Hammonds fights to retain Brussels trio

Hammonds’ Brussels office has been hit by the resignation of its three most senior partners, but the firm is refusing to let the trio go without a fight.

Brussels office head Konstantinos Adamantopoulos, competition head José Rivas and trade partner Edward Borovikov have all resigned and are seeking a new firm, as first revealed on www.the lawyer.com (1 September).

The firm’s management has entered crisis discussions with the three partners to try to convince them to stay.

Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley told The Lawyer: “We’re optimistic that we’ll resolve their issues.”

Crossley declined to comment about the nature of the discussions, but confirmed that there was a “short timetable” to conclude them.

As well as being Brussels head, Adamantopoulos is a member of Hammonds’ partnership board after being elected in December 2005.

The three partners practice a mixture of trade and competition law and have particular links to Spanish, Greek and Russian clients, as well as the European Commission.

Brussels was Hammonds’ first European office, opened in 1990 before the firm had even opened in London.

If they go they will leave behind them partners Jonathan Branton, who was made up in 2003, and Steven Geerlings, hired from GE Commercial Distribution Finance in 2004.

The Brussels news means that 10 partners have quit since the firm’s 14-month equity partner lock-in came to an end on 30 June 2006.