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Linklaters' German management structure overhaul is nearing completion with the managing partner position disappearing as Markus Hartung steps down.
Hartung, who has led the German practice since 1999, is to focus on his lititgation and arbitration fee-earning work.
Plans for the new management structure, which will see Michael Lappe continue as German senior partner as well as a member of the German executive team, were rolled out throughout 2007.
As part of that Wolfgang Weiss took on the new role of head of management for Germany, effectively a position similar to that carried out by Hartung as managing partner. He sits on the executive team along with corporate head Götz Eilman, finance and banking head Carl-Peter Feick, commercial head Karl Schäfer and recent Freshfields arrival and Düsseldorf emigree Achim Kirchfeld, who is responsible for representing practice groups oriented along industry sectors.
In October 2007 Linklaters announced it would close its historic Cologne office and move to Düsseldorf (www.thelawyer.com, 3 October 2007). The move saw a number of Linklaters partners and lawyers defect to remain in Cologne and set up a boutique firm under the name Oppenhoff & Partner.