European moves: 10 January 2013

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


SJ Berwin has launched an office in Luxembourg with a double partner hire from local firms in the jurisdiction (2 January 2012). The City firm has recruited Alexandrine Armstrong-Cerfontaine from Armstrong Cerfontaine Avocats as office managing partner. Meanwhile, tax lawyer Geoffrey Scardoni has joined SJ Berwin as a partner from Loyens & Loeff, where he was a senior associate.

The former secretary-general of legacy Herbert Smith’s European alliance Olivier Clevenbergh has joined forces with Stibbe litigation head Jean-Pierre Fierens and Nauta tax partner Benoît Malvaux to launch boutique Strelia (7 January 2012). Strelia’s founding partners also include the team from four-partner Belgian firm Tossens & Associés. Jean-François Tossens and Henri Culot become partners, Henri Tack will be a partner although not a member of Strelia’s corporate entitity, and André Tossens is an of counsel.

Employment firm network Ius Laboris has appointed Claeys & Engels senior partner Chris Engels as its new chairman (7 January 2013). Engels replaces Franco Toffoletto of Italian firm Toffoletto de Luca Tamajo in the role and will have a term of office lasting for two years. Toffoletto has served two two-year terms.

Loyens & Loeff has appointed Vincent Vroom as a partner as of 1 January 2013. Vroom is a member of the firm’s corporate practice group and has been working at Loyens since 2000.

Central & Eastern Europe

Michael Lind has been promoted to the partnership of Austrian firm Binder Grösswang as of the New Year. The M&A specialist joined the firm in February 2009. Meanwhile Thomas Berghammer, also a corporate lawyer, becomes a counsel.

Taylor Wessing ENWC has hired the former two-time Slovakian Minister of Justice Lucia Zitnanska as a counsel in its Bratislava office. Zitnanska will focus on corporate, competition and insolvency law. Zitnanska was Minister of Justice between February and July 2006 and again from 2010 to 2012.

Austrian firm CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati has elected two new managing partners. Albert Birkner and Clemens Hasenauer have jointly taken up the management role with effect from January 2013, replacing Edith Hlawati and Irene Welser. Both Welser and Hlawati will continue as members of the management board.


Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés has elected Nicolas Vanderchmitt as an equity partner. Vanderchmitt was previously a local partner in the firm’s Hong Kong office. He focuses on corporate and commercial law and joined Lefèvre Pelletier in 2008.

US firm Kramer Levin has elected Paris litigator Dominque Penin to its partnership. Penin primarily handles cases involving banking, bankruptcy and white-collar criminal law. He also represents clients involved in civil litigation, particularly with regard to inheritance and family law issues.


Taylor Wessing German restructuring head Matthias Kampshoff is set to join US firm McDermott Will & Emery in its Düsseldorf office (9 January 2013). Kampshoff, a former Clifford Chance counsel, joined Taylor Wessing as a partner in 2008 from the magic circle firm. He focuses on restructuring mandates for insolvent companies, management, investors, creditors and administrators, specialising in the energy, pharmaceutical and automotive sectors, as well as in distressed M&A.

Noerr has promoted four lawyers to its equity in a bumper round of promotions. Frankfurt-based real estate lawyer Alexander Jänecke and corporate lawyer Till Kosche, along with Düsseldorf corporate lawyer Jens Liese and Munich IT and IP specialist Ralph Nack all become equity partners, while Munich tax adviser Michaela Engel, Dresden property lawyer Sylvia Kaufhold and Munich litigator Detlev Strässer all become salaried partners, or senior counsel. Noerr also promoted 13 lawyers to associated partner status and three to counsel. Meanwhile Alexander Ritvay took over from Dieter Schenk as co-speaker, or managing partner, alongside Tobias Bürgers. The duo will serve a three-year term. The firm also elected Christian Pleister and Gerald Reger as co-heads of the corporate department, Thomas Hoffmann and Martin Kleinschmitt as heads of the corporate refinancing, restructuring and rescue department, and named Torsten Fett as head of the firm’s compliance group.

A duo of partners from German firm Siebeke Lange Wilbert have split off to set up IP boutique Löffel Abrar. Sascha Abrar and Oliver Löffel specialise in industrial property law and were both partners at Siebeke Lange between 2009 and 2012. The Düsseldorf firm opened its doors on 1 January 2013.

CMS Hasche Sigle has announced the death of employment partner Dieter Straub, who passed away unexpectedly on 30 December 2012 after a short illness. He was 62. Straub joined CMS Hasche Sigle 35 years ago and was Munich’s first specialist employment lawyer.


Portuguese firm PLMJ has announced the appointment of five new partners and seven associates in its annual promotions round. Corporate lawyers Maria João Mata and Bárbara Godinho Correia, along with real estate lawyer Rita Alarcão Júdice, TMT specialist Daniel Reis and employment lawyer Eduardo Noguiera Pinto all become partners.


A team of senior lawyers from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Milan office has left the firm to join former colleagues at Italian boutique Orsingher (7 January 2013). Corporate partners Mario Ortu and Nicola Barra Caracciolo, together with senior associate Paolo Canal and consultant Stephen McCleery all joined Orsingher as partners on 1 January to establish the firm’s corporate practice. They have brought with them a team of three associates and two trainees.