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The Brussels office of Loyens & Loeff has recruited the name partners of intellectual property (IP) and IT boutique Van Asbroeck & Cottenie, resulting in the dissolution of the seven-lawyer firm.
Benoit van Asbroeck and Edwidge Cottenie join Loyens as partners, bringing an end to the boutique which was founded in the late 1980s as Goethals & Van Asbroeck.
"We had reached a critical mass," said Van Asbroeck. "With two partners there is a risk of doing too much management and administration and not enough legal work."
Van Asbroeck added that there were too many clients requesting services outside their IP/IT niche and that there was a risk of the clients going elsewhere.
The boutique has fostered a relationship with Loyens since 2001 and although Van Asbroeck and Cottenie looked at a number of firms, they were impressed with Loyens' strength across the Benelux countries.
"IP is not the core business of the larger English firms. It could be a risk to join them. I know of some friends in English or US firms who are under great pressure," said Van Asbroeck.