Gaedertz Munich breaks off to reinstate pre-merger firm

The Munich office of disintegrating law firm Gaedertz is splitting. The news follows the merger of the Cologne office with Norton Rose and the Hamburg office with Latham & Watkins.

Local Munich firm Illert Bernstorff Zapp merged with Gaedertz in 1999 but will now demerge. A number of partners will join Norton Rose although the rest will revert to their pre-merger days and take up their old name.

The exception is media law partner Johannes Kreile, who is joining the Munich office of Nörr Stiefenhofer Lutz.

Nörr Stiefenhofer is well known for M&A, banking, intellectual property (IP), media and insolvency and its clients include Phillip Morris, McDonald's and British Airways.

It is understood that partners Robert Strasser, Martin Feyock and Dietmar Pröchel will set up a Munich office for Norton Rose (The Lawyer, 2 February 2000).

This leaves commercial partners Martin Miebach and Dietrich Bernstorff, insurance partner Michael Zapp and tax partner Ludwig Lenki at the demerged firm.

Illert Bernstorff was a small competition and IP practice before it merged with Gaedertz.

Chicago rivals McDermott Will & Emery and Mayer Brown & Platt are still competing for Gaedertz's Frankfurt office (The Lawyer, 5 February). Both are understood to have continued talks throughout last week.

It is still unclear what will happen to Gaedertz's Berlin office, but it is known that the office has approached KPMG Treuhand & Goerdeler with proposals for a merger.

Gaedertz is the product of three sets of mergers. In 1990, Cologne-based Heyd Vieregge & Partner merged with Berlin practice Quack Kühn & Partner and Munich firm Kreile & Partner.

Then, in 1997, the firm merged with Frankfurt practice Albert Flad & Schlosshan to become Gaedertz Rechtsanwälte.

In 1999 it was joined by Hamburg-based Schön Nolte and Munich-based Illert Bernstorff Zapp and was renamed Gaedertz.