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Pinsent Masons is setting up a pan-European dispute resolution group with its German ally Luther.
The practice will be one of the first joint initiatives since the launch of the Pinsent Masons Luther Group (PMLG), the eight-firm European alliance, last year (The Lawyer, 18 December 2006).
The initiative is being spearheaded by London-based dispute resolution and litigation partner Stefan Paciorek and Hamburg-based Ulrich Theune, a partner at Luther, which is the second-largest firm in Germany.
Theune explained: "We already have established contact, but we want to formalise it and make it really workable for the future.
"Litigation is very different on the Continent to in the UK or in the US, and the idea is that, if there's a question related to litigation in another jurisdiction, then we're able to give advice quickly and of a quality that English clients can rely on to take immediate decisions."
The lawyers hope to establish a formal, exclusive relationship between the dispute resolution teams of the 36 offices of PMLG.
Pinsents, Luther, French PMLG member Granrut Avocats and Austrian PMLG member Karasek Wietrzyk Rechtsanwälte have already signed up to join, while talks are also being held with the PMLG member firms in Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania regarding membership this year.
Discussions are also being held with non-PMLG firms Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka in Poland and Prague-based Weinhold Legal, which also has an office in Bratislava.
The initiative will also include a secondment programme, with UK dispute lawyers going to PMLG offices in Germany, Hungary and the Baltic States.