Louis Goldman, the former head of the international practice group at Altheimer & Gray, who resigned from the firm in May this year, has resurfaced and is helping broker a takeover deal involving the firm's Central and Eastern European offices. Salans is currently in pole position to take over the Czech, Polish, Romanian, Slovakian and Ukranian practices, which are all managed by Altheimer's European head Robert Bata. Sources say that Goldman approached Altheimer's managing partner Jeff Smith to help with the transition of the offices and to glean what assets each of the practices contain. The Chicago firm is in debt to the tune of $30m (£18.8m) and expects to close its doors by the beginning of November. Meanwhile, The Lawyer can reveal that Altheimer & Gray's French office had never been fully merged with the collapsing Chicago firm. Altheimer announced its merger with Cournot Association d'Avocats, a five-partner practice which the US firm had worked with over a long period of time, last September. It is understood that the French firm had not finished fully merging with the London practice of Altheimer and was yet to list the link-up with the Law Society. A spokesman at the Law Society confirmed that it had not been notified of any changes at the firm. As a result, Cournot has made a clean break from Altheimer.