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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has lost both its Düsseldorf real estate partners to German outfit Noerr.
Alexander Goepfert and Christoph Brenzinger will leave the team in July. Both will divide their time between Noerr’s Düsseldorf and Frankfurt offices.
The departure leaves the magic circle firm with only four real estate associates in the key business and finance city.
Goepfert, a longstanding Freshfields partner, becomes head of Noerr’s real estate investment group, which combines expertise in property, tax, corporate and finance.
He advised Lone Star on its €1bn acquisition of a real estate portfolio from Deutsche Post World Net in 2008.
The hires bolster Noerr’s real estate offering, which is well regarded in the German market but lacks the star power of key competitors.
The firm is best known for its insurance, product liability and media practices. It opened an office in London a year ago.
“The election of Alexander Goepfert and Christoph Brenzinger as partners is an important step to achieve our strategic goal to rank among the leading law firms in Germany and Central Europe in growth areas like real estate,” said Noerr partner and spokesperson Tobias Bürgers.
Freshfields German real estate head Friedrich Heilmann said: “We continue to concentrate on large and complex real estate deals. As much as we regret the departure of our colleagues, whom we wish all best for their new projects, it does not harm our excellent position for national and international transactions in Germany.”