A spokesman for the firm told TheLawyer.com the closure is not related to the upcoming merger, but the fact the seven-partner office had underperformed in recent years.
“For many years since its opening in 1995 the Chicago office produced strong results, focusing on major disputes and arbitrations, primarily in the reinsurance market,” Managing Partner David Harris said in a statement provided to TheLawyer.com
“This is an area which has seen changes in work patterns and the office has been affected by a number of significant conflict situations. Despite the best efforts of partners in Chicago and elsewhere, this has had an impact on the office’s overall performance in recent years and the position is not expected to change.
“This is a Lovells decision, taken following consultation with the Chicago partners who support it. Hogan & Hartson are aware of and understand the reasons behind it.”
The plan still must be approved by the firm’s partners, but if given the go-ahead, the firm plans to shutter its Chicago office Oct. 31. The office, which focuses on reinsurance litigation and arbitration, has a total staff of 47 people.
According to TheLawyer.com, Lovells is attempting to see if the seven Chicago partners can be relocated to another office, though there is no guarantee it will be possible.