European moves: 21 March 2013

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

Benelux

Stibbe has hired two partners from White & Case’s Brussels office in a boost for the firm’s corporate and private equity team (20 March 2013). White & Case partner Stefan Odeurs and local partner Dries Hommez, both of whom practise private equity and corporate law, are due to join Stibbe later in the spring.

Belgian firm Van Bael & Bellis has promoted Johan Van Acker to its partnership. Van Acker is a lawyer in the firm’s competition team, and joined the firm in 2003.

Hunton & Williams has promoted Brussels-based lawyer Jörg Hladjk to counsel. Hladjk, who is German-qualified, is a member of the firm’s global privacy and data security practice group.

Central & Eastern Europe

Austrian firm Schoenherr has appointed Bucharest managing partner Sebastian Guţiu to its steering committee. The committee consists of four members, including the firm’s managing partner Christoph Lindinger, and directs the firm. Guţiu’s responsibilities as a committee member will focus on the firm’s finances.

France

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed Gide Loyrette Nouel partner Erwan Le Douce-Bercot as a partner in its real estate group in Paris (7 March 2013). Le Douce-Bercot will start work at Freshfields later this month, having previously been a partner at Gide since 2006. He represents property companies, investment firms and financial institutions on all aspects of real estate law, particularly acquisitions. He also advises on contentious matters.

Meanwhile corporate boutique Lacourte Balas Raquin has recruited Gide Loyrette Nouel corporate partners Serge Tatar and Renaud Rossa and is rebranding as Lacourte Raquin Tatar (8 March 2013). The duo, both of whom practise corporate and M&A law, join a number of other former Gide lawyers at Lacourte Raquin. Gide’s former managing partner, Jean-Jacques Raquin, who held the role between 1999 and 2003, moved to Lacourte Balas in 2011 and added his name to the firm’s masthead.

French independent Racine has launched its first overseas office, merging with Akhoun-Rajabaly-Affejee & Associés on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion (14 March 2013). The merger follows the formation of a strategic partnership between the two firms in October last year. Akhoun-Rajabaly-Affejee & Associés partners Iqbal Akhoun, Rohan Rajabaly et David Affejee become partners at Racine.

Flichy Grangé Avocats has appointed Jeannie Crédoz-Rosier and Charlotte Michaud to its partnership. Restructuring specialist Crédoz-Rosier joined the firm in 2008, while employment lawyer Michaud joined Flichy Grangé in 2001 and was appointed counsel in January 2012.

Germany

Graf von Westphalen has appointed Bird & Bird counsel Kurt Luka as an associate partner. Luka joins GvW’s Hamburg office, where he will focus on real estate project development.

Iberia

White & Case has become the first international law firm to launch a Spanish office for several years, hiring Latham & Watkins’ local corporate head Juan Manuel de Remedios to open in Madrid (19 March 2013). De Remedios joins White & Case as Madrid executive partner, bringing with him Latham counsel Yoko Takagi who will become a local partner. Further associate hires are expected in due course.

Italy

Lablaw partner Carlo Majer has joined rival employment boutique Lexellent as a partner. Majer is the fifth partner at the firm, which was founded in 2011 by four former Eversheds lawyers, and worked with them previously at Eversheds.

Meanwhile Lablaw has promoted senior associates Cristina Baglioni, Paola Gobbi and Andrea Savoia to its partnership. Baglioni is based in Rome while Gobbi and Savoia are both lawyers in Lablaw’s Milan office.

Nordics

Bird & Bird has confirmed that its merger with Danish IP/IT boutique Bender von Haller Dragsted (BvHD) will go live on 1 May 2013 (11 March 2013). The UK firm has had a strategic cooperation agreement with BvHD since 1 January 2012, a deal that expanded its north European network, which includes offices in Finland and Sweden as well as several in Germany.

Swedish firm Mannheimer Swartling has elected Fredrik Svensson as a partner and Hampus Thofte as a local partner, effective 1 July 2013. Svensson has been a local partner in the firm’s Moscow office since 2007 and practises banking and finance law. Meanwhile Thofte is a member of the firm’s M&A team and is based in New York.