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Swedish firm Lagerlöf & Leman has lost half of its Gothenburg partners following a dispute about the proposed merger with Linklaters & Alliance.
The departures mean the firm will drop its bankruptcy practice to fit in with Linklaters' core business.
Senior partners Tomas Setterberg, Johan Wilterns and Anders Bengtsson are quitting for Swedish practice Setterwalls and fellow Gothenburg partner Max Slotte is retiring.
The move echoes that of Alliance member Oppenhoff & Rädler, which lost a raft of partners to Hogan & Hartson after the merger was agreed (The Lawyer, 14 August).
But the Lagerlöf partners have decided to leave prior to the final merger vote. Management committee member and partner Ingvar Zander says: "The way they were working and the kind of clients they had meant they were not happy with the future of the firm, and the integration with Linklaters & Alliance."
The partners have been with the firm since its creation in 1990.
However, the Gothenburg office's future is not in any doubt. Managing director and partner Rolf Johannasson confirms that the firm will be building up the operation over the next few months.
He adds: "The remaining Gothenburg partners will create a more focused and homogenised firm and office that will probably fit better in the Linklaters merger."
Although a date for the merger vote has not yet been set, the firm intends to have finalised all discussions by 1 January 2001.