In its first push outside the US, Holland & Knight, Florida's largest law firm, has opened for business in Mexico City and is planning on setting up in other locations abroad by the end of the year.
In Mexico, the firm has established a joint-venture office with 10-lawyer local firm GallAstegui y Lozano, to be called Holland & Knight-GallAstegui y Lozano SC.
Jose Sirven, executive partner at the firm's headquarters in Miami, said the firm had no immediate plans to send US lawyers to the city on a permanent basis: "What makes this a rare endeavour is the fact that the office will be staffed primarily with Mexican attorneys practising Mexican law."
The link will give a boost to the firm's Mexican practice, which has grown rapidly over the last decade, thanks to increasing US investment in the country.
The Mexican firm was introduced to Holland & Knight by a Washington DC-based partner, Stuart Dye, who has a long track record in Mexican work.
Dye sits on the executive committee of the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and will act as the firm's representative on the board of directors of Holland & Knight-GallAstegui y Lozano.
The joint venture, which comes a month after another Miami-based practice, Steel Hector & Davis, set up in Brazil, highlights the growing international ambitions of Florida's large commercial practices.
Sirven said that Mexico City would not be the firm's last foreign office. The firm is looking at other cities and is expected to make another announcement in the next six months.
He said that the firm's expansion would initially be focused on Latin America.