The group, led by Michael Kliemt, is launching a national labour law practice – Kliemt & Vollstadt – to target work from major German corporates. The firm will be based in Düsseldorf, but Kliemt plans to open other offices in the major commercial centres of Germany, with Berlin high on the list.
Kliemt, who joined the firm from Wessing's Düsseldorf office in 1997, is also understood to have been frustrated by Clifford Chance Pünder's chargeout structure, which did not sit well with his client base.
This is not the first time that conflicts have hindered the growth of non-core practice areas in Germany. A telecoms team led by Thomas Heymann – another former Wessing lawyer – left for the same reasons to join Wilkie Farr & Gallagher (The Lawyer, 3 July 2000)
CMS Cameron McKenna has lost Hong Kong restructuring partner David Kidd to Allen & Overy (A&O) Kidd will join A&O’s Hong Kong office in May, after a period of gardening leave. He will report to head of restructuring Mark Sterling.