Paul Hastings eyes Munich opening

Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is edging closer to launching its first German office, leaning towards Munich rather than Frankfurt.

Geza Toth-Feher, of counsel in the London corporate team and head of the firm’s German practice, said that Munich could offer greater opportunities for the firm’s real estate finance and private equity teams.

“Frankfurt for my personal taste is a little overlawyered,” said Toth-Feher. “The question is whether we should add another player to that game or go to a more vibrant market.”

Toth-Feher said client demand was driving the Germany launch, with more real estate funds looking to invest in the buoyant market.

Toth-Feher was in Germany attending a real estate finance conference in Berlin before flying to Munich to interview prospective partners for a launch.

He confirmed that Paul Hastings would not be rushed into securing an office. “If you were to ask me for a timetable, I couldn’t give you one. It will be as long as it takes to find the right people with the right mindset,” he said.

Paul Hastings has a six lawyer-strong German practice in the London office, which will likely be transferred to Germany in time to launch the office.

Toth-Feher said a Munich office would also be convenient from a personal point of view, as most of the team come from Munich originally.

The move is in line with Paul Hastings’ plan to grow its European revenue. Firm chairman Seth Zachary is targeting 20 per cent growth for the UK office, which would mean a turnover of nearly $15m (£8.01m) this financial year.