Alexander Israel

Brexit uncertainty has spurred the U.S. firm Cooley into launching its first continental European office.

The new operation will be in Brussels, with a focus on antitrust and competition matters. It will be headed by competition lawyer Alexander Israel, who joins from German firm Noerr. Cooley London partner Becket McGrath will also support the practice, splitting his time between the U.K. office and Brussels.

Cooley CEO Joe Conroy said a European office has “long been a key component of our growth strategy,” but that the “uncertainty of the Brexit environment” made it a particular recent focus for the firm.

Israel will be a part of the firm’s antitrust and competition practice, led by Washington, D.C., partner Jacqueline Grise.

Cooley now has 14 offices in total across the U.S., China and Europe. The firm posted a more than 20 percent jump in revenue for its London office last year, and a 10 percent increase in global revenues.