German market undergoes mass defections

If the past few months are anything to go by, it is almost selbstverständlich now for lawyers in Germany to leave as a group rather than as individuals. The Lovells exits are not the only mass walkouts in the German legal market over the past few months.

Largely quiet since it launched in Germany two years ago with a raid on former alliance partner Görg, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary struck again by stealing a five-partner banking and finance team from Luther Menold.

As reported by The Lawyer (16 May), the team includes partners Wolfgang Richter, Ulf Liebelt-Westphal, Peter Jark, Nina Siedler and Antje Günther, as well as at least 10 associates.

Eversheds alliance firm Heisse Kursawe took a fancy to some corporate lawyers at McDermott Will & Emery and landed itself a two-man team, led by partner Jörg Kretschmer, for its Munich office.

Meanwhile, back in Frankfurt, Heussen’s office was comprehensively raided when US firm Faegre & Benson took eight lawyers, leaving the German firm’s Frankfurt operation with just three lawyers.

As The Lawyer reported (17 April), the hires included the head of the Frankfurt office and former managing director of Heussen Karl Walter.

White & Case continues to target Simmons & Simmons lawyers, this time in Düsseldorf. Head of Simmons’ German tax practice Hans-Jörg Wittmann and Christoph Kuzaj joined White & Case on 1 April.

Wittmann and Kuzaj follow in the footsteps of finance partner Sabine Schomaker, who joined White & Case’s Frankfurt office from Simmons in February.