Merz's move follows Cornelius Bartenbach's hire of a four-lawyer corporate team from local firm Leinen & Derichs, where Merz had previously been a partner.
The move will strengthen further Cornelius Bartenbach's profile in the Rhineland. Now the leading independent firm in Cologne with some 20 partners, it has developed a strong client base among the local Mittelstand and has a good reputation for employment work.
|Cornelius Bartenbach has developed a strong client base among the local Mittelstand and has a good reputation for employment work|
In particular, it has developed the leading practice in the country for what is known as 'employee invention rights', where it is understood to advise 70 of Germany's top 100 companies. Invention rights have been developed to allow employees such as laboratory technicians a share in the profits generated by the discovery or invention of new products.
Merz, who will remain parliamentary leader of the CDU, has retained his legal practice throughout his political career. His move is the latest example of a tradition of German lawyers-turned-politicians deciding to maintain close links with the law.
Other examples include senior CDU politician Matthias Wissmann, who built up a strong practice at the Berlin office of Washington DC firm Wilmer Cutler & Pickering and who last year was voted shadow economics minister.