London-headquartered global law firm Bird & Bird has just announced a merger with Sydney based firm Truman Hoyle, which will go live on November 3.
The move follows a successful co-operation agreement which the two firms entered into in March, and will bring the total number of Bird & Bird offices to 27.
The new Australia office is to be run by Shane Barber, the current managing partner of Truman Hoyle.
On the day of the merger the total headcount at Bird & Bird Australia will be 42, comprising 25 fee earners and 9 partners.
The new office opening follows a period of rapid growth for the global firm over the past 18 months in the Asia Pacific region and it has entered into a series of strategic cooperation agreements, including Hwang Mok Park in Korea in March 2014, and K&K Advocates and Nurjadin Sumono Mulyadi & Partners in Indonesia in June 2014.
Bird & Bird CEO David Kerr says he’s delighted to add Australia to the firm’s repertoire.
“Opening an office in Australia is an important step in executing our strategy of continued expansion in the Asia Pacific region,” he says.
“The Australian economy is an obvious fit for Bird & Bird - it is one of the world’s leading knowledge economies, with a significant services sector and major investments in innovation."
Kerr says the two firms had already been working closely together for more than a year, and he was impressed with the calibre of Truman Hoyle’s lawyers.
The pair shares a similar culture and set of values, he says.
"Acting as one firm will enable us to further grow our operations in the region and offer our clients the same type and quality of legal services as in our other offices across Asia Pacific and globally."
The managing partner of Truman Hoyle/Bird & Bird Australia says the firm’s clients have predominantly been new economy businesses and are operating increasingly on a global stage.
“By merging with Bird & Bird we are better able to service their needs and deliver truly international reach and capability. At the same time our lawyers bring a wealth of regional experience to the wider Bird & Bird team, adding even more depth and expertise to the global firm,” he says.