Clifford Chance has hired White & Case corporate M&A partner Markus Stephanblome into the firm’s German practice and will join the firm next month.

Stephanblome will join the partnership in the firm’s Frankfurt office after a transitional three years for Clifford Chance’s German corporate practice.

The firm kicked off a review of its German operations in December 2014 and has seen a steady rate of partner attrition in that time. At the time, it was understood that nine partners were expected to leave the firm.

Co-head of corporate Anselm Raddatz was named as the firm’s German head of private equity following the retirement of Christopher Kellett, only for Kellett to resurface a few months later at magic circle rival Linklaters.

Energy partners Peter Rosin and Thomas Burmeister left to join Stephanblome’s old firm in March 2015, while the firm also saw the departure of corporate head Arndt Stengel to Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy and co-head of private equity Oliver Felsenstein to Latham & Watkins.

Radatz said: “Markus’s first-class expertise and great potential will very much support us in further expanding our strong position in Germany. We are looking forward to working with him.”

The magic circle firm has strengthened its corporate practice globally in the last two years, making up nineteen new partners across Europe, AsiaPac and North America.

Stephanblome started his career in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s German practice, spending 10 years at the firm before joining White & Case as a partner in March 2014.

Data for The Lawyer Global 200 2017 shows that Stephanblome will be joining the firm’s joint-fourth largest office. The Frankfurt office, headed by office managing partner Christian Keilich, is tied with Paris with both hosting 6 per cent of the firm’s partnership.

Clifford Chance has a total of 69 partners in Germany, with 27 in the corporate practice. This makes it the 10th largest foreign office by headcount.

Clifford Chance Germany managing partner Peter Dieners said: “When selecting new partners, we focus on people with the ambition and potential to advance our team and strategy.

“We are pleased to have found in Markus a partner who matches this profile. His expertise perfectly complements our strong corporate/m&a team, which  our clients will certainly appreciate.”