Don't judge CC merger before results are seen

There are always going to be casualties and malcontents in mergers on the scale of that between Clifford Chance, Rogers & Wells and Punder Volhard Weber & Axster.

Rogers & Wells has lost six partners this year, and though some of these departures are for personal reasons, it is still a high number for an 80-partner practice.

On the other hand, Clifford Chance has lured three Linklaters associates to join its competition team and its European competition team is already working with Rogers & Wells' US anti-trust team in preparation and exchanging work.

Clients will be watching to see how successfully partners at the merged firm work together once the deal finally goes through and they are all working for the same firm. They will also want to see the firm bed down with the minimum of public disruption.

Most partners are probably sitting tight to see what is in it for them as appointments and salaries are decided in the coming months. The real test will be after the merger in January.

But if these matters are handled properly and the new mega-firm hits the ground running, the signs are that quality lawyers will be knocking on the door to come in rather than trying to get out.