Construction firm Shadbolt & Co has become the latest firm to strive for an increased global presence.
The firm has broadened its reach from its Reigate base to establish offices in Greece and Tanzania. The two new offices add to existing Shadbolt outposts in Paris and Hong Kong. The Athens office opens its doors today (3 September) and the Tanzania venture arrangements were made in May. While Greece offers an attractive shipping market to UK firms, only Denton Wilde Sapte has linked up with a Tanzanian firm. Partner George Rosenburg has transferred from Reigate to head the Athens office. The practice will run as an independent office in association with local firm Markakis & Associates. Initially, Rosenburg will be the sole Shadbolt representative. "We need to get ourselves properly established and we have to build up a practice," he said. Greece is awash with EU money invested in infrastructure projects. Rosenburg claimed that the firm has spotted a gap in the market ahead of competitors.
"Greece is interesting to a construction-orientated law firm because there's a massive amount of development going on" George Rosenburg, Shadbolt & Co
"No other foreign firm is operating in our area here," he said. "Greece is particularly interesting to a construction-orientated law firm, because there's a massive amount of development going on." Speaking of the fit with Markakis, Rosenburg said that the local firm has a strong international and domestic client base, some actually crossing over with Shadbolt's own portfolio. He added that the relationship may be a precursor to a full merger, should the current arrangement prove successful. Managing and senior partner Richard Shadbolt commented: "Greece has been a focus of attention for some time. There is much happening in Greece, particularly in major projects. We expect to be very busy there with the move into PFI-style procurement, and in the run-up to the Olympic Games." In Tanzania, partner Simon Delves will lead the new practice, to be run in conjunction with FK Law Chambers in Dar es Salaam. Delves said: "The association is well placed to meet the increasing need for sophisticated legal advice for commercial and institutional organisations doing business in Tanzania." The firm plans to man the office on a visiting basis, as and when the work arises. The day-to-day activity will be handled by FK. At this early stage, Delves said that how the office is resourced will depend on how well it performs. Delves commented: "Tanzania has already provided us with successful client activities in Africa, and our presence there will bring us closer to clients in nearby countries such as Uganda and South Africa. "Tanzania is a country which has stability and which we think offers a great deal of potential, particularly in at least two of our core areas - construction and engineering."