BLM has launched an international network of insurance-focused law firms alongside nine other firms across Europe, the Americas and AsiaPac.

Last year, The Lawyer reported that BLM was in talks with a number of “like-minded” firms which have now formed Global Insurance Law Connect (GILC).

GILC was founded by BLM, French firm Byrd & Associates, Italian firm BTG Legal and US firm Foran Glenon. These four have since been joined by firms from India, Brazil, Spain, Norway, Belgium and Switzerland.

At least another five firms are expected to join the network within the next year.

Led by BLM senior partner Mike Brown, London office head Jenette Newman and product liability and recall partner Jim Sherwood, the network took more than two years to organise before going through a soft launch in June.

All three were keen to stress that the network had been created owing to “client demand” and that any members wishing to join GLIC would have to fall in line with client needs.

GLIC will be run by a group of partners from each firm and any new firms are required to undertake a screening process. It is understand that between two and three members were nominated to represent their firms in the network.

The network has developed 14 special interest groups to provide clients with specialist advice. These include energy, environmental and construction among others.

Brown said: “Our clients wanted quick and easy access to law firms across the world. They wanted to work with firms that shared outlooks and goals.

“We’re working to facilitate and aid connectivity while developing thought leadership and horizon scanning.”

For BLM, this represents a welcome change after a period of upheaval has seen the firm’s business improvement scheme cause a number of strategic reviews around its offices in Leeds and Southampton while also cutting around 50 secretarial positions at the firm.

The news also comes amid talks between BLM and Slater & Gordon as it is in early stage talks with the beleaguered  Australian firm to acquire its business legal services division.

While talks are still in early stages, they are understood to be progressing well.