The mid-market firm, which has always shied away from international expansion until now, has identified China, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as key markets for UK inward investment, business development and other opportunities.
A Nabarro insider said: “It’s quite clear that the firm has a desire to push the international angle. It was top of the agenda at the recent partner conference. The canvas is blank at the moment, all options are on the table.”
The firm has assembled a team of partners to push the strategy forward. Glyn Taylor and Richard Beavan are responsible for China; Ian Binnie and Martin Finnegan for India; Terry Fleet is spearheading the relationship with the UAE; and Michael Hales is the international chair.
Senior partner Simon Johnston commented: “A fair proportion of our fee income comes from overseas. We always keep an open mind regarding new office openings. If it felt right for us and there was a strong business case [to open] we’d do so, but it’s a tough market in which to make those decisions.”
The firm currently has just one branded overseas base in Brussels, although it has best-friend relationships with GSK Stockmann & Kollegen in Germany, August & Debouzy in France and Nunziante Magrone in Italy. In a blow to Nabarro’s European network, Spanish firm Rodés & Sala left the alliance to merge with Gómez-Acebo & Pombo this year (The Lawyer, 30 June).