Dewey Ballantine is gearing up for a "difficult" expansion in Germany as it prepares to open a permanent Frankfurt office by the first quarter of next year
The firm, which kick-started its western European plans earlier this year by recruiting Geza Toth from Weil Gotshal's London office, has already taken temporary office space in the region. It also has plans to recruit between 20 and 30 German lawyers to be based in both London and Frankfurt. But Fred Gander, Dewey Ballantine's London managing partner, admitted: "We are aware that [Germany] is a difficult area in which to recruit." He added: "Some magic circle German firms have people who are not happy and are of good quality. But whether we can persuade them to move is another thing." The firm plans to concentrate on M&A and private equity, given Toth's expertise in both areas. His clients include GE Capital and CSFB. The firm is acting for Dallas's Lone Star US Acquisition, on its offer to buy a controlling stake in Bankgesellschaft Berlin AG.