White & Case Feddersen drops four from its Berlin partnership

Four White & Case Feddersen partners are to leave the Berlin partnership as the worldwide management streamlines the Euro-pean practice

Christian Bröse and Claus Heuchemer will both leave the firm while Klaus Finkelnburg will become of counsel and Jost von Trott zu Solz will focus solely on East German law.
Bröse will work part time in a local law firm while Heuchemer will set up on his own.
German lawyers often have very broad practices – Heuchemer is a corporate lawyer with a focus on M&A and corporate restructuring, but he also advises on tax and initial public offering work.
He said he is very positive about the move and is looking forward to setting up his firm. However, he declined to comment on the allegations over profitability.
The Berlin office became part of White & Case's global network when it merged with Feddersen Laule Ewerwahn Scherzberg Finkelnburg Clemm in August 2000. However, it had previously been a standalone practice and only linked up with Feddersen at the beginning of 1999.
It is understood that the four partners leaving tend to advise individuals rather than corporates, which makes it more difficult for them to be profitable.
German firms are modelled very differently from UK firms. Under German law, a lot of work has to be charged at rates that are fixed by law, and White & Case has inherited a number of these pockets.
However, the firm has made it clear that it wants to remain in Berlin and intends to rebuild the practice there.
The departures leave the office with just two partners, but Berlin remains a strategic location for White & Case given its need to operate in Eastern Europe.
This story was first revealed on the Juve website.