Bold international firm to add Brisbane office

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An international firm plans to add a new Brisbane office later this year, on the back of rapid growth in revenue, partner numbers and offices in the Asia-Pacific region.

Clyde & Co Australian managing partner, John Edmond,has revealed to Australasian Lawyer that the firm will look to expand into Brisbane by the middle of this year.

A future Brisbane office would add to the firm's founding locations in Sydney and Perth, as well as a Melbourne office that the firm opened late in September 2013.

Edmond says the firm is looking at options that include lateral hires of teams and partners in Brisbane, as well as the possibility of relocating existing partners from other offices.

"We are looking at all options at the moment," Edmond said.

"That would include talking to potential teams or talking to some individuals locally or putting our own people up there, which is always slightly more difficult," he said.

"What we do have is a mandate; we are seeing a lot of opportunity [in Brisbane] with our existing client base in Australia and globally."

The firm has a history of raiding competitors for legal talent. Edmond himself was part of a team of six partners recruited from Allens when Clyde & Co launched in Australia in 2012.

Clyde & Co also added to its bench-strength with additional partners from King & Wood Mallesons and Norton Rose Fulbright in Perth and HWL Ebsworth in Melbourne.

The firm's search for talent extends outside of Brisbane, with plans for further Australian growth. Edmond said the firm was currently looking for "a couple" of commercial litigators.

"We are one of the few firms who are currently hiring, and we are taking on people fairly consistently," Edmond said.

The firm's Australian plans come amid rapid growth in the Asia-Pacific region, with revenues having risen by 40% in the region over the past 12 months alone.

Over the past three years, the firm has trippled its Asia-Pacific footprint, adding to its long-established Hong Kong and Shanghai offices with new openings in Beijing and Chongqing in China and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia through association with Khan Lex Advocates. The firm has also set down roots in Singapore with a Joint Law Venture with Clasis LLC, and Indonesia, with its newly-minted association with Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo.

Over the same period, partner numbers in the region have doubled.

Edmond says the firm's aggressive approach to growth is not limited to the region.The first firm to set up in Libya post-Arab Spring, Clyde & Co is eyeing new jurisdictions of opportunity.

Clyde & Co's core strength in Australia has been insurance since its launch, though it has developed local capabilities in infrastructure, resources, transportation and international trade.