Law firms TLT and GSJ enter strategic alliance

Law firms TLT and GSJ enter strategic alliance

Second formal strategic partnership as part of TLT’s long-term strategy designed to support clients internationally

UK law firm TLT has entered into a strategic alliance with Belgian law firm GSJ advocaten as part of its continued strategy to strengthen its international offer for clients.

The firms have significant expertise in common across a number of sectors including real estate, financial services, retail and the public sector, enabling cross border support for clients operating in the UK and Belgium. More broadly, Belgium’s status as a central hub for European business and its significant position at the heart of the EU will be of increasing importance for clients, given the UK’s recent exit from the EU. 

The new alliance with GSJ is the second for TLT, which announced its first formal strategic alliance with Netherlands law firm Holla in June 2020.

The development of an alliance of firms in key European countries, the US and India is part of TLT’s growth strategy to develop its international proposition and service for clients. The formal tie-up will see closer collaboration and knowledge sharing across the alliance firms and across the full range of legal services.

TLT has been one of the fastest growing firms in the UK over the last five years, expanding from its Bristol and London roots to open in Manchester as well as Belfast, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Alongside the development of key international alliances, the firm continues its largely organic UK growth strategy, achieving a 13 per cent rise in turnover in the last financial year (2019/20) to £98.8m. 

GSJ is a full-service law firm founded in 1985 and located in Antwerp, Belgium. It is a leading law firm on the domestic market. The firm achieved an 11 per cent rise in turnover in 2020. Its team of 18 partners and 58 lawyers specialise in sectors such as banking and insurance, real estate, retail, industry, public sector, education and health care.

Chris Owen, head of international at UK law firm TLT, commented “TLT and GSJ have significant crossovers and a shared focus on key sectors such as financial services, retail, and real estate. Given Belgium’s role as a critical commercial jurisdiction at the heart of the EU political infrastructure, it is of growing strategic importance to many clients operating across the EU and around the world. Alongside Holla in the Netherlands, this will ensure that all three firms can support clients’ growing international needs on a seamless basis and will be well-placed to support on their complex, cross-jurisdictional needs.”

John Wood, managing partner at TLT, said “Despite the challenges of the pandemic our ambitions for the future remain unchecked, and a critical part of that is developing further how we respond to client need for support internationally.  This new strategic partnership with GSJ, alongside our alliance with Holla, is an important step in building our European offering and we will continue to progress with similar strategic partnerships across Europe, India and the US in the months ahead.” 

Bart Goossens, managing partner of GSJ, added: “We have forged this alliance to support clients focused on and operating in the Belgian and UK markets. To that end, the alliance between GSJ and TLT represents a significant opportunity for both of our firms in terms of client service, knowledge sharing and innovation, among other areas. Working alongside both TLT and Holla in the Netherlands, a firm we have known well and collaborated with for many years, we will be able to support internationally focused clients better than ever before.”

Robert Gebel, managing partner at Holla Advocaten, said: “Holla’s recent growth has seen us successfully shift our focus to medium-sized and large businesses and the public sector. The number of legal matters we work on that have international aspects has therefore grown significantly. The strategic alliance with TLT has accelerated this process. Now GSJ advocaten is joining the alliance, we can further increase and strengthen our position in the international market. The strategic alliance with TLT and GSJ will allow us to offer clients with cross-border legal issues an even higher quality of service. “