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Dentons expands again, opening Munich office with Norton Rose team

Dentons will launch an office in Munich this summer in a bid to strengthen its corporate offering with the recruit of three partners from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Alexander von Bergwelt will serve as managing partner for the Munich office and will be responsible for building and leading the new team. He specialises in corporate M&A, joint ventures, private equity, business restructuring, and litigation.

He joins along with corporate M&A partner Michael Malterer, and corporate and tax partner Igsaan Varachia.

With more than 100 fee earners in Germany, the Munich office is the firm’s latest investment into the German market having hired 12 new partners in Berlin and Frankfurt since the start of 2015.

Dentons Europe chief executive Tomasz Dąbrowski said: ‘This reputable team will complement our strong capabilities across Germany to meet the growing needs of our clients. Our new office in Munich is an important milestone in our strategy for Germany and Europe and will provide a solid platform for future growth.’

Germany managing partner Andreas Ziegenhagen told Legal Business: ‘Our growth strategy for Germany meant Munich was the natural next step. We had no office in the south with links to Stuttgart’.

He added: ‘Where you’ve seen firms expand in the country or downsize isn’t so much an indication of the domestic legal market but depends on the strategy of the law firm – whether it has the full service approach. Germany is more centralised than France – you have some firms with only the strategic view to do corporate M&A or banking and finance work – they don’t need many offices.’

It follows the firm’s announcement on Monday (9 May) that it has established a free-to-use law firm referral network, dubbed ‘Nextlaw Global Referral Network’, which uses a technology-focused platform allowing member law firms to ‘easily connect and track referrals.’

Other firms making strategic investment in Germany include US firm Sidley Austin which is in the process of launching a Munich office, a move which will be the firm’s first base in Germany since axing its Frankfurt office in 2014 following a spate of partner exits.

Subscribers can read more about Dentons in the feature ‘The pitch – A new kind of global law firm emerges but can Dentons live up to the hype?’