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US firm Bryan Cave is on the hunt for a UK merger partner to expand its presence in London.
The firm, which launched in the UK in 1982, wants to cement a merger with a London-headquartered firm as a way to develop its place in the European legal market.
Bryan Cave is focusing on ramping up its finance practice in the City after hiring former Mourant chief executive Stephen Ball. The US firm is also recruiting into outsourcing, restructuring and outsourcing.
Bryan Cave London managing partner Anthony Fiducia said: “We expect to have secured a merger within the next 12 months. We have 50 fee-earners in the UK and we’re in growth mode.” Last year Bryan Cave launched in Paris with a three-partner team hired from Dechert during the summer (The Lawyer, 2 December 2008). Partners Kathie Claret, Jilali Maazouz and Joseph Smallhoover moved to Paris with a team of five associates.
The London push comes after The Lawyer reported that the firm announced job cuts totalling 134 earlier this year (12 February).