|No. of offices||40|
|Major practice areas||corporate and commercial|
|Key people||Richard Spurio (Managing Partner) |
Fiona Crosbie (Chairman of Partners)
Allens is an international commercial law firm that operates in the Asia-Pacific region. It is one of what was known as the big six Australian law firms. Its alumni include a former Australian Prime Minister, High and Supreme Court justices, a former President of the World Bank, and ASX/200 C-suite executives.
Allens is one of the largest law firms in the Asia Pacific region, with more than 130 partners and more than 1200 personnel. Since 1 May 2012, Allens has operated in association with Magic Circle law firm Linklaters, giving Allens access to Linklaters' global network of offices. Allens also comprises a separate patent attorney firm, Allens Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys, which is closely integrated with the law firm's intellectual property group.
Allens' origins can be traced to the Sydney firm that became Allen Allen & Hemsley, which had been in existence since 1822, making Allens Australia's longest continuous legal partnership. Former Managing Partner Sir Norman Cowper is credited with developing Allens into one of Asia's leading law firms 
By the early 1920s Allens had gained a reputation as Australia's establishment firm, largely because of its high profile and wealthy clients. During the 1970s the firm acted for the Australian Bankers' Association in relation to the Whitlam Labour Government loans scandal. Allens had previously acted for the Australian banks in the famous Bank Nationalisation Case, retaining Garfield Barwick QC as lead counsel.
Allens has client relationships stretching back over decades and, in the case of Westpac, over 160 years. In the early years of large firm legal practice in Australia Allens was also able to cement relationships with other leading Australian businesses, including with Sir Frank Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings, later continuing the relationship with his son, Kerry Packer's Nine Network Holdings. Allens is also known to act for 55 of the world's top 100 companies by market capitalisation, including for News Corporation in Australia.
In the early 1990s a controversy arose when Adrian Powles, a former partner in the London office, was discovered to have secretly accessed a client's trust account to fund a gambling addiction. Sydney journalist Valerie Lawson published a book in 1995 entitled The Allens Affair that details the Powles case and touches on much of the early history of the firm.
The other major predecessor firm of Allens is Arthur Robinson & Co., which began trading in Melbourne, Victoria on 11 May 1914, just prior to the outbreak of World War I. In 1984, Arthur Robinson & Co. merged with Hedderwick Fookes & Alston to form Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks.
Allens Arthur Robinson was formed on 1 July 2001 by the merger of the Melbourne-headquartered Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks (ARH) and the Sydney-headquartered Allen Allen & Hemsley (AAH), which created one of the largest law firms in the Asia Pacific. The two firms had been associated for 15 years prior to the merger through the Allens Arthur Robinson Group alliance.
Allens dropped the 'Arthur Robinson' part of its name on 1 May 2012. From that date, Allens began operating in an exclusive integrated alliance with Magic Circle law firm Linklaters, with each firm remaining financially independent. Allens and Linklaters will operate two joint ventures in Asia, with one of these focused on energy, resources, and infrastructure services, and another focused on Indonesia, where Allens is already in an alliance with domestic firm Widyawan & Partners.
Since the mid-1970s Allens has built a substantial collection of Australian contemporary art, including works by Rosalie Gascoigne, David Aspden, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Dale Frank and Ildiko Kovaks. These works were purchased early in the artists' careers. The firm's strategy is to continue to support emerging artists. There are over 1,500 works in its offices across Australia and Asia.
Allens provides pro bono legal support to the Arts Law Centre of Australia and has supported the arts through various initiatives. The firm acted in the 1971 Literature Obscenity Trial, representing Australian Bookseller Angus & Robertson which had been charged with obscenity for publishing and selling Philip Roth's novel Portnoy's Complaint in Australia. Allens retained Nobel Prize winning author Patrick White as lead witness for Angus & Robertson.
As of January 2018, Allens has offices in Brisbane, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Melbourne, Perth, Port Moresby, Singapore and Sydney. Through its integrated alliance with Linklaters, Allens' network extends to offices in Abu Dhabi, Africa, Belgium, Brazil, China, Dubai, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.
The following persons once worked at Allens: