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Latham picks up three-partner Shearman team for Düsseldorf launch

Latham & Watkins is to further expand its German corporate capability with the launch of a Düsseldorf office after hiring a three-partner team from US rival Shearman & Sterling.

Corporate and M&A partners Harald Selzner, Rainer Wilke and Martin Neuhaus will spearhead the new office, while Latham has also hired Shearman corporate litigator Markus Rieder to join its Munich office.

The hires – which come following Shearman’s announcement that it is to close its Düsseldorf and Munich offices  – are in line with Latham’s strategy to extend its corporate reach.

According to Munich managing partner (MP) Thomas Fox – who will also serve as the new MP of Düsseldorf – the firm is looking for German partners with German connections that can raise the firm’s client base with the likes of DAX 30 companies. Those include Eon, holding company Tengelmann Group, car manufacturer Daimler and Allianz, as well as large family-owned German mid-sized companies.

The new corporate team, which will be boosted by the transfer to Düsseldorf of Frankfurt litigation partner Christine Gartner, will advise on domestic and cross-border M&A and high end public company representation and complex disputes matters. The new office is expected to open at the end of May. Latham also has a presence in Hamburg and Frankfurt.

Latham’s chair and managing partner Robert Dell said: ‘We are focused on growing our business with blue chip industrials and other multinational companies, and this team fits our strategy perfectly. Our newest office in Düsseldorf, one of the world’s major industrial centers and a hub for manufacturing excellence and innovation, will be a key gateway for the strategic growth of our corporate capability.’

Joerg Kirchner, vice chair of Latham & Watkins’ global corporate department added: ‘The anticipated arrival of this team follows several significant lateral partner additions in London, continental Europe and the US; all of whom bring profound talents and will contribute significantly to the growth of our corporate and litigation capability.’

Allen & Overy recently hired Shearman Düsseldorf corporate partner Hans Diekmann for its local office.