Nabarro Nathanson is appointing an international business development partner for the property industry for the first time.
Geoffrey Lander will take on the newly-created strategic role when he steps down from his current position as head of commercial property next May. He will remain a senior partner at the firm.
The firm currently has no formal exclusive relationships with overseas firms, but "shares expertise" with a number of firms outside the UK, including the California firm Wilson Sonsini.
Lander says the firm is showing its commitment to developing international business by appointing him to this role.
He adds that the firm has taken the step by appointing him at the age of 48. He says: "Often these jobs go to older partners, but at Nabarros we have compulsory retirement at 60."
Lander says he will start by consolidating existing relationships with US firms before forging new links.
Lander chairs the European board of US property group NACORE, which represents property occupiers and corporate real estate executives and sits on the American Chamber of Commerce (UK) board.
David Bramson, senior partner at Nabarros, says: "Geoffrey has completed two terms as head of the department during a period of great advance for the practice and the launch of our industry sector-based focus."
The firm restructured along industry sector lines in 1997. The commercial property group brought together lawyers from property, corporate and banking departments.
Partner David Wright is set to take over as head of commercial property when Lander steps down.
Bramson says: "I did soundings round the department and David was the front runner. We are not going to change direction but David has got a lot of ideas."