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Allen & Overy has more than doubled the number of German partners at its niche Frankfurt law practice by recruiting two partners from rival firms and appointing an associate to the partnership.
Corporate partner Reinhard Hermes joins from the Frankfurt office of US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius and asset finance partner Johannes Bruski will join from 290-lawyer German firm Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Lober.
Banking associate Peter Stenz has been made up to partner.
However, Bruski's arrival at A&O will be delayed. Bruckhaus corporate and finance partner Gerhard Hess told The Lawyer that his firm would hold Bruski to his notice period, believed to be 30 June 1999.
Hess said: "The partnership will ask him to stay that long as we will have to cover the gap and make sure the clients do not suffer."
Stephen Denyer, A&O's Frankfurt-based European regional managing partner, said: "I expect Reinhard to be here within the next month.
"As far as Johannes is concerned, he will start as soon as he is free to do so. A delay is to be expected."
Denyer said that A&O, which has 25 German-based lawyers, was committed to expanding its banking, capital markets and corporate finance practices in Frankfurt.
But he ruled out a merger with a German law firm.
Former Bruckhaus asset finance partner Peter Hein, who joined A&O's Frankfurt office in September 1996, welcomed Bruski's move and said that by joining A&O Bruski's long-term career was in better hands.
A&O launched its German law practice in 1996. And the Frankfurt office now has 18 German lawyers.
The client base of its asset finance team includes Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Lufthansa.