Interesting article in The Australian by Legal affairs editor Chris Merritt on the plans by Allen & Overy to open in Australia next month. The firm will open with seventeen staff, fourteen lured from national firm Clayton Utz.
While Australia is the world's 14th largest economy, its relatively small size together with its remoteness from Europe and North America has kept it a little below the global horizon. This has actually given local firms something of a protected market.
Australia's recent economic performance has been quite astonishing by global standards. This plus the China link has focused more attention on the country.
Allen & Overy's core practice areas in Australia will be energy, mining and natural resources; finance; infrastructure; investment funds; mergers and acquisitions; private equity; tax; telecoms, media and technology.
These are generally all areas where Australia has a significant local market for legal services. It will be interesting to see how Australian practices respond.