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Former Pinsent Curtis securities partner Paul Downing takes up his post as head of the growing European network of accountancy firm Price Waterhouse's law firms this Monday just after a German law firm was added to the list.
Price Waterhouse now has 350 lawyers in 29 offices, representing law practices in 17 countries in Europe. The German practice, Pachman Nehm Bilger, comprising nine lawyers in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, handles mergers and acquisitions and European Union work.
In Luxembourg Price Waterhouse has applied to register its group of 14 lawyers as a law firm. In Brussels a team headed by Alistair Gorrie plans to do cross-border and EU work. Price Waterhouse is also looking to set up separate law firms in Finland and Norway. In Ireland an affiliated firm is in the process of being established.
Downing is anxious not to spread alarm about the march of the accountants into the legal market. He says: "Being a lawyer, I am keen not to upset local Bar associations. We want to work within the rules of each country."
Downing is also a non-fee earning partner in the English affiliate law firm of Price Waterhouse Arnheim & Co.