Linklaters’ CEE spin-off separates

The Linklaters breakaway firm in Central and Eastern Europe is set to unveil an innovative structure to bring in capital investment when it launches in November.


<a class=Linklaters’ CEE spin-off separates” />The Linklaters breakaway firm in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is set to unveil an innovative structure to bring in capital investment when it launches in November.

The managing partner of Linklaters’ CEE branch Jason Mogg will lead the new firm. He said the name and strategy of the firm will remain under wraps until October.

Linklaters decided to scrap its offices in Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest and Prague following a review of its CEE presence in May this year. The offices will join together to create a new independent firm with a referral relationship with Linklaters. The firm will launch with around 10 partners, two of whom were senior associates at Linklaters before the offices were axed.

Mogg said the firm will be structured in such a way as to attract capital investment. “We’re a law firm, and we’re structuring ourselves within the confines of the regulatory regimes in the various countries,” he said. “But we’re going to be expanding and will need capital to do so.”

Mogg added that the part of the firm that deals with legal advice will be structured as a partnership, but a separate services company will exist to support the firm.

The services company will be made up of all the support staff and office assets of the law firm, such as the IT systems, and will be able to receive external investment. Mogg’s new firm will be ambitious in its scope. He hinted that it could expand through mergers with other CEE firms. He previously said: “I ­didn’t do this to be part of a four-office project. All the people involved want to see it expand and grow.”

Mogg added that the firm will keep a close relationship with Linklaters but could open its own office in London. “We’re contemplating a London office,” he said. “But it’s not going to happen overnight.” He added: “It’s a hell of a lot of work but I have to say it’s very exciting.”

Mogg’s firm will not be the only new entrant in the CEE market. Last week Bird & Bird launched four offices in Bratislava, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw, with technology and media ­partner Stephen Kines spearheading the initiative. Kines joined the firm in May from Prague technology, media and telecoms ­boutique Kines Böhmová & Schollaert. Until 2004 he was head of CEE technology and ­telecoms at Linklaters. Since scrapping part of its Continental network offices, Linklaters has set up a series of virtual offices based in London to cover CEE.

The firm has installed country desks in London for Ukraine, ;Kazakhstan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The initiative came under the remit of the new Emerging Europe, Middle East and North Africa group, headed by Nick Eastwell.

CEE how they run

Many of the details ­surrounding the ­breakaway firm, such
as the name, are still shrouded in mystery but below are the
known knowns.

Press launch date: 6 October
Firm launch date: 1 November
Number of partners: 10
Number of offices: Four
Locations: Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Prague
Possible names: Mogg & Co, Link Laters