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Linklaters lost the last telecoms partner from its Berlin office when regulatory partner Kornelius Kleinlein joined Hogan & Hartson Raue last week.
Kleinlein will rejoin the group of former Oppenhoff & Rädler partners that decided not to join Linklaters when the UK firm merged with Oppenhoff in 2001.
Kleinlein told The Lawyer: "I consider Hogan & Hartson to be a stronger player than Linklaters in Germany in the telecoms and media sectors." Kleinlein's practice focuses on contentious regulatory work for one main client, Deutsche Telekom's closest rival Arcor.
He will link up with respected telecoms partner Christoph Wagner to build up the firm's transactional business in the telecoms sector.
"I consider this a core area for myself and Hogan & Hartson, whereas for Linklaters it's only a side area of law," said Kleinlein.
Linklaters' Berlin office focuses primarily on public administrative law and regulated markets.
Christian Hey, head of Linklaters' IT and communications practice, said: "Our telecoms regulatory practice will be continued from Berlin by Michael König and Christoph Enaux."