Lex Mundi targets London

International law firm network Lex Mundi has reversed its long-standing policy of not having an English member firm by announcing its intention to bring a London-based practice into the organisation by next spring.

The network, made up of 143 independent firms around the world, voted in early October to change its policy and approach leading London firms on the prospect of being the sole English representative.

Stephen McGarry, president and founder of Houston-based Lex Mundi, said the change in policy was due to the “fundamental change in how the legal profession will be structured in the next century”.

“The largest firms in every jurisdiction are basically left with two choices: expand through an international firm or join one of the Big Five,” he said.

“Many of the largest firms in the open jurisdictions have told us that the Lex Mundi model offers the advantage of true globalisation by using existing resources without the loss of independence.”

Glasgow's Bird Semple is the group's Scottish member.