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Shutting down Sweden: Ashurst’s Stockholm outpost defects to local firm

Ashurst has closed its Swedish offering Ashurst Stockholm, with the entire team of 30 staff moving to fellow Stockholm-based firm Hamilton.

The Ashurst team, which compromises managing partner Jon Ericson and partners Pontus Bergsten, Eric Halvarsson and Mats Johnsson, will join Hamilton along with a team of 21 other lawyers and five support staff. Of counsel Charles Andersson and counsel Fredrik Hag will be made up to partner upon joining Hamilton.

Ashurst Stockholm opened in 2007 with a focus on public and private M&A, finance, private equity, equity capital markets, restructuring and special situations and energy, resources and infrastructure. The team also provided legal services in relation to employment, IP/IT, compliance, real estate, competition and EU law, litigation and arbitration and commercial contracts.

A statement on Hamilton’s website confirmed the team will join on 1 July adding ‘the firm will operate under the Hamilton name, and will combine Hamilton’s leading position in dispute resolution and insolvency with Ashurst Stockholm’s strengths in M&A and banking and finance.’ In a release Ashurst said it will maintain a referral relationship with Hamilton on a non-exclusive basis.

Ashurst managing partner Paul Jenkins said: ‘The relationship with Hamilton will ensure that international clients undertaking business in Sweden will continue to have access to top-class Swedish legal advice and Swedish clients will be able to access Ashurst’s international network for outbound work. This mutually beneficial relationship between the two firms will ensure that there is a broader platform to service client needs.’

In January Ashurst put plans to open a base in South Korea on hold. While plans were already stagnated, they were understood to come to a halt last year after a team of Ashurst partners led by its then Tokyo managing partner John McClenahan exited to spearhead US firm King & Spalding’s launch in Tokyo.

Ashurst first showed its interest in Seoul alongside plans to launch a second office in China shortly after it merged with Australian firm Blake Dawson in 2011, and went ahead with its Beijing office plans the following year.