TDF’s 40 lawyers and staff, who are specialists in product liability and construction as well as Clyde & Co’s traditional aviation, insurance and marine sector focuses – will be joined by Clyde & Co partner Ricardo Lewandowski who will relocate to the new office from London to launch a Latin American liaison service in Miami.
TDF’s senior partner and civil litigation lawyer Barry Davis led negotiations and will be joined by the firm’s full team including equity partners Tom Thornton, who has worked with Clyde & Co on major aviation matters for the past 25 years, products liability partners Fred Fein and Doug Horelick, and insurance partner Holly Harvey.
Clyde & Co senior partner James Burns said the firm had been looking at the Florida market for a number of years, as Miami increasingly becomes a hub for Latin American business.
He added: ‘[TDF] are a well-established business in the Florida market. They are very competent and have a fantastic reputation within the market for handling complex litigation and trial work for major international corporations, major international insurers, our practice areas and the sectors we focus on were also extremely complementary.’
The firm has been in the US for ten years now and the acquisition will bring Clyde & Co’s number of American offices to six, with ten offices across the Americas. But Burns doesn’t expect the firm’s growth to slow.
‘There are a number of locations being considered in relation to further expansion in the US. I would expect us to be looking at further expansion in the US in the next twelve months,’ he told Legal Business. ‘We’ve got a strong practice internationally, we’ve obviously grown substantially in the Asia Pacific in the last year/eighteen months. I think in the next six to twelve months we’ll be looking to try strengthen and grow our international capability probably in Europe and probably in Latin America.’
TDF’s Davis said because of both firms’ shared approach to sectors and commitment to building up a US presence, joining was ‘a very natural decision’. ‘The landscape of law in the US is changing. Law firms are consolidating in order to provide greater national and international bench strength to their clients,’ he said. ‘We now have huge potential to further expand in Florida and to play a part in Clyde & Co’s US growth story.’
Miami has increasingly become a gateway to Latin America for the insurance and reinsurance industry. Late last year DAC Beachcroft announced the opening of its office in Miami as it looks to strengthen its Latin American offering by connecting local insurance clients to the rest of its network.
The deal is expected to close by 1 July 2016.