Jones Day has been in Sydney since 1998, but has only been practising US law. In establishing an Australian law practice, it is the only US firm on the ground that practises local law – if you discount Baker & McKenzie as being a US operation.
“Expanding our Sydney office to include the practice of Australian law will allow us to serve both Australian and international clients in need of a local and global service,” said Stephen Brogan, the managing partner of the Jones Day empire.
In establishing an Australian law practice, Jones Day lured across two high-profile partners from Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Chris Ahern and Matthew Latham.
Ahern was the head of Corrs’ communications group while Latham led the Sydney corporate group.
“Sydney is emerging as a financial centre in its own right, and when you look at firms like Jones Day which has a lot of regional depth in terms of its client base and offices, it makes sense to practise local law here,” Latham said.
The Sydney office now has five partners on the ground, and Latham said the firm’s strategy is to grow its capabilities and target the upper echelons of the corporate market.
“We have a number of major international clients, and our goal is to position ourselves as a unique service offering where clients can use Jones Day as a one-stop shop offering a blue-chip service globally,” Latham said. “It’s the big ticket items and major transactions that we will be hoping to act on in Australia.”