Eversheds’ German merger talks collapse

Eversheds‘ hopes of a deal in Germany have been scuppered yet again after talks with Cologne firm Cornelius Bartenbach Haesemann & Partners ended in failure to secure a relationship.

The abandoned negotiations are the latest setback for Eversheds in Germany. Three years ago, it lost out to Norton Rose by one vote when partners at Gaedertz elected to enter merger talks with a UK firm. Gaedertz subsequently split and Eversheds was pipped to the post again by Norton Rose, which secured the Cologne office.

Head of international Alan Jenkins confirmed that the latest talks were off.

He said that efforts to reach a deal were thwarted by differences of “strategic vision”.

He told The Lawyer: “We’ve concluded the discussions on an amicable basis, wishing each other well. They decided they would prefer to focus on their local and regional market and on their other relationships.”

Cornelius Bartenbach belongs to international employment law network Ius Laboris.

Eversheds will now review its position in Germany. “There’s no reason not to continue working with [Cornelius Bartenbach] where there are existing client relationships in place… We’ve not stopped working with other German law firms, so we’re not short of other relationships to continue and develop,” said Jenkins.

By contrast, the firm has just achieved full financial integration with its associated 13-lawyer Copenhagen office. All four partners join Eversheds’ partnership.