Practice Makes Perfect Match

Sydney based Norton Smith & Co. and international law firm Coudert Brothers have announced they will merge in a move intended to broaden the scope and availability of services for clients which are increasingly doing business throughout the world. Coudert Brothers pioneered the vision of a world law firm and has had international offices operating as a single unified partnership for 147 years. By merging with Australia's oldest law firm, Coudert Brothers will boost its Australian operations to an office of 75 lawyers. The newly merged firm's intention is to extend both the scope and the scale of the firm. Coudert Brothers' strategy is to establish strong, globally integrated legal practices which deliver expertise in domestic law in every significant commercial centre throughout the world. "This merger is clearly very synergistic to us and our clients' according to partner Peter Noble. "It significantly extends Coudert Brothers' resource base in Asia Pacific and broadens the scope and availability of legal services for all of our clients. With Australia increasingly considered as a regional hub for global businesses, a strong presence in this critical market is important to our international clients. In addition, access to breadth of legal talent in this timezone is important to clients in the Northern Hemisphere embarking on projects in the region who need detailed and immediate advice on local legal issues as they arise." Coudert Brothers is already firmly established in Australia, having advised the Federal Government on the Commonwealth Bank float, and is currently advising on the proposed public float of a second tranche of Telstra. Other clients of the Australian practice include a variety of banks, investment banks and multi- national corporations. Norton Smith also boasts a blue chip client list including ANZ, Mirvac, Shell, St. George Bank and Yates. Coudert Brothers Chairman, Anthony Williams, based in New York, said that the merger with Norton Smith & Co. represented a significant expansion of the firm's Asia Pacific capabilities and was in sync with client demands for service in this region. "As our clients re-engineer to compete internationally, so do we. As we enter the new millennium our clients are communicating globally and developing electronic commerce strategies. They need access to premium legal services in every jurisdiction which Coudert Brothers can deliver. Coudert Brothers will now have a global complement of 575 lawyers and will continue to grow as it adds further depth to the reservoir of legal talent available to clients in its offices around the world." Founded in 1853, Coudert Brothers is one of the oldest and most respected international law firms, with 27 offices in most major business and governmental centers. Coudert Brothers has offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, San Jose, Denver, Montreal, London, Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Sydney, Almaty, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. ots Original Text Service: Coudert Brothers Internet: Contact: Sydney - Peter Noble, +02-9223-1488, or N.Y. - Anthony Williams, 212-626-4418, both of Coudert Brothers

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