Haarmann loses Berlin office as Salans strikes

Salans has made a dramatic first move into the German legal market by snatching the Berlin office of the beleaguered German independent Haarmann Hemmelrath.

The move sees Salans take on 35 fee-earners, including 13 partners. The Berlin team specialises in tax law and privatisations, but also offers advice in corporate, property, insolvency and employment.

Dariusz Oleszczuk, global managing partner, told The Lawyer: “We’re very excited about this new development. Germany is a key market and a presence here has always been a part of our European strategy. The new Berlin office marks a major step in our development as a global law firm.”

Detlef Olufs, managing partner of the Berlin office, said: “We’re delighted to have joined Salans, and the firm is a very attractive proposition. Salans is now able to offer its worldwide clients a full range of legal services in Germany, and our German clients will benefit from the strong international dimension of Salans.”

The raid gives Salans its first foothold in Germany and will complement the firm’s large presence in Central and Eastern Europe, which includes offices in Bratislava, Bucharest, Prague and Warsaw.

Meanwhile, the Haarmann network continues to unravel, with new departures every week. As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (6 January), former name partner Wilhelm Haarmann has set up his own practice (called Haarmann) with four other partners, while Ashurst has poached a trio of insolvency lawyers from Haarmann for its London and Frankfurt offices (www.thelawyer.com, 4 January).

Haarmann declined to comment.