Clifford Chance has formed an association with a Romanian firm as the first step to a potential merger as it looks to capitalise on the growing work coming out of the country.
As first reported on www.the lawyer.com (19 June), Clifford Chance has launched an office in Bucharest through an association with 24-fee-earner local firm Badea & Asociatii.
Clifford Chance regional managing partner Michael Cuthbert told The Lawyer: "We felt [the association] was the most appropriate way to proceed at the moment, but in the future we will look at the possibility of a merger."
Badea and Clifford Chance have been working together since 2002 when they both advised an investment bank on a Romanian deal.
Cuthbert says the firm decided to take this next step because of the volume of work coming out of the region and feedback from clients.
Badea managing partner Daniel Badea said: "The Romanian market is buoyant at the moment in a number of sectors. There is an intense investment interest in private M&A, private equity, real estate, projects and acquisition finance."
As part of the arrangement, Clifford Chance Warsaw managing partner Nick Fletcher becomes a partner of Badea to aid the integration. The firms will also be exchanging a number of secondees.
Neither Cuthbert or Badea would comment on the financial arrangements between the two firms.