European moves: 12 December 2013

All the latest partner hires and other appointments within Continental European firms and offices.


De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is joining German best friend Hengeler Mueller with an office in Shanghai, its second Chinese base (5 December 2013). The Shanghai office will open in mid-2014 and will be led by partner Gaby Smeenk. Smeenk, a corporate lawyer, is moving from Amsterdam to head up the new venture.

Amsterdam firm Boekx Advocaten is hiring media specialist Otto Volgenant as a partner. Volgenant was previously a partner at Kennedy Van der Laan. He specialises in media and entertainment.

King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin has hired two lawyers in Luxembourg. Funds lawyer Thomas Chevalier joins as counsel from Clifford Chance. Corporate specialist Bertrand Geradin joins as counsel from Allen & Overy, where he held the same role.

Dutch firm Boekel De Nerée has promoted real estate lawyer Cornélie Arnouts to its partnership, effective 1 January. Arnouts is the 28th partner for the firm.

Central & Eastern Europe

Polish firm FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz has hired Taylor Wessing ENWC partner Jarosław Grzywiński as a partner. Grzywiński specialises in real estate and infrastructure and energy projects and will be responsible for the firm’s practice in these areas.

Austrian firm Binder Grösswang has hired banking and capital markets specialist Maurizia Anderle-Hauke. Anderle-Hauke was previously a lawyer at Benn-Ibler.


Pinsent Masons is expanding its French presence with the acquisition of six-lawyer boutique Ichay & Mullenex Avocats (9 December 2013). Ichay & Mullenex partners Diane Mullenex and Frédéric Ichay will become partners at Pinsents, while fellow partner Annabelle Richard will be a legal director. The boutique was founded in 2004 and focused on technology, telecoms, gaming and gambling and e-commerce. It had a sizeable African and Middle East practice.

Hogan Lovells is hiring a white-collar crime partner to boost its Paris litigation capabilities (12 December 2013). Metzner Associés partner Antonin Lévy will join the firm along with two associates at the start of 2014. Lévy’s experience includes representing Continental Airlines in its defence of criminal proceedings relating to the 2000 crash of Concorde, in which 113 people died. Last year a French appeals court said the airline was not criminally liable for the accident.

Dentons has added two new partners to its Paris energy team to focus the firm on growing its Francophone Africa energy strategy (4 December 2013). The firm has appointed Ramin Hariri and Vincent Lacombe, two partners from France’s largest law firm, FIDAL. Both represent large energy and utilities companies in their current firms and advise on tax and project finance matter in the energy, mining and infastructure sectors.


McDermott Will & Emery has picked up Ashurst partner Nikolaus von Jacobs to lead its private equity practice in Germany (6 December 2013). Von Jacobs, who is based in Munich, was previously head of Ashurst’s German private equity team.

Slaughter and May’s German best friend Hengeler Mueller is launching an office in Shanghai, relocating four partners to the office when it opens towards the end of next year (4 December 2013). The China office will be led by newly-promoted partner Tu Changfeng, who is currently based in Hengeler’s Düsseldorf office. He will be joined in Shanghai by Frankfurt corporate partner Johannes Adolff. Meanwhile corporate partner Christian Möller and finance partner Hendrik Haag will split their time between Düsseldorf and Frankfurt respectively.

Olswang is launching a business dedicated to restructuring and insolvency through a strategic partnership with a German insolvency lawyer (29 November 2013). Restructuring specialist Christian Köhler-Ma will lead consultancy business Olswang Restructuring Solutions, which will provide advice to German companies and other stakeholders in crises and near-critical situations. Köhler-Ma was previously senior partner at Berlin firm Leonhardt Rechtsanwälte. He is bringing a team of five fee-earners and three support staff to the new business, which is legally separate from Olswang due to regulatory requirements. Olswang Restructuring Solutions will formally launch on 2 January 2014.

Gleiss Lutz has appointed three lawyers to its partnership, effective 1 January. Jens Günther , an employment lawyer in Munich, Düsseldorf  litigator David Quinke and Stuttgart-based corporate specialist Vera Rothenburg are all made up. Meanwhile five lawyers – two in Stuttgart, two in Berlin and one in Munich – have become counsel.


Mason Hayes & Curran has appointed McCann FitzGerald lawyer Maureen O’Neill  as a partner in its EU and antitrust team. The firm has also recruited corporate finance specialist Matthew Cole as a partner. Cole was previously a senior associate at Shearman & Sterling.

Russia & CIS

Gide Loyrette Nouel is adding a team of nine lawyers from German firm Beiten Burkhardt in Ukraine, as the latter closes down its presence in the country (2 December 2013). The team, led by partners Julian Ries and Oleksiy Feliv, will join Gide on 1 January. Beiten Burkhardt’s managing partner Frank Obermann said the decision of clients to pull out of Ukraine following the lack of agreement over a free trade deal with the EU had prompted the firm’s decision to shut down in Kiev.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has hired Michael Copeland as a counsel. Copeland joins the firm from Herbert Smith Freehills. He advised on Russia-related corporate, joint venture and energy transactions.