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GLASGOW practice Bishop and Robertson Chalmers has opened an office in the Lithuanian city of Vilnius.
The firm, one of the largest in Scotland, is opening in the former communist state after 18 months of research in the region showed there was a market for providing advice to Western businesses and investors.
The office, officially opening this week, will be staffed by two Western-trained Lithuanian lawyers Ramune Duleviciene and Dangute Ambrasiene, and will be supported by Bishops' solicitors in Scotland.
Bishops partner Iain Taylor, who has made a number of visits to the former Soviet Republic, says the reasons behind opening in Lithuania are two-fold.
"First, with the opening up of the old Eastern bloc, there are now a number of excellent opportunities in Lithuania for Western businesses and investors, but experienced commercial lawyers who can give advice in English are a scarce commodity," says Taylor.
"Second, it is anticipated that Lithuania will eventually become a member of the European Union and many of the firms in the area are already looking to do business with the West."
He adds: "Through our Lithuanian office, we will be able to advise these businesses of the commercial realities of what is, to them, still a new culture."