Moving and merging in Europe

Despite the draw of Asia and Africa, Europe continues to be a key focus for many Anglo-Saxon firms – and the past fortnight has demonstrated this perfectly.


UK firm Osborne Clarke dismantled its European alliance last year, merging with its Italian and Spanish allies and setting out a plan to launch in Belgium and France. The firm has now made good on its promise, first taking a team from its former Belgian ally De Wolf & Partners for Brussels and following up with the appointment of De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés partner Béatrice Delmas-Linel for Paris.

Delmas-Linel fits Osborne Clarke’s technology-focused strategy well, with past experience in-house at Microsoft. She is also that rare thing in the French market, a female managing partner, which is something to be welcomed.

Meanwhile Osborne Clarke has also been rejigging its German management team to set it up for the next phase of growth, some nine months after launching in Hamburg.

Another firm to expand in Europe this month is Hogan Lovells. The firm has turned to Benelux outfit Nauta Dutilh for a six-strong team to launch in Luxembourg, which, in the wake of the introduction of the EU’s alternative investment fund managers directive, is keen to consolidate its leadership in the funds sphere.

Further south, Baker & McKenzie is finalising plans to take on some 20 lawyers from Spanish firm Ramón y Cajal. The move just shows that while all the talk continues to be about emerging markets, there is plenty of value in Europe