Shearman’s Sterling German effort

Shearman & Sterling’s decision to focus its German efforts on Frankfurt appears to be more a strategic plan than a reaction to a string of exits

Shearman & Sterling’s decision to pull out of Düsseldorf and Munich and focus its German efforts on Frankfurt appears to be more a strategic plan than a reaction to a string of exits. The US firm says it is “creating a new Shearman & Sterling in Germany” in a restructuring under new(ish) senior partner Creighton Condon, who replaced Rohan Weerasinghe in the role last year.

The Lawyer understands the changes are currently limited to Germany and the partnership elsewhere in Europe is said to be fairly stable. Some partners will probably transfer to Frankfurt, including corporate heavyweight Georg Thoma, while yesterday’s news of the exit of respected corporate partner Hans Diekmann to Allen & Overy follows recent Shearman resignations across all three current German offices.

It’s a whole different situation to the totally distinct Dewey & LeBoeuf, whose management only took to any sort of restructuring at a very late stage before the firm collapsed last May.

Today’s news is that the defunct firm’s former chairman, Steve Davis, has agreed to pay in just over $500,000 to creditors alongside £19m being coughed by insurance to resolve mismanagement claims.

One’s an apparently sensible strategic rethink, the other was a dreadfully run firm whose leader seems to have got off lightly. This is what makes the legal industry so diverse.

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