…and eyes up Egypt and Estonia

Norton Rose is planning an expansion into a number of emerging markets, The Lawyer can reveal.

The firm has put Egypt at the top of its hitlist, while sources also claim it also targeting Estonia, the Baltic state which is next in line for EU membership.

Roger Birkby, Norton Rose's managing partner, is reluctant to give details of the firm's plans, but admits: “There is a great deal going on in Egypt.”

Only last month, Trowers & Hamlins opened an office in Cairo – the second UK firm to do so. Denton Fox & Gibbons has long been established in the Egyptian capital.

Norton Rose is also consolidating its new links with Czech firm Balcar Polansky & Spol, while undertaking a fact-finding mission in the Baltic state Estonia.

A London Chamber of Commerce conference heard last week that the emerging economies of Estonia and Latvia are growing rapidly, and that the Baltics now form a sizeable market with many opportunities for development in all sectors.

Birkby, however, plays down speculation surrounding a potential Estonian opening, saying the firm covers the Baltics through its emerging markets group, based in London, Prague, Moscow and Piraeus.

“We don't have any formal associations with local firms in the Baltics,” says Birkby.