SPECULATION OVER WHITE & CASE RAIDS

SPECULATION OVER WHITE & CASE RAIDS

BRISBANE'S legal community is abuzz with news of the defection of ten staff from the Herbert Smith Freehills offices in Melbourne and Sydney, and whether there could be any similar defections in the River City.

The defections were to US-based firm White & Case, which raided the HSF project and finance teams taking two lawyers from Asia, seven from Melbourne and one from Sydney.

It is likely there may be more defections in the future, as White & Case looks to muscle in on the Australian corporate scene.

A Brisbane lawyer who spoke to Brisbane Legal says it was a hot topic of conversation in the community this week, with speculation as to whether there would be defections out of Brisbane.

Gilbert + Tobin is reported to be a prime target of White + Case, however that firm does not have a Brisbane office.

White & Case is also reportedly only looking to open Melbourne and Sydney offices.

So for those in Brisbane hoping for a tap on the shoulder from a chequebook-wielding representative of the US legal giant, it is perhaps unlikely.

In a statement, Herbert Smith Freehills confirmed the resignation of the 10 partners, saying, "we are disappointed at this decision".

"We continue to have a strong 100-partner infrastructure and projects practice globally. This is an exceptionally talented team of partners and lawyers, in Australia, Asia and around the world," says the statement.

"When it comes to big-ticket, complex projects, project finance and infrastructure work, we remain the firm to beat in this market and globally."

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