The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... 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.
Frankfurt-based Punder Volhard Weber & Axster is to be the first German firm to introduce a full-time executive management.
Punder, with the largest Frankfurt office of the German firms, says it has experienced "size-related management problems".
As a result, the firm is abolishing its existing unwieldy partners' council, comprising three managing partners, the head of each department, one partner from each foreign office and a senior partner.
It will be replaced with a management board consisting of one of the existing managing partners - respected figurehead Dr Thomas Gasteyer, partner Peter Naegele, who has been put in charge of marketing and communications, and a non-lawyer "general manager" who will be appointed from outside and given partnership status.
The general manager will join the firm from 1 January 1999 and will act as a chief financial officer. The Lawyer understands that Punder is looking to recruit from a Big Five accountancy firm in Germany for the new position.
Punder has also created a supervisory board made up of five of the most senior partners within the firm. Chaired by partner Irene Thiele-Muhlhan, it will check that the managing partners are doing their job properly.
The consent of the supervisory board would be required before the managing partners could decide on a change of strategy, opening a new office or exceeding the annual budget.
Naegele said: "It is an enormous step forward from the old fashioned European law firm with outdated structures to a professional service firm."