24 Feb 2022

Simmons & Simmons to launch first US office in Silicon Valley

City firm has recruited Osborne Clarke's former local managing partner to spearhead new office

Emily Jones

City law firm Simmons & Simmons has hired Osborne Clarke’s former Silicon Valley managing partner to launch its first US office in the Bay Area. 

The new office in Silicon Valley will be helmed by Emily Jones, who spent five years leading Osborne Clarke’s office there. Jones, who specialises in data privacy, cyber security and technology law, will join the firm as a partner in May. 

A spokesperson for the firm said that while the timing of the opening depends on a number of factors, the firm was confident that the office would be fully operational in the next six months. The office will not practise US law. While Jones is the only confirmed member of the Bay Area team, the firm has plans to expand the team in both the short and long term, the spokesperson said. 

Alex Brown, head of TMT at Simmons & Simmons, said the office launch was a “globally significant move for the firm’s TMT sector service”. 

“Silicon Valley is the epicentre of the global technology sector and is home to many of the world’s largest technology companies. With Simmons’ existing TMT sector expertise and its new on the ground presence, the firm is poised to win new work and forge stronger relationships with our existing US TMT sector clients,” he said. 

Brown also pointed to the firm’s office in Shenzhen, which he said meant the firm has “a presence in the two largest tech hubs in the world”. 

Jones spent a total of 19 years at Osborne Clarke after joining the firm as a trainee in 2002. Her practice focuses on advising fast-growing technology companies on international business matters. She will work with Simmons' teams in Europe, the Middle East and Asia to coordinate client advice across different jurisdictions. 

She said: “Having spent the last five years building my client base and reputation in Silicon Valley, working closely with companies as they expand outside the US and gaining valuable experience and understanding of the issues and challenges that are most important to them, I am ideally placed to represent Simmons on the US West Coast.”

She added that she was excited to join the firm at “a time of tremendous growth and innovation in the technology market in Silicon Valley”. 

Following Jones’ departure, Osborne Clarke’s Silicon Valley office will be managed by the firm’s US managing partner, Steve Wilson, who heads up firm’s US offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and New York. The Silicon Valley office is home to 11 professionals. 

An Osborne Clarke spokesperson wished Jones well in her future endeavours. 

A number of other UK law firms have looked to the Bay Area to expand their US coverage as of late, including Magic Circle giants Allen & Overy and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer which opened bases there in August 2021 and July 2020 respectively. 

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