Andersen merger to form German giant

THE GERMAN arm of Andersen Legal is set to merge with a corporate firm to create a top 10 law firm in the country.

The merger between Andersen Legal firm Andersen Freihalter and Hamburg-based practice Luther & Partner will come into operation on 1 January. The 50-partner firm will be called Andersen Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft.

Stefan Kraus, currently managing partner of Andersen Freihalter, will become the senior partner of the merged firm, which will have more than 170 lawyers.

Luther is a 15-partner law firm which also has a Berlin office. Senior partner Wilhelm Happ confirmed Luther talked to other firms with a view to merger before deciding to tie the knot with Andersen Legal.

Happ will remain senior partner of the combined firm. He says that none of the partners have left as a result of the merger decision.

Happ says: “We have decided to merge in order to increase our degree of specialisation and to expand the services we offer by increasing our size many times over and by obtaining access to the worldwide legal network of Andersen Legal.”

Luther has a client base in telecoms, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing sectors. The firm advises a number of Scandinavian clients.

Alberto Terol, managing partner for worldwide tax and legal at Andersen Legal, says: “Germany is a strategically important market for Andersen Legal, and this merger is another step in our strategy to become a world class legal network and one of the leading providers of legal services worldwide.”

The Berlin and Hamburg offices of the firms are expected to merge. Andersen Freihalter, which specialises in corporate, M&A, finance and e-commerce, has offices in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Munich, Berlin, and Stuttgart.