Global firm Baker & McKenzie has announced a further expansion into the Australia market, opening its third Australian office, in Brisbane.
Eduardo Leite, chairman, said: ‘There are significant opportunities for our Australian and international clients in resources, infrastructure development and agribusiness in Queensland.’
A number of firms have expanded into the Australian market in recent years due to the country’s rich natural resources and interest from Chinese investment. Last year international firm SJ Berwin merged with Australian-Chinese giant King & Wood Mallesons in a deal that created a firm with combined turnover of $1bn (£657m).
City firm Herbert Smith merged with Australian firm Freehills in 2012, while global firm Ashurst merged with Australia’s Blake Dawson in 2011.
In a reverse indication that the UK and Australian legal services markets are becoming closer, Australian-listed firm Slater & Gordon completed its acquisition of Manchester firm Pannone in February – the latest in a series of UK acquisitions since 2012.
Chris Freeland, Baker & McKenzie’s Australia national managing partner, said: ‘Our new Brisbane office is key to deepening our firm’s offering across a number of sectors in Australia and globally.’
He said the firm is in 12 of the 15 most resource-rich jurisdictions in the world. ‘There is no better time than now for us to move into the Queensland market,’ he added.
The firm has around 4,000 lawyers across 76 offices around the globe.