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‘A city of significant interest’: Reed Smith launches in Frankfurt with raid on US rivals

Nearly a year in planning, Reed Smith has opened its second German office with seven partners arriving from Mayer Brown; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Jones Day to launch the firm in Frankfurt.

Ten years after first arriving in the country with an office in Munich, Reed Smith will open in one of Europe’s largest financial centres with partners in finance, corporate, regulatory, private equity and real estate.

M&A partner Andreas Jürgens and restructuring partner Volker Kammel join the firm from Jones Day. They will be joined by Mayer Brown’s Dirk-Peter Flor and Simon Grieser, who are both finance partners.

Reed Smith has also moved to pick up real estate partner Martin Meissner from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, which announced earlier this year that it will cut the size of its German network in half by closing its Frankfurt and Berlin offices.

The team will be completed by Willkie Farr & Gallagher duo Rolf Hünermann, who currently heads the firm’s German compliance and enforcement group, and M&A partner Octávio de Sousa, who has a strong client base in the private equity space. Hünermann joined Willkie in 2007 from Clifford Chance as part of a five-lawyer switch and made partner in the process.

Officially opening 1 June, Reed Smith’s Frankfurt office will be led by current Munich managing partner Stefan Kugler, a capital markets specialist who sits on the firm’s executive committee. The hires take the total number of partners across Reed Smith’s German operation to 20, with 13 partners currently working out of Munich.

‘Frankfurt has been a city of significant interest to us for some time,’ said Kugler. ‘Having built strong foundations in Munich, our goal is to add to our existing bench strength and also broaden our full- service offering to support the growing needs of our clients with interests in the German market.’

Reed Smith has been aggressively growing its financial industry group in Europe and secured the hire of Berwin Leighton Paisner’s structured finance chief Tamara Box in 2011. Box, who now chairs Reed Smith’s financial industry group, said: ‘Our great strength in the financial industry and the fact that so many of our clients are based in or significantly present in Frankfurt – a global financial centre – makes this move a natural fit.’

Alexander Thomas, Reed Smith’s global managing partner added: ‘The vast majority of our top clients in the finance sector have operations in Germany and our relationships with them continue to expand. This new presence in Frankfurt is testament to our continued investment in both the finance sector and our transactional practice globally.’