Sidley Austin Brown & Wood has swooped on Lovells to launch its first office in Germany.
The US firm has hired Lovells capital markets head Oliver Kessler and colleague Jens Rinze as its first foray into Frankfurt.
Both Kesler and Rinze have worked extensively on transactions with the US firm’s London office and with clients such as Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.
The pair is understood to have resigned last week, but Lovells’ German staff was only informed today.
Discussions are ongoing as to notice period. Kessler has a 12-month notice period while Rinze, who is more junior, will have to work out a maximum of six months. Sidley is hoping to open the office in the early part of next year.
Graham Penn, co-head of Sidley’s London-based International Finance Group, commented: “We are delighted that Oliver and Jens have decided to join us. Most recently we worked together on the first pan-Europe commercial mortgage-backed security offering by Deutsche Bank, and we look forward now to collaborating as partners.”
Another Sidley source said: “This is just the beginning – we willl build the Frankfurt office like we’ve built the London office.”
Lovells declined to comment.