European moves: 1 November 2012

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


IP boutique Hoyng Monegier has picked up Hogan Lovells partner Carla Schoonderbeek, less than 18 months after she joined the international firm from Nauta Dutilh (31 October 2012). Schoonderbeek joins Hoyng Monegier’s Amsterdam office as a partner along with lawyer Bart Jong, who becomes a counsel at the firm. The duo were part of a team that moved to Hogan Lovells from Nauta Dutilh in June last year.

Linklaters has appointed Amsterdam partner Pieter Riemer as its new managing partner for Western Europe, effective today (17 October 2012). Riemer replaces Jean-Pierre Blumberg, who has reached the end of a four-year term. Blumberg was previously the local managing partner for Belgium, leading his firm De Bandt van Hecke Lagae & Loesch into its 2002 merger with Linklaters. He will continue in his other role, as co-head of global M&A.


The partner who spearheaded the launch of Allen & Overy’s (A&O) Düsseldorf office is set to leave the firm to establish his own boutique (31 October 2012). Thomas Austmann launched his new corporate practice, called Austmann & Partners today (1 November), taking with him his team from A&O, which comprises Nina Böttger and Sorika Pluskat – a counsel and senior associate who will become partners at the new firm – and two more associates.

Osborne Clarke has taken a further step towards expanding its European network with an opening in Hamburg (23 October 2012). The firm has made a number of hires and will launch in the German city with four partners. Christopher Torwegge joins from Hamburg-based trade and production group CREMER, where he was head of legal. Having trained with Osborne Clarke in Cologne, he will head the new office. He is joined by former consultant and ex-president of Hamburg University of Economics and Political Sciences Professor Norbert Aust, ex-White & Case employment lawyer David Plitt and specialist energy lawyer Isabella Niklas, who was at boutique firm WKN. Two new associates have also joined the team: Thorsten Behle, who joins with Niklas, and Sebastian Stütze, who joins with Plitt.

Oppenhoff & Partner will open an office in Frankfurt next year with the hire of Sidley Austin’s regional managing partner Oliver Kessler (18 October 2012). Kessler, a specialist in cross-border M&A and financial markets transactions, helped Sidley launch its Frankfurt base in 2006 when he joined the US firm from legacy Hogan Lovells firm Lovells, where he was head of the firm’s German capital markets and structured finance group. He will join Oppenhoff in January 2013 and will initially work alongside M&A partner Ronald Meissner, who is relocating from the firm’s office in Cologne.

Luther has made several hires. Peter Fabry has joined the firm’s Munich office as a partner along with senior associate Andrea Sandbichler. Fabry was previously a managing director in the tax division at consultancy RölfsPartner. In Frankfurt, Christoph Schauenberg has joined the banking and finance team as a partner from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where he was a senior lawyer. Also in Frankfurt, Susannah Fuchsbrunner has been appointed as a partner in Luther’s M&A team. Fuchsbrunner was previously a partner at Sibeth.


Spanish firm Garrigues has made up 15 equity partners, bringing the total number of equity partners to 273 (30 October 2012). The firm’s Barcelona office promoted three lawyers directly to the equity, while Madrid made up four and the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, San Sebastián and the Valencia offices all made up one partner directly to the equity apiece. Five non-equity partners were also brought into the equity, two of whom were in Madrid and one each in Granada, Oviedo and Seville. Eleven lawyers were also named as counsel across the firm’s offices in Alicante, Barcelona, La Coruña, Madrid, Seville, Oviedo and Zaragoza.


Norwegian firms Simonsen and Vogt & Wiig have announced they are merging, forming a firm with 180 lawyers and offices across Norway and in Singapore (31 October 2012). The merger will take effect on 1 January 2013. Simonsen brings 95 lawyers and a staff of 35 to the combination, while Vogt & Wiig has over 80 lawyers. Simonsen Vogt & Wiig will be headquartered in Oslo with offices in Bergen, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Trondheim, Tromsø and Singapore. The firm’s managing partner will be Mona Søyland, currently chairman of Simonsen’s board, while Vogt & Wiig managing partner Frithjof Herlofsen will become the combined firm’s chair.

Russia & CIS

Clifford Chance has appointed Logan Wright as managing partner of its Moscow office, succeeding Jan ter Haar, who has managed the office since 2009 (18 October 2012). Wright, a banking and finance specialist, has been elected to serve a four-year term and will be officially appointed to the role effective from 1 January 2013.