London: the centre of Europe?

The importance of London as a hub for European firms’ work has been underlined in the past few months, with several firms rejigging or strengthening their base in the City.

The importance of London as a hub for European firms’ work has been underlined in the past few months, with several firms rejigging or strengthening their base in the City.

Hengeler Mueller and its Italian best friend Bonelli Erede Pappalardo are two firms which have both moved to boost their London capability recently. Hengeler is relocating private equity partner Steffen Oppenländer to the City, while Bonelli has chosen banking and finance partner Giuseppe Sacchi Lodispoto to add to its strength in London.

The firms, which share an office just off Cannon Street, are both wanting to boost areas which they feel have potential for growth as well as diversifying what they offer to London-based clients.

However the going can sometimes be tough. Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira and Gide Loyrette Nouel both had difficult 2012s in their City offices, with recently-released LLP accounts showing the two firms made losses in London last year. However both have also been working to strengthen their workforce in London and are just as committed to the City as Bonelli and Hengeler.

Even if work is passed on to the home jurisdiction, European independent firms are perhaps more than ever convinced of the need to develop business from the UK.