Osborne Clarke eyes New York launch as part of TMT strategy

Osborne Clarke is considering adding a second representative base in the US with the potential launch of an office in New York.

The firm is mulling the plan as the latest step in its attempts to solidify relationships with US companies in the TMT sector in a move that could see it open for business in Manhattan by the end of this year.

The plans are at an early stage, with management understood to be more likely to decide against a debut in the growing technology hub than in favour.

Osborne Clarke first set up shop Stateside in 2000 with the launch of a representative office in Silicon Valley primarily aimed at winning business from American clients looking to invest in Europe (2 October 2000).

A firm spokesperson said in a statement: “We already have a significant in-bound practice from New York which has generated many European deals over the past twelve months. As part of our broader expansion plans, we’re always thinking about how best to serve our clients where we don’t have offices.”

Like the West Coast base, the office in New York, a developing focus point for technology start-ups and TMT-focused venture capital groups, would not be a base for practising local law as attempting to compete with local firms would be seen as a threat to the firm’s ability to win referrals from US outfits.

Its strategy of setting up representative bases in the US to develop relationships with clients in the country was recently mimicked by Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW), which Osborne Clarke is currently in merger talks with (17 September 2012). FFW launched in Palo Alto last month by transferring London privacy and information partner Phil Lee to the Californian city (3 September 2012).

Osborne Clarke’s move follows confirmation that it is mooting a launch in Brussels, while a Paris opening and further European expansion are also on the agenda following the breakup of its continental alliance and its merger with its Spanish and Italian allies (28 September 2012).