Euro Elite 2023: Germany – The centre holds

Euro Elite 2023: Germany – The centre holds

The German legal market has again proven its ability to thrive in the face of challenge, as law firms continued their trajectory of growth in 2022. With the largest firms reporting a 7% increase in profit after a tumultuous year, German independents are demonstrating renewed confidence in their own resilience.

After the uncertainty of Covid-19 brought major moves to a halt, the legal market is finding itself back in motion, with spin-offs and mergers becoming a more regular occurrence, though major consolidations have failed to materialise in 2022. However, many firms report difficulties in finding junior lawyers to join their ranks across practice areas. Paired with shifting client expectations that demand a more holistic approach and, as Gleiss Lutz co-managing partners Michael Arnold and Alexander Schwarz put it, ‘a demand for more integrated services rendered by law firms to clients’, firms face an increased need to demonstrate adaptability. ‘This need will also change the search profile for law firm staff in the future. In addition to traditional lawyers, the need for new professional fields is growing strongly. Summarised in one expression: “the future-ready lawyer”,’ says Elisabeth Lepique, one of the managing partners at Luther. Continue reading “Euro Elite 2023: Germany – The centre holds”

Euro Elite Germany: Bouncing back

Euro Elite Germany: Bouncing back

At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, German law firms found themselves wary of what the future might hold and prepared for the worst. Two years on, most say their fears were unwarranted – several firms have reported the last financial year to be their strongest to date. ‘The pandemic has shown the enormous resilience of the independent law firm model,’ says Alexander Ritvay, co-managing partner at Noerr. ‘The legal market in Germany recorded a 6% revenue increase in 2020 [to €253m]. We outperformed the market, as we increased our top line by 10%. The ongoing year is also looking quite strong.’

This optimism can, in part, be attributed to the fact that the predicted big slump in commercial and corporate mandates never arrived. M&A, private equity and restructuring are identified as current key drivers of activity in the legal market. ‘With the low interest rates and the liquidity that’s in the market, we believe that transactional activity – both domestic and foreign – will continue and probably increase in the forthcoming 12 months,’ says Ritvay. ‘This is likely because there is also significant reorganisation as well as restructuring going on in many industries.’ Continue reading “Euro Elite Germany: Bouncing back”

Germany focus: Age of independence

Germany focus: Age of independence

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, German law firms found themselves wary of what the future might hold and prepared for the worst. However, 18 months later, most say their fears were unwarranted and several have reported 2021 to be their financially strongest to date. The success of the leading German independents amid a global crisis raises the question of how they have adapted to a pandemic-driven environment, and whether hierarchies in the market have shifted at all as a consequence.

Germany’s economy is currently on the road to recovery. According to the government, the GDP is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2021 after it took a 5% dip the previous year. While private consumption is mostly responsible for this rebound, manufacturers are struggling in light of global supply shortages, with producers unable to adapt to increased demands after 2020 saw a halt in consumer spending. However, this has not yet stopped the upwards trajectory of economic growth.

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How the dust settles – Germany’s profession is forever changed but singular still

More than a decade after international law firms reshaped the market, Germany’s singular economy and culture is still refusing to simply conform to foreign notions. Legal Business reports.

Over the last 15 years, the German legal profession has obtained the dubious honour of being one of the most fractious major markets in the world. Today, both domestic and international law firms are still trying to come to terms with the inimitable characteristics of the economy and legal market. For many, the correct strategy is still a mystery.

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Germany: Unsung heroes

Europe has been ravaged by the debt crisis and Germany has been far from immune, but the resilience of one segment of the economy is a boon to domestic law firms. Meet the Mittelstand

Germany’s hidden champions are keeping its law firms in the pink. While European law firms continue to feel the effects of the prolonged hangover caused by the eurozone crisis and general economic malaise, a number of German domestic law firms are seeing work pour in from German family-owned, small-to-medium sized businesses, the so-called Mittelstand.

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