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Herbert Smith has set up joint working groups with its alliance firms Gleiss Lutz and Stibbe in areas such as M&A, capital markets, private equity and litigation. The groups will pitch for potential new clients.
The firm has seconded its first London partner, corporate lawyer Philip Talboys, to Gleiss to coordinate the joint initiatives. Talboys is moving to Frankfurt for two years to identify cross-selling opportunities for the three firms.
"I'm going to Germany to be a bridge between Herbert Smith and Gleiss, and between common clients of the alliance firms, and to help push forward the joint initiatives we're developing with Gleiss and Stibbe," said Talboys.
While the three firms have not signalled an intention to merge in the near future, there is a current emphasis on moulding the alliance into one firm as far as current and potential joint clients are concerned.
Teams from all three firms have started developing joint documentation for cross-border finance, corporate and M&A deals, as well as international litigation and arbitration.
The three alliance firms have also begun sharing offices across Europe and Asia, in cities such as Moscow, Prague, Shanghai and Warsaw.
Herbert Smith is also cementing a referral relationship with Swedish firm Vinge, although there are no plans to bring Vinge into the alliance.
Sources within the firm have indicated that Spanish best friend Cuatrecasas could be entering the alliance soon, but The Lawyer understands that there are no plans to include Italian best friend Pavia e Ansaldo.