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Opening in London: Chicago’s Jenner & Block targets litigation as it sets up shop in the City

After starting up in Chicago 100 years ago, US litigation powerhouse Jenner & Block has confirmed it will open its first international office in London this spring.

Having seen the spoils on offer to London’s litigators, Jenner & Block has leased an office in the heart of the City, yards from the Bank of England and the London Stock Exchange, in Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street. Already a favourite for US law firms, Jenner & Block will have recently launched US litigation rivals Boies, Schiller & Flexner and Kobre & Kim as neighbours as it initially focuses on building its litigation practice before broadening into transactional work.

The 450-lawyer firm is planning to build a full disputes house, spanning litigation, international arbitration, regulatory investigations and white-collar crime. The London office will become the firm’s fifth office and it’s first outside the US with it currently having outposts in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC.

Jenner & Block said in a statement that it is ‘serving a growing client base with international needs’ and the ‘new London office will build on the firm’s well-known and respected capabilities handling litigation’.

The firm said it will take a measured approach to building its London office, initially planning to deploy a small group of dual-qualified and US-qualified partners. Jenner & Block’s revenue reportedly soared 14% from $357.5m in 2013 to $408m last year on the back of its work for long-time client General Motors in litigation over faulty ignition switches. Profits per partner rose a remarkable 31% to $1.6m over the same period, in part to due staff reductions at associate and partner level.