Following regulatory approval to operate in the UK during the summer, Tully Rinckey has now opened its first office in the Mayfair area of the capital. In September, Alston & Bird also set up a London base. A weaker pound and Brexit encouraged the firm to move now rather than later, according to news outlet City AM.
The move follows on from its first international office in Ireland, set up in 2018, with elsewhere in the UK now being considered. Founding partner Matthew Tully told City AM, “The primary reason we are expanding into the UK is because of Brexit. The weakness of the pound has made the ability to open in the UK extremely affordable compared to five or six years ago.” European chief operating officer Barry Crushell said the UK would remain a vital market for US corporates regardless of what happened with Brexit. “Are we concerned? Yes there are concerns, the uncertainty is concerning,” Crushell said. “[But] regardless of what form Brexit takes the UK will always be a strategic location for US companies.” The firm is targeting US clients looking to expand internationally and UK and Irish businesses aiming to grow in the US, and mid-tier clients with revenue of $5m to $500m. This will take the firm into other locations Mr Tully explained, “What we are trying to do in the UK and Ireland is replicate what we did in the US: provide London-quality legal services in the outer areas and give clients in Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Belfast the ability to reach, not only London, but back to New York and Washington DC.”
Further international expansion
The firm has revenue hitting the $36m mark and about 170 employees. Mr Tully said the firm was expanding rapidly internationally to cater for an expected growth in demand for international legal services from mid-tier clients. “In the future the practice of law will be an international operation, with the amount of international travel there is naturally going to be a flow of global economic activity unlike anything we have seen in the last 50 years. I am trying to position our firm at the leading edge of the mid-tier market.” He added, “Why should you have to pay £1000 an hour to get an attorney who can advise you on matters in Asia, Africa and North America? To me that’s just gluttony.” The firm is also planning to expand into Asia and the Middle East over the next couple of years, “We will have a Dubai office later on this year and we plan to have a Singapore office in early 2021 and a Hong Kong or Tokyo office after that,” Mr Tully said.