Legal Business Blogs

DLA to open new Germany base as Paul Weiss hires from Simpson and Macfarlanes for Brussels bow

DLA Piper has expanded its presence in Germany with the opening of its fifth office there, with confirmation of the move coming as Paul Weiss pushes ahead with a competition launch in Brussels.

Adding to its offices in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, and Munich, DLA Piper is set to establish in Düsseldorf on 15 April this year.

The new Düsseldorf office, under the leadership of office managing partner Michael Cieslarczyk, will comprise members of the firm’s existing 290-lawyer team in Germany. Joining Cieslarczyk will be corporate partner Murad Daghles and recently appointed employment partner Christian Freiherr von Buddenbrock and his team, known for their expertise in company pension schemes.

The firm will look to move to permanent offices in the city next year.

News of DLA Piper’s latest European expansion comes in a week of moves on the continent. Paul Weiss is set to follow its high profile London re-launch with a planned opening in Brussels, with confirmation of the launch coming on the back of a record-breaking financial year for the US firm, with revenue surging by nearly 11% in 2023 to reach $2bn.

The much-touted move sees the firm add antitrust partners Ross Ferguson from Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett and Richard Pepper from Macfarlanes for the launch.

The launch represents Paul Weiss’s first steps into continental Europe and comes amid an ambitious English-law build out under the leadership of high profile acquisition finance partner Neel Sachdev and private equity partner Roger Johnson, who joined from Kirkland last year.

DLA Piper and Paul Weiss’s expansion coincides with a strategic decision by major German law firm Noerr to separate from four of its CEE offices situated in Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest, and Prague. These offices will now join forces with European independent Kinstellar under a non-exclusive friendly cooperation arrangement.

Alexander Ritvay, co-managing partner at Noerr, explained the rationale behind this decision: ‘We have been pursuing a strategy of qualitative growth for many years. While this strategy is working very well in Germany, we have to recognise that the CEE markets have not developed in a comparable way.’