Bakers comes under pressure

Baker & McKenzie

is going through a turbulent period in Germany as US firms raid it for several partners.

Latham & Watkins lured corporate partner Dirk Oberbracht to its Frankfurt office and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom poached employment partner Ulrich Ziegler, who is joining its Frankfurt office.

On the recent spate of Bakers lawyers moving to US firms, Ziegler tells The Lawyer: “Baker & McKenzie people are interesting targets as it’s still the most international law firm. All of the partners are used to working with international clients in an international environment.”

And there are two more US raiders looking at Germany. Encouraged by its fellow US firms, Alston & Bird is targeting a launch in both London and Germany. Chair of the global sourcing practice Trevor Nagel commented in The Lawyer (17 July): “Alston already has a substantial international practice, but we’ll be looking at key jurisdictions to see if it makes sense to have an office there.”

After targeting 20 per cent growth for its UK revenue this financial year, Los Angeles-based Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is now also investigating the possibility of launching in Germany.

Whether or not Alston or Paul Hastings start circling Bakers is anyone’s guess, but there looks like being a lot more action this year