US firm Dorsey & Whitney is going head-to-head with Taylor Wessing to challenge for international work coming out of Cambridge.
Dorsey will open a Cambridge office in early March to snatch the technology and venture capital work that Taylor Wessing has taken for granted as the only international firm in the City.
“We have an advantage over everybody in Cambridge. We’re in Shanghai, Tokyo, Seattle, San Diego and more. This is a gateway to all those offices,” said Dorsey partner Ian Craig, who was in charge of the Cambridge launch.
Intellectual property (IP) partner Craig, who will remain in London with Niel Ackermann, quit Cambridge firm Hewitsons for Dorsey in 2001. Ackermann has since returned, but the IP team has retained its local contacts.
“We see Cambridge as a continuing high-tech centre, and we’re a high-tech firm with high-tech clients, and high-tech isn’t going away. So we’re coming back to Cambridge as part of the natural expansion of the London office,” Craig told The Lawyer.
The office initially will be staffed by one partner and two associates and will have an option to expand the office as the business grows – its first target will be a biotech lawyer.