23 Mar 2022

Addleshaw Goddard continues European expansion drive with offices in Munich and Frankfurt

UK firm's strategy 'well ahead' of schedule as it follow up on moves into Dublin and Luxembourg

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Addleshaw Goddard has grown its European footprint with two new offices in Germany, three years after it kicked off its European expansion drive by launching in Hamburg. 

The UK firm has picked up a crop of partners from rival firms to launch the offices in Munich and Frankfurt, with three joining from Advant Beiten, one from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and one from Gowling WLG. Another lawyer will also be joining Addleshaws in Frankfurt as counsel from Advant Beiten, the firm said today. 

News of the expansion comes in the same week the UK firm announced it was to open an office in Luxembourg with a trio of corporate lawyers from Fieldfisher to grow its funds finance work. Earlier this year it also gained a presence in Dublin through a merger with local firm Eugene F Collins, a move that added more than 100 legal professionals and 25 partners to its network.

It opened in Paris in early last year, having kicked off its European expansion strategy by launching in Hamburg in June 2019.

Michael Leue, head of Addleshaws in Germany, said the latest expansion placed the firm “well ahead” of the growth plan it set out when it opened in Hamburg. 

John Joyce, the firm’s managing partner, added: “Our European expansion course over the last two years has exceeded initial expectations and we look forward to continuing to deliver our commitment to offering clients comprehensive, EU-wide, support.”

Headlining the roster of new arrivals is litigation partner Markus Perkams, who joins the firm in Frankfurt after eight years as counsel at Skadden. Dual-qualified in Germany and the UK, Perkams handles national and international disputes before both state and arbitration courts. 

The group joining from Advant Beiten – formerly Beiten Burkhardt – includes a global investigations team led by Jörg Bielefel and Alexander Schmid, who join as partners in Frankfurt and Munich respectively alongside counsel Timo Handel, who also joins in Munich, and a corporate and international tax law team led by partner André Suttorp. 

Bielefel and Schmid specialise in advising and defending clients in all areas of commercial and criminal tax law. Along with Handel, the duo will focus on investigations and audits by law enforcement and supervisory authorities, as well as detection and prosecution irregularities, which Addleshaws identified as new focus areas for the team. 

Manuela Finger, meanwhile, joins alongside her team from Gowling across both of the new offices. Finger, who spent five years as a partner at Gowling, focuses her practice on intellectual property, information tech, digital media and data protection matters. She brings with her particular expertise advising on new product launches and providing legal counsel for companies entering new markets in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. 

Also joining the firm in Munich is Jörg Etzkorn, who moves to Addleshaws from his most recent role as general counsel and chief compliance officer at German insurance giant HUK-Coburg. 

Several lawyers are also relocating from Hamburg. Partner Helge Heirich will join the Munich office alongside his competition team, while banking and finance lawyer Nadine Bourgeois and commercial and distribution expert Janik Goßler will be moving to Frankfurt.

Last July, Addleshaws reported a 12% increase in revenue to £321m against a 23% rise in profit-per-equity-partner to £849,000, according to Global Legal Post's UK law firm results tracker.

Another UK firm to open a new location in Germany this year is Fieldfisher, which last month set up an outpost in Berlin to serve as a base for its new tech-powered specialist group litigation unit, Fieldfisher X, in a bid to leverage legaltech to target the booming German mass litigation market. 

And last September, Beiten became one of three leading European firms to found Advant, an exclusive alliance under the umbrella of a Swiss verein formed alongside Nctm in Milan and Altana in Paris. The trio had combined revenues of €216m in 2020 with more than 600 professionals and 140 equity partners. Advant's projected revenue placed it just outside the top 10 European law firms.

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