Linklaters stands by Swedish branch despite string of departures

The managing partner of Linklaters in Sweden has denied the office’s future is under threat despite suffering a steady stream of departures in the past year.

Seven partners have left the Stockholm branch since May last year, the latest being projects partner Ingvar Zander, who is set to join Nordic firm Hannes Snellman in the autumn.

Three associates and counsel have also moved to local firms in the last month alone, with at least 10 leaving since the start of year.

The departures have led to speculation about the firm’s commitment to the Swedish market, but Stockholm managing partner Peter Hogstrom said: “There’s no doubt about it – we’re here to stay.”

Acknowledging that the firm is going through a major restructuring, Hogstrom added: “We’re just trying to find a size that fits with demand. We don’t want to be in a situation with overhang of partners and associates.”

Among those to leave last year was former Stockholm chief Joergen Durban who left in November and head of litigation Martin Wallen, who joined local firm Setterwalls.

Hannes Snellman, which launched in Sweden in October, has benefited from the Linklaters exodus, taking on 12 lawyers including two partners, four local partners and six associates, including virtually the entire litigation team.

Hogstrom said the firm would now focus mainly on core practice areas including M&A, banking, capital markets and tax.