Significant Events

New neighbors and empty offices

Who is opening where and who has withdrawn

In Berlin:

  • US firm Hausfeld launched in Germany with the former antitrust head from Deutsche Bahn – and is playing a role in the lawsuit against Volkswagen (more…).
  • 3A, a spinoff launched by experienced partners from CMS Hasche Sigle, specializes in real estate (more…).
  • A large team split from Freshfields and launched Blomstein, focusing on regulatory work (more…).
  • China’s biggest firm, Yingke Law Firm, opened in Germany via a cooperation. The outfit launched as Yingke Dr. Köhler (more…).

In Düsseldorf

  • British insurance law firm Clyde & Co. opened with a team from Noerr (more…).
  • Pinsent Masons opened its second German office with energy lawyers from KPMG Law and quickly landed new lawyers (more…).
  • Herbert Smith Freehills opened with the former Clifford head of litigation and quickly bolstered its ranks (more…).
  • The boutique Vossius & Partner has opened in preparation for the new European patent court (more…).
  • Several associates from Clifford’s renowned pharma practice founded Novacos (more…).

In Frankfurt:

  • US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher launched in Germany with respected partners from Latham & Watkins (more…).
  • Employment boutique Pusch Wahlig has set its sights on the banking sector (more…).
  • Boston firm Goodwin Procter entered the market with lawyers from Ashurst (more…).

In Hamburg

  • Freshfields spinoff Chatham Partners focuses on infrastructure, energy and real estate projects (more…).
  • Lawyers from Freshfields and Roxin established the firm Neuwerk (more…).

In Cologne:

  • British firm Ince & Co. opened with insurance lawyers from CMS Hasche Sigle and BLD (more…).
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer closed its office, most of the lawyers moved to Düsseldorf (more…).

In Leipzig:

  • Once the leading firm in the region, Mohns Tintelnot Pruggmayer Vennemann fell apart, benefiting mainly Gruendelpartner and Petersen Hardraht Pruggmayer (more…).

In Munich:

  • K&L Gates opened with a banking and capital markets lawyer from King & Wood Mallesons (more…).
  • Dentons opened with 20 lawyers, mainly from Norton Rose Fulbright. Germany is part of the firm’s global expansion strategy (more…).
  • The current developments and the future role of the city in patent law tempted Hoyng ROKH Monegier to open in south Germany (more…).
  • The IP outfit Ratner Prestia is also banking on the future European patent system (more…).
  • Lawyers from Hengeler Mueller launched Ego Humrich Wyen (more…).
  • White & Case closed its office and moved its lawyers to Frankfurt, the office’s only remaining equity partner moved to PwC Legal (more…).

Under pressure

How firms are responding to the increasingly competitive market

  • In early 2016, the most profitable firms appointed fewer equity partners than in the previous year (minus 14 percent) (more…).
  • Clifford Chance (more…), Ashurst (more…) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (more…) have made lockstep systems more flexible, Linklaters (more…) has established a task force to examine its lockstep system.
  • Discussions about lockstep are also taking place at Allen & Overy in Germany (more…).
  • King & Wood Mallesons wants to thin out its partner ranks in Europe and resolves upon recapitalization (more…).
  • Osborne Clarke introduced new levels in its hierarchy and fixed expected working hours at 2,000 (more…).
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer entered into a cooperation with the software provider Leverton.


The bait is set

Firms wooing highly qualified new talent

  • Firms planned to hire more in 2016 than 2015 (more…).
  • US firms Latham & Watkins, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Kirkland & Ellis raised starting salaries to 125,000 euros (more…).
  • Hengeler Mueller also upped its starting salaries to 120,000 euros (with LL.M) and 110,000 euros (without LL.M) respectively (more…).
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher introduced a starting bonus of 15,000 euros, bringing the total to 130,000 euros (more…).
  • Mittelstand advisors beefed up: Esche Schümann Commichau, Kümmerlein and Menold Bezler launched a joint recruitment program.
  • White & Case altered its salary structures and extended the track to local partner status (more…).

Cards are reshuffled

Companies hone their instruction practices

  • EnBW: The energy giant restructured its panel.14 law firms, including smaller Mittelstand outfits, were retained. General Counsel Bernd-Michael Zinow wants to reduce expenditure on external lawyers by ten per cent (more…).
  • Royal Dutch Shell: The corporate shrank its global panel to six law firms and abolished its German panel completely. The company wants to save several million euros. The next step: an offshore legal center (more…).
  • British Telecom: The British company was the first to react to the Brexit vote.  Now there are to be to two panels: one for the UK and one international panel.

Companies undergoing an overhaul

It is not always crises that turn companies on their heads

  • Deutsche Bank: In almost no other DAX company does the revolving door turn so fast as it does at Deutsche Bank. Well-known figures, incl. global governance head Daniela Weber-Rey and Dr. Ulrich Göres, who came from Ersten Bank in Vienna as anti-money laundering head, packed their bags. Weber-Rey’s post was taken over by Dr. Florian Drinhausen (more…). Shearman & Sterling partner Georg Thoma left the supervisory board to be replaced by Prof. Dr. Stefan Simon, previously partner at Flick Gocke Schaumburg (more…).
  • Deutsche Bahn: Since Ronald Pofalla took over the legal department, two renowned company lawyers, head GC Marianne Motherby and antitrust head Christopher Rother, have left. The legal team is now led by Bahn veteran Dr. Alexander Gommlich. Rother’s post falls victim to the department reshuffle, he is now at the law firm Hausfeld (more…).
  • Volkswagen: For at least a year, the car manufacturer has been fighting the diesel scandal and kept a whole host of lawyers busy. Long-standing head GC Michael Ganninger has left the company, with Dr. Manfred Döss (executive at Porsche SE) taking over his role. Döss and new VW executive Dr. Christiane Hohmann-Dennhardt attempt to get to grips with the legal situation (more…).
  • Daimler: The loss of executive Hohmann-Dennhardt to VW forced Daimler to go back to the drawing board. Legal department head Renata Jungo Brüngger took over the reins for the executive department integrity and law. The legal department is now headed by Dr. Thomas Laubert (more…).