A global platform: Joining forces with Linklaters

Ten years ago, on 1 May 2012, Allens and Linklaters formed a global alliance to enhance and expand our offering to our people and clients. Since then, more than 200 people have enjoyed global career opportunities through the alliance and we have worked together on thousands of matters spanning the world. Here is where it all began...

22-05_global-platform-linklaters.jpgBy 2010, as Australia recovered from the GFC, international firms seeking expansion saw Australia as an attractive market, especially given its close proximity to major project development and financing work in Asia. The large United Kingdom and United States firms showed the greatest interest.

Allens had dragged its heels with the domestic mergers of the 1980s and did not want to be late to this development. A 'best friends' relationship had been in place with United Kingdom firm Slaughter and May for several years. However, unlike their 'magic circle' counterparts, Slaughter and May did not wish to pursue international expansion. Allens needed to consider new options, and Linklaters was top of the list. 

The idea of an alliance between Allens Arthur Robinson and Linklaters was first discussed in mid-2011. Michael Rose and Simon Davies, the managing partners of the two firms, had been attending an international legal conference in California and began discussing the growing interest in the Australian market. Rose was keen to continue the conversation and took a detour via London on the way home. Joined by Allens Arthur Robinson chairman Ewen Crouch, they met with Davies and some of his fellow Linklaters partners. The firms had worked together and shared similar clients, cultures and values.

'We had been scratching our heads for some time about covering Australia for clients. When we started looking at it, the complementary nature of the practices became evident.'

- Linklaters Senior Partner, Robert Elliott

Over the year conversations continued; neither firm was eager to merge, but both could see benefits in working together. In particular, each firm was keen to strengthen its involvement in the growing energy, resources and infrastructure work in Asia. In 2012 Allens Arthur Robinson and Linklaters announced an integrated alliance. The firm also decided to adopt the colloquial name by which it had long been known – Allens.

The firms maintain their financial independence while sharing best-practice approaches to solve client problems. The alliance gives Allens' clients access to a global network of forty offices in twenty-eight locations and there is a consistent flow of talent between the two firms, at both senior and junior levels.

'The alliance remains a unique structure in the Australian legal market. Our clients and our people continue to benefit from the expertise, reach and opportunities the alliance brings.'

- Allens Managing Partner, Richard Spurio

A glimpse into our history

The launch of World Series Cricket

The summer holidays mean one thing for many Australians: cricket. Heading to a day-night match and watching the brightly coloured teams smacking the ball into the crowd is what we've come to expect. But, it wasn't always like this and Allens played a big part in transforming the game of cricket into what it is today.

The book that changed Australia

Today we take for granted our ability to read any book we choose, but it wasn't long ago that Australia had some of the most severe censorship regulations in the Western world. Allens played a pivotal role in changing this and bringing an end to literary censorship in Australia.

Upholding the right to vote

In 2006, the Howard Government introduced significant changes to Australia's voting laws through the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Act 2006 (Cth). Among the changes contained in the legislation was the denial of voting rights to all people in prison.

Hard to find – but worth the hunt

One of the frustrations of historical research is knowing something exists but being unable to locate it. That was the case with letters from Allen Allen & Hemsley to client Angus & Robertson. The letters related to the copyright of several works by Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson, including The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses.

Lawyers draft wills better than authors

When legal practices were first established in Australia, a significant portion of their work involved the management of complex wills and estates. However, over time, the founding firms of Allens shifted their focus from managing family estates and trusts to become predominantly commercial practices. This is the story of the firm's involvement in celebrated author Nevil Shute's will.

Hidden treasures

Research for the Allens history book has turned up a variety of interesting items, among them a hand-drawn map of Brisbane from 1849 and a mallet used by founder George Allen in 1859 to lay the foundation stone for a new chapel in Newtown, Sydney.

First true civil libel case in Australia

In 1817, 16-year-old George Allen was just a few months into his legal training when he found himself amidst one of the most interesting legal cases in the colony of New South Wales. George had just entered his articles of clerkship with Frederick Garling when Garling was appointed to represent defendant John Thomas Campbell in the first true civil libel case in Australia.

Helping Bush Heritage preserve precious land

Since 1995, Allens has committed thousands of hours of expertise to helping Bush Heritage with its vision of healthy Country, protected forever. This includes 14ha of land in the Liffey Valley of Tasmania, which former Australian Senator Bob Brown gifted to the organisation in 2011 with support from Allens.

Seeking justice for the Stolen Generation

Right from the start, almost 200 years ago, Allens has shown support for Australia's Indigenous communities and, in 1996, we helped pave the way towards the National Apology through our involvement in the first Stolen Generation legal trials.

Supporting critical Australian infrastructure

17 October 1949 marked the official start of what is still considered one of the largest and most ambitious engineering projects ever undertaken in Australia – the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

It all started in 1822

Allens was founded on 22 July 1822, the day 21-year-old George Allen was admitted as an attorney and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and became the first person to complete their full legal training in Australia. When he began his small legal practice in a cottage on Elizabeth Street in Sydney, he could not have foreseen the story that would follow.