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Pinsent Masons is embroiled in a tug of love with Ernst & Young (E&Y) as it seeks to launch a formal European network with the majority of European law firms formerly associated with EY Law.
Pinsent Masons battles for ex-EY Law alliances" />Pinsent Masons is embroiled in a tug of love with Ernst & Young (E&Y) as it seeks to launch a formal European network with the majority of European law firms formerly associated with EY Law.
The former EY Law firms in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain have pledged their allegiance to E&Y, but would like to form an exclusive network with Pinsent Masons.
"We have to find out the right way of getting the best of both worlds," said a former EY Law partner.
The firms have committed themselves to E&Y because their business depends on the accountancy firm, but they have been working with Pinsent Masons and would like to formalise that relationship.
Pinsent Masons would ideally like the firms to split from E&Y and form Pinsent Masons Europe, but is investigating the best way to structure the network given the firms' preference for staying with the accountant.
Pinsent Masons international strategy partner Tony Bunch said: "The intention is that it will move towards an exclusive relationship, but it is not at the moment. The hope is that we will create a much stronger, robust, effective network, possibly branded."
The complex regulatory environment for auditors, which is complicated further by being different in every country, makes a break from E&Y difficult, even if it was desired.
Bunch's task is to reform the relationship and integrate it with Pinsent Masons other international alliances and offices, which include joint ventures in Spain and the US and best friends relationships in France and Scandinavia.
In addition, the firm has offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai and is applying for a licence to launch in Beijing.