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Third lateral hire of the week: Paul Hastings appoints Clifford Chance corporate partner in Frankfurt

Following two major hires in the City this week, US firm Paul Hastings has turned its attentions to Frankfurt with the addition of Clifford Chance corporate partner Bernd Meyer-Witting.

Meyer-Witting specialises in M&A work involving telecoms, media and energy companies and has a long history of acting for private equity firms making German acquisitions in this space.

He has been a senior figure in Clifford Chance’s German practice, sitting on the firm’s partnership council during the 2000s, but departs to become the seventh partner at Paul Hastings’ Frankfurt office.

With plans in place to double the size of its London office to 50 partners by 2020, Paul Hastings has ramped up recruitment as it targets finance and corporate work in Europe. Meyer-Witting’s arrival follows that of Linklaters’ finance veteran David Ereira and Berwin Leighton Paisner’s head of structured debt and capital markets Paul Severs this week alone.

Other arrivals this year include Duncan Woollard from King & Wood Mallesons in May to head Paul Hastings’ private equity practice in London and Ashurst banking partner Luke McDougall in April to expand its leveraged finance team in the City.

Fresh from crossing the $1bn revenue barrier in 2014, Paul Hastings has ramped up its recruitment of lateral partners across the network. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson’s former head of Asia, Douglas Freeman, joined with corporate colleague Victor Chen in Hong Kong; a nine-lawyer finance team from Ashurst led by US managing partner Eugene Ferrer arrived in the US; and heavyweight white-collar partner Robert Luskin led a five-lawyer team over to its Washington DC office from Squire Patton Boggs.

Meyer-Witting moves at a time of flux in the German market. Magic Circle rival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is mulling the closure of either Cologne or Düsseldorf and White & Case is closing its Munich office. 

The number of partners across Clifford Chance’s German network has shrunk in the past two years following several high profile exits. In the first three months of 2015, private equity co-head Oliver Felsenstein and his colleague Burc Hesse quit to join Latham & Watkins, former German corporate head Arndt Stendel exited for Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in March and energy partners Peter Rosin and Thomas Burmeister departed for White & Case.

Last month, Clifford Chance announced the appointment of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Anselm Raddatz, who started working in the firm’s Düsseldorf office this week as co-head of the firm’s German corporate practice alongside Thomas Krecek.