US firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel is setting up an alliance with Italian-based Studio Santa Maria with a view to establishing a link-up with a UK firm.
Kramer Levin established a Paris operation two months ago when Rogers & Wells' Paris office merged with it (The Lawyer, 1 November).
The office decided to join Kramer Levin after its parent office in the US announced its merger with Clifford Chance.
On the alliance with the 30-lawyer Milan-based firm, Scott Rosenblum, managing partner at Kramer Levin, says: "We both have significant clients in common which we have been working with and we saw an opportunity to enhance the business."
According to Rosenblum the firm is looking to widen its international network and has already had preliminary talks with several UK firms about setting up either a merger or an alliance.
Luigi Santa Maria, the son of Alberto, who heads Studio Santa Maria, is already a partner at Kramer Levin's New York office and has been charged with heading the firm's European expansion.