Camerons registers in Prague

Cameron McKenna has appointed a Czech partner to its Prague office and, in a unique move, has registered the office as a Czech partnership.

The restructuring is the firm's response to new Czech regulations stipulating that all lawyers working in the country must be independent advocates, thereby preventing firms from employing fee earners.

Under the restructuring the Prague office has become a Czech-registered general commercial partnership known as Cameron McKenna vso.

Cameron McKenna's UK senior partner in Prague, Duncan Weston, is one of the new firm's two partners.

The other is a new recruit, Petr Skacel, who was previously a partner at Lovell White Durrant in Prague before setting up his own partnership in the city last year. There are also plans to appoint a third US-qualified partner.

The firm also has an association with a two-lawyer Czech partnership, Glatzova, working out of the same building in Prague.

Weston said the move signalled the firm's determination to maintain a “a fully-fledged practice”.

He added: “We have been here for six years now, and have built up a substantial amount of work in the Republic, particularly in the area of privatisation,”

However, Andrew Matthews of Clifford Chance in Prague expressed surprise that Camerons was registering itself as a full legal entity in the Czech republic.

He said: “Since the changes to the regulations, all the other foreign firms in the country, and many Czech firms as well, have turned themselves into associations rather than doing what Camerons has done. These associations are un-incorporated joint ventures which are quite similar to UK-style partnerships. Because they don't have a legal structure they are much easier to change.”