Germany’s legal market has come of age, particularly for the large Anglo-Saxon law firms that have mostly shed the puppy fat of their former German merger partners and have adjusted to the game.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has almost finished the rationalisation of its partnership and finds itself a more profitable and streamlined business. Linklaters has followed suit and hopes to reap the rewards of its move to a new corporate-only office in Düsseldorf, losing around half of the ‘strategically misaligned’ partners in its historical Cologne office in the process.

The prime exponent of the German independent firm – Hengeler Mueller – still retains the top spot, despite the Anglo-Saxon invasion. Only the foolhardy would bet against Hengeler maintaining its premier position. It has been a busy year for German firms, as this special report shows. It discusses Germany’s new Act on Equal Treatment and the country’s tax reforms.