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Canadian firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson has moved to broaden its international reach after launching a new office in London.

The new office represents the second overseas base for the Ottawa-based intellectual property (IP) and IT giant and will primarily service clients in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors.

Commercial lawyer Andrew Gray, who is English-qualified and joins Gowlings from top 20 UK outfit Clyde & Co, will head up the new office.

Previous roles on UK deals include advising on the £490m listing on the Alternative Investment Market of oil developer Nelson Resources and acting for British Energy on aspects of its sale of an 82% stake in Bruce Power.

Gowlings is the product of the 2001 merger between specialist technology shop Gowling Strathy & Henderson and Quebec practice Lafleur Brown. The combined firm has around 700 lawyers across in Canada and Moscow, where Gowlings launched more than a decade ago. The Russian practice primarily advises clients on IP matters.

The opening means Gowlings joins rival Canadian firms Blake Cassels & Graydon, Ogilvy Renault, Stikeman Elliott and McCarthy Tetrault in setting up shop in London.

It is not yet known how many partners will relocate to the firm’s London arm although a number of moves are expected.

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