Taylor Wessing has been having a good ride for the past couple of years, with its profit heading significantly north. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before it suffered a reversal.

As we report today, half of Taylor Wessing’s Berlin lawyers have quit for transatlantic firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham following internal ructions after a contested election. The firm’s German managing partner Wolfgang Rehmann downplayed the exits, saying: “It’s a fact of life.”

The details of exactly what has been going on in Berlin are still sketchy, but sources say there has been a pretty spectacular falling out. Half an office doesn’t just throw all of its toys out of the pram and up sticks without good reason.

The Anglo-German firm is spinning this as “a local issue”, not something that affects the whole.

Oh, really?

As one UK managing partner put it this morning: “The jury’s still out as to whether their merger’s worked or not, and indeed, whether it really is one firm.”

Describing this mass exit as “a local issue” just reinforces the impression of an uncohesive firm. Taylor Wessing’s German end, and Berlin in particular, will have to work hard next year to prove otherwise.

Matt Byrne, associate editor