Baker & McKenzie’s German practice has lost six Frankfurt partners, including its head of finance Rainer Magold, to US rivals.
According to Germany’s Juve magazine, Magold, a rated acquisition finance lawyer, and Christina Ungeheuer, a rising star in banking, have quit for Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCoy, for whom they will open a Frankfurt office.
Milbank opened a first German office in June with a daring raid on the previously impenetrable Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The US firm took on Freshfields’ global head of private equity Peter Nussbaum, corporate partner Norbert Rieger and tax partner Rolf Fuger.
Meanwhile, four corporate partners Walter Henle, Matthias Jaletzke, Bernd Mayer and Peter Veranneman will open a Munich office for Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.
Bakers has had a troubled year in Germany where partners held a vote on whether to change the remuneration system from an “eat what you kill” model to lockstep. The proposal, which it is understood was opposed by the finance department, but supported by corporate, ultimately failed.
Russell Lewin, a member of Baker’s global executive, said: “it’s a reasonable conclusion to draw that when people want change [as they do in Germany] and some people want to move faster than others, this can be a catalyst to make people consider their options.
“These partners are a loss, but sometimes it is wise to consider these things in the medium-term.”