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US employment firm Littler goes big with London takeover

US employment powerhouse Littler Mendelson has announced it is launching in the UK, through a merger with London-based boutique GQ Employment Law.

The tie-up follows Littler’s wider European expansion in the last few years, after opening in Germany in 2015 and, more recently, a combination with French firm Fromont Briens last year. The US firm’s revenue rose to $503m, up 4% in 2016.

As part of the move, GQ’s team of 16 lawyers will add to Littler’s worldwide headcount of 1,200 lawyers spread across 75 offices worldwide. By doing so, Littler is adding to its global employment law footprint, which already spans three continents, with 200 lawyers spread across Europe.

Littler co-managing directors Tom Bender and Jeremy Roth commented: ‘Establishing a presence in the U.K. through a firm known for its high-quality and innovative approach to advising employers is an exciting step in the continued growth of Littler Global.’

GQ co-founder Jon Gilligan added: ‘We are delighted to be working as the newest member of the broad Littler Global platform. The ability to collaborate with top-notch, specialist employment lawyers across several international markets will be of significant benefit to our clients.’

Other recent mergers have seen Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) agree a tie-up with 400-lawyer New York outfit Chadbourne & Parke.

The merger will see Chadbourne’s $250m practice bolted on to NRF’s US arm under the verein structure, giving the combined firm a potential global turnover of around $2bn.