The move follows the firm's decision to abandon plans to open a City office because of the overheated London market. Greenberg president and chief executive officer Cesar Alvarez told The Lawyer that opening in London did not make sense because the compensation did not justify the running costs.
The Amsterdam office will be co-founded by Peter Roorda, formerly a senior partner and member of the executive committee of Stibbe, Bernard Stuivinga, former chair of Pricewaterhouse-Coopers' (PwC) Dutch M&A tax practice, and Peter van Langeveld, also a former partner with PwC in the Netherlands.
The three founding lawyers, who have longstanding relationships with Greenberg, will initially lead a team of around 15 lawyers. They will focus on Greenberg's principal practice areas, which include corporate, tax, litigation, real estate and intellectual property.
The Zurich office will be started by Swiss lawyers Markus Barmettler and Andreas Erb. Barmettler and Erb specialise in inter-national tax and entertainment law respectively.
Alvarez said: “Greenberg Traurig's European presence will provide the firm and its clients access to a whole new network of strategic relationships. Both Amster-dam and Zurich bring something unique to the table.”
Alvarez said the growth of both offices would be achieved through local lateral hires and that lawyers would not be seconded from the firm's US offices. He added that he expects the offices to be profitable within a year.