Fieldfisher raids SKW Schwarz to boost media and entertainment practice in Germany

UK firm recruits 11 lawyers, seven from SKW Schwarz, as part of plans to build out a pan-European media and entertainment practice

Fieldfisher has recruited 11 lawyers across Germany to its media and entertainment team, with seven coming from German law firm SKW Schwarz, in a bid to strengthen its international media, technology and IP portfolios.

Media and entertainment partners Martin Diesbach, Elisabeth Noltenius and Julia Schafdecker are joining Fieldfisher’s Berlin office from 130-lawyer SKW Schwarz, along with a four-strong IP team led by partner Sascha Pres and IP litigators Christina Kufer, Tien Nguyen and Laura Krug.

Also joining the UK firm as a partner is Gerd Hansen who most recently worked as head of legal affairs at Sky Studios Germany. He started on 1 April, the rest of the team will start on 1 July 2024.

The team will be complemented by an experienced in-house lawyer and copyright and media law expert as well as two further associates from international firms.

The new additions join the cross-practice media and entertainment group, which houses more than 45 lawyers from London, Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Milan, Amsterdam and Vienna.

Philipp Plog, managing partner of Fieldfisher in Germany, said the firm was focusing on growth in the digital media segment, but also on the “interfaces with technology and litigation”, where it already works in fields such as privacy, adtech, legal tech and cloud.

He added that the team has expertise that will “complement our advisory offering very well”.

Last week the firm announced it was relaunching in Italy with a standalone office after cutting ties with its longstanding Italian partner firm Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati (SasPi).

In 2022, it launched its Berlin-based mass litigation business unit Fieldfisher X, which specialises in the provision of scalable legal services and mass litigation defence.

The new team, the firms says, will develop its range of advisory services, working closely with the broader tech and data group and Fieldfisher X, together with the IP team.

Pres said that: “Above all, the proximity and the resulting direct exchange with Fieldfisher X creates ideal conditions for us to continue to pursue our out-of-the-box approach to IP advice with technology and to continue to break new, sustainable ground.”

Commenting on his appointment Diesbach said the firm’s international positioning” and culture and dynamism  “convinced us to make the move”.

He added that they discovered “many points of contact in the client portfolio during our discussion”.

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