Osborne Clarke to set up shop in Amsterdam

Osborne Clarke is to launch an office in Amsterdam in the New Year, marking the firm’s fourth international opening with a year. 

The new base will open focus on the digital business sector initially, with plans to expand into real estate and renewables over the next financial year. No head has been decided as yet but the firm is looking at hiring in Amsterdam and will model the office on its recent international openings.  

It is Osborne Clarke’s second recent assault on the digital business sector. In October the firm opened in Manhattan to enhance its relationships with tech companies and intermediaries in the US (25 October 2013). It has been trying to establish relationships in the venture capital and investor communities, aiming to provide UK legal advice to European clients who have moved to the US, or US clients looking to gain a European stronghold.

Osborne Clarke has been on an expansion binge in recent years. The firm pulled out of its Europe alliance last year before entering into mergers with former Spanish and Italian allies SLA Studio Legale Associato and Osborne Clarke Spain in March 2012. It has also set up shop in Brussels (3 June 2013), Paris (22 July 2013) and New York in 2013.

It has been adding to those offices ever since, appointing IP partner Claire Bouchenard in Paris in September and former Linklaters managing associate David Haex to its Brussels office the same month (4 September 2013).

Bulking out in Europe is central to new senior partner Andrew Saul’s strategy. The former corporate chief and current City head will take over from incumbent Tim Birt on January 2014 (26 November 2013).

He has set his sights on growing the firm’s footprint further in its European stronghold, telling The Lawyer earlier this month: “I want to get stuck into international expansion. I have a lot of experience in that having set up our office in Silicon Valley and helping set up our office in New York.”

Europe has proved profitable for the firm, which revealed a 12 per cent turnover rise for the first half of the 2013-14 financial year, with turnover for the firm’s Spanish offices rocketing by 25 per cent (22 November 2013).

The firm’s total revenue increased to €71.6m (£59.8m).