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Clifford Chance has lost its last Düsseldorf IP partner Christian Osterrieth to embryonic German IP boutique Reimann Osterrieth Kohler Haft.
Taylor Wessing partner Martin Kohler, who lasted a year at the Anglo-German firm, will also move to the boutique.
Kohler, who had been at Clifford Chance until July 2003, will join Osterrieth, Clifford Chance’s former head of Continental IP Thomas Reimann and its senior associate Klaus Haft as name partners at the boutique.
Clifford Chance is talking to potential lateral hires to plug the gap left by the defectors. Frankfurt IP assistant Claudia Milbradt is also moving to Düsseldorf as cover.
Reimann said that conflicts were a key issue behind the former Clifford Chance partners’ desire to set up a boutique, although this was less of an issue for Taylor Wessing man Kohler.
The new firm will concentrate on litigation and patent consulting and will cultivate relationships with independent firms overseas and German patent agents.