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Since the merger with Munich-based firm Spitzweg last year, Buse Heberer Fromm has seen a significant boost to its tax practice.
Buse has now included Steuerberater, Germany’s professional license for tax advisers, in its firm name.
“The past couple of years since the financial crash have been positive,” says Buse managing director Christian Pothe. “Since we’re still independent we can make our decisions on our own. We’re happy to remain independent: it makes it easier to react.”
Pothe says Buse has managed to adjust to the shift in client needs, which have become more focused over the past two years. Clients now request a lot more tax advice, he says. While the firm continues to strengthen its already profitable groups, such as IPO and M&A, the key business development for the second half of this year will be cross-selling.
Buse’s London office opened last year and performance looks promising. “We have a strong client base in London now,” says Pothe. “It’s only been 14 months, but it has really enhanced our bilateral business between London and Germany.”
With regards to further expansion, Pothe hints that Buse may open an office in Turkey or Sweden “at some stage”. Presently, Buse has country desks covering Italy, Japan and China, to name a few.
Growing while remaining independent does not come without problems. “The challenge is to find the right laterals and the right associates,” says Pothe.
He adds that the internal culture of the firm is as important, if not more important, than euro signs. “We’re not this international, fully integrated firm where the managing partner will phone and ask why you don’t have 80 billable hours,” he says.
Pothe believes that Buse’s international work makes it stand out. “We’re among the few German firms to have a broad international practice,” he explains. “We can be very effective at handling big transactions on an international level.”
Managing director:Christian Pothe
Turnover: e38.4m (£33.7m)
Number of partners:58
Number of lawyers:123
Number of fee-earners:123
Number of offices:14
Locations: Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, New York, Palma de Mallorca, Sydney
Main practice areas:Banking and finance, M&A, employment, intellectual property, sports law
Key clients: IMW Immobilien, Atos Origin, Barclays Bank, Bayard Presse, Club Méditerranée