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20 December 2000

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MERGER
NEWS

Lovells goes Dutch with Ekelmans Den
Hollander

From 1 May 2001, Lovells and
Amsterdam based firm Ekelmans Den Hollander will officially merge.  Partners at the law firms voted
overwhelmingly to go ahead with the merger on Friday 8th
December.  Jan de Snaijer and Bert
Oosting will continue to manage the Dutch practice in the combined
firm.

The future of the Dutch
practice looks set for expansion in the form of lateral hires, and the addition
of other areas of expertise including a Dutch tax capability. Ekelmans’ has an
impressive client list including Glaxo Welcom, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme,
Honeywell, Rabobank and Holland’s third largest bank, Fortis.

Warner Cranston merges with Reed Smith

From 1 January 2001, city
firm Warner Cranston will merge with Pittsburg practice Reed Smith.  Warner Cranston senior partner, Ian
Fagelson has declared that the firm has been approached by many US firms in the
past, but Reed Smith is the most compatible with practices in insurance,
finance, banking and e-commerce. 
The UK office will be called Reed Smith Warner Cranston, and will be
known as Reed Smith elsewhere.  The
new law firm will have 670 lawyers.

Rakisons merges with
Steptoe & Johnson

From 31 December 2000,
Telecoms specialist Rakisons will merge with US practice Steptoe & Johnson.
The UK practice will be known as Steptoe Johnson Rakisons for the first year
after which ‘Rakisons’ will be dropped from the name.  Lon Bouknight, chairman of Steptoe and
Johnson will maintain his role at the merged firm.

Osbornes’
German ally merges with Bappert Witz &
Selbherr

German law firm Graf von Westphalen
Fritze & Modest has secured a merger deal with Freiburg-based IP/IT
specialist Bappert Witz & Selbherr. 
The new firm’s brand name is still to be decided.  The merger is good news for Osbornes’,
as Graf von Westphalen Fritze & Modest is a member of the OWA network.  Adrian Taylor, OWA chief executive feels
that Bapperts fits perfectly with the strategy being developed by OWA in
Germany.

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