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Lovells’ decision to refocus its German offices along practice sector lines contributed to the departure of Berlin managing partner Nikolaus Ley.
As revealed by www. thelawyer.com (24 January), Ley has quit in order to launch his own boutique practice with former Lovells partner Klaus Racky, who retired last October. Both were corporate partners.
Lovells has gradually been refocusing its German offices along practice sector lines, but has stepped up the process within the last six months.
The shift, which has been agreed with the firm’s German partnership, hit Berlin late last year. An internal review of the office concluded that it should focus only on regulatory and project finance law.
It is understood that there was some cultural reluctance to make the transition in a jurisdiction where all regional offices have traditionally had full-service legal capacities.
The firm’s other four offices have also been refocused. Düsseldorf will specialise in patents and corporate law, Frankfurt in corporate and finance, Munich in biotech and pharmaceuticals and Hamburg in IP/IT. However, no additional redundancies are expected.
Lovells managing partner for Germany Michael Leistikow said: “This is a long-term strategy which may be subject to change, depending on market conditions.”