Salans is poised to take on five of Altheimer & Gray’s remaining offices, giving the firm a presence in four new Central and Eastern European jurisdictions and its first office in Asia.
The acquisition of the new offices in Prague, Bucharest, Bratislava and Istanbul will take Salans’ number of Eastern European offices to 10. It also looks likely that Altheimer’s associated office in Budapest will come on board.
The deal also sees Salans make its first foray into Asia, as it acquires the eight-lawyer Shanghai office that Altheimer opened in 1996.
In total the firm will take on 13 partners and more than 50 lawyers. Although Salans’ partners will not finish voting on the merger until next week, one source said that it is pretty much a done deal.
However, uncertainty still hangs over the future of Altheimer’s Warsaw and Kiev offices. It is thought that Salans turned down the offices because it already has a sizeable presence in those regions.
It is also understood that the Paris office, which was never fully merged with Altheimer, may choose to remain independent.
Coudert Brothers, Squire Sanders & Dempsey and Chadbourne & Parke, all of which have been chasing those offices set to go to Salans, are still believed to be fighting it out for the Warsaw & Kiev offices.