Germans advance on central Europe while other firms withdraw

In a major boost to its central European practice, German firm Feddersen Laule Scherzberg & Ohle Hansen Ewerwahn has opened offices in Budapest and Warsaw.

In Budapest, the firm has brought on board Hungarian lawyer Zsusza Oroszlan. Hamburg-based partner Geza Toth will oversee the operation.

In Warsaw, meanwhile, a senior Polish lawyer, Anerzej Kwiasnik will head the firm's new office, with senior partner Professor Gerhard Laule in overall charge of the Polish practice.

Frankfurt partner Andreas Stilcken said: 'We have seen strategically our German and international clients moving eastward and we felt we needed to follow our clients.'

He added that the move was also linked to the firm's two-year old Prague office: 'Our office in Prague has developed successfully and our clients there are now looking at investing in Hungary and Poland.'

The openings come as other firms have withdrawn from both the Polish and Hungarian capitals. US firms Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Seward & Kissel recently shut down offices in Budapest.

Last year Nabarro Nathanson closed down its office in Warsaw.

Numerous German firms have established offices in central Europe, which Stilcken describes as 'a natural market' for them.

But Feddersen Laule is one of the few with a network of offices covering the three major cities in the region – Prague, Budapest and Warsaw. Other firms with similar coverage include Norr Stiefenhofer & Lutz.