The lion’s share of Altheimer & Gray’s (A&G) European operation has found a new home with Salans, which plans to take on five of the collapsed Chicago firm’s offices.
But, in a bittersweet twist, A&G’s four European-based equity partners risk losing between $500,000 (£309,500) and $750,000 (£464,300) in capital contributions in the floundering firm, which is in the process of meeting creditor demands as it lumbers towards its dissolution deadline of 1 November.
The week-long voting has already begun at Salans, where partners are expected to give the go-ahead to integrate the Prague, Bucharest, Bratislava, Istanbul and Shanghai offices – first made public on www.thelawyer.com on 17 September. Also up for grabs is A&G’s associated office in Budapest, which is also expected to join Salans’ European network.
A&G’s 28-lawyer Warsaw office, where Salans already has a presence, is believed to be the subject of attention from Coudert Brothers, Squire Sanders & Dempsey and Chadbourne & Parke. The latter firm has already grabbed A&G’s Kiev office.
It is not clear what plans A&G’s Paris office has made regarding its future. In September last year, Cournot joined the A&G network, yet never fully merged with the US firm, prompting the possibility that the firm could revert to being an independent practice.
Salans’ acquisition will see 13 former A&G partners and more than 50 associates join the firm.
It is understood that seven of the 13 A&G partners will be admitted into equity at Salans, which operates a modified lockstep remuneration system.
The equity partners will include A&G’s former European head Robert Bata and former head of the international group Louis Goldman, who resigned from the firm in May.
According to sources, A&G’s four former equity partners are not expecting to see the return of their capital contributions in the withering Chicago firm, although they will probably secure new funding from Salans’ bank.
Midlands and Thames Valley firm Darbys has hired a new head for the corporate finance unit. Phil Riman joins from 3i, where he spent five years in-house, advising on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and venture capital issues with an emphasis on the US market.