Paul Hastings’ new star to build German team in UK

Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is continuing its European expansion with the hire of high-profile German private equity lawyer Geza Toth-Feher.

Toth-Feher, who founded Dewey Ballantine’s German operation, has been charged with building a small team of German lawyers in Paul Hastings’ London office, with a view to eventually opening in Germany.

Toth-Feher left Dewey Ballantine in late 2003 to form specialist finance advisory service CB Equity Partners. He will remain a director at CB Equity and will join Paul Hastings’ London office as of counsel.

Prior to joining Dewey Ballantine in 2002, Toth-Feher was a partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges.

The move represents Paul Hastings’ first tentative step towards establishing its own German operation and comes amid a campaign for European expansion.

Last year, Paul Hastings acquired its first office in Continental Europe with the takeover of Paris firm Moquet Borde & Associés. It is also involved in ongoing discussions with a number of Italian lawyers with a view to opening in that country.

Toth-Feher, a corporate and private equity specialist, becomes the eighteenth lawyer in the US firm’s London office, which is best known for its real estate practice. Last year the practice contributed around 40 per cent to turnover in London and around 25 per cent across the firm generally.

Sources at Paul Hastings have indicated that the firm hopes to ramp up its corporate offering in London, with a number of key hires in the pipeline. At present, the firm’s premises in Wood Street accommodate 17 lawyers, although it has an option to take further space, which would enable it to grow to around 100.