Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Law firms are grabbing up European lawyers in order to match client expectations and take advantage of changes in the trans-Atlantic legal market. Some firms have opened new European offices in recent weeks, while others have added muscle to their existing practices in London, Paris, Brussels and elsewhere. Part of the growth is a result of the pending dissolution of Coudert Brothers, which a year ago had 20 foreign offices. But many firms have lured lawyers away from European practices in order to increase their strength in foreign legal markets. “You need indigenous lawyers,” said Robert Kafin, chief operating partner at Proskauer Rose. The New York-based firm this summer brought in six partners and 11 associates from France’s Rambaud Martel to its Paris office. Recently, Fulbright & Jaworski added nine lawyers to its London practice, and last week Crowell & Moring added four attorneys to its Brussels office. It also added two partners to its London practice In addition, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker launched a Milan, Italy, practice, Katten Muchin Rosenman established an affiliation with a London-based firm, and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey opened a Warsaw, Poland, office. Recent European expansion has also occurred at Davis Polk & Wardwell of New York and Dorsey & Whitney. Those hires are in addition to the dozens of Coudert Brothers’ lawyers whom DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, Dechert and other firms added to their European practices after Coudert voted in August to disband the 150-year-old firm. Much of the growth is attributable to attorneys leaving their European practices to join American firms. Altman Weil consultant Ward Bower said dissatisfaction among lawyers at European firms is fueling some of the change. “Some of the European lawyers are finding that they can’t generate the economics,” he said. “They’re looking for other opportunities where they might be treated better.” Part of what made Crowell & Moring attractive to its new hires from European shops was the chance for incoming attorneys to cross-sell their services to the firm’s clients, said John Macleod, chairman of Crowell & Moring. “They see the opportunity to work for U.S. clients just explode in comparison to what their present circumstances offer them,” he said. A quicker pace Enlarging European practices is not a new strategy for U.S. firms, but the pace has accelerated as client expectations have changed, said Lisa Smith, a consultant with Hildebrandt International. Clients are looking for more than just referral arrangements from their U.S. firms to serve them overseas, she said. And if their law firms lack an international reach, clients will switch to firms that have one, she said. Kafin, with Proskauer Rose, concurred. “If that’s what the client wants and needs, that’s what we want to do,” he said. But expansion of foreign offices has its challenges, Bower noted. Integrating attorneys working in far-flung locations is difficult enough, but many of the recent expansions have an added component that makes it even tougher for incoming lawyers. “U.S firms may be a better deal economically, but [European] firms have more cultural affinity,” he said.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.