Law firms Bird & Bird and Lane & Partners LLP to merge

18 September 2008

International law firm Bird & Bird and renowned London firm Lane & Partners LLP today announce that they are to merge under the Bird & Bird brand, with effect from 1st October 2008.

Founded in 1974, Lane & Partners has more than 30 lawyers with a range of highly regarded practice areas. The firm is widely recognised for punching above its weight. The merger considerably strengthens Bird & Bird’s London operation, with Lane & Partners’ lawyers bringing a rich network of domestic and international clients, as well as strength in many sectors such as aviation, travel, art, construction, engineering and utilities.

In addition, the merger will lead to a combined team of over 100 contentious lawyers in London alone, with expertise in dealing with the full range of dispute-related matters from contract management and mediation to major international litigation and arbitration. In combination with the international litigation capability of the firm’s other offices in Europe and Asia, the merger will give Bird & Bird clients an unparalleled cross border service and significantly enhance the firm’s litigation and dispute handling capabilities across all its sectors.

Lane & Partners’ expertise in mid-market corporate work will also boost Bird & Bird’s existing corporate practice.

Commenting on the merger, David Kerr, Bird & Bird’s CEO said; “Lane & Partners has a strong reputation for providing quality services to an excellent range of clients and we are delighted that they have agreed to merge with us. Lane & Partners has real strength in a number of our core sectors and practice areas and also has many complementary areas of excellence. We therefore see this merger as a great opportunity and an important expansion step for us in the UK. It follows considerable international growth, with our merger with Fennica in Finland in May and the opening of our four new Central European offices earlier this month.

We think the merger makes for a compelling proposition for Lane & Partners’ clients, giving them access to our international network. Lane & Partners has an unusually international practice both in terms of where its clients are located and the geographic range of its work.”

Keith Gallon, Senior Partner at Lane & Partners LLP, said; "This is a great development for Lane & Partners as it means we can further meet the demands of our increasingly international client base. Our clients will benefit from the enhanced international capability Bird & Bird offers, as well as from the firm’s experience in key sectors and practice areas. We believe that our clients, as well as our people, will benefit from the many new opportunities the merger will undoubtedly create.”

Based in London, Lane & Partners has always been very international in its client base and its practice. It has an outstanding reputation in aviation, art, construction and engineering, mid-market corporate work, dispute resolution, energy and the travel industry.

Bird & Bird is a full service international commercial law firm with offices in Beijing, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, The Hague, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stockholm and Warsaw.

The merged firm will have over 700 lawyers worldwide including 190 partners.

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For more information please contact:
Derek Gilmour or Ben Girdlestone
Tel: +44(0)20 7415 6079 / +44(0)20 79826470
Email: derek.gilmour@twobirds.com or ben.girdlestone@twobirds.com