Hogan Lovells‘ Hamburg office managing partner Eckard Schwarz has resigned over claims of illegal surveillance by an employee of former client EWE Group.
The renewed interest in Germany’s legal market continues apace with US firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to launch in Frankfurt after hiring Latham & Watkins corporate partners Dirk Oberbracht and Wilhelm Reinhardt. Continue reading “Gibson Dunn continues Germany push, launching in Frankfurt with double Latham hire”
DWF opens in Germany through local acquisition while Pinsents strengthens Munich with four-partner team
Just a week after launching its first office in continental Europe in Brussels, DWF has acquired the four-partner German arm of commercial and tax outfit BridgehouseLaw to establish a footprint in Europe’s biggest market.
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’.
Third party litigation funder Burford Capital is investing €30m in US competition law boutique Hausfeld so it can open in Germany.
Olswang’s German offering has been served a further blow after losing its entire Berlin office, with intellectual property (IP) partner and head of the filing and prosecution team, Herbert Kunz, leaving the firm’s Munich outpost along with one other lawyer and three staff.
Freshfields among firms in talks to take over the office
The last 12 months have been quite a whirlwind at Olswang. Following the surprise exit of chief executive David Stewart last autumn, the firm had only just appointed intellectual property (IP) partner Paul Stevens as its new chief executive in May, when last month its entire Berlin outpost announced it was splitting off.