Linklaters reopens in Washington DC after decade-long hiatus

Linklaters has reopened in Washington DC, 10 years after shutting its representative base in the US capital.

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The firm becomes the last of the magic circle excluding Slaughter and May to make an entrance in the city after Allen & Overy launched there last year with a team hired from O’Melveny & Myers (29 June 2011).

The office, which has already opened, is headed by New York-based US co-managing partners Jeff Norton and Conrado Tenaglia and will focus on tax, antitrust, litigation and financial and contentious regulatory matters.

Six lawyers will staff the new outpost, including tax partner Joseph Pari and antitrust partner Jeffrey Schmidt, both of whom were previously in the New York office.

A firm spokesperson said the New York and Washington DC offices were being treated as one office, with Norton and Tenaglia in overall charge from Manhattan. There will be no Washington DC office head, the firm said.

Norton said in statement: “Linklaters has acted for clients and appeared before agencies in Washington DC for a number of years. The establishment of a formal DC presence demonstrates our commitment to delivering an integrated global service to our clients amid a heightened environment of government enforcement and global coordination among regulators.”

The firm, which set up in the US capital in 1992 and closed there in 2002, has also considered opening in Houston and last year sent a delegation of partners to investigate the Texan hub, although no plans have materialised yet (21 March 2011). It already has an office in New York.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was the first of the magic circle to enter the Washington DC market, with Clifford Chance joining it in 1998 (11 March 1998).

Other UK firms in the American capital include Ashurst, which launched there in 2009, while Norton Rose will make its entry in the city next year when its merger with US firm Fulbright & Jaworski goes live.