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Dechert is following in the footsteps of Simmons & Simmons as it recruits sole practitioner Gerhard Kaiser to set up an office in Frankfurt
This is the firm's first foray into Germany, where Kaiser will be charged with building a practice expected to be 12-strong by the end of the year. Kaiser is well known in the German M&A market. He launched Simmons' Düsseldorf prctice in January 2001, but his stint with Simmons was short-lived and he cited personal reasons for his departure in January 2002, just a year after joining. In that time he recruited three partners. Dechert is entering Frankfurt on the back of demand from a number of its international clients, including Siemens, Elonex and CVC Partners. The process is being led by London-based partner Eddie Kling, who said Germany had been on the cards for some time. "From our point of view, we have had ups and downs over various cycles, but German deals and cases have always been very strong. Our needs have weathered the economic troubles," he said. The office will focus initially on corporate, tax and financial services; and a US corporate partner and UK financial services lawyer will relocate to Frankfurt in the next few months. However, there are plans to expand into intellectual property, capital markets and international litigation or to open offices in Munich and Düsseldorf. The move comes at a time of renewed US interest in Germany and follows the announcement that Dewey Ballantine will open in Frankfurt after hiring Weil Gotshal & Manges' German desk head in London, Geza Toth.