Global firm targets Asia Pacific clients with ‘office of the future’

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Global firm targets Asia Pacific clients with ‘office of the future’
Bird & Bird has announced a new office which it says will particularly benefit its clients in Asia Pacific and the US.

The office isn’t a traditional one and it’s in the Netherlands but the firm says that it will benefit its international clients who will be able to use it as a workspace when they visit Amsterdam.

The firm already has an office in The Hague and the new location will not have permanent employees. Instead it will be used as a meeting space for lawyers and clients.

"We see our 'office of the future' as a meeting place where the cooperation between clients and our lawyers goes far beyond the current way of working,” says Marcus Huisman, Bird & Bird’s Netherlands managing partner. “Working together with our clients on matters, sharing knowledge, improving and developing our products and services with them, driven by their needs - that's how we see the future.”

Amsterdam already has a fast-growing tech and digital sector client base for the firm but the European Medicines Agency will relocate to the city from the UK due to Brexit. This will bring increased opportunity for the firm too.

International firm considers alternative structure in London
Reed Smith is reportedly considering converting its London office to an alternative business structure to open up new options for growth.

If the firm does convert it would make it easier to bring in non-lawyer equity holders and third-parties to its business to offer clients more than just legal services.

Legal Week reports that the firm is consulting with partners globally and informed staff internally on Tuesday.

The move to an ABS would ease the progress to public listing in the future although the firm’s spokesperson says this is not being considered currently.

Hong Kong lawyers among those commended by United Nations
Four lawyers from HFW have been commended by the United Nations Security Council for their work with the Hostage Support Partnership.

The partnership is a collaboration between HFW, Les Edwards of the risk management company, Compass Risk Management and John Steed, of the non-governmental organisation Oceans Beyond Piracy.

Hong Kong based partner George Lamplough and senior associate Hao-Ling Yau; together with London partner Richard Neylon and senior associate Michael Ritter; are members of the HSP.

The four were among those recognised for their work in securing the release of 26 hostages from the vessel "Naham 3". The hostages had been held by Somali pirates for more than four and a half years.