Schoenherr turns Brussels rep office into fully-fledged operation

Austrian firm Schoenherr is moving to staff its Brussels office full-time, after 20 years with a representative presence in Belgium.

Vienna-based partner Volker Weiss is relocating to Brussels to head up the operation and will lead a team of EU and competition specialists from across Schoenherr’s network of Central and Eastern European (CEE) offices.

The firm is the latest Continental European outfit to open in Brussels, joining a host of Anglo-Saxon firms with a base in the city to act on EU and competition law issues. Firms which have launched in Brussels within the last year include Noerr (3 May 2013), Osborne Clarke (3 June 2013), Winston & Strawn (5 March 2013) and China’s Yingke (18 March 2013).

However Luxembourg’s Arendt & Medernach (1 July 2013) and US IP firm Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner (16 August 2013) both closed down their Brussels offices.

Schoenherr’s managing partner Christoph Lindinger said there was a “distinct EU angle” to many of its matters and bulking up in Brussels was a logical step.

“We want to bring CEE closer to Brussels – and Brussels closer to CEE,” said Weiss. “We see a lot of market potential in advising companies in those countries which have recently acceded to the EU or are set to do so.”

He added that other competition lawyers would also relocate to Brussels in due course. Matters which the office will deal with include merger control filings, cartel cases, state aid, competition compliance and regulatory.