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The Brexit Effect: UK Law Firms are Setting Up EU Offices

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Following the UK’s exit from the European Union at the end of January this year, many leading City law firms have announced plans to open offices in the EU to ensure that they are able to continue to provide a full range of services throughout the EU.

Most recently, firms including Simpson Thacher, Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard have all outlined plans to for expansion in mainland Europe. Pinsent Masons plan on opening an office in Amsterdam – its first outpost in the Netherlands – which will focus on technology, cyber and life science matters. Addleshaw Goddard has also opened its first office in France, doubling the size of its operations in continental Europe. Some 18 lawyers from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner will join four real estate lawyers from K&L Gates to offer a full corporate, commercial, real estate and disputes practice. The firm opened its first office in mainland Europe in Hamburg in June 2019.

US firms are also getting in on the act, with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, planning to open an office in Brussels this summer to focus on European regulatory and legal issues. The firm said its new Brussels office will complement its presence in London. Other City firms are expanding their existing European teams, with Simmons & Simmons hiring a new real estate partner for its Frankfurt office. Clyde & Co is also focused on the German market, recruiting Georg Scherpf as a counsel and head of international arbitration in Hamburg. 

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