Slaughter and May‘s best friends in Italy and Germany will become flatmates in London, at a time when confidence is high in the European independent firms’ network.

Bonelli Erede Pappalardo and Hengeler Mueller will move into new London premises at 30 Canon Street by the end of January 2007, signing an 11-year lease on the joint offices.

As first reported on www. (18 October), both firms are to expand to have a capital markets, banking and corporate capability. As such, Bonelli will send a corporate partner to London for the first time.

Bonelli’s London office has so far focused exclusively on finance. It has made a profit of e3m (£1.6m) so far this financial calendar year, already beating last year’s e2.7m (£1.44m) total.

Meanwhile, Hengeler has transferred Frankfurt-based banking and finance partner Martin Geiger to London.

Head of Bonelli’s London office Riccardo Sallustio said: “There is a lot of synergy between the Germans and Italians, especially in finance. You could say this is a commitment to London and a commitment to the best friends network.”

Bonelli and Hengeler will share the reception, five conference rooms and the office break out room.

Spanish best friend firm Uría Menéndez was also involved in early discussions to join in the move, but last year opted to renew its existing lease at 100 Canon Street.

Slaughter and May commercial real estate partner David Beales advised both Bonelli and Hengeler on the lease agreement.

The move comes a week after Slaughter and May announced it would be moving into the same building as Bonelli, Hengeler, Uría Menéndez and French best friend Bredin Prat in Brussels.