The Berlin office of Hammond Suddards Edge has hired corporate tax lawyer Jens Uwe Hinder from German auditing firm Schmidt in a move that will give the office a new capability in corporate tax law. Hammonds opened in Berlin and Munich in April 2001, just prior to its approval of the merger with Paris firm Hausmann & Associés, in order to focus on corporate, banking, intellectual property, construction and property. The Berlin office, headed by managing partner Frank Walter von-Gierke, currently has four equity partners, two of whom focus on real estate and two who deal with corporate finance matters. The Berlin office has grown significantly over the past year, from 10 to 26 fee-earners. "The only thing that was missing was a tax capability," says von-Gierke. "[Hinder's] appointment is the perfect one for our corporate clients." Hinder joins from Schmidt, a German national firm that focuses on tax, legal advice and auditing. Prior to that, he was a corporate tax adviser at KPMG. On the corporate side, the Berlin office has recently been working on the setting up of lifestyle clubs Peter & Beckworth, worth e50m (£32m) and is also advising the City of Berlin on the sale of Vuch Hospital to a private investor. On the real estate side, the team has been acting on the e50m privatisation of the Harbour of Duisburg. Hinder is bringing clients with him but would not confirm who they were.