Brussels base for tripartite firm

Paris firm Simeon & Associes is to set up a tripartite office in Brussels this month with Frankfurt firm Wessing Berenberg-Gossler Zimmermann Lange and Brussels firm Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck & Kirkpatrick.

The move comes three years after the collapse of the French firm's international alliance with City firm Macfarlanes.

As well as operating an EU law practice from Brussels, the trio will form a general alliance based on cross-border transactions. The alliance will be called Liedekerke Simeon Wessing, but no name is yet decided for the Brussels office, which will house 20 lawyers.

Bernard Simeon, Simeons' senior partner, said: “We have been in contact with the firms for some time. This alliance marks the start of a closer cooperation, but it is not a merger – we will remain independent.”

He said two other European firms, including one from Holland, would be joining the alliance soon and that they would constantly look to strengthen it.

The alliance will open up contacts all around the world. Wessings has an office in China and Simeons has offices in Poland and Vietnam.

“We want to develop and strengthen our connection with Europe beyond simple contacts. Through this alliance we will be able to offer our clients a more global service,” said Simeon.

Simeons was previously part of an international alliance with Macfarlanes, Munich-based Norr Stiefenhofer & Lutz, and US firm O'Melveny & Myers, which also had a joint office in Brussels.

The alliance broke up along with several other Anglo-French alliances because of a loss of referral work.

The alliance will be announced next week at the International Bar Association biennial conference in Berlin.