Sidley Austin has poached Clifford Chance M&A partner Georg Rutzel to boost its Frankfurt corporate and finance department.

Sidley Austin Frankfurt partner Oliver Kessler told The Lawyer: “With Georg we have enhanced and integrated our European M&A capability. It is also very important that we have local forces on the ground here in Germany.”

Kessler added: “We are looking to expand. When we launched in March we started with six fee-earners and now we have 16 fee-earners, excluding Georg and the other corporate associates that we will bring in to join him.”

The firm launched its German operations in March this year and raided relationship firm Lovells of two partners, capital markets head Oliver Kessler and Jens Rinze, as part of its first foray in Frankfurt.

Four of Lovells’ securitsation associates followed Kessler and Rinze to Sidley. Both Kessler and Rinze had worked extensively on transactions with the US firm’s London office and with clients such as Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.

Rutzel will be Sidley Austin’s third Frankfurt partner.