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Denton Wilde Sapte ally Heuking Kuhn Luer Wojtek has raided rival firm Seufert, taking on its entire Berlin office
The Seufert team will fill the gap left after the bulk of Heuking's Berlin office defected to DLA's German best friend Görg last March.
Seven partners and a further eight associates moved over to Heuking at the beginning of the month. Like the lawyers who moved to Görg, Heuking's new Berlin partners cover real estate, construction, public and administrative law.
Berlin was previously one of Heuking's most profitable offices, and the Görg defections deprived the Mittel-stand firm of a viable offering in the capital and a base from which to target Central Europe and the EU candidate countries.
The new Berlin office will be run by Peter Fissenewert, who headed up the team at Seufert and was the driving force behind the mass lateral. Heuking partner Thomas Wambach, who has been running Berlin as a satellite office since March, will return to Hamburg.
Wambach said: "The Seufert lawyers were well established in the Berlin market and their philosophy was quite close to ours. If you want to establish yourself in Eastern Europe, you must first have an office in Berlin."
Heuking has also been in talks with law firms in Central and Eastern Europe with a view to establishing strategic alliances, although the talks are still at their preliminary stages.