International legal giant Simmons & Simmons yesterday became the latest major law firm to announce plans to open an office in Bristol.
The firm, which has offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, is to open its Bristol base this autumn.
It plans to have around 15 lawyers, including three partners, in the office at the time of its launch. While some staff are expected to transfer from London, Simmons & Simmons is understood to be in talks with recruitment consultants about hiring locally.
The move follows the arrival of RPC (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain) in January and Irwin Mitchell in 2010.
Foot Anstey added a Bristol base to its string of four Devon and Cornwall offices last August to tap into the city’s burgeoning media sector.
Simmons & Simmons said Bristol was chosen as it “offers a strong pool of talent to meet the requirements of our practice groups and because of its proximity to London”.
It also said it was more cost-effective to expand in Bristol.
The office will initially undertake projects, real estate and dispute resolution legal work and support lawyers in the firm’s 10 other offices in undertaking complex, high-value work for its clients in a more efficient and cost-effective way.
Simmons & Simmons managing partner Jeremy Hoyland said: “We’ve consistently shown our willingness to embrace different ways of working in order to deliver greater value to our clients. Our lawyers in Bristol will service complex legal work where they have relevant experience and where location is not an issue for our clients.
“Clients quite rightly look to firms that can provide overall value. Our office in Bristol will allow us to deliver greater efficiency, while maintaining our reputation for excellence.”
The firm has a track record for innovation, winning three FT Innovative Lawyer Awards in the past two years.
Its sector focus is on energy and infrastructure, financial institutions including asset management and investment funds, life sciences and telecoms, media & technology (TMT).