Legal Business

‘Challenging to maintain’: German market has volatile November

Germany saw a flurry of activity last month, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and White & Case pulling out of several markets and consolidating their operations, while Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) went the other way and set up shop in Düsseldorf.

Freshfields announced plans to cut one of its six offices in the region, with its Cologne and Düsseldorf bases set to merge in 2016. The cut means 240 fee-earners will be located in one office – which is yet to be decided, though Cologne is regarded as more likely to shut – as the Magic Circle reconfigures its German operations. A spokesperson at the firm said the merger is ‘not driven by cost or a requirement to downsize’, but to create ‘greater efficiency’ and have ‘more lawyers in a single location to offer a stronger and more specialist platform’.