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Salans hit as nine jump ship for Locke Lord’s City launch

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  • The statement that this "mass exodus may be a blessing in disguise for Salans' London office" certainly is the smartest I've read on this topic. Everybody in the market knows that under Finch and Abrahams the London office of Salans was going nowhere. Now Salans really has a chance to build a meaningful UK practice.

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  • The problem with Salans's London office is that they made too many lateral hires at partner level who didn't even bring in enough work to for themselves. Those partners then filled in their own gaps by servicing the English law requirements of the firm's overseas offices, work which should have been being carried out at associate level, rather than partner level. Once the work from the overseas offices dried up with the global recession, Salans's London office was accordingly far more exposed than its overseas ones.
    Salans's overseas offices are now only interested in the elements that can support those overseas offices, such as corporate law and litigation, and not in its relatively unprofitable domestic work, such as employment and property. What happens to those departments, and the London office overall, remains to be seen, but don't bet against a number of associates and support staff following the partners who are leaviing. Salans really needs a UK merger, but if they didn't manage to achieve that in a boom, it's unlikely they'll do so in a recession.
    The split arose through internal differences within the London office. Locke Lord's money might be determining WHERE those people are going, but it's not the determining factor in WHY they're going. Some of the partners leaving have been with the firm, via HRK, for 20 years or more.
    Not sure I agree about the London office of Salans going nowhere under Finch and Abrahams. First off, they've not been in charge of London for a long time, but rather have been involved in management at the more global level. Secondly, though they might have taken out more than they should have done, they weren't the only ones doing so, and have always brought in substantial work.
    Given the choice of the Abraham/Finch cabal or the Thomas/Salmon cabal, it's clear that a lot of partners are voting with their feet in favour of thosewho bring in work rather than those who talk about bringing in work.

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  • Finch and Abrahams have "not been in charge of London for a long time"? Couldn't be more wrong - before Locke Lord took this guys off Salans' hands, the firm's London office was known to have a long-standing leadership problem precisely because the HRK old guard (esp Abrahams and Finch) still dominated, despite having less and less fee-earning success of their own.
    Salans may well need a UK merger, but however things play out, they are better off without the people who had failed to integrate the London office fully with the rest of the firm.
    And to say that it was ok for those leaving Salans to be fleecing the firm without contributing much because some others might have done the same thing, that just sounds like the politics of the playground: "But Mummy, he started it"! And you know what Mummy always says in reply: "Now, now Timmy, I've told you before that two wrongs don't make a right"!
    Big challenges ahead for Salans in London but they have some very good people in London and a great network, and at least they are now in a better position to deal with their problems.

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  • Looking forward to see if these guys can really deliver in Locke Lord, or if they will be just managing referrals from the US...

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  • From the frying pan into the fire.

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