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Greenberg Traurig lands Olswang’s Berlin office to open in Germany

Greenberg Traurig has launched its first office in Germany with the mass hire of Olswang’s 50-strong lawyer team in Berlin.

Some 50 lawyers including 14 partners, with current senior associate Henrik Armah being made up in the move, and all current staff from Olswang’s office joining the US firm in the German capital as its launches its 38th international outpost.

The new German base will open its doors on 1 October 2015, as the firm’s fourth European office after London, Amsterdam and Warsaw. The Berlin-based team focuses on corporate, M&A, finance, and restructuring, and has experience of advising on real estate, technology, telecommunications, media, and infrastructure matters. 

The office hire and launch comes as Greenberg aims to combine the German real estate group with its existing real estate practices in the US and Europe. In Warsaw, Greenberg improved its real estate offering in May this year by bringing in partners from Allen & Overy and Norton Rose Fulbright as part of a 12-lawyer hire.

Christian Schede, who will serve as the German managing shareholder for Greenberg, said: ‘Greenberg Traurig’s award-winning corporate, M&A, real estate, technology, media, and telecoms practices are a perfect fit with our top-ranking German offering. Greenberg Traurig’s entrepreneurial focus, its growth strategy, and its international network enable us and our emerging talent to shape our future.’

Greenberg’s chief executive Richard Rosenbaum added: ‘We waited patiently for years to find the right time, the right place, and especially the right people, and we could not be more pleased with this opportunity. With empowered leadership on the ground, we are confident this will be an important enhancement to the firm’s global platform.’

The news comes after the TMT firm announced in June that 13 equity partners were set to exit the Berlin outpost in a ‘decoupling’ alongside the entire 50-strong lawyer office. At the time, Morrison & Foerster and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, among other firms, were understood to be frontrunners in the race to land the team.

Olswang first opened its Berlin office in 2007 and built its team with hires from Linklaters and Freshfields, a move which included the hire of Schede. The Berlin split relates to ongoing unrest in the firm’s City headquarters which first surfaced after the firm’s former chief executive David Stewart stood down last October. He recently reappeared six months later as a partner at offshore Turks and Caicos firm Griffiths & Partners.