Taylor Wessing is expanding into Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) through a merger with Austrian-headquartered ENWC.
The merger takes effect today (4 May) and sees the UK firm expand into six new jurisdictions – Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. The CEE offices will operate as Taylor Wessing ENWC Attorneys at Law.
ENWC managing partner Raimund Cancola will join Taylor Wessing’s management board and the combined firm will have almost 900 fee-earners in 22 offices. Like the firm’s other international offices, the CEE operations will not be financially integrated with the UK LLP, but will operate as one firm with integrated systems.
Taylor Wessing previously had a strategic alliance with Polish firm BSJP (30 April 2009), but that came to an end in February this year.
Taylor Wessing managing partner Tim Eyles said the firm felt it needed to be present in the region to build on its strategy of being present in Europe and the developing Asia and Middle East markets.
“One or two of our clients have been quite vocal in saying that they’d like us to be present there,” he added.
Several Austrian firms have set up networks of offices across the CEE and Balkan countries to capitalise on the cross-border investment flows in the region. Eyles said growth in the firm’s new offices would be likely, earmarking Poland as a priority.
“We think this is a move which should give the signal that our strategy is very well thought out and we’re now executing it in a very coherent and specific way,” he said.
The move follows the recent admittance of Taylor Wessing’s Singapore ally RHT to its international network (9 March 2012).