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International round-up: Morgan Lewis opens second German office as Taylor Wessing welcomes new Ireland partners

Morgan Lewis is to open a Munich office with a team of 20 lawyers from Shearman & Sterling, in what are the latest departures from Shearman as its merger talks with Hogan Lovells collapsed. Morgan Lewis’s new transactional and regulatory team will focus on M&A, private equity, finance and tax.

Partners Florian Harder, Florian Zielger and Jann Jetter will lead the Munich office. Harder, head of  Shearman’s German office, will be Morgan Lewis’ Munich managing partner. He has represented international corporates, strategic investors and private equity firms on M&A transactions for German and cross-border deals.  Ziegler is a leveraged finance partner, concentrating on both German and cross-border leveraged finance transactions, while Jetter leads the tax advisory practice, which has a focus on post-deal reorganisations and integrations, as well as tax-orientated structuring of private equity funds and private equity transactions.

The firm already has a Frankfurt presence, with over 20 lawyers practising across the manufacturing, energy, technology, life sciences, financial services, and automotive services sectors. Its Frankfurt office dispute resolution team is ranked in tier 4 in the latest Legal 500 EMEA guide, with key clients including Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Tschechische Republik and Hamburg Commercial.

Firm chair Jami McKeon said: ‘Germany is one of the most significant legal markets in Europe, and its importance is only growing’. She added: ‘Having two offices in Germany expands our broad global corporate practice and will further position us as an elite legal service provider and strategic partner for our clients in Germany and around the world.’

Managing partner Steven Wall said: ‘Munich is a dynamic hub with strategic importance to several industry sectors including private equity, infrastructure, energy, life sciences, and technology, and presents strong opportunities with intellectual property given that Munich is where the European Patent Office is headquartered.’

The firm felt that now was the right time to establish a Munich presence due to the expertise offered by the Shearman team. McKeon commented: ‘We have diligently eyed this market for some time to find the right high-calibre team that builds on our existing practice while adding to our strong culture of collaboration. We anticipate that the entire office, including the business professional team, will join us -enabling our new Munich office to operate at full speed on day one.’

Meanwhile, In Ireland, Taylor Wessing has hired two new partners to expand its finance and real estate offerings. Libby Garvey and Órlaith Molloy will be joining the firm’s Dublin office.

Legal 500 Hall of Fame-ranked Garvey is the former head of finance and projects at Addleshaw Goddard. Her clients include Irish and international banks and financial institutions who she advises on acquisition financing and bilateral and syndicated facilities.  Molloy moves from DWF, where she was head of real estate in Ireland and specialises in high-value commercial real estate, including retail, hotel, offices, and logistic centres.

Adam Griffiths, partner and head of Taylor Wessing’s Dublin office said: ‘Growing our team of international experts on the ground in Dublin is hugely valuable to our clients, including private equity sponsors and corporates pursuing M&A opportunities. Banking & finance and real estate are areas core to our growth plans, and we couldn’t have hired more credible leaders than Libby and Órlaith. They are both extremely well connected in the Irish ecosystem and will elevate our reputation for supporting clients through our specialist sector expertise, including with respect to technology, life sciences, healthcare, real estate, energy and infrastructure.’

Managing partner Shane Gleghorn added: ‘We are delighted that our team in Ireland is growing in a way that supports the needs of our clients. These two hires create a strong offering that matches our client demand. Libby is a senior banking and finance lawyer with a significant deal of experience, including in the real estate sector. Órlaith is equally well regarded as a specialist in commercial and corporate real estate. We are seeing increasing demand from our clients in relation to the Irish market, and these two hires are a significant step towards building a team that covers the key sector strengths of Taylor Wessing.’