Weil Gotshal & Manges will shutter its Prague office at the start of next year—its third office closure in 18 months. 

The firm’s four Prague partners are leaving to launch their own independent firm, and Weil plans to maintain a relationship with the new firm.

Karel Muzikar, Karel Drevinek, Petr Severa and Karolina Horakova, whose practices include M&A, banking and finance, private equity and international arbitration and trade, will officially leave Weil at the start of 2019.

“This evolution of the practice offers both the U.S. and Czech practices the freedom and flexibility to address issues faced by them in the different business environments in which they operate, while at the same time allowing the two separate firms the freedom to continue to work with each other when needed for client relationships,” Weil executive partner Barry Wolf said.

The closure is Weil’s second continental Europe office shuttering this year. The U.S. firm closed its Budapest office in January, with a 20-strong team from the office—including two partners—moving to Bird & Bird.

Meanwhile, the firm cut its sole office in the Middle East last year when it shut its office in Dubai.

Other firms have also cut back their presence in continental Europe in recent years. Hogan Lovells shut its Prague base in 2014, while last year DLA Piper closed its offices in Berlin and in the former Soviet republic of GeorgiaFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer also slimmed down in Europe in 2017, closing its Cologne office.