Graf poised to realise Düsseldorf ambitions

German firm Graf von Westphalen, which earlier this year split from its Cologne and Freiburg teams, has announced that it is looking to open an office in Düsseldorf.

Robert Theissen
Robert Theissen

Robert Theissen, managing partner of the 82-lawyer firm, based in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg, said he is “quite sure” that the firm will have an office in Düsseldorf within the next three to six months.

While the firm has not yet signed up a team for the launch, it is expected that the Düsseldorf office will focus on corporate and real estate.

“Being a nationwide firm and active in the corporate sphere, it’s quite a logical question to ask when you’ll open in Düsseldorf,” said Theissen. “We’ve been ­considering it for years.”

The firm’s offices in Cologne and Freiburg relaunched on 1 September as Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner. Around a third of Graf’s 132 fee-­earners joined the spin-off, including 25 ­partners.

A statement released by Graf at the time said that the parting of the ways was down to “differing ideas about the strategic orientation of the firm”.

It is understood that the issue was whether or not the firm, which caters to mid-sized clients, should adopt an internal structure resembling those at ­international firms such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer or Linklaters and go after big deals.