A&O overhauls management team in Germany

Allen & Overy (A&O) has overhauled its management in Germany, announcing a new managing partner and senior partner.

Incumbent senior partner Neil Weiand is stepping down as senior partner after a maximum period of nine years in the role, although he will retain a seat on A&O’s firmwide management board.

Current managing partner Cornelius Fischer-Zernin will move to fill the senior partner position, while Peter Stenz has been voted in as the new managing partner for Germany.

The roles are well defined with the senior partner in charge of strategy and the managing partner in charge of operations. The roles have also been well divided: Hamburg-based Fischer-Zernin, who has been regional managing partner for five years, has a corporate background, while Stenz is a Frankfurt-based banking partner.

The roles both carry three-year terms but both men can carry on with transactional work.

Rather than a true competitive vote, there was a “pre-screening process” that selected the most popular potential candidates, said Weiand.

“I think it will be a really seamless transition,” Weiand told The Lawyer. “I always acknowledged that I wanted to get back to transactional work.”

The news comes as the magic circle firm announced it would open its fourth German office, in Düsseldorf, with the hire of a former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer managing partner (see www.thelawyer.com, 30 June). Germany is an area outlined for growth in 2007, particularly in M&A and private equity.

Firmwide leadership is also due to change wholesale next year when senior partner Guy Beringer retires from the firm in April. Managing partner David Morley’s term will also finish concurrently, with voting taking place for both jobs. Morley is yet to announce whether he will stand again as managing partner or even put himself forward for the senior partner position.

It is understood that potential candidates for both roles do not have to make their intentions known until late 2007.