International law firm Bird & Bird today announced a merger with Sydney based firm Truman Hoyle. The merger will go live on 3 November 2014, bringing the number of Bird & Bird offices around the world to 27. The merger with Truman Hoyle follows a successful cooperation agreement which the two firms entered into in March 2013.
The new Australia office will be run by Shane Barber, the current managing partner of Truman Hoyle. On the day of the merger the total headcount in Bird & Bird Australia will be 42, comprising 25 fee earners and 8 partners.
Bird & Bird has a long term presence in Asia Pacific with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore. Over the last 18 months the firm has experienced a period of rapid growth in the region with a series of strategic cooperation agreements which have included Hwang Mok Park in Korea in March 2014, and K&K Advocates and Nurjadin Sumono Mulyadi & Partners in Indonesia in June 2014, and now the successful transition from a cooperation with Truman Hoyle in March 2013 to full merger in November 2014.
In addition to our geographical expansion the firm has also appointed a series of new senior lateral hires to its regional practice which has included corporate partner Padraig Walsh and TMT partner Michelle Chan in Hong Kong, corporate partner Sven-Michael Werner, employment partner Ying Wang in Shanghai, and aviation partner Leo Fattorini in Singapore.
David Kerr, CEO, Bird & Bird, said: "We are pleased to welcome our Australian colleagues to the Bird & Bird international network. Opening an office in Australia is an important step in executing our strategy of continued expansion in the Asia Pacific region. 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. "
He added: "We have been working closely together for over a year now and we have been very impressed by the calibre of the Truman Hoyle lawyers. We share a similar culture and set of values as well as sector focused approach to servicing our clients. 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."
Shane Barber, managing partner Truman Hoyle/Bird & Bird Australia said: “Our clients are predominantly new economy businesses, and as such they operate on an increasingly 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.
“The cultures of the two firms mesh well because we share a common vision of delivering first rate legal services to our clients wherever they operate on the world stage.”
Justin Walkey, Chairman, Asia Pacific, Bird & Bird, said: "This is an important milestone for our operations in Asia Pacific. More and more of our global and European clients are looking to expand their operations into Asia. Our new Australia operation will be a crucial part of our integrated service offering in the Asia Pacific region and internationally, serving Asia-based and international clients on complex cross-border work, as well as building a sound, domestic Australian business. We are excited about this strategic move which is integral to the firm's international strategy for growth and development in China and the Asia Pacific region. "