Morning Briefing: Slater & Gordon well-placed for more acquisitions

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Slater & Gordon well-placed for more acquisitions
Deutsche Bank says that Australia’s first listed law firm is in a strong position to expand and has advised clients that its shares are worth buying. Slater & Gordon has made around 50 acquisitions and has grown its international footprint, especially in the UK. Deutsche says that the law firm has spare capacity to take on extra debt for more M&A activity this year. 

Clifford Chance aims to raise revenues in Asia
The managing partner of Clifford Chance wants the firm to be the choice of the world’s leading businesses. Matthew Layton has revealed targets to expand the firm’s international business including growing revenues in Asia by 25 per cent. As part of the plans Caroline Firstbrook has been appointed COO and Bas Borris Visser who heads the Amsterdam office has been appointed global head of innovation and business change. The firm will embrace technology and flexible working and service models as key elements for expansion. 

US law firms merged less last year
The number of mergers between US law firms dropped in 2014 according to Altman Weil. The market specialists’ report shows that in 2013 there were 88 mergers while last year there were 82 and that they were mostly between small firms. There were some notable exceptions including the creation of Squire Patton Boggs

Accountancy firm expands international legal service
Accountancy firm EY has expanded its legal services footprint by opening a new office in Sweden. Six lawyers have been hired for the new location. The firm already operates in jurisdictions including Australia, New Zealand, UK and China and says that it is aiming to be in 80 jurisdictions by 2017, covering all the major regions with the exception of the US. 

Trainee lawyer apologises for ‘anti-West’ YouTube tirade
A day is a long time in cyber-space. After we told you yesterday about the Clifford Chance trainee who created a furore for posting a video criticising fellow Muslims who were ‘apologetic’ following the Paris terrorist attacks, he has now apologised. Aysh Chaudhry says he was not intending to offend anyone but to prompt intellectual debate. Clifford Chance told the London Evening Standard that Chaudhry was not facing disciplinary action.