Euro-firm sprouts branch in Brussels

THE new European tripartite firm, Liedekerke Simeon Wessing, has opened an office in Brussels.

The office is an extension of the alliance forged in September between French firm Simeon & Associes, Belgian firm Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck & Kirkpatrick and the German firm Wessing Berenberg-Gossler Zimmermann Lange.

The agreement allows each firm to offer its clients direct access to legal advice on the domestic laws of the other member firms and gives it access to an international network of offices that includes Brussels, Paris, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Poland, Vietnam and China.

The purpose of the Brussels office is for the firms to combine their European law practices to cover relations with the European institutions and the implementation of Community Law.

The general alliance will be known as “The Conference of European Lawyers” and will look at ways of developing the firms' cooperation in all aspects of the law.

This alliance comes three years after the collapse of Simeon & Associes' international alliance with London firm Macfarlanes, Munich firm Norr Stiefenhofer & Lutz and US firm O'Melveny & Myers. The alliance broke up, as did many Anglo-French collaborations, because of a lack of referral work.

Bernard Simeon, senior partner at Simeons, confirmed that the alliance would be looking to recruit more member firms. To this end, he was already talking to two Dutch practices, he said.

The alliance is not a merger and the three firms will remain financially independent.