Speechlys pledges third European office after Withers talks collapse

Speechly Bircham has set out plans for “significant team hire” following the end of its merger talks with Withers.

Michael Lingens

The two firms voted this week on whether to merge and confirmed today (23 May 2013) they were not going ahead with the plans.

However Speechlys’ senior partner Michael Lingens has now said the firm will remain independent and plans to follow its Zurich and Luxembourg launches (6 June 2011) with a third European outpost later this year.

In a statement he said: “Our discussions with Withers were both interesting and positive but both sides separately concluded that we should pursue independent paths.

“For Speechly Bircham, that means continuing our strategy of developing our well-established commercial and private wealth practices in an increasingly international context. We have recently opened an office in Zurich as part of our focus on international private wealth, and growth in the funds and tax work of our Luxembourg office has just led us to move to larger offices there.

“We intend to open a third office in a major European location this autumn, with a significant team hire. The office will be focused on providing corporate and tax services to a commercial client base in line with the profile of our other offices.”

Speechlys hired Clifford Chance corporate counsel François Lerusse as a partner in Luxembourg along with senior associate Hélène Arvis earlier this year, and at the same time announced it was moving to larger premises in the jurisdiction (16 April 2013).

Speechlys recently elected James Carter as managing partner, with Lingens moving to the senior partner role after 15 years as managing partner.