Chief executive Christine Kings said the office would open at the end of this month. The launch will enable members to offer arbitration and mediation services as well as advisory and expert witness advice to US litigators working on cases that involve English and Welsh law.
“We’ve reaped the benefits of having a base from which to operate and a network of contacts who’ve given us access to work across the Middle East,” said the set’s head of strategic development Richard Lissack QC. “This initiative will give us the same opportunities in the US.”
Kings said the set aims to grow a US network of contacts from its New York base and will also attempt to bring in more New Yorkqualified members.
Outer Temple’s Gerard McDermott QC, who is a past president of the American Counsel Association, is qualified as an attorney in New York State. McDermott is lobbying the UK’s Bar Standards Board to lift a restriction that stipulates that barristers who are dualqualified in London and New York cannot practise in both but must choose one over the other.
The move will pre-empt the imminent deregulation of the bar, which will take effect when the Legal Services Act comes into force. Earlier this year Outer Temple hired legal consultant Deborah Sabalot as a professional associate as the set undertakes a year-long review into alternative business structures (The Lawyer, 16 February).