Herbert Smith officially opened its New York office Tuesday with the hire of an additional 15 fee earners from U.S. firm Chadbourne & Parke.
The new office has gone live with the five-partner team from Chadbourne announced last month, while Herbert Smith has also taken an additional three counsel, eight associates and four other fee earners from the U.S. firm, of which 13 will be based in New York.
The team focuses on product liability work and tobacco litigation specifically, with British American Tobacco among its key clients. Chadbourne's former litigation head Thomas Riley will take on the role of office managing partner.
International arbitration partner Chris Parker has also relocated from Herbert Smiths London office to the U.S., taking the total number of partners on the ground to six.
The New York base will focus on anti-corruption and cross-border investigations, litigation and international arbitration.
Herbert Smith global head of dispute resolution Sonya Leydecker said: "We wish to offer a genuinely global service to our disputes clients. Opening in New York is a crucial element in this strategy and significantly enhances our global disputes capability.
"I am particularly pleased with the strength of the team we have put in place. These are all very experienced disputes lawyers, who enable us to offer a high-level capability to clients from day one."
The firm is still looking to recruit further fee earners for the anti-corruption and cross-border investigations piece of the practice, with a view to completing this by the end of the year.
In addition to the five-partner New York team, the firm has also hired London Chadbourne partner Philip Pfeffer, along with one City consultant and one associate.
The office has opened under the Herbert Smith name; however it will take on the Herbert Smith Freehills brand when the merger with the Australian firm goes live next month.
The New York office will be in temporary accommodation on 1745 Broadway in New York until it moves to its permanent premises in January 2013.