Watson Farley & Williams is gearing up to launch its first-ever German office following the appointment of two new partners.
The top 50 City firm has hired German partners Thomas Hollenhorst and Maren Brandes to join its new Hamburg office when it opens in early October.
Hollenhorst is currently the deputy head of legal of Germany’s oldest bank Berenberg Bank in Hamburg. Brandes is currently a partner in the Hamburg office of Dr Schackow & Partner and specialises in shipping, shipping finance and litigation. She is qualified as a barrister in England and Wales.
The initial focus for Watson Farley’s Hamburg office will be shipping and shipping finance, but the firm expects to expand into other areas such as energy and to develop a more general finance and corporate practice. The firm is also planning to install an English law team within three to six months of the office being opened.
Watson Farley managing partner Michael Greville said that, during the past few years, the firm has seen a significant growth in its German practice, especially in relation to acting for German banks on lending for the shipping sector.
He said: “Hamburg is one of the most important shipping centres in Germany, so it’s extremely important for the firm to open an office there.”
The launch of the firm’s Hamburg office will bring the total number of Watson Farley offices to eight.