Hammonds has finally reached an agreement with its Italian merger partner after months of tense negotiations about the future of the relationship.
Hammonds agreed a merger with Turin-based Rossotto e Associati in 2002, subject to a three-year transitionary period. In May 2005, The Lawyer revealed that, although that period was over, full integration was delayed due to a massive gulf in the profitability of Hammonds' UK and Italian offices.
Last week, Italian managing partner Ricardo Rossotto said: "Money is important to our profession, but it wasn't the fundamental reason for our merger."
Hammonds global managing partner Peter Crossley confirmed: "We've reached a new agreement in principle with our Italian partners. We're in the process of concluding the detail of the new arrangements, which will then be referred to the partnership for approval."
It is believed that recent improvements in Hammonds' financial performance and stability have contributed to the new agreement, cutting out the need for another transition year.