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‘London’s dominance is slightly dwindling’: Simmons appoints German head to new European client relations role

Simmons & Simmons has created a new head of European client relations role in an effort to support continental clients in the post-Brexit landscape.

The position will be filled by the firm’s current German country head and longstanding global disputes chief, Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff. Aldenhoff, who has run the firm’s disputes function for 13 years, will be winding down his fee-earning to focus on the new role.

Aldenhoff told Legal Business he will be encouraging the cross-selling of clients throughout Europe, as well as assisting clients with post-Brexit transitions. He said: ‘Half of our revenues are originated outside of the UK. We’re not trying to replace the UK of course, but the dominance of London is slightly dwindling. “Decline” would be too strong of a term for London, but it’s basically a consequence of Brexit. Our clients are on a dual track these days, rather than putting all their eggs into the UK basket.’

UK disputes chief Emily Monastiriotis has been named as Aldenhoff’s successor for the global role, and she told Legal Business: ‘The UK practice makes up roughly half of the firm’s global dispute resolution revenue, and I feel like I’ve guided the UK practice into a good position. Now is the time for me to focus on the other half – with Brexit and the horrible situation in Ukraine, our international practice is more important than ever.’

Monastiriotis outlined her three key priorities – first, she hopes to enhance Simmons’ brand awareness and profile across the continent. Secondly, Monastiriotis will encourage the global disputes team to ‘think as one team without borders’ in order to collaborate with the firm’s international clients. And finally, she will increasingly leverage Simmons’ legal tech arm, Wavelength, to better serve clients.

Last week, Simmons unveiled solid financial results, headlined by a 6% growth in global turnover. Managing partner Jeremy Hoyland outlined the importance of the firm’s European network, which was underpinned by the recently established Munich patent prosecution practice: in January, Simmons hired a group of attorneys from the Munich office of Isenbruck Bösl Hörschler.