A&O hires private equity partner from Weil in Munich as laterals market continues to buzz

UK firm restocks bench after loss to Dechert as it targets EU's 'most important market for investors'
Portrait of Hendrik Rohricht

Hendrik Rohricht

Allen & Overy (A&O) has boosted its German private equity practice with the hire of Hendrik Rohricht from Weil Gotshal & Manges in Munich.

The move restocks A&O’s Germany private equity bench after the departure of Frankfurt property-focused partner Markus Käpplinger for Goodwin Procter in June and Munich-based private equity partner Dominik Stühler for Dechert in May. 

It also continues a flurry of lateral moves in Munich – Germany’s private equity hub – with Clifford Chance, Shearman & Sterling and Goodwin Procter all having made senior hires in recent months.

Rohricht has been a partner in Weil’s Frankfurt office for two years, where he mainly advised on private equity and M&A transactions across a number of sectors, including technology, healthcare, and payment systems. 

Before moving to Weil in 2019, he was a partner at US rival White & Case, having joined from Clifford Chance where he worked as a senior associate. 

Rohricht has experience with the client side of private equity through his work at private equity investor HG in London, where he spent six months as a secondee in 2014. 

Wolf Bussian, managing partner of Allen & Overy in Germany, said Rohricht’s hire represents an “important step to underpin and sustainably expand” its private equity practice in the country. 

“For our firm, private equity is an important part of the strategy in Germany and our stated goal is to develop the private equity practice into one of the leading practices in the German market in the medium term,” he said. 

A&O has five Germany-based partners who deal exclusively with private equity transactions and two other partners who advise on financing for private equity investments (especially leveraged finance).

Following what the firm called an initial ‘pandemic-induced deal lull’ in the first half of 2020, growth opportunities in a recovering M&A and private equity market are ‘excellent’, especially in Germany, which Nils Koffka, head of A&O’s German private equity practice, earmarked as “the most important target market in the EU” for many financial investors. 

Mergermarket’s 2021 Q1 M&A report picked out private equity as a key driver of European M&A, “buoyed by a healthy financing market and extensive amount of dry-power available to deploy”. 

Koffka added: “The ongoing low interest rate policy of the European Central Bank and other central banks as well as the high level of liquidity on the investor side fosters leveraged transactions. In addition, major changes within the German economy yield a very favourable market environment for investments. With Hendrik’s move we are well prepared for our client’s increased need for advice."

In May, Clifford Chance unveiled a trio of lateral hires in Munich from Kirkland & Ellis, strengthening its private equity practice months after losing two partners to Wall Street firm Milbank.

In the same month, Goodwin Procter expanded its German presence to Munich with the hire of private equity partner Jan Schinkoth and an associate from US rival Sidley Austin. 

And in January, Shearman & Sterling opened in Munich with the hire of acquisition finance partners Florian Harder and Jann Jetter from Linklaters.

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