Nabarro Nathanson has moved closer to a formal best friends alliance with Macchi di Cellere Gangemi after the Italian firm was invited to join Nabarros' best friends summit last week.
Macchi joined in with Nabarros partners during one of the latter's regular meetings with its French and German best friends to discuss corporate issues.
It is understood that partners from the firms' IP/IT practices also met in Frankfurt last week.
As first reported by The Lawyer (14 November 2005), Nabarros has been searching for an Italian best friend for several months.
The firm hosted corporate representatives from Macchi, who also met with similar partners from French firm August & Debouzy and Germany's Gassner Stockmann & Kollegen.
Nabarros litigation partner and international committee chair Michael Hales said: "There's been no strategic discussion or outcome of the meeting.
"We're interested in making sure we deal with top-quality law firms that can do the work we need for our clients. If that means the firms we work with want to remain independent, then that's fine.
"Having said that, our relationship with Augusts and Gassners works quite well for us."
Nabarros is also understood to be looking for a replacement Spanish partner.
The firm previously had a referral association with Barcelona-based Mullerat, but the relationship dissolved earlier this year amid a raft of departures, including that of managing partner Ramon Mullerat.