Pinsent Masons and Salans have called time on their strategic alliance as Pinsent Masons prepares for New Year launches in France and Germany.
Pinsents senior partner Chris Mullen told The Lawyer that the firm was planning to open offices in Munich and Paris in the first half of 2012. Both offices will focus on corporate and commercial work, while in Paris the firm will also look to establish arbitration and construction practices.
Pinsents is now in talks with recruiters.
Pinsents sealed its non-exclusive alliance deal with Salans in June 2009. Mullen said that, although the firms are still working together on bids and would continue to refer work, his firm’s decision to open in France and Germany – two key jurisdictions for Salans – has ended the alliance.
“It’s served as a useful relationship for us, but as a strategic experience it’s run its course,” added Mullen. “The UK’s a slow growth market at the moment and clients would prefer to work with us where possible. The time came to set up a network and we’re starting with cities where we have a long-established track record and proven demand from our international clients.”
In a statement, Salans said: “Our alliance with Pinsent Masons was never an exclusive arrangement, and as such both firms have been free to pursue independent international strategies. In fact, the formal alliance agreement ran its course some months ago and was not extended.”