Linklaters ditches junior partner role in global harmonisation plan

Linklaters’ German practice is phasing out the role of junior partners in a bid to harmonise the job titles used by the firm’s international offices.

A spokesman for Linklaters said the firm’s German offices were dispensing with the title of junior partner in favour of the equivalent title of managing associate. This was to bring it closer in line with the international standard of senior associate.

The changes have not, however, stopped DLA welcoming into its partnership three junior partners and a managing associate from Linklaters’ Cologne office.

Junior partners Markus Beaumart, Thomas Jansen and Tobias Entzian, along with managing associate Bernd Borgmann, will join DLA’s Cologne office as partners before the end of the year.

Although Linklaters’ official line was that the firm “wished them well”, a source inside the firm said it was unfazed by the departures because they were at an associate level and not partners.

The appointments are in line with DLA’s expansion plans for Germany and are aimed at taking the firm’s Cologne office full service. Jansen specialises in technology and communications, Entzian is a M&A and corporate specialist, Beaumart specialises in real estate and Borgmann focuses on employment law.

The firm has also secured the appointment of senior associate Kai Tumbrägel, an IP and media specialist from German law firm Görg Rechtsanwalte.

DLA’s Cologne office has been operating for only three months. The firm launched in Germany on 1 September after ending its alliance with Görg. This was followed by the launch of the firm’s Hamburg office earlier this month.

DLA German managing partner Ulrich Jungst said the firm was now turning its attention to Frankfurt, where it hoped to launch a specialised practice within the first quarter of 2005.