As previously discussed here and here, American class action law firms are taking a number of steps to solidify their relationships with foreign institutional investors and outside counsel for those investors.
Many of those steps have involved forming official and unofficial affiliations with foreign based firms.
In what appears to be a first for a plaintiffs firm though, Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. is set to open their own London office on January 1, 2007 according to this article from The Lawyer.
According to the article, the new office will be staffed by "one or two partners and up to nine associates," and "will initially focus on antitrust and competition matters," though "securities actions, employee discrimination and environmental law" actions will also be on the new office's agenda.
As previously noted, Cohen Milstein already has an international practice area portion of their website and boasted that they had "affiliated offices in the United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, Panama, Australia and China."
This appears to be a major step forward, going beyond the "joint alliance" formed earlier this year between Labaton Sucharow & Rudoff LLP and the TILP Group and the "formal cooperation agreement" formed between Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP and Winheller.
Update: The Times (of London) also has an article on the office opening.