Former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer corporate partner André Kowalski has left the firm’s Düsseldorf office to join German boutique Franz Rechtsanwälte.
According to German publication Juve, Kowalski, who had been a partner at the magic circle firm since 1996, has left the firm to join Franz Rechtsanwälte, which was set up in 1996 after Velten Franz Jacoby, which had office in Düsseldorf and Berlin, split. He joins the firm as a partner.
According to a Freshfields’ spokesman, Kowalski retired from the partnership in January. It is understood that he took advantage of favourable pensions terms.
Elsewhere in Germany, Freshfields’ Frankfurt office has seen some movement of late. First the magic circle firm lost a three-lawyer IP team, as SJ Berwin swooped to take partner Stefan Krueger and associates Manuela Finger and Manuel Biehler. Krueger, who had been a partner at Freshfields since 2002, most recently advised Nintendo on the launch of the Wii console in Europe.
Following this the firm was raided by White & Case as partner Lutz Krämer left the magic circle firm to head White & Case's equity capital markets offering in Frankfurt, bringing the US firm's capital markets headcount in Frankfurt to 21, including 12 partners.