International firm DWF has agreed a partnership with an Australian firm that will eventually result in a merger. A team of six partners and 20 associates based in Brisbane and Melbourne will join DWF under the plans.

The Australian firm, originally known as MVM Legal, but now trades as part of the Kaden Boriss network, started eight years ago as a boutique insurance and safety practice. It was founded by partners Jamie McPherson and Damien van Brunschot and now specialises insurance, occupational health and safety, and industrial relations.

The partnership will start as an ’exclusive association’ before evolving into a merger, though no timeframe has been given.

Andrew Leaitherland, managing partner and chief executive of DWF, said: “Australia is an influential and integral part of Asia’s growing economic and political influence and therefore core to our strategy. We already have a strong foothold in the region, and the time is right to build on that as part of a wider Asia Pacific strategy.

McPherson said: ‘Our commitment to doing things differently from the outset and our unashamed client focus has led to our success. With an ambition to grow as part of a bigger, entrepreneurial, client-focused business, DWF is the right match for us.’

DWF already has an office in Sydney and in June, the firm also opened a Singapore office.