The Olympic-level moves of the European legal scene

Tomorrow marks the start of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games, hosted by the Russian city of Sochi. The run-up to the Games has been marked by controversy.

But, as we reported back in November, the Sochi Olympics have generated a fair bit of legal work and look set to continue doing so for the next few years, with plenty of litigation expected over construction contracts even after the skis have been put away.

Sochi isn’t the only Olympic host city in the legal headlines this week though. Going back a few years, Allen & Overy has launched in the 1992 Olympic city of Barcelona. Its office will be headed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hire Antoni Valverde. The firm is citing client demand as the reason for the launch.

Meanwhile 1900 and 1924 host city (all right, we’re stretching it a little) Paris has had another round of lateral hires in the past week. Among the firms picking up new partners was Reed Smith, turning to Hogan Lovells, while K&L Gates hired A&O corporate partner Jean-Patrice Labautière.

And over in Munich – summer, 1972, for Olympics geeks – King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin partner Sonya Pauls is taking over as co-managing partner for Germany from Rudiger Knopf, alongside Frankfurt-based Stefan Krüger.

The competition for legal talent in Europe has never been more intense.

European Law Briefings
Banking & finance – Withers: European Commission legislative proposal for banking structural reforms
Intellectual property – Walker Morris: Customs enforcement of intellectual property rights
Company & commercial – Wragge & Co: Ensure your distribution agreement runs like clockwork — beware of banning exports to Switzerland
Energy – Ince & Co: Iran sanctions update: EU suspends certain sanctions for six months
Competition – Bristows: The Commission’s Draft Directive on Damages: an end in sight?