Reed Smith taps SJ Berwin for German venture capital head

Reed Smith has hired SJ Berwin’s German venture and growth capital head Justus Binder as the leader of its German private equity practice.

His appointment follows the recent recruitment of SJ Berwin London partner Perry Yam to develop a private equity practice in the UK (14 December 2011).

Reed Smith’s Europe and Middle East corporate head James Wilkinson said hiring Yam and Binder was part of a wider strategy to develop a strong European private equity practice that would support the firm’s offering in Chicago and New York.

Wilkinson said that in addition to London, the two key cities for the group were Paris, which already had a strong team, and Munich.

He added that Reed Smith wanted to develop its corporate team more generally in Munich. Wilkinson said Munich was “quite an exciting private equity market” due to the preponderance of technology and media companies, which attract investment.

“I think we’ll want to build the team beyond these two hires,” Wilkinson said, saying that growth could be at associate or partner level.

Binder is expected to move to Reed Smith within a month.