Debevoise & Plimpton has revealed its plans to open a Frankfurt office in order to increase its European capacity.
New York-based managing partner Rick Evans says: “A combination of client interest and looking at the deals which are being done and are likely to happen has persuaded us to look at setting up an office there.
“Frankfurt provides some interesting business opportunities and a merger with a German firm seems unlikely.”
At present, Debevoise has European offices in Paris, London and Moscow. David Smalley, London managing partner, says that the office will be integrated with the other west European offices to form a single practice.
Insiders say that the plans are to open a practice offering both US and German law which will be brought up over time to the size of the London and Paris operations.
However, Evans stresses that the plans to move into Frankfurt are at an early stage.
A partner at German-based firm Schurmann & Partners, which has recently announced that it will merge with US firm Coudert Brothers and Belgian firm Coppens Van Ommeslaghe Faures, is unfazed by Debevoise's arrival.
The partner says: “People are not talking about the arrival of US firms here as they are in Britain, people are more concerned about the merger of Clifford Chance and Punders, and also the accountants who are being very aggressive in their recruitment of lawyers.”