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Silicon Valley firm Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich is sending one of its partners to Europe on a year-long mission to sound out the market.
Corporate partner Andrew Zeif's brief includes finding out whether the firm should open a European office and investigating possible joint venture partners. Zeif will be based in Amsterdam for the year but will travel the continent meeting lawyers and clients. The 450-lawyer firm already has relations with a number of UK firms, including Taylor Joynson Garrett and Osborne Clarke, and may look to strengthen these links. Zeif said: "I will be travelling throughout Europe establishing relationships and helping build existing ones with European technology-centred law firms, which will be an interesting source of referral business for us. "There are a lot of folks here who represent companies which have US legal needs and we want to be on the tip of their tongues." He said that the decision to send him was made before the intensification of the slowdown was triggered by 11 September, and added: "Everybody in Europe and the US is looking for creative ways to build their businesses."