Boston's Mintz Levin makes shock entry into London market

Boston-based Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo is gearing up to brave London’s choppy legal market after announcing plans to open an office later this summer.
The firm is hoping to make its mark in IP, specifically in the biotechnology sector, and has taken space at The Rectory, 9 Ironmonger Lane, marking its first foray into Europe.
So far Mintz Levin has focused on its domestic market with offices in Boston, Washington, Reston, New Haven and also New York, where it opened in 2000.
Mintz Levin’s optimistic strategy follows a similar move by Chicago’s Winston & Strawn which finally recruited lawyers to spearhead its long awaited UK expansion earlier this month.
The Lawyer revealed that Thomas Benz, the former managing partner of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, along with partner Zoe Ashcroft were defecting to Winston & Strawn.
However a number of other US firms have been dramatically scaling back their London presence. Buchanan Ingersoll has been one of the worst hit, after a stream of departures left the practice with a lawyerless satellite branch in the City.
Mintz Levin itself has not been immune to the effects of the downturn, laying off around 12 associates in July last year, but its cost-cutting measures have been small compared to other firms.
Details on how much space and how many lawyers Mintz Levin intends to install in its new London branch are, at present, scant. Overall it has 80 lawyers, scientists and staff focused on IP.
For the fiscal year 2001–2002 The American Lawyer reported that the 465-lawyer Mintz Levin notched up $229m in turnover.