International boutique law firm Webb Henderson will open an office in London, following the appointment of a new partner there.
Gordon Moir joins Webb Henderson with extensive international experience in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors and in wider anti-trust and regulatory matters, achieved during his time as general counsel of British Telecom (BT) Retail and as BT group head of antitrust and regulatory law.
“Gordon brings with him excellent regulatory and transactional experience,” said founding partner Angus Henderson.
The firm, which opened in Sydney and Auckland in 2009, opened a office in Singapore last year which will soon boast five staff. “Our strategy is to go into markets where our expertise is not available already with our specialised knowledge base,” said Henderson. “With London, of course there are firms there already with that knowledge, but we are looking to continue our strategy and invest in the business by having a partner there who can offer our clients his specialised expertise, and bring new clients to the firm,” he added. One of the initial priorities for Moir will be to identify legal panels across the UK and Europe which may be interested in the firm’s services, said Henderson.
The Sydney and Auckland offices have expanded significantly on the back of new clients, particularly NBN Co. which was established by the Federal Government to to design, build and operate the wholesale-only National Broadband Network (NBN). The Sydney office now has 11 staff, up from five and the Auckland office added a new partner along with two lawyers recently. Another lawyer will also be joining shortly.
The new London presence will also offer an opportunity for staff in Auckland, Sydney or Singapore to gain experience abroad, said Henderson. He hopes it will have three staff within the next 12 months.
The firm, which provides specialist communications and energy and infrastructure advice works for clients across the globe, is looking to leverage its knowledge base in emerging markets such the Gulf and India. “There is a lot more work in India, both on the regulatory side and infrastructure side, but the Indian legal market is a closed market,” said Henderson. The Gulf region is also very active as the market there is undergoing a major liberalisation. “Most of the markets are duopolies, and they are now beginning to open up to new operators through new licences,” said Henderson. “Over time, we hope to apply our strategy to that region as well as elsewhere.”