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Many UK law firms have, in recent years, sought to expand their businesses overseas. This is normally driven by a perceived need to provide broader international services to existing clients, many of which have expanded (or aspire to expand) overseas. The UK law firm is also viewed by US firms coming to the UK as a ‘bridgehead’ to Europe and thus part of the objective is the expansion into other countries within Europe. Some law firms may, therefore, consider that being part of a European network could also make them attractive to a potential suitor or crucial as part of a defence against foreign competition. While European expansion may be considered essential for a law firm’s client base, it should only be undertaken with considerable care and with full knowledge of the alternatives available, not to mention the complexities and costs involved.

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