The bulk of Hogan & Hartson’s Berlin office has shunned the firm’s imminent merger with Lovells because of potential conflicts, spinning out to create a new firm instead.
This is despite the fact that the merged firm will face a potential conflict over Hogan’s relationship with numerous Rupert Murdoch-owned businesses and Lovells’ commitment to trophy client ITV (8 February 2010).
While Lovells does not view a Berlin office as being strategically important, having closed its base there in 2006 (30 August 2006), Hogan’s offering in the city is viewed as being relevant to the local market, which has a strong media focus.
That said, Hogan chairman Warren Gorrell said the firm fully supports the new arrangement and is working with Raue to ensure a smooth transition.
“The lawyers who are leaving have contributed significantly to the success of our Berlin office, and we wish them well as they build a new firm,” he said.
News of the Berlin split comes after Hogan’s entire Warsaw office defected to K&L Gates (8 March 2010).