Salans muscles in on Olswang’s US friend

Greenberg to step up international drive with closer ties to European giant

Salans muscles in on <a class=Olswang’s US friend” />Olswang’s relationship with US alliance partner Greenberg Traurig is being challenged ;as ;the ;Miami-­headquartered firm looks to expand its international ­coverage via closer ties with European firm Salans.

Greenberg, ;which ­accesses the Italian market through an alliance with local firm Santa Maria ­Studio Legale, has had a strategic alliance with Olswang ;since ;2005, ­allowing it to access the UK firm’s offices in Berlin, ­Brussels and London.

A tie-up with Salans, which has a well-developed network of offices across Eastern Europe, would enhance significantly Greenberg’s reach in the region.

Greenberg executive chairman Cesar Alvarez said the firm had got to know Salans very well over the past three years, adding that he was keen to strengthen the ties between the two firms.

Alvarez said: “We’re not a firm that’s grown via merger. We add partners and are very cautious with any alliance we consider.

“At the same time we need to realise that we’ll have to conquer the international market in a different way. A merger or further strategic alliances may well be in the future in Europe.”

Salans has long pursued a tie-up with a US firm. In 2006 The Lawyer reported that merger talks with K&L Gates had broken down, leaving Salans searching for an alliance to provide a ­platform for further US expansion (The Lawyer, 11 September 2006).

Salans is also understood to have been in embryonic merger discussions with international firm DLA Piper in 2008.

Although ­Greenberg will strengthen its relationship with Salans, the firm said ;it ;will ­continue with its strategic alliance with Olswang to provide access to the UK legal market.

Alvarez said: “Our ­relationship ;with Olswang has been very ­successful and we hope to continue with that over the coming years.”

Olswang did not return calls for comment.

For more on this story, see today’s feature.