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Newly-merged Dibb Lupton Alsop is to drop out of the Legal Resources Group - the association of five regional firms that jointly runs a Brussels office and pools training and legal research - following disagreements over funding.
Dibb Lupton Alsop and the other members could not agree funding arrangements following Dibb Lupton Broomhead's merger with existing member Alsop Wilkinson.
Liverpool-based Alsops had been in the group since it began eight years ago but, as The Lawyer reported last month, Dibbs' management was not keen on funding a Brussels office as it has in-house EU lawyers, though it was keen to share training resources. Training would have been cheaper subsidised by the group than paid for purely by Dibbs.
The management at Dibbs would never have sat happily in the group alongside Pinsent Curtis. The two are fierce rivals in Birmingham and Leeds, where both have offices.
The departure of Dibbs, scheduled for April next year, will mean a substantial loss of revenue for the LRG, which is funded by annual contributions based on each firm's size and the number of its offices. The remaining firms will have to raise their contributions if the LRG is to continue providing the same level of service.
Graham Wright, chair of the LRG, was not available for comment on how the departure will affect the group, but he told The Lawyer last month: "The LRG has been successful as a co-operative venture for the last seven years and it aims to continue to be so."