Allens Arthur Robinson has unveiled what is being billed as an "integrated alliance" with UK firm Linklaters.The arrangement will see the firms retain their separate identities and partnerships in Australia and the UK, but form an integrated joint venture in Asia and a separate structure in Indonesia for regulatory reasons. However, the joint venture will focus on energy, resources and infrastructure work only and Asia practices outside these areas will continue to operate in their current form.
Allens will drop "Arthur Robinson" from its name to become simply Allens from May 1. However, both firms will use the branding 'Allens Linklaters' on documents, signage, letterheads and other marketing material to promote the alliance.
AAR CEP Micheal Rose denied that the lack of integration between the core Australian partnership and Linklaters would mean that the alliance was a cosmetic exercise. "I think if you take view that it’s not possible to have a properly motivated business without integration - obviously some take that view but for us the motivation is to ensure clients have access to a full range of service,” he told ALB. “You don’t have to be integrated to do that. Some of our clients are telling us that they actually like the idea of us remaining independent – but they’re more interested in the team they’re going to get rather than how the team is structured.”
Allens partner Gavin MacLaren recently left the firm’s Singapore office to join Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as a partner. At 1 May 2011 Linklaters had 480 partners across 27 offices in 19 countries. As of today Allens has approximately 176 partners across 14 offices in nine countries.
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