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It’s started. The slow drip of lawyer departures that goes hand-in-hand with the run up to a merger seems to be kicking off at Lovells.
As we report today, a five-lawyer team has left the firm’s Madrid office to set up a Spanish base for Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) (see story).
Memories of Dewey Ballantine’s ill-fated dalliance with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe come flooding back. Who could forget the mass exodus of partners that pre-empted the eventual shelving of the deal (see feature)?
In all probability WFW signed up the Madrid team long before Lovells’ partnership was let in on the firm’s planned tie-up with Hogan & Hartson.
But a cynic might say that word of how Hogan’s stringent eat-what-you-kill policy operates could have put the fear of God into them. After all, Lovells plans to ditch its lockstep in favour of the merit-based system (see story).
Let’s hope the Loveharts merger, which is fully backed by both firms’ management teams, doesn’t go the same way as the Dewey-Orrick tie-up that never was.