Taylor Wessing has lost its court battle to prevent US firm Nixon Peabody poaching 13 partners from its Paris office.
The dispute arose after merger discussions between the US firm and Taylor Wessing France (TWF) failed last year, as reported on ;TheLawyer.com ;(6 August 2008).
The New York State Supreme Court ruled in a summary judgment that Nixon Peabody was not in breach of a non-poaching clause in a non-disclosure agreement, which applied New York law to the original merger discussions.
Justice Kenneth Fisher ruled that the non-poaching clause was invalid on public policy grounds because American Bar ethics rules prohibit ;restraints ;on lawyers practising law.
Nixon Peabody said it was “pleased that the judge was able to see through [TWF’s] unfounded claims”. Taylor Wessing is considering appealing the decision.