Herbert Smith abandons European alliance after merger knockback

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  • Oh my god, Herbies is up a creek.... The idea that it will "build a fully integrated European and global capability" is laughable. How, exactly, does it propose to do this? What does it have in Europe to integrate?

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  • The German market's attiude has shifted from "Going under the Umbrella" in 2000 onwards to "Staying Independent" in 2011 for plausible reasons. Alongside U.S. law whose influence is waning due to overreaching and plays still a significant role in Latin America via Miami and NY City, UK law has grown tremendously in importance in the Middle East and Asia; yet unnoticed by the many, German legal doctrine and statutory law-making experience is holding its ground in CEE, CIS, Japan and other parts of the world as an emerging third force. In addition, most of us are quite familar with certain doctrinal developments in the U.S. and the U.K. in our precedent and file systems so that we can hold our mettle across the table and in pitches.
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    Herbie's taken quite some strides, particularly in Asia, to reach the upper echelons of the profession and together with Ashurst and in banking and finance, at times overlooked, Denton in London, are fabulous U.K. allies to turn to for other German firms. Under Wegen's stewardship, Gleiss Lutz know a thing or two about the NY market, but if wisdom prevails, Herbies remains an important chess piece in Gleiss' cross-border aspirations.

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  • Cher Ami, how can "Herbies remain an important chess piece in Gleiss' cross-border aspirations" when they just ditched the alliance? If this is chess then Gleiss have sacrificed what was (at best) a rook: peripheral on the board and only capable of moving and thinking in two dimensions.

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  • @Ami, would love to see your evidence for the 'waning' of US influence.
    As Cicero remarked "infinite money is the sinews of war", and US firms have access to money in a way that firms in other jurisdictions cannot hope to match. Litigation alone pours $300bn annually into the system.
    Sans mergers, Herbert Smith will find the road to building a credible global platform impossibly expensive, even if it is attainable. It will be a bleak road ahead.

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  • Herbert Smith is now far behind what were/what it likes to consider as its peers as a result of its managements complete failure to think strategically in recent years.
    It now needs to take a leaf out of Norton Rose's playbook and be bold, or it will quickly end up in an SJ Berwin style morass.

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  • Any colour on how PEP at Herbert Smith and Stibbe (Belgium) compare? Wouldn't Stibbe need to de-equitise one in two partners to get anywhere near Herbert Smith's PEP?

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  • Growing organically in Germany will be difficult, as it has been in Spain; possibly easier in Benelex, given the fragmented market. The question is, which firm will HS merge with - or take a significant team from - to create the critical mass it will need? There are not too many candiates.

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  • Stop teasing us. Give us an article about that Herbert Smith - Clayton Utz merger. We all know that there's some sort of announcement due out soon.

    PS - That picture of Scottie is frightening. He looks like the Joker!

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