Clydes says US growth is ‘urgent priority’

Clyde & Co‘s US insurance and reinsurance chief Michael Knoerzer has declared that expansion in the US is an urgent priority for the firm, which has hired a partner to boost its transatlantic presence.

Knoerzer, who joined Clydes last year ( The Lawyer, 8 October 2007) to spearhead the firm’s US strategy, said the decision to focus on the US was client-driven.

“The US is one of the firm’s most urgent priorities,” said Knoerzer. “Clients have on more than one occasion approached the firm to have a presence in the US, and now we’re responding.”

Insurance and reinsurance litigation will be a major focus of Clydes’ US push, as will aviation and international arbitration.

“The aviation practice was the first to plant the Clydes flag in the US and we’re looking for it to stand on its own as a practice,” Knoerzer said. “Also we’re building our arbitration practice, as many clients are looking for the service outside of insurance and reinsurance.”

Other practice areas will for now be supported by Clydes’ other offices, including its base in London.

The transatlantic link that Clydes is forging is also leading to changes in its UK offices, with the firm taking on banking partner Chris Lenton, who joins from Dewey & LeBoeuf.

The appointment of Lenton, who has worked on cross-border transactions from and to the US, will assist the firm’s banking practice to make use of the growing relationship between Clydes and the US.