GE sparks German legal spurt with Ashurst hire

Ashurst hire” />GE has hired rising star Andreas Hoffmann from Ashurst as part of an ambitious growth strategy for its legal operation in Germany.

Hoffmann, a general corporate lawyer, joined Ashurst’s Munich office from Baker & McKenzie some 15 months ago and is slated to join GE on 1 June. He had previously worked in-house at BMW.

The move heralds a shake-up for GE’s legal operation in Germany. The finance giant operates discrete legal units for different business lines such as commercial finance, consumer finance and insurance across Europe. Hoffmann will head the commercial finance division in Germany.

GE commercial finance legal head Kevin Dunn told The Lawyer: “We’ve got big plans for Germany and we need world class legal talent. We’ve been gradually improving the seniority of our legal team in Europe for commercial finance and Andreas has a very good reputation.”

Hoffmann said: “It’s an entirely new role, it’s very commercially orientated. It’s a challenge. It’s likely that we will reorganise the management of external lawyers.”

GE uses a variety of external advisers in Germany, including Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie and Clifford Chance.

Hoffmann’s departure will leave the UK firm with one corporate partner in Munich, Jörg Kirchner.

Kirchner and Hoffmann, who worked together at their previous firm Baker & McKenzie, have built a strong corporate practice in Munich. The office now acts for Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Ventizz Capital Partners, among others.

Ashurst managing partner in Germany Simon Beddow said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for Andreas to go and work with one of our good clients. We thank him for all his help in contributing to the growth of the Munich office and wish him all the best for the future.”