Boutiques will benefit from Brexit as big firms struggle to future-proof

There is something strange happening in the legal market. A new breed of law firm is emerging – not the traditional geared partnership structure but a small agile animal that is highly specialised in its feeding habits: the boutique law firm. Unlike the traditional full service model, boutique firms are typically highly specialised, run by senior lawyers and characterised by low gearing.

This article was contributed by Euclid Law founding partner Oliver Bretz and Edge Legal founding partner Damien Geradin. The two boutique firms merged in February 2017 under the banner Euclid Law

You can read the full “The Lawyer” article here.

Euclid Law lures another magic circle lawyer with Linklaters hire

European competition boutiques have lured another magic circle lawyer to their ranks with Linklaters consultant Gavin Robert joining Euclid Law.

Robert was a partner at Linklaters for 14 years until 2013 when he became a consultant.

He joins former Clifford Chance head of antitrust Oliver Bretz, who established Euclid in early 2015.

Bretz spent 15 years at Clifford Chance and headed up its competition group for five years from 2010.

His exit from the firm followed Allen & Overy global competition head Olivier Fréget leaving to set up Paris competition boutique Cabinet Fréget – Tasso de Panafieu (CFTP) just months earlier.

In the same year Clifford Chance competition partner Stephen Croswell, who headed the Hong Kong antitrust team, and Brussels partner Johan Ysewyn also left the firm. Crosswell joined Baker & McKenze, while Ysewyn moved to Covington & Burling to head its competition practice.

Euclid is now a two-partner firm having promoted Allen & Overy lawyer Sarah Long to the partnership in May. It operates from offices in Brussels and London.

Robert said Euclid “really appealed” due to “the dynamism of what Oliver has set up and his market reputation”.

He added it would be a change of pace moving from a 500-partner law firm to a two-partner one, but said “there is increasing space and demand for smaller boutique firms.

“Euclid Law has carved out a unique position of providing clients with strategic competition law advice without the trappings of a large law firm,” Robert continued.

Robert is also a panel member of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and lectures on competition law at Cambridge University.

Bretz said: “We have known each other for over 20 years, having worked together at Linklaters. He will be a great addition to our team.”

Linklaters has been pushing its competition practice in the last year with a number of hires including Bakers & McKenzie global disputes chair Tom Cassels in London in November and Bakers New York partner Douglas Tween one month earlier.

By Tabby Kinder

Clifford Chance competition partner leaves to set up Brussels boutique

Clifford Chance EU public policy head and competition partner Oliver Bretz is to leave the firm in the New Year to set up an independent competition law boutique.

Bretz will set up the boutique in 2015, 16 years after joining the firm. The partner was formerly Clifford Chance’s antitrust head and became head of EU public policy in 2010 (21 October 2010).

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