Regional firm Cobbetts is to open in London with a corporate finance practice, which will be fully operational by May.
Cobbetts, which already has offices in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, will focus on public markets, M&A and private equity work in London.
Cobbetts managing partner Michael Shaw told The Lawyer: "This will not conflict with our ambitions to be a leading regional law firm. We're not aiming to delude ourselves into thinking we can compete in London - this is a natural adjunct to our corporate department and is a natural reaction to the ongoing demand from the clients that we act for."
The firm has disclosed that it is currently in negotiations with a couple of partners to join the firm to help launch the London practice. Shaw said the firm is aiming to have around 10-12 corporate lawyers working out of the London office.
"We intend to recruit in London and will offer our lawyers in our regional offices the possibility of secondments to the London practice," Shaw said. Cobbetts' London corporate practice will reflect the firm's strategy of developing national and international practices in its identified key niche areas. Shaw said he does not envisage that the London office will practise in areas other than corporate finance-related work.
"For several years we've been working out of serviced office accommodation in London, particularly doing public markets work. We've been doing an increasing amount of this work, as well as private equity work, and we now need to have a permanent space in London," said Shaw.