A&O scoops Shearman global M&A chief

Allen & Overy has raided Shearman & Sterling for its global co-head of M&A for its Düsseldorf office in the latest high-profile move in the German market.

Hans Rolf Koerfer will join as a partner at A&O’s Düsseldorf office, which it opened in September last year. He will be the office’s second partner, joining Düsseldorf head Thomas Austmann.

It will be Koerfer’s second stint at a magic circle firm: before joining Shearman in 2000, he was a partner at Oppenhoff & Rädler Linklaters & Alliance.

His M&A experience particularly includes advice to clients in the insurance/reinsurance field, including AXA and ERC International Reinsurance Corporation.

The office now has two partners and ten other lawyers. A&O’s Germany senior partner Cornelius Fischer-Zernin told The Lawyer that Koerfer’s arrival “may trigger more hires. We have a five-year plan to build the office up to around 30 lawyers.”

Düsseldorf has been a hot bed of activity in recent months for the magic circle, with Linklaters raiding Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for two of its most renowned corporate partners Ralph Wollburg and Achim Kirchfeld to open up in the city (www.thelawyer.com, 27 September 2007). Linklaters then closed its Cologne operation, relocating its lawyers there to Düsseldorf.