Finally, a decisive step: Ashurst’s long journey to a globally transformative merger
After more than a decade overshadowed by strategic angst and a string of aborted merger attempts, Ashurst has finally travelled halfway around the globe to secure what it hopes will be a transformative deal. The firm’s tie-up with Australian leader Blake Dawson, which was confirmed in a dual partner vote on Friday (23 September), comes after failed merger talks with Latham & Watkins and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson in 2000 and 2003 respectively. There is no doubt that the union, which will see the two firms unite under the Ashurst brand and combine operations in Asia next March ahead of a vote on a full financial merger in 2014, represents a major and high-stakes change of direction for the UK firm, which has previously been seen as a byword for City conservatism.
Friederike Heine assesses the background to the tie-up between Ashurst and Australia’s Blake Dawson
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