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Florida firm Greenberg Traurig is planning to set up its first European office within the next 12 months, after its partners decided to embark on a policy of international expansion.The top-60 US firm, which has a turnover of £100m, is currently assessing whether London or Spain would be the best place to set up, although a London office is expected to be more likely.Greenberg Traurig corporate partner Rocky Rodriguez has been given the job of planning the move.The firm’s CEO, Cesar Alvarez, said Greenberg Traurig would look to hire local lawyers for any new European office.“To be a credible law firm, you need to have an international presence,” Alvarez said.The 430-lawyer firm has 13 offices in the US and a small two-lawyer operation in Brazil. Despite its domestic size, Alvarez said that the firm had not reached “saturation” point in the US market, but felt obliged to go transatlantic because of current law firm trends.The firm specialises in IT and IP work and is especially interested in developing venture capital projects in Europe with emerging technology firms.Alvarez said it had looked into opening a London office two years ago, but had been put off by potential hires demanding too much money.Alvarez blamed the “overheated and expensive” legal market in the City for the failure, but said he was willing to try again.He said Greenberg Traurig was also interested in Spain because the Miami-based firm had many Spanish-speaking lawyers and was already developing its Hispanic connection with Latin America.Spain is the biggest investor in Latin American countries outside the US and would prove a useful source of work for the firm’s venture capital capability.

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