Field Fisher Waterhouse‘s (FFW) European Legal Alliance has been scrapped, a week before its fourth birthday.
In its place FFW has launched shiny new international offices in Brussels and Hamburg, with the prospect of a Paris merger with Dubarry le Douarin Veil to follow. See story.
Whenever bits of Europe are being carved up like this, it generally signals a row between the English and the Germans.
The decline and fall of the European Legal Alliance is no different.
FFW managing partner Moira Gilmour told The Lawyer that there had been “creative differences” over the direction of the alliance with German alliance member Buse Heberer Fromm.
Which is one way of putting it.
FFW wanted closer integration after it realised that the alliance was just not a compelling proposition. Competitors such as Bird & Bird and Pinsent Masons have established European operations, and even Olswang and Osborne Clarke have presences in Germany now.
Buse had its own plans, said “Nein” to FFW and the European Legal Alliance was doomed. FFW is now left to scrabble together the remains of its failed experiment.