David meets Goliath in US base race

As Clifford Chance ramps up its presence on the US East Coast, a Czech firm has stepped in to fill the void on the West Coast.

Czech technology, media and telecoms boutique Kines will open its first international office in California’s Silicon Valley next month to make the most of US investment going into Central and Eastern Europe.

One of the firm’s founding partners, former Linklaters partner Stephen Kines, said the plan is to better serve US clients through having a domestic presence. The firm’s client list includes online news site NewsTin, Disney Interactive and Californian private equity fund Clarity Partners.

Kines, who will be the only partner based in the US, is hoping to reap the rewards of the distinctly warm relationship that has grown between US investors and the former Eastern Bloc.

Clifford Chance’s liaison with Brobeck Phleger & Harrison proved a nightmare. Perhaps the Czechs can do better.