Five years on from the launch of its London office, co-managing partners Mike Goetz and Maurice Allen will split from their dual role with Allen appointed to the newly created role of senior partner. Goetz continues as London head and co-head of the firm’s finance practice alongside Jay Kim in New York and Byung Choi in Boston.
Allen will focus on client and business development, recruitment and the firm’s European strategy while also remaining involved in client work, including Liberty Global and Bain Capital.
The new role comes as the firm sets up a strategy to develop its European offering focused on building new practice areas in London that run adjacent to existing ones and strengthening the firm’s relationship with clients doing business in Europe.
‘London is very much part of our global network and strongly links to our offering in Asia and the US,’ say Allen. ‘Around one-third of our lawyers in the US are litigators so we are considering whether we need more litigators in London.’
The firm is also considering whether to expand its City corporate and finance capability by adding an equity capital markets and structured finance offering on the back of growing client demand. The concept forms part of the firm’s wider strategy of targeting businesses that have a US/European element.
Ropes & Gray has already expanded its investment management offering in London with the recent hire of Monica Gogna from Pinsent Masons who joins in August, and Dechert partner Michelle Moran who joined last year. The firm is also planning to grow its government enforcement practice specifically to boost its anti-bribery offering.
Because the firm does not have any European offices outside of London, it regularly uses local firms, as well as larger international firms, to cover regions where it is not based. For example, the firm frequently uses Gleiss Lutz, Hengeler Mueller and Noerr in Germany, but worked alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to advise on Liberty Global’s £5.7bn acquisition of Dutch cable operator Ziggo.
The firm has four offices across Asia and aims to open a further outpost in Beijing in the near future.