LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae is to open in Hong Kong and is considering at least two more international openings in 2007.
The move to expand the New York-based firm's international network comes as it closes its Pittsburgh office, following the end of its relationship with aluminium producer Alcoa [see left]. The Albany, Hartford and Jacksonville offices all have similar dependency on a client relationship.
LeBoeuf chairman Steve Davis told The Lawyer: "Hong Kong is on the horizon; we are far along in the planning stage. We expect to launch in 2007. The new office is important both in its own right and as an adjunct to our China strategy."
Davis said the firm was "looking closely" at both Dubai and Brazil, while also developing referral relationships with a number of Indian firms.
"The overall focus for LeBoeuf is on major commercial and financial centres [and] we have been scaling back in places that don't meet that criteria," said Davis. "Without question, several US offices are driven by specific client demand. Once a client goes away, there's not much point in staying there [but] none of those offices are walking the plank."
It is understood the firm will look to scale back its three-partner Albany office to a representative presence to service an insurance client.
LeBoeuf management outlined the plans at the firm's conference in Miami last month (November).