The merger will go live on 3 November 2014, bringing the number of Bird & Bird offices around the world to 27. The new Australia office will be run by Shane Barber, the current managing partner of Truman Hoyle. The office is home to 25 lawyers, including eight partners.
In Asia Pacific, Bird & Bird’s offices include Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore and the firm has made growth in the region its top priority. Over the last 18 months the firm has undertaken a series of strategic cooperation agreements, sealing tie-ups with Korean firm Hwang Mok Park in March and Indonesian firms K&K Advocates and Nurjadin Sumono Mulyadi & Partners in June.
The firm has also upped its level of lateral recruitment in the region during 2014, with Hong Kong-based corporate partner Sven-Michael Werner arriving from Taylor Wessing in January and employment partner Ying Wang in Shanghai, where she will head its Employment practice for China.
David Kerr, chief executive of Bird & Bird, said: ‘Opening an office in Australia is an important step in executing our strategy of continued expansion in the Asia Pacific region. The Australian economy is an obvious fit for Bird & Bird as it is one of the world’s leading knowledge economies, with a significant services sector and major investments in innovation.’
Kerr added: ‘Acting as one firm will enable us to further grow our operations in the region and offer our clients the same type and quality of legal services as in our other offices across Asia Pacific and globally.’
Shane Barber, managing partner Truman Hoyle/Bird & Bird Australia, added: ‘Our clients are predominantly new economy businesses, and as such they operate on an increasingly global stage. By merging with Bird & Bird we are better able to service their needs and deliver truly international reach and capability.’