Bird & Bird has made an application to open in Luxembourg as it targets work heading to the new European Unified Patent Court (UPC).
The office will be number 28 for the firm and will also look to service both work regarding the Court of Justice of the European Union and, banking and finance clients based in the country.
The new court is being established by the European Patent Office and 25 countries including the UK, France and Germany but not Italy and Spain. A Preparatory Committee is currently holding a series of meeting to establish the Court’s rules and administrative procedures.
Chief executive of Bird & Bird, David Kerr, said: ‘Luxembourg is an important jurisdiction for the UPC and many of our IP clients, as well as for many of our financial services and tax clients, so opening an office in Luxembourg makes perfect sense for us.’
Morag Macdonald, joint head of the firm’s international Intellectual Property group, added: ‘The establishment of the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court represents the largest change to patent law across Europe in 40 years.’
Bird & Bird has been in expansion mode over recent months announcing a merger with Truman Hoyle to establish a presence in Australia at the end of last year. The move added 25 lawyers to the firm including eight partners and is being led by Shane Barber.
Meanwhile, in November last year, Simmons & Simmons also announced it was looking to establish a Luxembourg office. The five-partner outpost, managed by Stéphane Ober, is being targeted at asset management and financial institutions.