Clifford Chance German practice suffers further partner exits

Clifford Chance German practice suffers further partner exits

Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance (CC) has seen multiple partner exits from its German operations in recent weeks with longstanding capital markets partner Markus Pfüller and trademark head Thorsten Vormann becoming the latest, leaving for SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz and K&L Gates respectively.

Reasons suggested for the exodus, which has already seen at least nine lawyers leave including eight partners, point towards a long-term cultural and strategic divide between CC and the German firm it merged with in 2000, Pünder, Volhard, Weber & Axster. One partner at the firm says: ‘The majority of partners came from the 2000 merger with Pünder. There was a difference in culture and since the merger, things improved day-to-day but not on the general standing of what kind of clients we want to advise and where they come from. That has never been solved or overcome.’

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Taylor Wessing fills German head of private equity slot with Skadden hire as Bird & Bird bolsters Frankfurt

Taylor Wessing fills German head of private equity slot with Skadden hire as Bird & Bird bolsters Frankfurt

Taylor Wessing has hired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom M&A partner Walter Henle to fill the role of German private equity head. The hire comes as separately, former Skadden Arps partner Peter Veranneman joins Bird & Bird’s Frankfurt and Dusseldorf offices from German bond company DGVA Continue reading “Taylor Wessing fills German head of private equity slot with Skadden hire as Bird & Bird bolsters Frankfurt”

Berlin office closure for King & Wood following partner departures and ‘strategic review’

Berlin office closure for King & Wood following partner departures and ‘strategic review’

Following signifcant movement within the German arms of major international firms of late, King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin (KWMSJB) has pointed to a strategic review of its German operations for the decision to close its Berlin office, after venture capital duo Frank Vogel and Jan Dirk Heerma resigned with the intention to set up their own boutique. Continue reading “Berlin office closure for King & Wood following partner departures and ‘strategic review’”

Divided we fall – Sidley Austin announces review of Frankfurt office following partner departures

Divided we fall – Sidley Austin announces review of Frankfurt office following partner departures

Europe’s largest and one of its most highly divided economies, Germany has put many law firms’ strategy to the test and today (25 February) Sidley Austin announced that it has placed its Frankfurt office under review following a number of partner departures.

The Global 100 top 15 firm’s announcement – which follows the decision by Shearman & Sterling last year to close its Dusseldorf and Munich offices and consolidate its efforts in Frankfurt, as Latham & Watkins also last May announced the launch of a further German office in Dusseldorf – comes after Sidley tax partner Werner Geisselmeier left for Pinsent Masons’ Munich office in December last year, leaving the office with only one partner. Continue reading “Divided we fall – Sidley Austin announces review of Frankfurt office following partner departures”

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

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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More drama from Berlin – criticism of Hogan Lovells client led to departure by partner now leading team to rival

Surprise surrounding last week’s announcement that Hogan Lovells’ 30-lawyer Berlin arm is leaving to launch a German law practice for Morrison & Foerster has been compounded by the indications that local TMT partner Christoph Wagner was earlier asked to leave the firm for publicly criticising a client.

The decision by the 2,527-lawyer Anglo/American firm came after Wagner wrote an article in German newspaper FAZ looking at the antitrust concerns surrounding Deutsche Telekom’s decision to impose data limits on its flat rate internet connections, which German journalists have reportedly warned is a threat to the freedom of the web. Continue reading “More drama from Berlin – criticism of Hogan Lovells client led to departure by partner now leading team to rival”

HSF sees more City departures but secures German launch

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has been hit by a string of key departures from its lucrative disputes practice.

Simon Bushell, who co-chaired the corporate fraud and asset tracing group at HSF, is set to join Latham & Watkins’ City office imminently. His departure marks the fourth high-profile litigation exit since the start of the year after Martyn Hopper, who was head of the firm’s successful financial services regulation practice, and Nikunj Kiri both left for Linklaters in January.

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Germany: Unsung heroes

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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