Internationalisation has been a long time coming at the bar, but the appetite for overseas offices is now gathering momentum as illustrated by news this week that Matrix is opening in Geneva.
So far, most sets have focused their international efforts in the east, attracted by the international arbitration courts at Singapore’s Maxwell Chambers. Those to have opened in the jurisdiction since 2009 include 20 Essex Street, Essex Court Chambers, One Essex Court and 39 Essex Street.
Hong Kong, meanwhile, has generated some interest with six silks from 4 Pump Court launching a new venturein the jurisdiction last May. Word in the inns is that more sets will follow suit before the end of the year.
For Matrix a move into Continental Europe is part of a plan to consolidate and build on the international instructions it already has, with a particular focus on human rights work.
Yet it is arbitration work that remains its key motivation for overseas openings. Whatever the attractions, this is one trend that is gathering momentum.
Also on TheLawyer.com:
- Eddie Stobart has been granted an ABS licence to operate a law firm alongside its service offering direct access to barristers (17 July 2013)
- The president of the Queen’s Bench Division Sir John Thomas has been named as Lord Chief Justice, succeeding Lord Justice Judge (16 July 2013).
- The Bar Council has mooted plans to charge civil barristers a practicing certificate fee based on annual income (15 July 2013).