Recommended for M&A by the Legal 500, Schmid was headhunted from Weil, after sitting across the table from US firm Orrick, whose German M&A partner Jörg Ritter was impressed by Schmid’s commercial insight and skill.
Schmid’s practice focuses on cross-border and domestic private equity, mergers & acquisitions and restructuring transactions. Recent deals included advising US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly on its acquisition of German animal vaccine maker Lohmann SE, and representing German biotech company MorphoSys on various matters including its acquisition of Dutch biopharmaceutical company Lanthio Pharma.
Schmid told Legal Business the new position based in Munich, which he starts in November, would provide him with the ‘entrepreneurial freedom’ which he did not have at his old firm.
‘It was the combination of opportunities from the business, and entrepreneurial freedom, and what they have in their team which has a lot of young talent and backing and commitment to grow its business in the transactions area which attracted me,’ he said.
While Schmid said he had not asked any colleagues to join him at his new firm, that would be reassessed in a few months’ time.
The German market has not been an easy ride for Orrick, which announced in April it would close its Frankfurt and Berlin offices, focusing on Düsseldorf and Munich. It had first expanded in Germany in 2008 by combining with local firm Hölters & Elsing.