Shearman Germany decimated in Mannheim walk-out

US firm Shearman & Sterling has lost an entire German office, with its 30-lawyer Mannheim team splitting off to form an independent firm.

Nine partners from Shearman’s largest German office will reform under the name Schilling Zutt & Anschütz, the name of the firm they joined Shearmans from in 2000, reports German magazine Juve.

The departures include a majority of Shearman’s German senior corporate capacity, such as respected corporate partners Jochem Reichert and Martin Winter.

Reichert and Winter are joined by corporate M&A partners Stephan Harbarth, Thomas Liebscher, Heino Rück and Stephan Scherer, who count Daimler as a close client, as well as BASF and other large corporates.

Competition partner Hans-Joachim Hellmann, employment partner Georg Jaeger and IP partner Thomas Nägele also depart.

Shearman, which also has offices in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, has suffered a string of departures in Germany in recent months. Corporate rainmaker Rolf Koerfer left the firm with two of his team to join Allen & Overy in Düsseldorf. Finance partner Johannes Kremer left for Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in March 2008 while his colleague Andreas Diem joined Latham & Watkins in June 2007.

Last week www.thelawyer.com reported that German managing partner Georg Thoma has stepped down from the firm’s global executive committee amid a firmwide management reshuffle (as reported on www.thelawyer.com 18 April).

Shearmans was unavailable for comment.