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US litigation powerhouse Boies Schiller & Flexner is to launch its first non-US office in London this summer, joining Mississippi-based Butler Snow as the firm sets its City launch for June.
Butler Snow has already sent out invitations for a seminar to celebrate its London launch, while Boies Schiller is yet to confirm its exact summer launch date. A spokesperson for the firm said that the specifics for the office, such as who will be managing the base, are yet to be determined.
However calls regarding Boies Schiller’s London launch have been directed to partner Duane Loft, who already splits his time between New York and London. While it is not yet clear how central a role he will play in the new office, Loft advises some of the firm’s key clients including Goldman Sachs and Barclays, which uses the firm for litigation and investment banking matters (9 January 2012).
Boies Schiller’s foray into London points to a u-turn in global strategy for the firm. When The Lawyer interviewed partner Mike Brille about a potential City opening in 2008 he commented that the firm was already well positioned in the international market (9 May 2008).
Much of that positioning came through the international arbitration team led by co-founding partner, Jonathan Schiller. At the time the firm suggested it was confident that Schiller’s practice alone gives it sufficient scope to win international work without the need for an office in the City.
“We have that international reach already through Jonathan’s international arbitration team,” said Brille at the time.
Butler Snow did not respond to requests for comment at the time of writing.