Osborne Clarke is losing its four Frankfurt partners to Taylor Wessing, forcing it to close the office after just two-and-a-half years.

This is the second time the firm has lost its presence in the Frankfurt market.

All of the partners were previously at Coudert Schürmann and covered corporate finance, private equity, banking and the financial services sector. Osborne Clarke hired the partners – Peter Bert, Hassan Sohbi Jorge Bausch and Stefan Bauer – after the Frankfurt office of its former ally Graf von Westphalen Bappert & Modest split from the rest of the firm.

A group of 18 Graf von Westphalen’s Cologne lawyers subsequently split with the German firm to launch Osborne Clarke’s Cologne office. They remain with Osborne Clarke.

An statement from Osborne Clarke said the Frankfurt split was prompted by “differences in strategy going forward”. “Osborne Clarke and the Frankfurt partners have been discussing the mid- and long-term strategy for the Frankfurt office for some time, and as a result of this the partners have chosen to move on to Taylor Wessing,” it said.

Cologne-based German head Stefan Rizor commented: “We wish to thank our Frankfurt colleagues for their contribution in building our German business and wish them well in their new roles. Osborne Clarke has successfully grown its German business since it was started just over two years ago and is confident that it will continue to attract new and interesting clients. Osborne Clarke’s major German presence has always been in Cologne, where the inflow of national as well as international work remains buoyant.”