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Dewey Ballantine has poached Shearman & Sterling tax star Hanno Berger for its Frankfurt office.
Berger, who joins with a team of three associates, will become Dewey’s second German partner, joining Frankfurt managing partner Philipp Von Illberg.
The loss is a rare blow for Shearman. Under Georg Thoma the firm made a virtually unqualified success of its organically-grown German operation.
Berger will spend 70 per cent of his time at Dewey structuring tax products for investment banks and hedge funds, with just 30 per cent on corporate support. At Shearman, his role was focused more on transactional work.
Von Illberg said Berger was recruited because he is a good fit for the international tax practice and will work closely with teams in London, New York and Italy.
He added that he hoped the recruitment of a lawyer of Berger’s standing would make it easier for the firm to attract other lateral hires.
Dewey is also understood to be close to recruiting a German M&A partner.