HSF continues German growth with Freshfields’ Hamann

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has made its seventh German partner hire, recruiting Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s former energy co-head Dirk Hamann.

Hamann will be the first partner based solely in HSF’s Berlin office when he joins the firm in September. He is a corporate lawyer with a focus on regulated industries and co-headed Freshfields’ energy and natural resources group for four years, stepping down last year. 

He has been a partner at Freshfields and legacy firm Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber since 1997.

The hire continues HSF’s rapid growth of its German offices. The firm launched in Germany in April last year, hiring Gleiss Lutz partner Ralf Thaeter to head up its operations (13 February 2013).

Since then, Thaeter has been joined by legacy Norton Rose corporate partner Nico Abel (16 May 2013), real estate partner Hans Kessler from legacy SJ Berwin (2 July 2013), Baker & McKenzie litigator Mathias Wittinghofer (3 February 2014) and Mayer Brown finance partner Kai Liebrich (12 June 2014).

Most recently, the firm added competition to its German capabilities with the hire of Taylor Wessing partner Michael Dietrich, although Dietrich is yet to start work at HSF (7 July 2014).

Thaeter, who splits his time between Frankfurt and Berlin, said Hamann had been attracted by the opportunity to build “something new”.

He added that the hire was part of the development of the Berlin office to focus on regulated industries and government affairs, with sectors such as defence or telecoms possible areas for growth in the future.

Thaeter said HSF currently has 23 fee-earners in Germany and will have 28 by October.

“I was alone a year ago so it’s grown quite a lot,” he continued. “The fact that we come from so many different places means that we really are creating a culture of our own. Managing this is really very easy because people are driven by this entrepreneurial spirit to create something really new and that’s very good.”