K&L Gates assaults French market with Paris launch

K&L Gates has continued its current expansionist momentum into the New Year with the launch of a new office in Paris today (9 January).

The French outpost has been launched with two former partners of Paris firm Kahn and Associés, Diane Hedary and Olivia L? Horovitz. Both are corporate lawyers with particular specialisms in real estate and environmental law respectively.

The move follows K&L Gates’ merger with Texas firm Hughes & Luce, which went live on 1 January this year. That deal created a 1,500-lawyer firm with 24 offices across the US, Europe and Asia.

Peter Kalis, K&L Gates’ chairman and global managing partner, said the new, transactionally focused Paris office represented “another important step” in the build-out of his firm in Europe.

Kalis added that the growth plans for Paris were aggressive. “We are aiming to have around 10 to 12 lawyers in Paris by the end of 2008 and between 30 and 50 within three years,” Kalis revealed. “This shoe has been visibly awaiting the drop for some time, therefore there is a considerable pipeline of French lawyers looking to join us.”

One year ago K&L Gates launched a 15-lawyer Berlin office with a team from Taylor Wessing. Kalis said that office had exceeded budget expectations and now featured more than 30 lawyers.

For more on this topic, click here to read the latest ‘Byrne in the USA’ blog.