Freshfields Munich wins B&M corporate star

Baker & McKenzie in Düsseldorf is losing a top corporate partner to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

`Capital markets partner Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain will join Freshfields’ Munich office before the end of the summer.`Specialising in public and private M&A and private equity, Ziegenhain advises a number of leading corporates, multinationals and private equity funds including Degussa, Bewag, Trevira Group, Advent, UBS Capital and ABN Amro Capital.`Ziegenhain, who has been at Baker & McKenzie for 10 years, said that he expects a number of his clients to join him, although he declined to name which ones. He said he is moving to Freshfields because he knows the team there and has worked opposite them for a number of years.`Ziegenhain becomes the third corporate partner to leave Baker & McKenzie in the last year, following the departure of the former head of venture capital Uwe Steininger and fellow partner André Gloede who left to set up an office in Munich for SJ Berwin.`But despite the departures Baker & McKenzie’s corporate department continues to flourish and the firm recently advised on the Messer Griesheim deal, which was the biggest ever industrial leveraged buyout.`The Munich office of Freshfields opened in January 2000 and Ziegenhain’s arrival increases the number of partners there to nine.`The office concentrates on corporate, although it also does intellectual property/IT and tax. The corporate focus is on private equity, venture capital and corporate restructuring.`Munich partner Norbert Rieger said that Ziegenhain will complement the practice. “He does a lot of work for sellers whereas we act mainly for the buyers. Tax reforms mean that a lot of business can be sold, and the selling side is a growing market,” he said.