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UK firm targets reciprocation for mid-tier work in global panel of elite firms
Manches has announced an international panel of preferred referral firms in 50 different jurisdictions. As well as covering the major financial centres in France, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, North America and Hong Kong, the network stretches as far as the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. The panel firms are not exclusively tied to Manches, and Manches itself reserves the right to treat the panel flexibly. Manches has been working on the preferred referral panel over the whole of 2001. Germany is the only major jurisdiction where the firm has yet to find a relationship partner. Finance partner and head of the international committee Christopher Owen, who came to Manches from the Paris office of Slaughter and May, has been overseeing the process. Manches is aiming high with the firms it has placed on the panel. In Paris, the preferred firm is Gide Loyrette Nouel; in New York it refers work to Chadbourne & Parke, which it also works with in London, and Pilsbury Winthrop; in Spain, Manches has chosen to work with top-level corporate player Uría & Menéndez, which is also part of Slaughters' best friends network; Australian giant Minter Ellison is on the panel; and the largest firm in Denmark, Kromann Reumert, is the final player. Owen explained that Manches has signed up these major firms in the hope that it will get UK work back from them. "Our approach is that a lot of these firms don't need Slaughter and May for their business, and if we give them a lot of business they'll hopefully look at us for mid-level work," he said. In Hong Kong, Manches has placed Deacons and local firm Victor Chu & Co on its panel. It is working with Walder Wyss & Partners and Schellenberg Wittmer in Switzerland, but has chosen to stick with small local firms for Italy.