Stibbe Simont commits to Continental strategy

European firm Stibbe Simont Monahan Duhot has rebranded itself under the single name of Stibbe. This rebranding acts as confirmation of the firm’s commitment not to seek an Anglo-Saxon merger.

Managing partner Allard Metzelaar says of the rebranding: “The main reason for doing this is that it expresses what we are, which is a single, integrated, international firm. Having gone through the process of merger and amalgamation in the 1990s, we think we are there now, although it remains a continuous process.”

The single name originates from top-tier Dutch firm Stibbe Blaisse & De Jong, which merged with Brussels-based Simont & Simont in 1991. Stibbe & Simont merged with Paris firm Monahan & Duhot in 1993.

The rebranding comes after a difficult year for Stibbe, in which it lost partners from each of its three main offices and pulled out of merger talks with Lovells.

Metzelaar says: “We talk to our clients all the time. The feedback is that we should continue as we are. Incredible as it may sound, we’ve never been let down by a client because we have not merged.”

He adds: “It would be unwise to rule out anything completely, but we’re certainly not discussing a merger. Instead, we are concentrating on building the Stibbe firm and strengthening our position, but who knows what will happen two years from now.”

Furthermore, Metzelaar says that a further Continental merger is more likely than an Anglo-Saxon link-up. Stibbe continues to work with best friend Slaughter and May.