Seven Clyde & Co partners walk out in continuing fallout from BLG merger
05 April 2012
Seven partners have quit Clyde & Co's
Hong Kong office, halving the firm's partner numbers in the city-state. And, in an extra blow to what was billed as a merger with "obvious potential
", all seven were previously partners at Barlow Lyde and Gilbert, the firm which vanished after last year's takeover.
As reported in Legal Week
, the seven include the office senior partner. All of them will be joining other major UK firms in HK. Last year's merger
always looked like a tough sell to the BLG partnership. The ex-firm was clearly the junior partner in the deal (hence the disappearance of its name). And in key practice areas like insurance, BLG was Clyde's major competitor. So whilst a few of the top BLG partners will have done well, others were deeply concerned about having to play nice with former bitter rivals or losing business through conflicts of interest.
The terms of the merger demanded that BLG equity partners leaving Clydes within three years would have to pay for their freedom under the terms of a lock-in agreement, with sums ranging from £30,000 to £60,000 at the top of equity. However the Hong Kong Seven managed to wriggle out of this deal and avoid having to make any payment by resigning before the end of March. The legacy partners left behind in the remains of the office must be kicking themselves (or digging down the back of the sofa for £30k).
||Celebrations as the Hong Kong Seven leave Clyde & Co |
A spokeswoman for Clydes said "As part of the merger agreement a transitional period expiring at the end of March 2012 was agreed with the legacy BLG partners in their Hong Kong office. In the event, they have decided to pursue their careers elsewhere and we wish them well