German strength draws firms in

Over the past few years Germany has consistently outperformed the rest of Europe’s legal market, with domestic firms reporting successive turnover rises and international players keeping on hiring and merging in the country.

Noerr has consolidated its place as the second-largest German independent (behind Hengeler Mueller) with a turnover rise of 12 per cent for 2013, bringing revenue to €190.8m (£159m). The rise was driven by domestic growth and exceeded the firm’s expectations for the year.

Perhaps tempted by the thought of such riches, Eversheds is also looking to ramp up in Germany. Its German ally, Heisse Kursawe Eversheds, is launching in Berlin and the two firms are in talks over formalising their relationship and merging.

Meanwhile over in Frankfurt, Taylor Wessing and Bird & Bird are strengthening their private equity teams. Taylor Wessing has hired Munich partner Walter Henle from US firm Skadden.

Bird & Bird’s new recruit, Peter Veranneman, is another Skadden alumnus, having joined the firm with Henle from Baker & McKenzie in 2004 before leaving for an in-house role three years ago.

If the German economy continues to punch above the European weight, then expect more domestic and international firms to try and beef up there.

European Law Briefings
Banking – Hogan Lovells: European Commission communication on long-term financing of the European economy
Finance – Macfarlanes: Securities financing transactions and rehypothecation — current EU direction of travel
Litigation – Taylor Wessing: European court supports granting of site-blocking injunctions against ISPs
IT – Wragge & Co: European Parliament votes overwhelmingly in favour of data protection reform
Employment – Hogan Lovells: Surrogacy: European Court decides that only the mother giving birth can take maternity leave