.Competition expert quits Linklaters & Alliance…

Linklaters & Alliance's Swedish member Lagerlaf & Leman has suffered the loss of a key partner.

Stockholm based Jonas Bergh has been tempted away to an in-house position with an unnamed multinational client.

He is a well-respected partner specialising in commercial law, competition law, mergers and acquisitions work and intellectual property.

Bergh is particularly renowned for his European Union-related competition law work.

Lagerlaf is viewed as one of the best law firms in Europe for competition law.

Lagerlaf's managing partner Ingvar Zander confirms that Bergh is leaving but refuses to say who his new employer will be.

“We have a very big multinational client with whom he has been working very closely and they have offered him a position as in-house counsel.

“He is moving to them in order to still cooperate with us and work with our lawyers.

“I cannot tell you who the client is because we never talk about our clients, except to say that it is a very big multinational company.”

Lagerlaf's clients include food giant Nestle, investment bank Lehman Brothers, the Swedish post office and Swedish investment bank Carnegie.

In August Lagerlaf worked for Nestle on a multi-million pound disposal of subsidiary Findus Foods to EQT Scandinavia BV, in which it acted alongside Allen & Overy.

At the end of 1997 Lagerlaf lost 15 lawyers, including five partners who formed their own law firm, Hammerskiold & Co. The lawyers said they were against the firm's decision to join the Alliance of European Lawyers.

However, at the time Zander claimed that the departures were prompted by a move away from lockstep-based pay to performance-related remuneration.

Lagerlaf will now have 44 partners and a total of 120 lawyers spread across the three Swedish offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.

Bergh, who joined the firm in 1985, refused to comment on his move.