Herbert Smith, Gleiss Lutz and Stibbe have drawn a line through all merger plans, resolving to continue as independent firms, but retain ties.
Management of the three firms, which have held a tripartite alliance since 2002, have held several meetings since the summer to come up with a road map for moving their relationship forward.
Herbert Smith senior partner David Gold said the firms did discuss a merger, but ruled this out due to the level of bureaucracy it would create.
Gleiss Lutz managing partner Rainer Loges said: “We’re convinced this model works and we’re devoting our time and energy to further improving it.”
He added that, with each of the three firms operating different routes to partnership, continuing as separate entities is the easier option.
The firms will, however, up their focus on inter-firm secondments at all levels and run combined courses for trainees. Holding joint partnership conferences has also been mooted.