Pinsents’ Scandinavian alliance partner Magnusson Wahlin Qvist Stanbrook (MAQS) has struck a cooperation deal with Finnish top 10 firm Krogerus & Co. The strategic alliance, seen by both Nordic firms as a prelude to a full merger, was signed on 20 November. Dan Person, MAQS managing director, said the deal was a "natural step" in the evolution of his firm, which has offices in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Poland. "It is part of the fulfilment of our strategy, which is to be able to service clients across the Baltic States and Scandinavia," he said. Person revealed that both firms were already in separate discussions with "two or three" firms in Norway about another deal, expected in the Spring. Running parallel to that, he added, were plans to open a greenfield office in St Petersburg. The alliance with Krogerus is structured along similar lines to MAQS’ deal with Pinsents. It is an exclusive referral relationship with close marketing and secondment ties. Person said, however, that Pinsent’s relationship with Hoffmann Liebs Fritsch & Partner in Germany and Granrut in France made working towards a merger with the UK firm a more "difficult" question than with Krogerus. "Our intention is to merge with Krogerus," he explained, "but there are so many wheels within a bigger group of firms." MAQS was formed on 1 October 2002 by the merger of Swedish Magnusson Wahlin Advokatbyrå and Danish Qvist Stanbrook Advokataktieselskab. It is a 120-lawyer, 40-partner firm with a turnover of around SEK230m (£18m). Krogerus is a 40-lawyer firm headquartered in Helsinski and with offices in Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Oulu. It is best known for technology, M&A and competition work.