Globe-trotting firms lose home connections

By James Barnes

26 October 2012 at 11:27 BST

Global firms are dominating the international market for legal services and creating global identities independent of their national characteristics, recent reports have suggested.

Firms becoming less connected with 'home' country

An article in The Australian newspaper reports that global firms are becoming less connected to their home jurisdiction, ditching past practices whereby large firms were identifiable with their home country or city – usually from which they could draw many clients.

International arena

Kath Hall – senior lecturer at the Australian National University College of Law – cites the AM Law Global 100 ranking, and writes: ‘Responding to globalisation, many law firms have now abandoned this norm and are focused instead on generating a transnational or global field of operation and a recognisable identity in the international arena.’
The report suggests that 12 law firms can now count themselves as truly global in this manner. These are: Baker & McKenzie, Norton Rose, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, White and Case, DLA Piper, Allen & Overy, Linklaters, Hogan Lovells, Squire Sanders, Simmons & Simmons and Ashurst. A further nine law firms are very close to becoming global.

Working oversees

The grouping includes firms where at least 50 per cent of their lawyers work outside the firm’s ‘home’ jurisdiction.
Of the 12 ‘global’ firms, 10 have increased the percentage of lawyers working oversees. Norton Rose now has 80 per cent of its lawyers abroad – up from 77 per cent.


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