dominating’ Singapore legal market

The Singapore Business Review has found that, of the 25 largest law firms in the country, 16 are local firms and only eight are foreign law firms.

Singapore's list was topped by Allen & Gledhill with 352 lawyers, followed by Rajah & Tann with 335. Stamford Law Corporation climbed five places to sixth from the previous year, overtaking the biggest foreign law firm here, Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow.

Source: Singapore Law Watch