Eversheds’ German ally launches in Berlin as full merger mooted

Eversheds’ German arm Heisse Kursawe Eversheds has launched a Berlin office, ahead of a possible full merger between the firms.

The new office will be headed by employment partner Stefan Kursawe and will cover all areas of commercial law, particularly public law, procurement and real estate. It will be staffed by around 10 lawyers, a combination of new hires and relocations.

Meanwhile Eversheds chief executive Bryan Hughes confirmed that Eversheds and Heisse Kursawe have entered discussions with the aim of fully merging.

“Our strategy for growth is focused on increasing the depth and reach of our international operations. We’re regularly in dialogue with firms around the world and this includes our German partner firm. As those discussions are ongoing, there is nothing further to say at this stage,” Hughes said in a statement.

Heisse Kursawe first joined Eversheds’ international network in 2005 (14 June 2005), a few months after the firm was created when Munich firm Arcon split into three. It launched in Hamburg in 2011 (9 June 2011).

Kursawe said the Berlin launch was in response to “real client demand”. He added that the firm hoped the launch would create new work and also attract new recruits.

Germany’s capital has seen a number of firms move in and out in recent months. Morrison & Foerster launched there when it picked up the entirety of Hogan Lovells’ Berlin team (24 September 2013) and Swedish firm Magnusson also opened a Berlin office last year (5 February 2013).

However King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin recently announced it was withdrawing from the city following a strategic review (14 March 2014).

Eversheds’ international growth strategy has focused mostly on Africa in recent months, with expansions to its African network (7 March 2014) bolstered by launches in Tunisia and South Africa (4 December 2013) and most recently Morocco (31 March 2014).