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Is Brussels ready for its own K Street? Lobbying in the capital of the European Union has traditionally been the domain of trade industry associations and public relations firms. But Alber & Geiger is betting that European companies have a need for what managing partner Andreas Geiger calls “direct, hard-core” lobbying by outside lawyers who are former ranking government officials—the kind of backroom advocacy that remains a booming, if controversial, feature of Washington, D.C., political life. In March the five-year-old boutique, which already had offices in Brussels and Berlin, opened an office in London to be closer to potential clients.

Set up as a lobbying shop, Alber & Geiger generally eschews the kind of regulatory or judicial practice that is the bread and butter of most firms in Brussels. “Many Brussels lawyers would at some point or another become involved in trying to influence the shape of legislation,” says Marco Bronckers, a partner in the Brussels office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. “[But] it’s going to be an ancillary, not a primary, activity.”

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