Ashursts moves Frankfurt head as part of rapid expansion plan

Ashurst Morris Crisp is swapping the head of its Frankfurt office as it plans to double its lawyer count over the next three years.

Graham Ward, who has been managing partner of the Frankfurt office for three years, is returning to London to be replaced by the current head of reconstruction and insolvency and corporate partner Nick Angel, who will relocate next month.

Since the office's inception three years ago, Ward has grown it from just two lawyers to 30.

On the subject of recruiting lawyers for the next phase of growth at the office, Ward says: “There are a number of opportunities coming up on what is going on in the market and there are some lawyers who are not happy with the strategies at their firms.”

Angel is being replaced in reconstruction and insolvency at Ashursts' London office by litigation partner Ben Tidswell.

Commenting on his move, Angel says: “Geoffrey Green [Ashurst's senior partner] came and asked me if I would like to go and after some time I thought it would be a good thing to do. From my point of view the market is opening up and there are a lot of mergers and acquisitions and IPO opportunities.”

Angel adds that the current proposed changes to Germany's capital gains tax law will force the market to open up even further, now that shareholders will not have to pay crippling rates when selling a stake in company.

But he adds that since Germany is just beginning to open up, there is a shortage of lawyers with experience in both M&A and IPO law.

But he says: “We have got a lot of young people who will be able to shape in a particular way.”