In an unusual move, Italian boutique law firm the Employment Law Plant (hELP) has expanded and added a new London office to its expanding network of bases. It is not uncommon for large European firms to add a London office but hELP is a relatively small business and expanding to include a London office is a big move on the part of the organisation although it does already have offices in two Italian cities.

The Italian firm is a relative newcomer to the market having only launched in late 2011. In January 2012 it merged with Studio Legale Persiani and has offices in Milan and Rome while also maintaining a network of referral partners that are situated in other countries throughout the world. Despite losing co-founder Sharon Reilly to Italian rival Lablaw, the boutique firm is clearly determined to make inroads into other European markets.

Mattia Persiani, the chairman, said that its international clients had requested that they open a branch in London and so they were merely reacting to client requests. Law reforms in June 2012 meant changes to the way in which organisations could deal with dismissals, temporary contracts, and recruitment.

Lablaw took co-founder Sharon Reilly from hELP – Persiani just 18 months after she successfully launched the firm. She said that she had closely been watching the expansion of Lablaw since it was launched in 2006 and the lure of the company’s membership of L&E Global was of particular interest to her and one of the driving factors when choosing to take on the job.

In further legal recruitment news London firm Allen & Overy have announced that due to the success of their Belfast office, which opened in February 2011, they are to take on 67 new posts in the area. The company has already taken on more than 300 people to work in the Belfast office and says that the incredible performance of the base means that they are willing to take the move of adding to the headcount for the base. A number of roles, including those for qualified lawyers, will become available.

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