With its Monday announcement that it is opening offices in Sydney and Perth with 17 locally recruited partners, British legal giant Allen & Overy is clearly making a major push into Australia.

The newly hired group counts 15 former partners of Australian firm Clayton Utz, including corporate group managing partner Michael Reede, banking and finance head Grant Fuzi, real estate practice leader David Wilkie and Perth office head Geoff Simpson. The other two new Allen & Overy partners are Aaron Kenavan, most recently an investment banker in the Sydney office of JPMorgan Chase but previously a mergers and acquisitions partner with Australian law firm Freehills, and Chris Robertson, a Freehills finance partner.