German firm Gleiss Lutz has elected Alexander Schwarz and Michael Arnold as co-managing partners to replace outgoing chief Rainer Loges, who is stepping down after eight years in the role.

The duo will take over from Loges on 1 January 2016.

Arnold and Schwarz plan to continue fee-earning work and ran on a joint ticket to faciliate this. There was no strategic decision by the firm to switch to a dual managing partner structure.

Rainer Loges
Rainer Loges

Loges became managing partner in 2008 and oversaw a period of significant change at Gleiss Lutz. During his tenure the firm pulled out of Central Europe and launched in Hamburg and Düsseldorf. In 2011 the firm rejected a merger with its UK ally Herbert Smith and Benelux firm Stibbe, a move which led to the end of the tripartite alliance.

More recently Gleiss Lutz has entered into a new non-exclusive alliance with fellow European heavyweights Chiomenti, Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira and Gide Loyrette Nouel and recently launched a regulatory hub in its Frankfurt office for the four firms to improve their offering to clients.

Schwarz is a corporate lawyer based in Düsseldorf, which he helped found in 2009. He has been responsible for human resources issues at the firm since 2011 and will continue to manage this area.

Corporate and litigation partner Arnold joined Gleiss Lutz’s Stuttgart office in 1999. Arnold has been a member of the partnership council since 2012.

Schwarz said in a statement the pair wanted to “pursue and expand” on the firm’s strategy of independence.

Loges is returning to full-time fee-earning and said he was looking forward to returning his focus to M&A transactions.

Gleiss Lutz’s partnership council also elected Frankfurt-based competition partner Wolfgang Bosch as its new chairman.

By electing two managing partners Gleiss Lutz joins a number of German firms with a similar model, including Hengeler Mueller, GÖRG, Graf von Westphalen, GSK Stockmann & Kollegen, Luther, Noerr, P+P Pöllath & Partners and SKW Schwarz.