Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has launched an office in Athens to focus on its global renewable energy capabilities.

The new office head, dual UK and Greek-qualified energy partner Virginia Murray, will move to Athens with her team, which joined WFW from rival firm IKRP Rokas & Partner in March this year.

Murray said: “We’ve been based in the firm’s Piraeus office, which is primarily a shipping practice.

“This is doing extremely well, but for renewable energy we need to be in Athens, where all the banking clients for renewable energy work are based.”

Murray added that the launch in Athens will boost client perception of the firm’s renewable energy capabilities by providing an on-the-ground presence in a key European city for the sector.

“I think this sector is likely to be extremely lucrative going forward. We’ve been tremendously busy and we expect this to continue and we’ll be building up the office,” she said.

The office will launch with four partners and three associates, with Murray hoping to expand the team during the next year.

Earlier this year (18 June) The Lawyer revealed that WFW is in exploratory merger talks with US firm Chadbourne & Parke. Managing partner Michael Greville said the US firm’s strength in renewable energy would fit well with WFW’s renewed focus in this industry.

The firm’s launch in Athens comes as WFW moves to larger premises in Rome, recruiting four new senior associates to the office.