Olswang is closing three European bases ahead of its May merger with CMS and Nabarro, as lawyers from the firm’s Madrid and Brussels offices transfer over to team up with their CMS counterparts.

The firm has confirmed that its Madrid office closed on 31 January. Three lawyers from the base have moved over to CMS in the Spanish capital – partner Blanca Escribano, who will lead the TMT and IP teams, of counsel Sofia Fontanals and associate Marcos Garcia-Gasco.

Meanwhile, all six lawyers in Olswang’s Brussels office – which will close at the end of April – are joining CMS’s local arm. The team includes Brussels managing partner Dirk Van Liedekerke, who will join CMS as a partner at the end of April. His practice focuses on EU and Belgian competition and regulatory law, with a particular specialism in TMT.

He will be joined at CMS by five associates – Alexis Laes, Joelle Froidmont, Matthieu van Lierde, Raphael Fleischer and Romain Alderweireldt – as well as Nabarro Brussels managing associate Rachel Bickler, the sole lawyer in the firm’s Brussels base, who will join as of counsel.

Meanwhile, Olswang’s Paris operation will close next Tuesday (28 February), after Legal Week revealed in November that the Paris team had relocated to temporary premises. The firm – which at that time had 16 lawyers in the French capital, including seven partners – signed a short-term Paris lease with Regus, a company that provides flexible and temporary workspaces.

According to its website, Olswang now has just seven lawyers in Paris, including three partners. Recent departures include Paris managing partner and corporate head Guillaume Kessler, who left for Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in January, and tax partner Julien Monsenego, who joined Gowling WLG earlier this month.

The future of Olswang’s Munich base remains uncertain. Discussions are still ongoing over the future of the office, which has 16 lawyers, including five partners, as well as 10 staff comprising patent engineers and PAs.

Legal Week reported in September that Olswang Munich and Paris partners were considering alternatives to the three-way merger. Other firms to have been linked to Olswang’s Munich base include Cooley and Fieldfisher, which is understood to have held talks about recruiting partners from the office.