National law firm Hammond Suddards Edge is on the verge of breaking into the French market as it enters the final stages of merger talks with Paris-based firm Hausmann & Associés.
Partners are meeting today (12 February) to vote on whether to proceed with the plans to merge. If successful, Paris will only be Hammonds' second international office since the opening of its Brussels office in 1990.
Until recently, Hammonds was a member of the Commercial Law Affiliates, an international association of law firms. However, it pulled out after a disagreement over the speed of integration.
Hausmann is a five-partner traditional business firm specialising in corporate law and intellectual property, set up in 1995 by Christian Hausmann. But it only ranks 82nd among French law firms in terms of turnover. Its clients are mainly mid-sized companies, but many have an international presence and 70 per cent of Hausmann's turnover comes from international business.
Today's meeting is thought to include a vote on forming possible partnerships in a number of other countries, including Italy, Germany, Spain and Holland.