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Allen & Overy (A&O) is to expand its US footprint with the launch of an office in Washington DC, following magic circle rivals Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer into the American capital.
New York-based US banking head David Slade will relocate to head the office and will be joined by three lawyers from O’Melveny & Myers. Financial services partners Barbara Stettner and Chris Salter join from O’Melveny’s DC office along with strategic counselling counsel Charles Borden, who joins A&O as a partner.
It is anticipated that a number of lawyers from A&O’s New York office will relocate to DC.
In a statement A&O senior partner David Morley said the new launch represents “a strategic imperative of the firm and demonstrates our continued commitment to expand our presence in the US”.
He added: “As the hub of US government, Washington DC is an incredibly important location for us.”
While the office will initially focus on regulatory work, the firm plans to expand into areas including securities enforcement, project finance, international arbitration, antitrust and intellectual property.
Clifford Chance and Freshfields have both had bases in Washington DC for over a decade. Freshfields launched in the city in August 1998 with the hire of Chadbourne & Parke partner Thomas Hechl (21 July 1998). Clifford Chance opened in DC in 1999.
Linklaters is now the only magic circle firm without an office in DC, having closed its representative office, which opened in 1992, nine years ago.