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A&O picks up corporate partner as Shearman announces Düsseldorf and Munich closures

Allen & Overy has hired Shearman & Sterling’s corporate partner Hans Diekmann as a partner in its Düsseldorf office.

Diekmann, whose start date at A&O is yet to be confirmed, joined Shearman as a partner in 1999. Before that he worked in the legal department of Deutsche Bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt for over seven years. Diekmann will become the sixth partner in A&O’s Düsseldorf office, all of which have been hired in.

Meanwhile, Shearman has confirmed that it will close its Düsseldorf and Munich offices this year, consolidating its German operations into Frankfurt. In a statement, senior partner Creighton Condon said: ‘This concentration in Frankfurt will enable us to respond to a significantly altered market in Germany while providing our clients with the same level of exceptional service that they have always expected from Shearman & Sterling. In addition, this will enable us to continue to invest in growth initiatives that will benefit our clients throughout Europe and around the world.’

On the hire of Diekmann A&O’s senior partner in Germany, Neil Weiand said: ‘Previously, it was not an option to merge with a German firm, so we decided to do it with a healthy mix of lateral hires and organic growth. We want to be a full service office. The current focus is very much on consolidating our top position in Corporate and M&A. Hans Diekmann will help us in doing so.’

The firm is also growing organically in Germany and has announced three partner promotions with effect from 1 May – employment partner Markulf Behrendt and corporate/M&A partner Malte Holthaus in Hamburg; and banking and finance partner Franz Bernhard Herding in Frankfurt.

Meanwhile Matthias Winter, a senior counsel in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s finance practice group, joined Bird & Bird’s international aviation group in Frankfurt on 17 April.

Winter’s move to Bird & Bird follows that of asset finance partners Brett Hailey in London from SNR Denton, and Leo Fattorini in Singapore, who was previously in-house counsel at Virgin Atlantic. The lateral hires also come in the wake of Bird & Bird’s 11-strong partner promotion of senior associates in early April, which saw the firm boost its European-wide IP, employment, media, energy and antitrust practices.