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NABARRO Nathanson is set to establish a presence in Brussels, only months after its prospective merger partner Turner Kenneth Brown closed its doors in the city.
One of the largest commercial practices in the UK, Nabarros will use the office as a base for its regulatory activities.
The project, overseen by the partner in charge of overseas practice development, Graham Lust, is also expected to provide a focus for the monitoring of activities in Europe.
Senior partner David Bramson says Nabarros is yet to secure an address in the Belgian capital. However, it is understood negotiations for a property are under way.
Another interest, thought to be a firm which already has an established Brussels office, is also involved in the project.
Bramson says the closure of TKB's Brussels premises at Christmas is a "coincidence", and confirms that Nabarros, which already has offices in Warsaw and Dubai, will not establish itself in the firm's former office.
He says the two resident fee-earners employed by the old TKB office will not move to Nabarros' Brussels base in the event of a merger between the practices.
"We have been looking for the right person in Brussels for some time and both the individual and the premises are different from TKB's original presence there," says Bramson.
"We're increasingly involved with the commission and the courts and because of that it makes a good deal of sense to establish a presence there."
Lust says although the firm has found it possible to service the EU needs of its UK clients from London, its expanding international client base has prompted the move into Brussels. The firm advises Middle Eastern and Central European clients as well as US and Japanese interests.
He says information coming out of the EU in areas such as energy law, the environment and pensions, has also necessitated the move.
"It's a combination of an expanding overseas practice and very specific practice areas from the UK practice that have made us realise that we have to be there," says Lust.
"Many people view London as a springboard into European markets generally, and we realised it was no longer possible to service a true international base unless we had a presence in Brussels."