Sullivans and Lovells gain from German defections

Sullivans gains German capability in Frankfurt; Lovells hires trio from Wessing

UK and US firms are continuing to poach German lawyers with Sullivan & Cromwell and Lovells becoming the latest to pick up partners defecting to Anglo-Saxon firms.
New York firm Sullivan & Cromwell is hiring its second German lawyer following the recruitment of the Goldman Sachs relationship partner from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer last week, which gave the firm German capability for the first time.
And Lovells is picking up the latest trio of partners to depart troubled German firm Wessing (The Lawyer, 8 August). The partners will join Lovells’ Düsseldorf office.
M&A lawyer Konstantin Technau will join Sullivan & Cromwell’s Frankfurt office as a partner from Nörr Stiefenhofer Lutz.
The move is hot on the heels of the news that Freshfields partner Wolfgang Feuring is joining Sullivan & Cromwell’s Frankfurt office to focus on M&A and capital markets.
Feuring and Technau will be part of a 100-lawyer team split between London, Paris and Frankfurt. The group will focus on high-end M&A originating in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Frankfurt is focused on capital markets, but Sullivan & Cromwell’s London managing partner Bill Plapinger said that M&A is a much wider component of the firm at large. “The intention is to increase Germany’s M&A potential,” he said. “We were the number one firm worldwide for M&A in 2000, and now we need to increase our M&A capability in Frankfurt.”
Plapinger said that neither of the two will bring clients with them.
Earlier this year, one of Sullivan & Cromwell’s senior financial institutions partners, David Huggin, relocated from the US to head the Frankfurt office. He joined a second partner, David Rockwell. David Morrison and George White, who opened the office, also continue to devote much of their time to the firm’s German clients.
At Wessing, one of the remaining top corporate partners, Alexander Loos, will lead fellow partners Christoph Louven and Petra Malsbenden to Lovells, although Malsbenden will not join as an equity partner.
It is expected that the team will be joined by a number of associates, although this is yet to be confirmed.
Lovells declined to comment.