Freshfields Berlin hit by partner loss

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has lost another German partner, this time seeing Berlin-based litigation partner Alfried Heidbrink leave for German firm Lindenpartners.

Heidbrink, who leaves Freshfields in November, has been with the magic circle firm since 1992 and a partner since 1997. He specialises in M&A, bankruptcy and financial services litigation.

Heidbrink told German legal publication Juve said: “Freshfields is a great firm but I am now at the ideal age to take on something new again.”

Freshfields German arm has encountered several partner losses this year. Cologne M&A partner Jurgen Sieger left for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in June, while Munich corporate partners Stephan Salzmann joined boutique firm Mohren & Partner and Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain joined Hengeler Mueller in July and January respectively.

However, Freshfields is one of the few Anglo-Saxon firms to retain a notable Berlin presence. The office focuses on regulatory and public law, advising a number of federal governments, as well as Berlin-headquartered companies such as Deutsche Bahn and Landesbank Berlin.

This is in direct contrast with magic circle rivals Clifford Chance and, more recetnly, Lovells which have opted to exit the city. As revealed on (30 August), Lovells is to close its Berlin office, subject to approval by the partnership, by the end of the current financial year (30 April 2007).

Lindenpartners was founded by five partners and four associates, who left Boetticher Hasse Lohmann-Buros, to set up the firm in August. Heidbrink joins Lindenpartners in November.