The Lawyer European 100 rank7

Noerr has undergone one of the most significant transformations of any of the big European independent law firms in the past few years, moving from being a solid mid-tier player to challenging on larger cross-border deals. However even before this strategic shift, Noerr was arguably one of the more dynamic German law firms. Throughout the 1990s it expanded across Eastern Europe and followed up with offices in New York in 2005, London in 2010, an IP-focused base in Alicante in

Noerr has undergone one of the most significant transformations of any of the big European independent law firms in the past few years, moving from being a solid mid-tier player to challenging on larger cross-border deals.

However even before this strategic shift, Noerr was arguably one of the more dynamic German law firms. Throughout the 1990s it expanded across Eastern Europe and followed up with offices in New York in 2005, London in 2010, an IP-focused base in Alicante in 2011 and a Brussels office in 2014.

In the same period since 1989 Noerr has opened in Berlin, Dresden, Düsseldorf and most recently Hamburg to add to its founding offices in Frankfurt and Munich.

It has also consolidated some of those offices, for example spinning out its Kiev base in 2013 into an independent operation.

The firm grew steadily throughout the first decade of the millennium, but growth has slowed slightly in recent years. Although Noerr is committed to its Eastern European presence the network brings in less than 10 per cent of its revenue.

The focus on modernisation is continuing with the firm recently seeking to position itself as a key adviser to digital businesses. A trophy client is German internet company Rocket, which began as a small start-up and is now valued at around €3.5bn.

Away from its Eastern European offices, Noerr is the German member of network Lex Mundi and works regularly with many of the UK and US firms absent from its home jurisdiction.

Headcount stabilised in the past couple of years to around 930 staff and 400 lawyers after swift growth in the preceding five-year period.

Noerr’s co-managing partners are known as ‘speakers’ and incumbents Tobias Bürgers and Alexander Ritvay were elected in 2013. For Bürgers it was a re-election, while Ritvay replaced Dieter Schenk. The two work closely together, sharing their duties.

Schenk was stepping down after 15 years in charge at the firm. Until 2005 his co-managing partner was Ronald Frohne, who moved to New York when that office opened and was replaced by Bürgers.