Greek office is Richards Butler's eighth abroad

City firm Richards Butler has opened an office in Piraeus, Greece, to augment its strength in shipping.

The office, its eighth overseas offshoot, will be headed by partner Duncan Francies, an experienced shipping lawyer. He will be supported by one assistant, Dorothy Tomazos.

The office will be linked to London using a number of Microsoft packages that use ISDN to allow constant contact between offices.

Graham Harris, a London-based shipping partner, said that the new technology made it more simple to open an overseas office because it ensured that foreign-based lawyers did not become cut off from the firm.

“It allows us to support an office where there are only two lawyers. For example, the Greek office can get its typing done in London,” he said.

Harris added: “The reason we have opened in Greece, is because even with the wonders of modern technology, it is important to be near clients in person.

“We are there partly to serve existing clients and partly to attract new ones.”

He said that Greece has a huge international market for shipping, with approximately a thousand ship-owning companies and many more ship charterers.