It was the most important lateral move of 2004, heralding major investment of top New York firms in the German market. Norbert Rieger, Rolf Füger and Peter Nussbaum were a vital part of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s most profitable German office, Munich. Their departure rocked the firm and gave Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy a running start into Germany’s booming private equity market.
In the first few months after arriving, they advised Apax, Carlyle, BC Partners and JPMorgan Partners, proving that they could hold on to their client relationships. That Ulrike Dormann – one of Freshfields’ rising stars for corporate advisory work – came with them was another surprise. Despite being offered partnership, she opted for Milbank – something which no doubt helped to persuade the rest of the team to follow suit.