Holborn-based Collyer-Bristow became the first firm to gain a presence in Switzerland when Oliver Drennan spearheaded its Geneva launch in late 2004.
The move followed the introduction of new legislation that allowed lawyers to practise the law of their own country in other European states, to which Switzerland is a signatory, and the relaxation in July 2004 of rules governing work permits in the country.
Drennan joined Collyer-Bristow in June last year from the beleaguered London office of Morgan Cole, where he was head of the energy sector practice.
His new firm already has a number of existing relationships in Switzerland, including one with Philip Morris – one of a growing number of major corporates to have their international headquarters in the region. The Geneva base is also intended to build on another key area of expertise for Collyer-Bristow – sport. A host of international sporting regulatory bodies are headquartered on the banks of Lake Geneva, including those governing football, the Olympics, motor racing, basketball and sailing.