When Squire Sanders & Dempsey became the latest international law firm to enter the Australian legal market last month, the move had as much to do with Asia as it did Perth’s booming energy and resources sector. Given the strong trade flows between Perth and Asia, where the firm already has offices in Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the move to merge with the majority of Minter Ellison’s Perth arm was fuelled by a desire not only to tap into one of the G20’s best-performing economies but to use it as a platform to bolster its Asian practice.

“The fit was good,” says Squire Sanders chair and global chief executive James Maiwurm. “We wanted to strengthen our regional focus in Asia-Pacific and Western Australia is a logical priority because of its strong resources and energy sectors.”