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London is still very much the centre of the business world as far as the many foreign law firms with offices in the capital are concerned. Britain’s self-imposed exclusion from the Eurozone 18 months ago led some to believe London’s star would be on the wane, with international players shifting to Frankfurt. But, as the Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, pointed out at the time, while London employs one million people in financial services, Frankfurt’s total population is only 600,000.Speaking to some of those foreign firms in London, it becomes clear that the euro is having no effect on the capital’s popularity, because the City remains attractive to banks and investment houses from around the world.Claus Koehler, head of German firm Haarmann Hemmelrath & Partners’ London office, sums up the accepted view.“Money flows into this city; London is a turntable for the world and many decisions are taken here. The Asians and Americans come to London and so it is important to be here to pick up these instructions.”He adds that while Frankfurt is an important business centre, London maintains the advantage because it speaks the same language as the US. It has also been said that the advent of cheap jet travel, e-mail and tele- and video-conferencing would render the need for foreign firms to maintain London offices obsolete.Karin Ulberstad of Swedish firm Vinge is of another opinion: “We find that our clients really appreciate us having an office in London, as it allows them to meet us face-to-face.”She adds that clients find this comforting, even though it would be as easy for them to make a ‘phone call, as they are reassured by being in London. “It is all psychological,” she says.This explains why foreign firms are willing to fork out often as much as £65 per sq ft to maintain a presence. It pays to be in London.

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