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The former name partner of Haarmann Hemmelrath has set up his own practice following his decision to quit last year over rows about the firm’s remuneration system.
Wilhelm Haarmann and partners Francis Bellen, Christoph Schmitt, Markus Söhnchen and Jan Wildberger have founded Haarmann Partnerschaftsgesellschaft Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater Wirtschaftsprüfer (a partnership of lawyers, tax advisers and auditors) as of 1 January 2006.
The new firm will focus on M&A and Private Equity, tax, corporate, banking and finance law as well as litigation. It also plans to establish a corporate finance practice.
Wilhelm Haarmann said: “As a smaller team we will be able to work even closer with our clients and to attend to our clients needs even better, also in particular through my day-to-day involvement... We intend to add further professionals to the team shortly. However, size is not a goal in itself. We have been encouraged by many clients and friends to go it alone and not to team up with another firm. Thus, we can continue what worked well in our old environment and make a fresh start where we think we should.”
As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (25 July), Haarmann terminated his partnership as of 30 June 2006 at a partner meeting held over the weekend of 23-24 July.
At the time he said the decision was not down to one big event, but to a series of smaller events over a longer period of time.
However sources at Haarmann Hemmelrath claimed that Haarmann quit over the allocation of lockstep points.
Haarmann Hemmelrath has witnessed mass defections since Summer including almost all of its Cologne office.