Last week in its promotions round Taylor Wessing once again favoured Germany – just as it had in 2012 and 2013. Was this an attempt to throw the market off the scent of its bigger picture plans: its impending US launch?
Having invested heavily in Europe and Asia, the firm isn’t messing around with its American entrance. It has decided to open up in both Palo Alto and New York simultaneously.
What’s more, it’s taking a value-based approach to the US, with the firm relocating partners from its European offices instead of embarking on a lateral hiring bender. Corporate technology partner Mike Turner will head the New York office, while London-based corporate technology partner Mark Barron will move to Palo Alto with Dr Kai Westerwelle, a technology specialist from Frankfurt.
It is a big move for Taylor Wessing, which up until now has focused its international growth outside the US – most recently adding South Korean firm DR & AJU to its network. It is also a brave one, given that the US is a notoriously tough market for UK firms (such as the magic circle’s Allen & Overy) to crack. Squire Patton Boggs European managing partner Peter Crossley recently admitted that this was one reason the legacy firms had to merge.
“In the legal sector you can get blinded by the emerging markets,” he said. “But the US sector is still dominant and where the most opportunities still exist.”
Maybe that explains why Taylor Wessing has gone in with gusto.
Also on The Lawyer:
- Facebook adviser Cooley is believed to be in talks with a number of Edwards Wildman’s London partners in preparation for a City launch
- Orrick is hiring a corporate partner from the London office of Edwards Wildman as speculation mounts about additional exits from the US firm
- US firm Greenberg Traurig has hired Dentons’ global real estate co-head Eric Rosedale to fill a new management position in London