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Missouri firm Bryan Cave is launching an office in Chicago with the former head of its London office.
Harold Blatt, who led the firm's London practice from 1998 to 2000, is setting up the office with three other lawyers. One partner, Alan Dixon, will divide his time between the firm's head office in St Louis and the new office. The group will be joined by James Staulcup, formerly the corporate counsel with Lucent Technologies, who is joining Bryan Cave as of counsel. The firm has just been named as counsel to Lucent in its 15-state central region, cementing a relationship with the client that dates back many years. The relationship has thus necessitated a move into Chicago, as has the move by client Boeing to relocate its corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago. Blatt said: "We have a lot of clients whose needs can best be met by having some of our lawyers on the ground in Chicago. It's a large mid-western city with lots of corporate business and opportunities, and it's relatively close to St Louis, so we can provide much of the service that's necessary from there." Other clients of the firm that will benefit are AT&T, Emerson, AnheuserBusch, LaSalle Bank and DaimlerChrysler, all of which have significant bases in the Chicago area. Bryan Cave has 600 lawyers in 10 offices worldwide. The London office has doubled in size to reach 30 lawyers under Blatt's leadership. He said there was no target size for the Chicago practice as yet.