Norton Rose targets Western Europe after Czech firm deal

Norton Rose is eyeing Western Europe as the next target for continental expansion after signing a joint venture deal with leading Czech firm Balcar Polansky & Spol.

Norton Rose's director of marketing and strategy, Tim Pashley, says the firm's expansion plans will focus on Western Europe after it signed the deal last week.

The Czech joint venture, Balcar Polansky Norton Rose, will specialise in international banking and corporate work, says Norton Rose partner Robin Brooks who spearheaded the move.

Name partner Jaroslav Polansky says: “We have co-operated with a number of international law firms in the past but none has shown a better feel for local conditions than Norton Rose.”

The Czech firm was keen to formalise the link to compete with the US and UK firms for financial services work. “Czech firms don't have the experience of foreign firms in capital markets work,” Polansky says. His firm first worked with Norton Rose on the part sale of a Czech bank.

Norton Rose partner Benedict Coleman will take Czech Bar exams in April. Under Czech Bar rules, he will be forced to limit his advice to non-Czech law.