Morning Briefing: Osborne Clarke widens Asian footprint

Osborne Clarke partners with Indian firm to target Asian market… Baker & McKenzie changes remuneration structure… Ropes & Gray announces new partners… M&A slows to six-month low… Canadian lawyer missing with $3 million client funds could be in Asia…

Osborne Clarke widens Asian footprint
Osborne Clarke is expanding its presence in the Asian market having announced a partnership with Indian firm BTG Legal. The London-headquartered firm recently partnered with John Koh & Co in Hong Kong. The new Indian tie-up is non-exclusive due to local regulations but is part of a bigger regional strategy with CEO Simon Beswick commenting: "Over the next few months we will be looking to broaden our Asian offering and build our international practice in the continent."
Baker & McKenzie changes remuneration structure
Baker & McKenzie lawyers in Asia and Europe are to be remunerated under a new system that will see the end of the local profit pools. Currently partners receive roughly 60 per cent from the global profit pool and 40 per cent from the local pot. The local pools will become regional with the aim of encouraging sharing of work across regional offices. The EMEA and Asian offices will form the two regional pools. Initially it may mean those working in the most profitable offices within a region will be worse off. The regional pool system has been operating in the firm’s North American offices in 2005.
Ropes & Gray announces new partners
Ropes & Gray has announced 20 new partners across its global locations. In its Asia-Pac region there are three newly promoted lawyers; Cori Lable in Hong Kong; and Katherine Wang and Mimi Yang in Shanghai.
M&A slows to six-month low
Global M&A activity slowed in October to its lowest level since March, Bloomberg reports. There were US$232 billion of takeovers in the month, well below the average of US$300 billion in each of the preceding six months. One reason was the US administration clamping down on ‘tax inversions’ where US companies acquire an overseas firm and become domiciled there to benefit from softer tax regimes.
Canadian lawyer missing with $3 million client funds could be in Asia
A Canadian lawyer is missing and has been suspended by the country’s law society which describes her as a ‘significant risk to the public.’ Rita Grewel disappeared from Ontario with US$3 million from her law firm’s trust account. Her credit card receipts suggest she has recently been in India.

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