Three well-known commercial law firms are entering into an alliance in the European legal market.

Under the umbrella brand ADVANT, the major German law firm Beiten Burkhardt is now working more closely with the Italian law firm NCTM and the French law firm Altan.

With the legal form of a Swiss association, the financial independence of the ADVANT partners is retained.

Together they come to 600 professionals, 140 of them full partners and a total turnover of 216 million euros in the past financial year 2020.

Marcus Jung

Editor in business.

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“Our law firms have been working together trustingly for many years.

During this time it has been shown that our values ​​and our vision for the future match very well, ”says Philipp Cotta, antitrust lawyer and currently Managing Partner of Beiten Burkhardt.

In the course of entering the market, the three partners will be using ADVANT in their respective law firms - the German law firm will now operate under the name ADVANT Beiten.

ADVANT Beiten has a long-term relationship with NCTM, which has repeatedly attracted attention in its home market as an expansion-friendly unit.

On the other hand, the contacts with Altana only deepened in the considerations of establishing a common umbrella organization.

Each member office sends two representatives to the board of the Swiss Association, and the committee is regularly chaired by a president.

This office will initially be taken over by the ADVANT Beiten partner Cotta from Munich.

It is a declared aim to address further member law firms from other European economies.

The focus should therefore be on Benelux, Spain and Scandinavia.

International, but independent

With their step towards closer international cooperation, the ADVANT law firms are taking a similar path as the French law firm Fidal and their German partner Luther did in the spring. Both partnerships founded the Unyer organization, which is also recruiting new members. Also on Wednesday, Luther announced that he had won the Italian law firm Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati as a new member for Unyer. With 135 million euros most recently, Pirola is one of the law firms with the highest turnover in Italy.

After Brexit and as a result of the globalization of legal advice, reliable contacts for independent commercial law firms have become more important than ever.

Those who decided not to merge with an Anglo-American law firm have so far often chosen a global law firm network such as Lex Mundi or made agreements with a number of befriended law firms. 

With Advant, the three founding members now have 11 locations in Europe as well as offices in Shanghai and Beijing.

In an interview with the FAZ, Managing Partner Cotta admits that further expansion was definitely a driver for the ADVANT law firm alliance: "With the help of our umbrella brand, we also want to strengthen our business in important markets such as North America and Asia and become more visible there."

For Beiten Burkhardt in particular, the new name and a stronger global focus are an immense step. At almost 31 years of age, she has been on the market the longest by a long way among the ADVANT partners. In Germany it is often perceived as a commercial law firm from Munich, where it also has an important location with important specialist areas such as corporate and labor law as far as conflict resolution. Starting in 2002, the Isar began to break away from the close cooperation with the Big Four auditing company KPMG. However, it was not until 2004 that the rules for multidisciplinary units such as the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act” were tightened completely. Over the years, Beiten Burkhardt has grown into a technically broad-based law firm with currently 265 lawyers,Another hallmark was her work in Eastern Europe and Russia, where the law firm has its own locations.

Help in the job market

This orientation appealed to young lawyers who wanted to specialize in this business area in particular.

Until now, it was less known that ADVANT Beiten also has very good contacts in North America.

Recently, the number of German law graduates has been falling, and the competition for good young lawyers has increased.

Cotta would like the new umbrella brand to be a door opener here too.

“The international presence through ADVANT will also help us in the future with the recruitment of young lawyers.

Nowadays, many young professionals orient themselves towards the brands that promise international contacts and thus global work.

As a German law firm, we still see considerable potential here, ”says the Managing Partner of ADVANT Beiten of the FAZ 

In surveys by career networks and specialist publications, the well-known law firm brands such as Freshfields, CMS, German automotive groups such as Daimler or the Foreign Office are regularly popular with young professionals. Only then do major German law firms follow at a distance.