Departing Clayton Utz partner slates global law firm model
17 August 2012
A senior partner leaving top Aussie shop Clayton Utz has slammed the global business model followed by many law firms. Private equity lawyer Philip Kapp just reckons "it doesn't work
", and will be joining distinctly more domestic rival Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
Top-tier firm Clayton Utz (offices across Australia - and in Hong Kong) lost Kapp, the head of its PE practice, last Friday at 5pm. According to Lawyers Weekly
, he joined Corrs at 5.10pm. Well, it is just across the road.
Kapp's issue is that he reckons the big international firms don't want to hire Australian lawyers at firms which compete with them in the region. He said "trust me...it's really attractive for leading US and UK firms to have independent counsel in Australia that don't compete with them in Hong Kong
". Well, maybe. Kapp continues "frankly, the global law firm just [doesn't] work...I spent six or seven years travelling around the world trying to create a global law firm and I know [they]'re flawed
". So it's not Kapp, it's the system.
||Philip Kapp has a little chuckle to himself whilst pondering the futility of creating a global law firm.|
Yet whilst Kapp is convinced the concept is flawed and is delighted to be going to the distinctly more provicial Corrs (no plans to expand beyond Oz), the rest of the Australian profession has spent the past couple of years lining up enormous global mergers. For reference, that's Blake Dawson + Ashurst, Mallesons + King & Wood, AAR + Linklaters, and Freehills + Herbert Smith. So clearly someone's got it wrong.