London’s financial district. Photo: Offcaania/Shutterstock.com

New York-based Cohen & Gresser is opening up a London office, expanding on the nearly 80-lawyer firm’s existing international outposts in Paris and Seoul.

The firm, which also has an office in Washington, D.C., has brought aboard Jeffrey Bronheim, formerly the general counsel at London’s Cheyne Capital Management, to lead the new office.

The London location will serve a wide range of investment industry clients, including hedge funds, private equity and venture capital funds, investors and management companies. It will formally open on June 1.

Bronheim said he had long-standing relationships with managing partner Lawrence Gresser and other firm leaders. He practiced with Gresser at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton at the start of his career, and attended University of Chicago Law School with Paris managing partner Johannes Jonas.

“These are guys I’ve known for a long time. We fundamentally trust one another, and we’re on the same wavelength with what we want to accomplish,” Bronheim said. “Larry prioritizes places where we have the right people, and not just because they want to go somewhere.”

After 15 years in-house—the last decade at Cheyne—Bronheim said it was “ironic” that leaving the private equity world and returning to a law firm gave him the opportunity to build a business and build equity.

Bronheim also previously served as counsel to the liquid markets business at Fortress Investment Group in New York and worked in-house at JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse.

He said that he is looking to grow the London office rapidly. While big firms already in the city have to be concerned about how Brexit will affect their giant overhead, he said Cohen & Gresser can target the opportunities caused by the disruption.

Bronheim pointed to the Paris office, opened by Jonas in 2014, as a model.

“Our Paris office is up to 22 lawyers in four years, covering a broad spectrum of corporate work and now litigation, so I’m hoping to grow at that kind of a rate,” he said. 

The biggest challenge—and the biggest opportunity—will be in finding the right people.

Anybody can get office space, anybody can make articles [of incorporation],” Bronheim said. “I’m looking forward to finding the best people I can to continue to build Cohen Gresser into the highest quality smaller firm. That’s really our goal.”

The firm was founded in 2002, and opened its first international office in Seoul in 2013.