The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
It’s been largely good news out of Germany recently. As the European 100 will show when it is published in a couple of weeks, the independent German firms all had a storming year with turnover up - mostly by a considerable margin - across the board.
And there have been quite a few hires by international firms in Germany recently too. Joining the recruitment roundabout in the past few weeks were Latham & Watkins and Allen & Overy (A&O). The former picked up A&O capital markets partner Okko Behrends, and then the latter turned to Shearman & Sterling for corporate partner Hans Diekmann.
But instead of looking for a replacement for Diekmann and other recent departures, Shearman’s response was to confirm the closure of its Düsseldorf and Munich offices.
The decision is a rare move out of Europe by an international firm at a time when many have been bulking up across the Continent. Shearman says it wants a more “elite” presence in Germany and plans to focus on high-end matters.
It’s a risky strategy. Although German firms had a great year, the German economy is relatively strong compared to its neighbours, and Germany is a focus for many UK firms’ international partner promotions, much of the work in the jurisdiction is now for mid-tier companies. High-end transactions, even in Germany, remain sparse, and Shearman will have a tough job making good on its strategic promise.