Racine alliance creates Belgian base

French firm Racine has signed an exclusive alliance agreement with Belgian firm Vergels to create a new firm called Racine & Vergels.

Racine will keep its name in France but Vergels will adopt the new name in Belgium.

The move came after Racine swallowed up six-lawyer M&A boutique Boisséson & Associés last month.

The firm has embarked on a new growth strategy over the past few months, adding a transactional capability to complement its main practice area of litigation.

The alliance with Vergels will give Racine access to a competition law group in Brussels.

Racine managing partner Bruno Cavalié said: “Most of our clients operate in France and abroad.

“Some of them actually told us about their wish to get us involved with them internationally, as they felt this was the only way for them to get the same permanent quality of service abroad.”

Clients of Racine include Air France, Electricité de France, Gaz de France, Gucci and Hermes. The two firms will service each other’s clients in their relevant jurisdictions.

Bertrand Asscherickx, managing partner of Vergels, said: “[The alliance] will allow our mutual development while keeping a close control on how we want to service our clients.”

He added: “We share a vision with Racine, a mixture of innovation and classicism.”

Vergels has 26 lawyers, nine of whom are partners. Racine is bigger, with 22 partners and 50 associates. Last year the firm recorded a revenue of e12m (£8.10m).