City firm Freshfields has recruited senior US lawyer Kent Rowey to its international project finance unit in London in response to growing competition from rivals.
US and UK firms have increasingly seen marketing in-house American and British legal expertise as a way of attracting clients.
Freshfields partner Simon Hall said: "Having both a British and American law capability is important because most project finance contracts are governed by either UK or US law."
The recruitment of Rowey as a partner based at the firm's London office should give Freshfields added marketing clout and enable it to reap efficiencies.
Hall said that cost savings would be possible because the firm would not have to farm out work to American firms when contracts needed specific US legal treatment.
Rowey, 37, was previously with Perkins Coie in London, which he joined from Milbank Tweed Hadley and McCloy.
Roger McCormick, head of Freshfields' international project finance team, said: "We have been looking for an experienced US practitioner in this area for some time and Rowey's arrival is a terrific boost for us. He has a vast experience of complex international project financings and the addition of the US law perspective will be of great value in a market which has become truly global."