Dorsey & Whitney Closing Sydney Office
Dorsey & Whitney is closing its Sydney office.
The office’s sole partner, John Chrisman, is relocating to the firm’s Hong Kong office, where he will start Jan. 1.
Though Dorsey's move comes amid a slump in the Australian market, it is not exactly a bellwether for other foreign firms there. Dorsey has always been a somewhat idiosyncratic presence in Australia, where it launched in 2009. Though he handled some Australia work, Chrisman has mainly focused on India, for which he heads the firm’s practice, and China.
Chrisman, who had previously worked in Dorsey’s London office, sought a move to Australia for personal reasons and the firm accommodated him. His wife is Australian and wanted to be closer to family.
At this point, however, Chrisman says the long flight distances from Australia to China and India have proven burdensome. A move to Hong Kong will allow for easier access to both of those markets.
“That proximity will make a huge difference,” he says.
Dorsey’s Hong Kong office will have 14 lawyers, including seven partners, when Chrisman arrives. The Minneapolis-based firm employs about 520 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide.