Watson Farley to set up Bangkok-based German desk with Ashurst hire

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has hired Ashurst Munich-based counsel Marcus Nothhelfer as a partner to launch a German desk in Bangkok.


Nothhelfer, formerly head of Ashurt’s IP and commercial practices in Germany, has relocated to Bangkok to launch WFW’s German desk in Thailand. His appointment is set to strengthen the office’s corporate and commercial practice in Thailand as well as servicing the German business community in Asia. Nothhelfer will work closely with WFW Munich-based corporate partner Dirk Janssen.

WFW’s Bangkok office opened in 2001 and currently has 25 lawyers, including six partners. The office is able to provide both international and local legal advice.

“We’ve seen really strong deal flow between Germany and Thailand. There are more than 600 German companies and Thai companies have also started to invest into Europe,” said Janssen, who had previously practised with Ashurst’s Munich office and worked with Nothhelfer. “Marcus will be the first point of contact for German clients in Thailand and will help ensure the services we offer them in Thailand are consistent with the services we provide in the German offices.”

WFW recently advised Bangkok Airways on the establishment of a representative office in Germany and codeshare contracts with Air Berlin. The firm is also advising a Munich-based private equity firm on its investments in Thailand.

According to Janssen, the firm’s main client base is mid-cap companies and German language skills are important for them.

“We’re looking to grow the German desk either through secondments or permanent relocations and the next step will be to place German-speaking lawyers in other Asian offices,” he said.