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Eversheds eyes Central and Eastern Europe" />Eversheds is considering a significant expansion of its international network during the current financial year, with Central and Eastern Europe pencilled in as the most likely new outposts.
The significant opportunities offered in the region, particularly in the projects and PPP arenas, are drawing the national firm's attention.
Eversheds is already active in the region and has featured on a string of projects. For example, in Lithuania it advised the municipality of Vilnius on its major tram project, and in Hungary it advised the government on a post office services-related project.
The firm is now looking to build on its presence in the region by adding further members to its alliance. It is also believed to be looking to expand into a number of other jurisdictions, including Scandinavia, although these plans are thought to be at least six months away from fruition.
Any further expansion is unlikely to lead to financial integration with the new firms, at least in the short term. Eversheds chair Alan Jenkins said: "There's no timeline within which we need to bring any one of the associated offices in [to financial integration] and still less for the entire network. There's no compelling reason for full financial integration."
Eversheds International currently includes 28 offices, 10 of which are in the UK, with the 29th set to open in Shanghai. Only three offices outside the UK - Paris, Brussels and Copenhagen - are fully financially integrated into Eversheds.
Jenkins admitted that the firm's recent dismantling of its lockstep system (The Lawyer, 24 April) "may speed up the process", but said the new profit-sharing system had not been designed with the firm's international expansion in mind.