07 Apr 2011

Our Approach to International Services

Stuart Clark, the Managing Partner of our International Services team, talks about how our clients receive the best possible advice and support, wherever they do business.

Stuart Clark, Managing Partner, International

What is Clayton Utz's approach to international services?

At Clayton Utz we have adopted a multifaceted approach to delivering international services. What we focus on is what the client needs and how to deliver the results that the client is attempting to achieve. Sometimes we use the best lawyers in the country on the ground. We have great relationships with a range of firms across the world.

Sometimes we will put a team of lawyers on the ground. A great example of that was the Taiwan High Speed Rail Project where we were there for something like five years and in our latest approach in the area of construction and international projects, we now have an office in Hong Kong which provides a base for working across the region. At the end of the day it's what's best for the client.

Does Clayton Utz undertake much business for international clients?

Yes, international work is a very important part and an increasing part of the Clayton Utz practice. We act for clients both in and outside Australia. We have a range of energy and resources projects, the delivery of major infrastructure, and advice for clients operating in Africa, for example in the anti-corruption area. We also act extensively for clients that are inbound into Australia, that is international clients that want to invest in Australia or clients that have come here to, for example, defend a major class action. For me personally, most of my clients are either in the United States or in Europe and at any time, any week of the year, you will find Clayton Utz lawyers literally in all parts of the world.

Why did Clayton Utz choose to open an office in Hong Kong?

Opening the office in Hong Kong was the next logical step in a development process that had been underway for a number of years. We've had teams of lawyers working in the region for many years. We've had a team of lawyers working in Taiwan for the best part of the last five years in the Taiwan High Speed Rail Project. It was becoming increasingly obvious that our clients wanted us offshore. Indeed they needed us offshore. We decided that we needed a base in the region. We looked around and we came to the conclusion that Hong Kong would provide us with the best place to support our activities across Asia and indeed up into the Gulf.

What are some examples of the international work Clayton Utz has been involved in?

Clayton Utz has been involved in a range of international work across the globe. Examples that spring to mind immediately are the Taiwan High Speed Rail Project, hydro-electric projects in Laos, anti-corruption work and defending claims against mining companies in Africa, and infrastructure work throughout the world, ranging from motorways in California through to major water infrastructure in Indonesia.

How do you see the international market developing in the years ahead?

The demand for Australian legal services offshore is growing and that growth will continue. There are a number of factors driving that. Firstly, the Australian economy is becoming increasingly globalised. Our clients are becoming increasingly active offshore and there's a real demand for the skills and experience that Australian lawyers, that Clayton Utz lawyers, can offer to clients who are delivering projects offshore, who are engaged in transactions offshore, even involved in litigation offshore.

Why is Clayton Utz's international strategy so successful?

It's our people. That's what makes our international strategy successful. Our people understand what our clients want to achieve. They take the time to understand what our clients' objectives are. Then they have the expertise, the experience and the qualifications and most of all the commitment to deliver those objectives. At the end of the day, it's always the people.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.