Dewey Frankfurt tax team spins out as standalone practice

Dewey & LeBoeuf has lost two of its biggest hitting German partners with its Frankfurt managing partner leaving to launch a tax boutique.

Hanno Berger
Hanno Berger

Managing partner Hanno Berger is leaving along with banking partner Kai-Uwe Steck on 31 July, taking an eight-strong team with them. The team includes local partners, associates, tax advisors and support staff.

Berger and Steck were two of Dewey’s most profitable partners in Frankfurt, jointly responsible for generating around half of the office’s revenues, according to research from German legal magazine Juve.

“Certainly Hanno was an extremely strong partner by revenue,” said Frankfurt corporate partner Benedikt von Schorlemer. “But on the other hand the practices of the other partners in the office were different. He’s doing optimised tax structures, something that we’re not doing too much of in any other location.”

Berger’s new team is expected to remain close to Dewey, with the expectation that the two firms will cooperate on transactions from time to time.

According to Schorlemer the split was entirely amicable. As Berger’s practice in Dewey’s Frankfurt office was relatively self-contained, it is possible that the new firm will continue to operate out of the same office.

While Berger was managing partner of the firm’s Frankfurt base, earlier this year Dewey established a policy committee to take over the managerial functions at the office. The firm has yet to decide whether to elect a new managing partner for the office.

Berger and Steck both joined Dewey from Shearman & Sterling in 2004. Neither was available for comment.