International report

Icelandic firm Logos has set its sights firmly on the London market. As first reported by The Lawyer (13 March), the firm has followed Icelandic companies to the UK in the hope of benefiting from this increased investment.

Gudmundur Oddsson, the partner heading the London operation, tells The Lawyer: “Icelandic investment in the UK has been growing rapidly over the past few years, so it was a natural step to open a London office.”

Since its inception earlier this year, the London office has been run single-handedly by Oddsson, but such is the volume of work, that the firm has already sent a second lawyer over to support him. And Logos’s UK ambitions do not end there. Managing partner Gunnar Sturluson says he is also considering the “possibility of hiring London-qualified lawyers”.

In London the focus is mainly on investments and acquisitions, but back home Logos has a much wider brief. As Iceland’s largest law firm, Logos offers a full portfolio of legal services. Its practice areas include banking and finance, corporate, real estate, maritime, litigation and technology, media and telecoms.

However, corporate is becoming an increasingly important part of the firm’s work as Icelandic companies become more acquisitive.

“The emphasis has been more on corporate and M&A work. The boom in the Icelandic economy has led to a lot more M&A activity in Iceland,” explains Sturluson.

To support this increase in corporate activity, the firm recently launched a new tax practice, hiring partner Bjarnfredur “lafsson from a boutique.

Logos was formed through a merger of Adalsteinsson & Partners and the Counsel Office in 2000, making it the country’s biggest firm. It is also Iceland’s oldest legal outfit and its founding partner went on to become Iceland’s first president.

Sturluson, who has been managing partner since 2001, leads a team of 12 partners and 16 other lawyers. He says the firm has seen huge growth in his time at the helm and is set for even more. The firm has boosted turnover by 25 per cent in the past three years and is keen to boost its lawyer count by another 10 per cent this year.