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Taylor Wessing has sealed an alliance with seven-partner Polish law firm BSJP, it has been announced.

The deal, which comes effect from today (1 May), formalises a five-year-old referral relationship into an exclusive alliance which has been touted as a precursor to a possible merger.

Taylor Wessing and the Warsaw-based firm expect to collaborate on corporate, banking, real estate, infrastructure, intellectual property (IP) and technology work.

BSJP has 20 fee earners and services clients including HSH Nordbank, windfarm developer Ventotech and real estate investors SachsenFonds.

BSJP also has a network of offices across Poland including, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Katowice and Poznan.

Taylor Wessing will operate a secondment programme with BSJP as part of the alliance agreement.

Taylor Wessing London managing partner elect Tim Eyles commented: “As part of our international strategy we aim to take advantage of opportunities in new and growing markets where our presence will benefit our clients. The firm’s European board feels that the affiliation with BSJP Poland represents a strategic opportunity in a growing market . Our existing relationship with BSJP, their similarity in terms of practice areas, and their standing as one of Poland’s leading local firms made them a natural choice for this alliance.”

BSJP managing director Christian Schnell said: “I am highly confident that Taylor Wessing is the right partner for us to internationalise our business, to strengthen it in strategic areas and to systematically develop the growing demand in Poland for legal advice in IP and commercial matters.”

The news despite some international advisers retrenching in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, with Baker & McKenzie and Linklaters both downsizing headcount respectively in Kiev and Warsaw.

The deal expands Taylor Wessing’s international reach beyond its core practices in the UK and Germany. However, Taylor Wessing’s international ambitions saw a reversal last year after US law firm Nixon Peabody recruited a 12-partner team from its Paris office.

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