CC Pünder corporate partner quits for Simmons

Simmons & Simmons has ramped up its German corporate practice by hiring a partner from Clifford Chance Pünder.

Wolfgang Hess, a pre-merger associate with Pünder Volhard Weber & Axster who became a non-equity partner in 1999, a year before the link-up with Clifford Chance, is joining Simmons’ Frankfurt office as an equity partner.

Among the corporate partner’s client list, which has a specific emphasis on the media sector, is Bayerische Landesbank and Apax Partners.

Commenting on whether he will be taking any clients with him, Hess said: “I believe there are opportunities.”

Apax will garner particular attention, since the private equity house has a long relationship with Clifford Chance Pünder in Germany, where it also uses Baker & McKenzie.

Hess is one in a slowly swelling number of German partners who have left Clifford Chance Pünder. Most recently, insolvency partner Volker Kammel left for Jones Day, while last month Dewey Ballantine took on capital markets and corporate finance partner Philipp von Ilberg.

The appointment of Hess brings the number of partners at Simmons to eight, spread across two offices, in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.