Former FFW alliance partner hit by German defections

Former Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) German alliance partner Buse Heberer Fromm has lost almost half of its Hamburg office, with a trio of partners leaving to set up on their own.

Partners Michael Nesselhauf, Volker Knies and Bernd Koch have taken seven associates to set up Nesselhauf RechtsanwŠlte. Two of the former Buse associates will become partners in the new firm, which will focus on IT, IP and media. German magazine Juve reported that differences of opinion in the firm’s national and international strategies led to the split. The departures come following a steady trickle of defections from Buse, leaving the firm’s Hamburg office with only 12 lawyers.

Last year FFW pulled out of an alliance with Buse to set up its own German office staffed by former Buse lawyers.

Nesselhauf will be led by Nesselhauf, a respected media lawyer who has acted for German chancellor Gerhard Schršder, and IP partner Volker Knies, who has represented clients such as Jeppe Joop and Paris Hilton.