Ex-Freshfields partners launch Berlin boutique

A duo of former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partners have teamed up to launch a Berlin-based boutique law firm.

Hans-Michael Giesen and Alfried Heidbrink will launch their firm, Giesen Heidbrink, on 1 March. The pair were both partners at Freshfields and its legacy firms. Giesen left in 2008 to join independent Görg, while Heidbrink moved to Lindenpartners in 2006.

Giesen told The Lawyerthat he and Heidbrink both felt their practices did not need the support of a large firm to be successful. Although Giesen’s practice is largely corporate and commercial and Heidbrink focuses on arbitration and litigation, Giesen added that there was a “middle ground” where the two overlap.

He said both founding partners believed that they should focus on providing an individual service to clients. Significant growth was unlikely, but “we may very well add one or two lawyers,” Giesen said.

Both partners said they are leaving their current firms on amicable terms.