Pinsents Masons opens Brussels office to capitalise on EU uncertainty

Pinsent Masons has announced it is launching an office in Brussels before the UK votes on whether to leave the EU.

The firm has not yet decided whether to make the office permanent and will make its decision based on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

No partners will permanently be based in Brussels. The office will offer specialist EU and competition advice. Last year Pinsents grew its European competition team through the addition of partner Michael Reich in Munich (1 May 2014).

Competition partner Ben Lasserson said: “Our view is precisely because the EU is facing this crucial period in its history that actually having some flexible presence out there in Brussels at the moment cedes into an increased demand from our clients for competition work and EU advice.

“It actually helps us give them a perspective from Brussels on the implications of those challenges that the EU is currently facing.”

This is the latest international opening for Pinsents after it opened two offices in Australia (2 July 2015). The firm announced it had opened its doors in Melbourne last week with the hiring of former King & Spalding partner Peter Megens. At the same time the firm also opened an office in Sydney.

The Brussels opening comes after Pinsents announced strong financial results for the 2014/15 financial year (22 June 2015). Average profit per equity partner grew 33 per cent to £538,000 after what managing partner John Cleland described as an “investment-light” year.

With costs accrued from the firm’s Australia and Brussels offices impacting this year’s accounts it is not guaranteed that Pinsents will maintain this level of profitability.