UK firms on the prowl for German opportunities

Lawrence Graham

is also looking towards Germany. It is starting to rebuild its presence in Europe by forming links with independent law firms in jurisdictions such as France, Italy, Spain and, of course, Germany, where the firm is still working with old ally Esche Schumann Commichau.

Senior partner Bill Richards says that, while Europe continues to be important, countries such as India and Australia were also vital. He explains: “We don’t see Europe in the same way as other firms. We’re interested, but we have lots of other things on the go.”

Fladgate Fielder has opted for a different route to tap in to the German market. The firm has launched a German private equity practice in London with the hire of Allen & Overy senior associate Alex Kaufmann, who joins as a partner-elect.

Head of the German practice Andrew Kaufmann says: “He’s not related. He’s been brought in to develop the German practice with us, bringing great city contacts.”

The German group has seven lawyers, three of whom are dual-qualified in Germany, and gets around two-thirds of its work through relationship firms in Germany. The firm has no plans to open in Germany.