SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

Office Launches

November 2014
Frankfurt: US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld launches an office in Germany for Bingham McCutchen with five lawyers.
Stuttgart: Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek lands GSK ­Stockmann + Kollegen’s entire office.

February 2015
Comeback: Various lawyers and tax advisors from MDP firm Alegis join the Andersen Tax network.

April 2015
Hamburg: Flick Gocke Schaumburg announces the launch of its fifth German office.

May 2015
Tehran: Wülfing Zeuner Rechel is the first German firm to open an office in Iran.

July 2015
Frankfurt: Reed Smith lands seven partners from four different firms for its second German office.
Canada: Pohlmann & Company opens its first foreign office in Montreal with an in-house lawyer from SNC Lavalin.

August 2015
Berlin: Olswang’s Berlin office joins Greenberg Traurig.

The most significant spinoffs

Spinoffs

November 2014
Munich: Three Munich employment lawyers from Bird & Bird launch Emplawyers Falder Walk Bertram.

March 2015
Düsseldorf: A large proportion of employment lawyers left Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe to start Frings Partners.

April 2015
Alicante: Hogan Lovells’s best known IP partner in the region launches Bomhard.

May 2015
Hamburg: Two partners from Taylor Wessing and an in-house counsel from MPC join forces under the banner Pier 11 Göthel Rossbach Schmitz.

June 2015
Munich: Private equity lawyers from DLA Piper form Lupp + Partner.

September 2015
Düsseldorf: Preu Bohlig & Partner loses its Düsseldorf IP partners, who formed Kather Augenstein in January 2016.

The most significant mergers and breakups

Mergers and Breakups

January 2015
Boutiques: Hamburg corporate firm Renzenbrink Raschke von Knobelsdorff Heiser splits to form Raschke von Knobelsdorff Heiser and Renzenbrink & Partner. Both boost their teams with laterals.
Boutiques: The name partners of Frick Quedenfeld, a firm specializing in white collar and tax criminal law, launch their own outfits.

February 2015
Insolvency: HWW Wienberg Wilhelm und Hermann merge to become one of the largest firms of crisis experts.

June 2015
Accounting firms: The merger of RBS RoeverBroennerSusat and Mazars gives rise to the eighth largest accounting firm in Germany.
Closures: Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe closes its offices in Berlin and Frankfurt, leaving only Düsseldorf and Munich. The majority of the 17 lawyers affected move to competitors.
Accounting firms: The trend towards MDP outfits continues with the merger of Baker Tilly Roelfs and the TPW group.

July 2015
Boutiques: Düsseldorf IP firm Reimann Osterrieth Köhler Haft merges with top international IP boutique Hoyng Monegier.

August 2015
Integration: Following extensive discussions, Heisse Kursawe decides to merge with its ally Eversheds.
Merger: Mittelstand firms Arnecke Siebold and Sibeth join forces under the banner Arnecke Sibeth Siebold.
Separation: Energy law firm Scholtka & Partner splits: one team joins PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal, six other lawyers move to Beiten Burkhardt.

Significant management decisions

Management Decisions

December 2014
Closure: Allen & Overy announces the closure of its office in Mannheim in summer 2015. The lawyers move to Frankfurt.
Dual leadership: For the first time since entering the German market, DLA Piper banks on two German managing partners with Dr. Benjamin Parameswaran and Dr. Bernd Borgmann.

December 2014/February 2015
Triple leadership: Bird & Bird establishes a new management team: Sven-Erik Heun, Dr. Jan Byok and Dr. Michael Alt steer the German office for the next three years.

January 2015
Restructuring: Clifford Chance announces plans to streamline its partnership. Several partners leave the firm. The newly appointed managing partner Dr. Peter Dieners implements the project initiated by London.
Concentration: SKW Schwarz focuses its operational management in the hands of two partners, Markus von Fuchs und Andreas Seidel; up to now the board and various committees played a strong role.

July 2015
Outsourced: Following in the footsteps of Latham & Watkins, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer establishes a central branch for business tasks in Manchester.

Law firms in the spotlight

Law Firms in the Spotlight

March 2015
Liability: Around 30 funds and the insolvency administrator of Hamburg issuing house Wölbern Invest, Tjark Thies from the firm Reimer, sue Bird & Bird for damages of at least 130 millionen euros. The plaintiffs instruct Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, Bird & Bird banks on Ince & Co, later changing to Kaye Scholer.

August 2015
Fee dispute: Frankfurt Regional Court (Landgericht) orders Hengeler Mueller to repay 4.5 million euros to the insolvency administrator of Q-Cells. The firm launches an appeal.

The most significant in-house trends

In-House Trends

November 2014/January 2015
Trade: Roland Kirsten, long-standing Director of Legal & Corporate Affairs at Douglas, leaves the Hagener concern. He is succeeded by Dr. Johannes Schulte, previously Group General Counsel at Unify.

December 2014/October 2015
Banks: Deutsche Bank reshuffles its executive board. Dr. Stephan Leithner gives the helm of the legal department to Christian Sewing. A long-anticipated decision comes in summer 2015: General Counsel Richard Walker is to step down at the turn of the year and is succeeded by Simon Dodds (London) and Dr. Christoph von Dryander (Frankfurt).

January 2015
Foodstuffs: Danone establishes a compliance department in France with Dr. Alexander Jüngling, previously Chief Compliance Officer at Bilfinger.

February 2015
Banks: Head General Counsel of HSH Nordbank, Dr. Stefan Brügmann, moves to Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba) in Frankfurt. Experienced banking lawyer Dr. Michael Berghaus will takeover his post at HSH.

March/May 2015
In-house status: Following the decision by the Federal Social Court (Bundessozialgericht) to overturn the pension exemption for in-house counsel, discussions over the professional status of in-house counsel. The Federal Ministry of Justice submits a paper proposing changes to the German Federal Lawyers’ Act, followed shortly after by a draft bill. Its aim is to categorize in-house counsel as lawyers.

March/July 2015
Financing services: Elisabeth Roegele becomes the new executive director of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, BaFin, giving up her office as president of the Federal Association of In-House Lawyers (BUJ) and her post as head general counsel at DekaBank. Her successor at Deka is Norton Rose Fulbright partner Dr. Caroline Herkströter.

April 2015
Energy: Dr. Bernd-Michael Zinow becomes the new general counsel at EnBW. In the course of his arrival, the corporate undergoes a reshuffle and alters the tasks of the legal department.

May 2015
Industry: Rheinmetall lands an experienced head general counsel with Dr. Rolf Giebeler, who remains a partner at Hermes & Giebeler.

July 2015
Authorities: Dr. Chris Mögelin takes over the helm of the litigation department at the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). His predecessor, Gerlinde Schmitt-Kanthak, now presides over Ruling Chamber 2.