Michael Lappe, resident partner at the London office of German firm Oppenhoff & Radler, is leaving the UK to join the firm's office in Berlin.
He is replaced by Oppenhoff & Radler partner Ulrich Wolff, who comes from the banking department of the firm's Frankfurt office.
Lappe, who established the London office four and a half years ago, said that he was returning to Germany for personal reasons.
“After four and a half years, you really have to make up your mind whether you want to stay permanently,” he said.
“I was getting close to my best-before date.”
In Berlin he will focus on international corporate and finance law. He hopes to develop the firm's stake in the increasing energy-related work in East Germany and Eastern Europe.
Oppenhoff & Radler operates in London from the office of the Alliance of European Lawyers, which includes 25 staff.
The only other Oppenhoff & Radler lawyer in the office was associate Matthias Haas, who left the firm several months ago to work in-house with a client.
Oppenhoff & Radler became Germany's largest law firm with the merger of two local firms in January last year.