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Eversheds has appointed an army officer-turned barrister to pave the way for its planned new Bulgarian office.
Francis Chubb will work from the office of Georgiev Todorov & Co, a Sofia-based law firm with which Eversheds has close connections.
His appointment is the first step in building a big enough Bulgarian practice to merit the opening of a new office in the city.
When in the army, Chubb was a civilian affairs liaison officer for NATO's stabilisation force in Bosnia.
He will be based in Eversheds' London office until he moves to Sofia in June.
Eversheds' European managing partner Alan Jenkins says: "Chubb's appointment means that we will have our own man to represent Eversheds and the business will hopefully grow from there. But we are taking one step at a time."
It is believed Dibb Lupton Alsop is also looking at developing a Bulgarian practice, although it is likely to be through an alliance with a native firm rather than by opening a new office.