Herbies turns to SJ Berwin for third German hire

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has made its third partner hire as it continues to build its new German operation.

The firm has appointed SJ Berwin’s German real estate head, Hans Kessler, as a partner in Frankfurt.

Kessler joins German head Ralf Thaeter, who moved from former ally Gleiss Lutz last year (13 February 2013) and ex-Norton Rose corporate team leader Nico Abel (16 May 2013) in Frankfurt. The firm is also planning a Berlin office (2 April 2013), although no hires have yet been made for it.

Kessler has headed SJ Berwin’s real estate team in Germany since 2008, advising on a variety of property matters including acquisitions, financing, capital markets and infrastructure.

Thaeter said HSF was aiming to build up a three-pillar team in Germany, focusing on transactions and corporate advisory, finance and disputes work.

UK and EMEA real estate head Don Rowlands added: ”Thomas’s expertise across a range of real estate transactions for a diverse client base, in one of Europe’s most active real estate markets, will prove attractive to foreign investors looking to move into the German real estate market.”