Client Needs and Core Practice Area Prospects Drive Firm’s Expansion into Europe; Heller Ehrman Extends Technology Practice and VLG Brand
SAN FRANCISCO–LAWFUEL – UK & US Law Network –Heller Ehrman LLP announces today that the firm plans to open an office in London in 2007. The launch will mark the firm’s first office opening on European soil and the fourth outside of the U.S. The expansion allows Heller Ehrman to extend three of its core practices – corporate, real estate, and competition – to meet ever-increasing client demand for global legal services.
The move also bolsters the firm’s status as a leading legal services provider to emerging growth and technology industry companies, including those in the life sciences sector. It also leverages Heller Ehrman’s Venture Law Group (VLG) brand. VLG merged with Heller Ehrman in September 2003, creating a premier U.S.-based technology and emerging growth practice. By opening an office in London, Heller Ehrman establishes a technology practice that stretches from Asia to the U.K., covering key U.S. and global technology markets.
Initially, the London office will be staffed by three of Heller Ehrman’s current shareholders: Brian D. Smith, Edward (Ted) P. Henneberry, and Stephen C. Ferruolo. The three will relocate to the U.K. in early 2007 and continue with their respective practices. Ferruolo’s main areas of practice are corporate finance, governance, and mergers and acquisitions, with a focus on emerging growth and public life sciences and technology companies. Smith focuses on real estate private equity and hospitality. Henneberry practices in the antitrust and competition arenas.
Smith, Henneberry and Ferruolo also will oversee the office’s growth, leading European business development and lateral recruitment efforts. The firm anticipates that the office will be staffed with 15 to 25 lawyers by the close of the first year of operation. Including the London office, Heller Ehrman will have 13 offices. The firm has nine offices in the U.S. and three in Asia.
Heller Ehrman’s decision to open in London was driven by existing clients and prospective work from companies that are expanding globally, according to firm Chairman, Matt Larrabee.
“We have been representing companies in matters throughout Europe for some time now. Our clients continue to experience growth in international markets, where they need legal services of the quality and experience that they know we can provide,” said Larrabee. “We closely studied the business landscape throughout Europe and found that this the right time for us to expand there, with a strategic focus on those clients and services where we can deliver exceptional value.”
Larrabee added that market opportunities have aligned with Heller Ehrman’s strategy to build on three of the firm’s core practice area strengths:
Corporate: Extending the firm’s corporate practice is supported not only by London’s status as a global financial capital, but also the increasing prevalence of AIM to technology companies around the world.
Real Estate: Two of the firm’s principal areas of real estate practice have experienced a significant surge in U.K. and European activity: U.S.-based private equity investment in European real estate and real estate ventures; and expansion of both the European portfolios of international hotel brands and the level of activity in hotel asset and M&A transactions.
Antitrust/Competition: Demand from companies needing services related to the EU and international trade matters that involve intellectual property justifies extending the firm’s antitrust and competition practice.
“We have complete confidence in Brian, Ted and Stephen because they are among the firm’s leading lawyers in their practice areas,” said Larrabee. “They have strong client relationships, business development skills, and close ties to their respective practice groups, as well as firm management experience.”
About Heller Ehrman LLP
Heller Ehrman LLP has more than 700 attorneys and professionals in 12 offices worldwide – Anchorage, Alaska; Beijing; Hong Kong; Los Angeles; Madison, Wis.; New York; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Singapore; and Washington, D.C. In 2007, the firm will open an office in London. Heller Ehrman represents a wide range of industry leaders, from entrepreneurial, technology-driven enterprises to established, multinational conglomerates. The firm’s core values are Excellence, People, Teamwork, Innovation, Community and One Firm. For more information, visit www.hellerehrman.com.
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