A EUROPEAN law firm network says its expansion means it can now rival the top UK international firms.
The Punder Group says its membership has almost doubled in size as a result of signing up three new members from Belgium, France and The Netherlands. It now includes about 350 lawyers, notaries and tax advisers.
The group, originally made up of law firms from Austria, Germany and Switzerland, now has a total of 16 offices based in 11 countries.
A spokeswoman for the group says it is now on an equal footing with the "large Anglo-Saxon firms".
The new members of the Punder Group are Coppens Van Ommeslaghe Horsmans & Faures from Brussels, Buruma Maris from Holland, and De Pardieu-Lacourte GIE, a Paris-based economic interest grouping between De Pardieu, Brocas, Maffei & AssociCs and Lacourte & Balas.
The three original members of the group are Cerha Hempel & Spiegelfeld from Austria, Punder Volhard Weber & Axster from Germany and Stoffel & Partner from Switzerland.
Dolf Weber, a member of the Punder Group steering committee, describes the newly expanded group as a "formidable venture".
"While remaining fully independent, all member firms co-operate closely, in particular through the Punder Group's foreign offices."