A major American law firm is set to open offices in Sydney with counsel also based in Melbourne.

White & Case is investing in the local business finance sector in a move designed to strengthen the firm's position in the global project finance market.

The firm has hired 10 new locally-based partners to be located at the new branch and in Melbourne as a jumping off point for the lucrative Asia Pacific market.

The long-touted move comes shortly after White & Case opened in Cairo through a tie-up with a newly created local firm, MHR & Partners.

Late last year, White & Case outlined a five-year strategy to ramp up the proportion of its lawyers based in the key global financial centres of London and New York by 2020.