Osborne Clarke raids former Belgian ally for Brussels launch

Osborne Clarke (OC) has completed the launch of its Brussels office, hiring a two-partner team from former Belgian ally De Wolf & Partners.

Simon Beswick
Simon Beswick

The base opens today (3 June) and comes nearly a year after OC ended its European alliance last July on merging with its Spanish and Italian best friends (29 March 2012).

At the same time the firm terminated its formal ties to De Wolf, which was offered the option of a merger with OC but turned it down.

The UK firm has brought in De Wolf employment partner Thierry Viérin and commercial partner Stefan Deswert, who both become partners at OC.

They are joined by five associates covering corporate, commercial, competition and employment, in addition to three support staff, gifting the firm a total of ten lawyers and back-office employees. All ten join from De Wolf.

The launch gives OC its 14th office globally. The firm said it now expects to bring in further senior hires in the Belgian capital.

OC managing partner Simon Beswick said in a statement: “For our clients the ability to get our practical, straightforward advice at the heart of the European Union is vital. That’s particularly true of our US and Asian clients, who see the city as the key to successful European expansion. Our team’s in-depth experience in this area will prove invaluable in helping clients’ businesses thrive.”

The firm is also working on a launch in Paris following the end of its relationship with French firm Stehlin & Associés. News of OC’s potential launch in Brussels emerged last September (28 September 2012).