Two legal consultancies have formed an alliance to create the first transatlantic practice for law firms and in-house legal teams.
London's Hodgart Temporal and America's Altman Weil Pensa Inc, which between them have offices in England and the US, and contacts in Australasia and Europe, are hoping the alliance will lead to an official merger in two years' time.
The alliance takes effect immediately and involves swapping staff and joint training, but there will be no collaboration of balance sheets and accounts yet.
Both firms provide strategy, marketing, organisation and development expertise to law firms and in-house legal departments. They said the benefits of the alliance were that it would provide them with a better knowledge of cases and legal trends and more information about the global legal market.
Daniel DiLucchio, managing principal at Altmans, said: "In a global business and legal market-place we believe clients are best served by an international presence. By teaming up with Hodgart Temporal we can provide the highest level of skill, value and knowledge to clients competing on the international stage."
Name partner with Hodgarts, David Temporal said: "Our mutual goal is to help law firms and other law departments to become more competitive.
"Until now no specialist consultants have been able to provide strategic management advice to law firms on both sides of the Atlantic."
Both firms said they would be looking to expand the alliance into other parts of the world.
Alan Hodgart, second partner at Hodgarts, said: "Although we work with clients throughout the European Union there are few prospective partners on the Continent now. We are therefore looking to set up our own office in mainland Europe."