LINKLATERS & Paines is looking for a partner to take charge of its Frankfurt office after current resident Tony Hickinbotham completes his term later this year.
Peter King, partner in charge of the London-based German business unit, says it is likely the appointment will be an internal one made when Hickinbotham finalises a date for his departure.
King says there are no plans to close the office, and the firm is intending to replace Hickinbotham.
Hickinbotham, who has been with the three-lawyer office since its opening three years ago, has extended his stay to complete work on financial transactions.
He will return to London in coming months, where he is expected to work on a general corporate caseload and as joint head of the unit with King.
King, who has ruled himself out for the Frankfurt posting because of UK commitments, says the firm has already identified contenders for Hickinbotham's role and it is not intending to look outside for new recruits.
He says there are "a number of people who we're considering", and it is likely the new resident will already be a partner who is a German-speaker.
"We're doing what we generally do in these circumstances which is to review all the possibilities," says King. "We almost always handle these changes by moving an internal candidate out.
"Obviously the range of matters that come into the office are quite wide, so it's important that the person is versatile and capable of dealing with a wide range of issues."