Business law, Strategic organization, International business


Business | Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics


During the past decade, the legal services industry has undergone a sea change, in large part due to the globalization of business. Law firms, especially those headquartered in major financial centers, are expanding overseas at a fast and furious pace in an attempt to accommodate their clients’ needs and to capture a share of new and emerging markets for legal services. The increasing importance of the European Union as a new source of pan-European or “federal” law, and the establishment of a common currency, the Euro, has spurred many firms to open offices in Brussels, Frankfurt and other centers of commerce. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the concomitant dismantling of the Iron Curtain has opened up new fields for these firms, attracted to Eastern Europe and Russia by the privatization of former state enterprises. The spectacular growth of the economies of certain Asian countries and the gradual opening of The People’s Republic of China to western business has created additional incentives for these firms to establish overseas offices. Many of these offices are no longer outposts staffed by a few legal professionals. They now have many lawyers on staff, and offer a broad range of legal services not only to the clients of their home countries but also to local businesses.

Original Citation

Sanchez, C., Mears, P. E. (2001). The strategic organization of global law firms : Perceptions from inside and outside the firm. Business Law Today, 10(4), 32-39.