Clifford Chance is losing one of its partners in Germany to US firm Hogan & Hartson.
M&A partner Justus Schmidt-Ott will join Hogans' Berlin office on 1 September. Schmidt-Ott will focus on transactional work but will also advise on pre-trial court work for shareholder and post-acquisition disputes. He brings with him an impressive list of clients believed to include DaimlerChrysler. "I wasn't unhappy at Clifford Chance," said Schmidt-Ott. "But Hogan & Hartson is an international law firm and its main German office is Berlin. If you want to stay in Berlin, which I do, this makes it very attractive." Hogans opened in Germany at the beginning of the year when it took on a group of lawyers from Oppenhoff & Rädler. The team, which was led by telecoms partner Christoph Wagner, quit Oppenhoffs following its decision to merge with Linklaters & Alliance. The office is currently known for its work with media and telecoms clients. Since January, when Hogans opened in Berlin, it has been advising a large news corporation on an M&A transaction, advising Group 3G on a joint venture, and it continues to do work for one of Wagner's biggest clients, BskyB. Schmidt-Ott is expected to broaden the firm's client base, bringing in a number of general corporate clients. There are currently four partners in the corporate department, but a number of further hires are expected, including lawyers at partner level.