Eversheds is expanding its European operation to capitalise on the burgeoning German and Bulgarian markets.
The firm, which already has a considerable presence in Europe, hopes to merge with a Dusseldorf outfit in the next six months, having identified potential firms.
Alan Jenkins, head of the Continental European practice, says it is a logical move to set up shop in the city because most of the work the firm does in Europe is industry based.
Eversheds is also trying to recruit a Bulgarian lawyer to become the firm's representative in Sofia.
The lawyer, as yet unnamed, would work from the offices of Georgiev Todorov & Co – a Bulgarian practice that has close links with Eversheds.
It would be the first step towards establishing a full-blown Eversheds office in the country. The firm hopes its move into Germany will also act as a gateway into eastern Europe.
It already has an office in Moscow which, contrary to the current trend of Anglo-Saxon firms to pull out or scale down their Russian operations, has expanded by five staff since last August.
Eversheds managing partner Peter Scott says that once the German and Bulgarian moves have been finalised, the firm will turn its attention to Italy, and then Spain.
Scott says Eversheds has already been approached by firms in both countries, where traditionally small legal firms are beginning to realise they need to expand overseas to take on the Anglo-Saxon invaders.
Eversheds' Paris office recently took on four more lawyers, and there are plans for further expansion, Scott says.