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ALLEN & OVERY is looking to double the size of its Frankfurt office over the next year in a move that will mirror Clifford Chance's rapid expansion in the German legal market.
According to Tim Arnheim, Allen & Overy's senior partner in Frankfurt, the German office now has 20 lawyers, twice the number a year ago. He said his office intended to continue growing at a similar rate.
Allen & Overy began its expansion last year with the poaching of partner Peter Hein from top German firm Bruckhaus Westrick Stegemann. It was thought to be the first time a UK firm had taken a partner from such a highly-rated firm.
Arnheim said one of his firm's main growth areas was its German law service.
The German market has been widely seen as a tough nut to crack for UK firms with German lawyers unwilling to move to UK firms. But Arnheim said his firm was not finding this a major problem.
Clifford Chance has had notable success in attracting lawyers from German firms and Linklaters & Paines is also making inroads into the German market.
Freshfields' Frankfurt office is currently involved in talks with Frankfurt firm Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund about a possible link-up.