Shearmans continues Euro drive with new Munich office

New York-based law firm Shearman & Sterling is continuing its expansion in Germany as it announces plans to open in Munich.

It is expected that the new office, which will open in May or June, will initially be managed by Frankfurt and Düsseldorf managing partner Georg Thoma.

Recruitment is already underway and a number of lateral hires are expected imminently.

According to sources, the office is being set up to accommodate the needs of existing clients.

“We already have a number of big blue chip clients based in Munich,” says one partner. “But Munich is a booming market and it’s interesting for recruiting good young lawyers.”

The office will focus on venture capital, capital markets, corporate and M&A. It is also thought that it will handle some intellectual property (IP) and IT work.

It will advise technology clients in Munich and will represent companies on public offerings for Nasdaq and the Neuer Market.

Shearmans managing partner in Paris Emmanuel Guillard refuses to confirm the firm’s intentions, but he says that opening an office in Munich would fit in with its European strategy.

“We want to be a strong player in the strongest markets,” he says. “Munich isn’t Silicon Valley, but a lot of technology companies are based there, so it’s important for us to have a presence.”

The driving forces in Munich are high-technology, insurance, banks, media, IP and IT. It has also become the leading location for biotechnology companies that are being financed with the help of venture capital.

Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber (now Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) caused a stir when it arrived in Munich in January 2000, taking a large chunk of Lovells Boesebeck Droste in the process.

Clifford Chance Pünder also has an office, which was set up by Pünder a few years before the merger.

Then, last year, US technology firm Brobeck Hale and Dorr and UK firm SJ Berwin opened offices in Munich.

Shearmans has two other German offices, one in Frankfurt and one in Düsseldorf.