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Sinclair Roche deal voted through, but majority of Hong Kong office excluded
Stephenson Harwood is to enter into merger discussions with French 'best friend' Barbe Thibault Carpentier Groener, with which it shares an office in Paris. The move comes in the wake of the firm's merger with Sinclair Roche & Temperley (SRT) following a partnership vote on 24 April in favour of the deal, revealed last week on www.thelawyer. com/lawyernews. The merger is expected to provide a platform for further international expansion, but the majority of Sinclair Roche's Hong Kong office is outside the deal, as are five London partners. The SRT merger is a de facto takeover by Stephenson Harwood. The merged firm will operate under the Stephenson Harwood banner and the management team is exclusively Stephenson Harwood. Stephenson Harwood chief executive John Pike will keep his position, as will senior partner Andrew Such. Sinclair Roche's managing partner Jeff Morgan has been co-opted to the firm's 13-member Partnership Council for just one year. All of Sinclair Roche's equity partners who are joining the merged firm will get equity. Stephenson Harwood will adopt the Sinclair Roche equity system, which splits partners into junior and senior categories. The Hong Kong office is a separate partnership from the rest of Sinclair Roche and the unification of Sinclair Roche and Stephenson Harwood's greater China operations has been a sticking point throughout the merger negotiations as the firms are already heavily represented in the region. Head of Sinclair Roche's Hong Kong office David Beaves, admiralty partner Paul Apostolis and insolvency partner Anthony Hill are not joining, but litigation partner Sue Macnaughton is. Five of Sinclair Roche's London partners are also not joining the merger. The partners are Russell Ridley, Robert Parson, Gary Campbell, Sian Fellowes and Sian Haerd. However, the merged firm will have more than 100 partners, 625 employees and gross revenues of more than £70m worldwide. Pike said: "I'd like to say how hard everyone has worked to get this thing through, staff and partners have been tireless in their efforts." He said that Stephenson Harwood will now turn its attention to European expansion, particularly Germany and Italy, and it intends to have a presence in every key European jurisdiction within five years.