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DLA's best friend Görg has raided ailing Ernst & Young's German law firm Luther Menold for a second time, taking a team of lawyers to establish a Hamburg base.
As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (23 October), partners Klaus von Gierke, Volker Alvensleben and Frank Weberndorfer will move to Görg next January.
Gierke is an M&A lawyer and his practice will focus on transactional work, with Alvensleben and Weberndorfer, two employment lawyers, providing corporate support. Up to nine associates and some support staff will also move across.
Gierke, Luther Menold's recently-appointed head of corporate, is a big loss and follows that of Hans Jurgen Lutt, Luther Menold's previous head of corporate, who went to Latham & Watkins.
Luther Menold has been haemorrhaging partners. Earlier this month Simmons & Simmons poached head of finance Ingrid Kalisch from the depleted Frankfurt office.
However, Stefan Kraus, Luther Menold managing partner, was bullish about the decision to join the EY Law alliance. "We strongly believe that this was the right decision," said Kraus. "I think it's important to keep the right people, those who are 100 per cent committed to the strategy." More than 90 per cent of the firm's partners voted in favour of closer ties with EY Law.
The hires are a shrewd move by Görg. The firm's managing partner Ulrich Jungst told The Lawyer: "I don't think we'll ever be full-service in Hamburg, but there might be other areas such as shipping where we may want to recruit more lawyers."