Ashurst Australia

Ashurst Australia is the Australian branch of Ashurst LLP, an international commercial law firm. The Australian headquarters of Ashurst are in Sydney.

Ashurst LLP
No. of offices29
No. of lawyers1,700+
No. of employees3,500+
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Key peopleKaren Davies
Paul Jenkins
(Global Chief Executive Officer)
Date founded1822
(1841, Melbourne)
Company typeLLP

Prior to its acquisition by Ashurst, the Australian firm was named Blake Dawson,[1] one of the Big Six leading Australian law firms.[2]


Australian predecessorEdit

Blake Dawson was founded in 1841. Its founder, James Hunter Ross, emigrated from Scotland to set up practice in Melbourne on the corner of Bourke and William Streets. In 1865 its founder died, and the firm was renamed to Blake & Riggall in 1874. In 1881 a firm later to be known as Waldron & Dawson was founded on Pitt Street in Sydney.[3]

These two firms were prominent in the legal systems of Australia's colonies. Their client bases included large corporations, banks, mining companies, and pastoral companies.

The firms were merged in 1988, alongside two other firms; Collison Hunt & Richardson (Perth) and McCubbery Train Love and Thomas (Port Moresby). This merger brought together lawyers from all of the major commercial centres in Australia as well as important centres in the Asia and Pacific regions. Three further Asian offices were established, in Jakarta in 1988, Shanghai in 1995 and Singapore in 2009.

In 2007 the firm was rebranded to Blake Dawson.[4]


In September 2011, it was announced that the firm would combine its Asian business with that of British law firm Ashurst and be re-branded as Ashurst across all offices on 1 March 2012, followed by a full financial merger of the two firms on 1 November 2013.[5][6] The table below summarises the merger of the two firms.[7]

Ashurst LLP Blake Dawson
Number of partners 230 192
Number of lawyers 900+ 820+
Number of offices 16 11
Revenue (2011) A$462 million + A$380 million +


  1. ^ Merritt, Chris (27 September 2011). "Blake Dawson plans UK alliance to go for growth". The Australian.
  2. ^ Kenneth Nguyen (22 May 2007), Stags in Slater & Gordon share some class action - a 40% win (The Sydney Morning Herald), John Fairfax Holdings Limited., p. 21, Though Slater & Gordon is a well-known law firm, its market capitalisation of $151 million would be dwarfed if any of Australia's "big six" law firms - Allens Arthur Robinson, Blake Dawson Waldron, Clayton Utz, Freehills, Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Minter Ellison - decided to float.
  3. ^ The making of a national firm: Blake Dawson Archived 3 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Blake Dawson changes its stripes". Archived from the original on 5 July 2007.
  5. ^ Blake Dawson (2011). Ashurst and Blake Dawson announce Asia business combination and future merger plans. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  6. ^ Ashurst's partners vote for full financial integration. Ashurst, 26 September 2013.
  7. ^ "Ashurst & Blakes confirm merger". Retrieved 22 October 2012.

External linksEdit