DLA Piper bucks private equity trend with Munich expansion

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary is actively looking for a Munich office to add to its rapidly expanding German operation.

In a departure from its rivals, DLA Piper is not trying to break into the German private equity market but instead will target IP/IT work.

German managing partner Ulrich Jüngst told The Lawyer: “We don’t want to be number 41 in private equity. We’re looking for a specialised team of people, probably in telecommunications, media and technology.”

The chance to break into Germany’s private equity market has drawn many international firms to Munich, especially from the US.

Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy are just some of the firms with offices in Munich that have a strong private equity focus.

However, Munich is also the centre for IP/IT work, partly because the German patent office is located in the city.

Since it launched in Germany less than two years ago, DLA Piper has grown from three to around 80 lawyers with offices in Cologne, Frankfurt and Hamburg.

It biggest practice area has tended to be corporate, but the firm recently raided EY Law Luther Menold for a five-partner banking and finance team.