Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain will join Hengeler as a partner in the firm’s Munich office. It is understood that Ziegenhain may take some associates with him.
Hengeler now has four partners based in Munich.
The move is highly unusual for the German firm, which is understood not to have made a lateral hire at partner level for several years.
Ziegenhain, who counts HVB and Hypo Real Real Estate as clients joined Freshfields in 2001 from Baker & McKenzie.