Squire Sanders secures Sydney launch with Allens partner hire

Squire Sanders is launching in Sydney next month with the hire of Allens M&A partner Campbell Davidson to head the new Australia base.

The US firm has recruited a four-strong team for the launch on 1 November, which comes as part of a wider plan to grow its presence across the Asia-Pacific region.

The new team includes two of counsel – intellectual property and technology lawyer Richard Pascoe, who is joining from Sydney law firm Truman Hoyle, and tax specialist Louise Boyce from DLA Piper – and Anna Elliott, an employment senior associate who joins from Australian law firm Holding Redlich.

The Sydney practice will focus mainly on corporate and finance, as well as labour and employment, projects, infrastructure and taxation.

The firm opened its first Australian base in Perth in August with the hire of 15 lawyers from Minter Ellison. It also set up in Korea at the beginning of October with the relocation of corporate partners Joon Yong Kim and Edward Ghiyun Kim from Tokyo to head up the new base.

“We’ve done a lot in the Asia-Pacific region over the last 12 to 15 months,” James Maiwurm, the firm’s global chair and CEO, told Legal Week.

“We’re looking for a very strong but modest presence in Sydney that focuses both on Australia and the Southeast Asia region. I would say 25 [new people will be hired] over the next three or four years. I think we will be able to attract some very good people.”

Maiwurm added that the firm is also looking to boost its headcount in Singapore, with up to 16 additional lawyers to be recruited over the next three years. The focus will be on the firm’s transactional and dispute resolution capabilities, which continue to be its core offerings in the city-state. It will also look to bolster its resources in energy, corporate law, banking and finance.

“In Singapore we’re very interested in adding people in transactional practices such as project finance, and in international arbitration. We see those as two areas that are big for us now and that will continue to grow,” he said.

Squire Sanders currently has Asia offices in Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, in addition to its base in Perth.

The transatlantic firm is also understood to be keeping a close watch on emerging markets such as Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia.