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March 23, 2010 12:47 PM

More Hogan Departures Before Lovells Merger

Posted by Zach Lowe

In late January we broke the news that Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi had decided to open a New York office with three partners it had lured from Lovells. One reason behind the move, according to a source: The partners were worried about client conflicts that would develop once Lovells completes its merger with Hogan & Hartson on May 1. 

They weren't the only ones concerned about merger fallout. With a week to go before Hogan Lovells becomes official, 18 Hogan partners have broken away from Hogan's Berlin office and moved to form their own firm, called Raue, in Germany, according to the U.K. publication Legal Week. The reason? We'll let Christian von Hammerstein, one of the partners leading the charge, explain (via Legal Week): "Over the last weeks and months we have received the clear message from the market that our clients would like to work in close partnership with a focused, medium-sized firm." In the past few weeks, when lawyers have discussed the benefits of moving from a megafirm to a medium-size firm or boutique, they've spoken mostly about the ability to offer lower billing rates to clients. 

Raue will start with a total of 40 lawyers and will focus on energy, real estate, and media law, Legal Week says. 

Hogan's Warsaw office also opted out of the Hogan-Lovells merger when it joined K&L Gates last month. The merged Hogan Lovells firm will still have 350 lawyers in five offices in Germany, Legal Week says.

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