UK: Launch of New European Legal Alliance with a Presence in 12 European Cities
Last Updated: 5 February 2002

Five leading commercial law firms are launching the European Legal Alliance. It will give the firms a full presence in London, seven German cities (Berlin, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich), Paris, Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The firms are:

  • Field Fisher Waterhouse in England
  • Buse Heberer Fromm in Germany
  • Dubarry le Douarin Veil in France
  • Beauchamps in Ireland
  • Harper Macleod in Scotland

The firms have worked together for some years and, from 1 April 2002, will operate under a single brand on an exclusive basis with each other.

The common identity will comprise the alliance brand and the individual firm’s name. Cross-border matters will, at the option of the client, be managed by a single client partner and clients will receive a single bill. The firms will share knowledge and resources. There will also be an ongoing programme of secondments between firms.

Mark Abell, one of the FFW members of the executive, says:

"We have undertaken a good deal of research into understanding clients’ needs. It became clear that we need to be able to provide a full service in all the key European jurisdictions.

"Establishing large overseas offices was not viable. Likewise, making pan-European mergers work can be extremely difficult. The alliance will provide clients with all the service features of a merged firm without the issues associated with profit sharing structures which, after all, are of no interest to clients. We believe that this is a completely new approach based upon continual convergence."

The next phase in the alliance’s development is for Italian and Spanish firms to join. This will be closely followed by establishing a presence in other key European jurisdictions.

For further information, please contact:

Field Fisher Waterhouse

35 Vine Street

London EC3N 2AA

Mark Abell (Alliance Executive Partner)

John Hartle (Marketing Director)

Tamzin Hindmarch (Marketing Executive)

Harper Macleod

The Ca'd'oro

45 Gordon Street

Glasgow G13PE

Lorne Crerar (Managing Partner)

Laura Vernett (Marketing Director)


Dollard House

Wellington Quay

Dublin 2

Imelda Reynolds (Managing Partner)

David Dodd (Marketing Manager

Field Fisher Waterhouse is a City of London law firm comprising 71 partners and a total of some 230 legal staff. It has a reputation for providing an excellent all-round service to an impressive list of UK and international clients. The firm’s core practice areas are: banking and finance; corporate finance; brands, technology, media and telecommunications; and commercial property. The firm is also well known for its expertise in a number of industry sectors including aviation; communications and media; energy; financial services; franchising; hotels and leisure; and travel and tourism.

Buse Heberer Fromm is one of the leading commercial law firms in Germany. From offices in seven key cities – Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Essen, Munich and Leipzig – a team of more than 120 lawyers serves the needs of national and international clients in all aspects of today’s business affairs. Dubarry Le Douarin Veil is a medium-sized firm based in Paris comprising 11 partners and a total of 30 lawyers. It has an excellent reputation for its expertise in corporate transactions and commercial work for French companies and multinationals. Specialist support is provided on tax, employment, real estate and planning and environmental law.

Harper Macleod is one of Scotland’s leading commercial law firms comprising 19 partners, a total staff of 120 and offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The firm has a reputation for innovation, a firm to watch. Its structure has been successfully developed to provide clients, ranging from blue chip UK and multi-national companies, UK and international financial institutions to local and public authorities, with a flexible, tailored legal service. Harper Macleod’s core specialisms include commercial property, corporate, housing, litigation and recoveries. The firm is also ranked in the top 3 in Scotland in employment, sport and social housing.

Beauchamps is one of Ireland’s leading full service law firms with expertise in all aspects of commercial, information technology, e-commerce, employment, franchising, litigation, property, sports and telecommunications. The firm offers a comprehensive and professional commitment to its corporate and private clients.

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on in that way. Specific advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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