MARC BARTEL, the secretary general of the Alliance of European Lawyers, has left to join Hildebrandt, the international legal management consultancy firm.
Bartel's departure comes at a crucial time for the alliance, whose negotiations with Linklaters over a potential link-up are due to conclude before the end of the month.
He was brought in by the Alliance three years ago to act as a strategic adviser.
He refused to comment on the state of the Alliance-Linklaters talks, but said his offer to join Hildebrandts was “too good to refuse.”
As a consultant at Hildebrandt's International Practice Group, he will advise US and UK firms on strategies for expanding their practices.
Brad Hildebrandt, chairman of Hildebrandts, said: “Bartel offers unique insights into developing international strategies for law firms.”