Dibbs in merger talks with Amsterdam firm

Dibb Lupton Alsop is in advanced talks with Dutch practice Schut & Grosheide about joining its European alliance and a possible merger.

The firms have been in discussions for about four months. They aim to strike a deal in the next few weeks which will see the Amsterdam firm link up with D&P, Dibbs’ European alliance, which includes members from Barcelona, Brussels and Paris.

Dibbs managing partner Nigel Knowles is reluctant to go into detail about the talks but says: “Schut & Grosheide are the largest unattached firm in The Netherlands that sees Europe in the way that we do.

“It would make the perfect member for D&P, being a broad practice like DLA, and we already share clients.”

Knowles says that the Dutch firm has been approached by approximately eight UK firms with a view to an alliance but it is only in talks with Dibbs.

Schut & Grosheide, which has 16 partners and 75 lawyers, is part of the Lawrence Graham network of “friends” on the continent, known as the Associated Business Lawyers in Europe.

Partners at Lawrence Graham have accepted that they may lose the relationship with the Dutch firm should a full merger with Dibbs go ahead.

Lawrence Graham senior partner Martyn Gowar says: “We were aware of the talks between Dibbs and Schut & Grosheide and we will wait and see how things play out.

“Dibbs did not ask us before approaching Schut but we are big boys and I don’t think I would expect them to come to us first.”

Schut & Grosheide is a medium-sized firm with expertise in corporate work and shipping.

The D&P alliance was officially announced in September last year. To date it includes Barcelona-based Molinero & Asociados, Paris firm Ginestie Paley Vincent & Associes and Brussels’ Price & Partners.