US firms take the pain with the gain

What do drink, drugs and BlackBerrys have in common with US firms’ London expansion?

That’s right, they all ruin relationships.

Just ask Goodwin Procter, Proskauer Rose and Ropes & Gray, all of which enjoyed close ties to Travers Smith before significantly expanding their City offices.

But Travers is now reviewing its relationships with US firms following its buddies’ UK strides – and plans to extend its reach beyond New York and Washington DC by hooking up with firms in places like Miami. Apparently Florida has good ties with Brazil, Russia, India and China, which seems rather optimistic.

One partner at a US firm that had referrals from Travers said it didn’t matter much – bulking up in London was a “pain and gain” experience that came with its ups and its minor downs.

Indeed, Travers says it’s not severing ties with the trio, but there’s no doubt that the relationships are not what they were. Whether US firms will ’just say no’ to London expansion in future is another matter.