Swedish leaders cry foul as local Bar snubs conflicts reform agenda
The Swedish Bar Association has backtracked on its proposals to relax the regulations governing controlled auctions by allowing law firms to represent more than one bidder in an auction.The country's Bar Council voted against its own proposal of a compromised relaxation at a meeting last month (29 August). The decision has provoked criticism from significant players in the country including Linklaters and Vinge. The pair had lobbied the Bar Council, along with firms including Mannheimer Swartling, White & Case and Hammarskiold & Co, for the strict rules against acting for more than one client in a company auction to be changed. However, the council members opted to support small and mid-sized local firms opposing any relaxation of the rules on the grounds that it could cause them to lose market share, as well as leading to conflicts of interest and jeopardising lawyer integrity. Linklaters' former Stockholm head, Joergen Durban (pictured), who is set to leave the firm in November, hit out at the Bar Council's decision. He told Legal Week: "For Link-laters it is inconvenient that there are different rules in different jurisdictions. We want the same rules to apply wherever we operate. We need to carefully analyse this outcome to see what we will do next."
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