Stockholm office of Hamilton Advokatbyrå merges with Nilsson

Swedish firm Hamilton Advokatbyrå has split from its regional offices and merged with another Stockholm firm, Nilsson & Co, after the Lehman Brothers collapse forced the firm to rethink its niche practice.

The firm is now aiming to compete with larger, full-service firms in Stockholm.

Prior to the restructuring Hamilton had 100 lawyers through collaborations with offices in Malmö, Falun, Karlstad and Växjö. After discussions with Stockholm, these firms split from the Hamilton brand and will continue as independent offices.

The newly merged, Stockholm-focused firm has 56 lawyers, including 20 partners, and a turnover of around €16.3m (£14.04m). The firm also has a representative office in London.

According to managing partner Thomas Nygren the firm, which used to focus on transactions and restructuring work, was forced to consider changing its model after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

“We’re a transaction firm but we also do a lot of restructuring work handling certain transactions,” said Nygren. “But after Lehman, a lot of other firms started offering the same services so we wanted to build a full service firm.”

The firm did not have to look far for a merger partner. Nilsson & Co occupied a floor in the same building as Hamilton and had equally strong reasons for wanting to merge.

“Nilsson is very strong in litigation and set up the firm two and a half years ago as a boutique,” said Nygren, “but after a year they realised that they weren’t really making use of their lawyers with specialised competencies.”

Hamilton is already recruiting partners to further build the firm, with between 70 and 80 lawyers Nygren’s ideal number, though he says that another merger is unlikely.