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Gleiss Lutz Hootz Hirsch, the German law firm affiliated with Herbert Smith, is opening an office in Munich.
The new office will be headed by antitrust parner Ingo Brinker and private equity partner Burkard Göpfert, who join from Gleiss Lutz's Stuttgart office. M&A partner Rainer Loges is also relocating from Warsaw.
They will be joined by Gerald Brei, who is an in-house lawyer at Siemens' Munich office, and Andreas Wehlau, who is a patents and trademarks partner at a local law firm.
Both lawyers join as partners and the office will focus on M&A, private equity and labour and merger filings.
"We will not be a full service office to start with but we will expand," says one Gleiss Lutz partner. He says that Gleiss has been looking for new and attractive markets over the last few years. "Munich is good for the IT and biotech companies," he says. "If we want to be involved in the IT sector then it is good to have a Munich office. Gleiss Lutz is the largest firm in southern Germany and therefore it is natural for us to move into the Bavarian area rather than to move to the north."
Gleiss Lutz's Stuttgart office works for Munich-based banking and insurance businesses, US and German private equity houses and international IT and biotech companies including Siemens.
Many of Gleiss Lutz's clients are already based in Munich and it is understood that the firm wants to move closer to its existing client base as well as developing new relations.
The move comes shortly after US firm Brobeck Hale and Dorr and UK firm SJ Berwin opened offices in Munich at the end of last year.
Munich's private equity market is already booming and it is expected to grow further when tax reforms take place later this year.