European moves: 7 February 2013

All the latest partner hires and other appointments within Continental European firms and offices.

Benelux

Luxembourg firm Wildgen has elected litigation head Pierre Metzler as its first managing partner (24 January 2013). Metzler was elected to the role with the mandate to drive the firm’s growth and lead its future strategic direction. The seven Wildgen partners have up to now made strategic decisions as a group. Metzler said the business was now growing to the extent that it was felt decision-making could be speeded up by having a managing partner to oversee the process.

Brussels boutique VVGB has appointed Marco Slotboom as a partner in its competition team. Slotboom joins VVGB from Simmons & Simmons in Brussels where he led the firm’s Belgian practice.

Central & Eastern Europe

Eversheds has named a new managing partner for its Vienna office, as the incumbent steps down after completing his two-year term (31 January 2013). Georg Röhsner, who headed the Austria office’s IT team, was elected unanimously by partners to managing partner after standing unopposed for the role. He will replace Alexander Stolitzka, who steps down after completing a two-year term and will return to a fee-earning role, heading the office’s real estate and retail team.

Austrian firm Schoenherr has completed its merger with Turkey’s Türkoğlu & Celepçi, announced last year (9 October 2012). The Istanbul firm’s founding partner Levent Celepçi has joined Schoenherr’s equity partnership with the start of the firm’s new business year on 1 February 2013.

Marcin Muszel has joined Gide Loyrette Nouel as a partner in its Warsaw real estate team. Muszel joins Gide from Linklaters, where he was a senior associate. He advises on mainstream real estate transactions as well as asset management and administrative procedures relating to real estate development.

Austria’s Wolf Theiss has announced promotions and has also recruited energy finance specialist Erika Pircher-Eschig as a counsel. Pircher-Eschig trained at Wolf Theiss before working at Allen & Overy and Dewey & LeBoeuf in London. Meanwhile corporate lawyer Laura Struc has been promoted to counsel, and Valerie Hohenberg and Ľubica Páleníková have been promoted to senior associate.

France

Three partners from French corporate powerhouse Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, including the son of the firm’s co-founder Philippe Villey, have left the firm to set up a boutique (4 February 2013). Villey Girard Grolleaud was founded in the New Year by Darrois Villey partners Daniel Villey, Pascale Girard and Yann Grolleaud and will provide corporate and litigation advice. One associate joined the trio from Darrois Villey while another two were recruited from other firms.

Bignon Lebray has appointed Eversheds lawyer Marc Lempérière as of counsel. Lempérière practises technology and IP law, both contentious and non-contentious.

Grall & Associés has announced the appointment of Charles-Henri Calla as partner. Calla joins the firm from White & Case, where he was a counsel. He focuses on all aspects of French and EU competition law.

French boutique Bouckaert Ormen Passemard Sportes (BOPS) has appointed Romain Dupeyré as partner to bolster its arbitration practice. Dupeyré joined BOPS as an associate five years ago from Dechert in Paris.

Hill Dickinson is launching an office in Monte Carlo in a bid to boost its yacht and shipping practices (5 February 2013). The firm will open its new office, which is on Avenue Princesse Alice, in March 2013. Partner David Reardon will relocate from London to Monaco to become the firm’s resident partner and will take a team of three staff with him, though the firm plans to recruit more staff for the office in the first six months. The new office will primarily serve Hill Dickinson’s yacht team clients, many of whom have links to the principality, though the firm also intends to use the base to develop its shipping practice.

Germany

Swedish firm Magnusson has added to its expanding roster of offices with a Berlin launch, through the hire of Mannheimer Swartling partner Thomas Kaiser-Stockmann (5 February 2013). Kaiser-Stockmann will lead Magnusson’s German offering when it launches in mid-March. He previously founded the Berlin office for Mannheimer, Sweden’s largest firm, when it opened in 1992.

German independent Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek has snared a team of nine lawyers from Orrick to strengthen its Düsseldorf and Frankfurt real estate teams (5 February 2013). Orrick partners Michael Alberts and Peter Zimmerman along with Orrick of counsel Peter Vocke will all join Heuking as equity partners in Düsseldorf, accompanied by four associates. In Frankfurt, partner Christoph Wetzler is moving along with one associate. The team brings experience across a full range of real estate projects, including development and financing, for domestic and international clients.

Luther has hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer principal associate Stephan Bausch as a partner in its Düsseldorf office. Bausch previously practised commercial litigation, primarily in financial services, in Freshfields’ Cologne and Frankfurt offices. MeanwhileJürgen Bremer has joined the firm’s Cologne office as a partner in the M&A team. Bremer was previously managing shareholder for restructuring company Restrukturierung & Investments.

Iberia

Former Ashurst Madrid corporate chief and longstanding partner Jesús Almoguera is set to leave the firm after standing down from the practice head position late last year (30 January 2013). His client base has included international private equity groups such as Apax Partners, many of which will retain their existing ties to the firm’s London head office. Almoguera is understood to be considering setting up a boutique after 11 years, a move that could see him return to his pre-Ashurst role running a law firm under his own name. His departure is expected at the end of February.

Baker & McKenzie has elected Jorge Adell as the managing partner of its Barcelona office with immediate effect. He succeeds Esteban Raventós, who was managing partner between 2009 and 2012 and returns to practice in the firm’s tax team. Adell has led the corporate and M&A practices of Baker & McKenzie in Barcelona since 2006.

Ireland

McCann FitzGerald has named Fergus Gillen as head of its banking and financial services group. Gillen succeeds Ambrose Loughlin who has led the group since 2000. He joined McCann Fitzgerald in 1997, leaving for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 1999 before rejoining the Irish firm in 2002. Gillen was made up in 2004.

Malta

David Galea has left Watson Farley & Williams in London to join Ganado Advocates in Malta as a senior associate. He brings additional expertise to the firm’s shipping practice.

Nordics

Eversheds has entered into a relationship with Danish firm Rønne & Lundgren following its Copenhagen closure (5 February 2013). As part of the arrangement, Eversheds will transfer a number of people from its operations in Copenhagen to Rønne & Lundgren, following its decision to close its office in the city (24 January 2013).

Switzerland

Schellenberg Wittmer has promoted Vincent Carron and Philippe Ducor to its partnership, while Andrea Dorjee-Good, Olivier Hari and Danielle Hostettler have become counsel. Carron is an employment lawyer based in the firm’s Geneva office, while fellow Geneva lawyer Ducor practises IP law. Dorjee-Good focuses on private client work from Zurich, while Hari and Hostettler, working the corporate and tax teams respectively, are both in Geneva.