Linklaters will open its fifth office in Hamburg in the first quarter of this year to capitalise on an increase in banking work for German clients.
The firm has made no lateral hires with the launch, instead transferring two existing partners from Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.
The partner from Frankfurt is tax lawyer Jens Blumenberg, while the partner from Dusseldorf is Wolfgang Sturm, who specialises in corporate law. They will be joined by six associates from the two offices.
The news was first reported in Juve.
Linklaters said it had decided to launch in Hamburg on the strength of the work it has won from clients in its existing jurisdictions. The firm has recently advised on projects for Hamburg-based clients including HSH Nordbank, Hapag Lloyd, Beiersdorf and Berenberg Bank.
A Linklaters spokesperson said: “For several years, we have been increasingly working with many Hamburg-based clients – we would like to further expand that work and are, therefore, very much looking forward to opening an office in Hamburg next spring.”
The new office adds to the four offices that the firm currently has in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Munich. The office in Frankfurt has a particular focus on real estate, while the Munich office is focused on media and telecommunications and the Berlin office on regulation.
Germany has recently played host to a number of lateral-hire wars. Last month, Linklaters scooped DLA’s real estate head Cartsen Loll. Loll will work alongside Linklaters’ German practice group head Wolfram Krüger and the firm’s two other real estate partners in Frankfurt and Munich.
In August last year, Latham & Watkins recruited corporate lawyer Nikolaos Paschos from Linklaters. Paschos was a partner at the magic circle firm from 2005, joining as a managing associate two years before from Hengeler Mueller.
Paschos was the second Linklaters partner to depart for Latham’s German offices. Latham also hired private equity star Rainer Traugott in Munich at the start of 2016.
Outside of Germany, Linklaters recently opened a low-cost legal centre in Lecce, Italy, in September last year, adding to the two offices it currently operates in Milan and Rome.