UK, Australian lawyers strengthen ties

Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff is visiting Sydney and Melbourne this week, meeting with key Australian legal services stakeholders as well as UK lawyers practising in the country with a view to strengthening business ties between the two jurisdictions.
During the five-day visit, the Law Society president will visit firms including Norton Rose, Herbert Smith Freehills, Allen & Overy and Clyde & Co.
The visit follows a spate of mergers and partnerships between UK and Australian law firms. Ashurst, Linklaters, Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith all recently joined the gold rush by merging or partnering with an Australian firm.
Although the two legal communities have long enjoyed a close relationship, with many lawyers passing back and forth between the jurisdictions, it has only been five years since the first UK firm launched in Australia.
During the visit, president Scott-Moncrieff is also due to meet with representatives of the law societies in the two largest and most commercial states, New South Wales and Victoria. Approximately 20 per cent of the Australian legal profession − or over 1,200 law firms − are incorporated in New South Wales.
This week’s visit by the Law Society will further strengthen business ties between the countries. The UK is Australia’s sixth largest bilateral trading partner. In 2011, UK exports to Australia amounted to nearly £4.2 billion, rising over 30 per cent from 2010.
Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said:
“Australia is not only an interesting legal services market in itself. It is increasingly being seen by our members as a gateway to Asia Pacific. There are exciting opportunities in nearby countries, including Malaysia, Korea, China, Myanmar and Mongolia. We are keen on helping our members in strengthening their foothold in this growth market.
“We are working closely with key stakeholders in the Australian legal services to promote ever closer business ties between the UK law firms and Australian businesses.
“Bilateral trade between the UK and Australia is on a solid basis. This trade is facilitated by legal advisers in both our countries. We are working to further promote UK legal services to ensure our firms are best positioned to tap into business opportunities in Australia and Asia Pacific more generally.”
19 March 2013

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