CC Munich head quits to set up niche practice

Clifford Chance is set to lose the head of its Munich office next year when intellectual property partner Joachim Feldges leaves to set up an independent boutique.

Feldges said he was leaving Clifford Chance’s nine-partner Munich office – first revealed on www.thelawyer. com (26 November) – because he wanted to work at a small firm. Both Feldges and a Clifford Chance spokesperson said the split was entirely amicable.

Feldges, who is expected to take a number of clients with him, told The Lawyer: “We will continue to co-operate [with Clifford Chance] and where I can, I will refer work back to the firm.”

He is also expected to work with other international firms.

The move mirrors events at Linklaters earlier this year. Cologne head of real estate Hans Busch left to set up his own firm, taking his local client base after Linklaters decided to refocus on high value international work. However, Feldges denied that his move was strategic.

Clifford Chance’s German offices are some of the least profitable in the firm’s international network, and are widely regarded within the firm as ripe for pruning.

The firm has also seen a stream of unwanted departures recently. Wolfgang Hess and Voker Kammel in Frankfurt left for Simmons & Simmons and Jones Day this autumn. Clifford Chance also lost rated corporate finance partner Philipp von Ilberg to Dewey Ballantine.