K&L Gates launches in Brussels with hire of McDermott partner duo

K&L Gates is opening a new office in Brussels today (1 February) as the US firm continues to expand its presence in Europe.

The firm has recruited two partners from US rival McDermott Will & Emery to launch the new base. Brussels-based duo Philip Torbol and Patrice Corbiau have been handed a remit to build up the firm’s offering in the Belgian capital, although the specific number of laterals the firm plans to recruit is as yet unconfirmed.

The new office opening is a part of the US firm’s aggressive expansion strategy for Europe. The firm has launched six European offices in rapid succession – London in 2005, Berlin in 2007, Paris in 2008, Frankfurt in 2009, and Moscow and Warsaw in 2010.

Both Torbol and Corbiau joined McDermott in 2005, following the US firm’s takeover of Brussels-based firm Stanbrook & Hooper.

Torbol, who begun his career in the European Parliament, advises clients on cartel investigations, merger control and anti-competitive conduct, as well as providing strategic regulatory and legislative counsel on EU matters.

Corbiau, whose practice focuses on M&A, distribution and licensing and dispute resolution, has advised investment funds and companies in the technology, textiles, automobile, and pharmaceutical sectors.

Kalis (pictured) commented: “It is emblematic of the 21st century that law firms must offer their clients solutions to challenges arising from governmental regulation. Capabilities in Brussels are essential to fulfil this role, as the European Union is at the forefront of leading governmental initiatives designed to regulate the private sector.”

He added: “Opening in the Belgian capital is a logical step for the firm following six other office openings since 2005. With these enhanced EU capabilities, and the added competencies in domestic Belgian legal matters, our firm takes a major step forward in fulfilling its global mission.”