It’s not me, it’s you

Whether it’s a sudden interest in manscara, man bags or World of Warcraft, the romance red flags are often at half-mast long before a relationship cracks.

And so the story goes in the legal market. Yesterday, Saudi Arabian firm Osool Law said thanks, but no thanks to Fasken Martineau, which it entered an exclusive association with two years ago. The reason? The Canadian firm allegedly “marketed itself outside of the co-operation”. In other words, it was caught flirting with Saudi clients without mention of its other half.

When we broached the subject with Fasken, insiders said a number of the firm’s Saudi clients wanted it to work with other people. Ouch.

While Fasken’s Riyadh office will be playing the field for a while, splits elsewhere in the region tell us that break-ups are like buses. It was only on Monday that Herbert Smith Freehills ended its exclusive association with Saudi firm Al-Ghazzawi Professional Association, a split the two firms said was down to “evolving in different ways”.

As one of our readers pointed out, this is certainly a better line than the old cliché “it’s not you, it’s me”, but maybe in future these guys should try the three-date rule before jumping into tie-ups.

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Also on TheLawyer.com:

  • Pinsent Masons is set to make roughly 13 lawyers redundant in its employment practice in its third round of layoffs since merging with Scottish firm McGrigors last year
  • Allen & Overy has unveiled its smallest partnership promotions round since 2010, with 19 being taken into the fold
  • And, Clifford Chance is hiring Ashurst’s French fund formation chief Xavier Comaills and a team of lawyers to lead the firm’s Paris private funds group