Magic Circle Law Firms See Australia’s Law Market Transform – In the two years since “Magic Circle” law firm Allen & Overy opened its doors in Perth, the London-based senior partner of A&O David Morley has witnessed a transformation in Australia’s commercial legal landscape with the arrival of major overseas law firms.

Mr Morley said Australia was well placed to become a regional and global player in the international legal market. Allen & Overy was the first top-tier international firm to open in Australia.

The Perth and Sydney offices, which have 120 lawyers and 23 partners between them, are part of the firm’s global network of almost 3000 lawyers, including 515 partners, working in 28 offices in 40 countries which bring in an annual revenue of £1.2 billion ($1.8 billion).

Mr Morley, who has been with Allen and Overy since he graduated from law school 32 years ago, said Australia was a “natural fit” amid a combination of demand for investment in natural resources and its expertise.

“In the world of commercial lawyers the Australian legal sector has changed beyond all recognition in just two years,” he said. “It was waiting to happen. You have a market of excellent firms, but all domestically focused. It was quite clear that Australia was becoming much more integrated into the global economy and there was going to be a lot more cross border work.”

Australia was doing well in its ability to handle commercial decision-making that would normally have gone to New York or London.

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