Gowling WLG grows in Germany with quartet of senior hires

Recruits join as partners from firms including Norton Rose Fulbright and DLA Piper to bolster recently-launched Frankfurt office

Dr. Mathias Wittinghofer Image courtesy of Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG has hired four senior lawyers from rivals including Norton Rose Fulbright and DLA Piper as it continues to build its presence in Germany. 

The recruits, who are all joining as partners, will be responsible for building Gowling’s finance, transactional IP, employment and dispute resolution practices in Germany and will join the firm in Frankfurt, where it opened an office earlier this year with the hire of four partners and their teams from Taylor Wessing.

David Fennell, chief executive and co-chair of Gowling’s international board, said: “We’re excited to be delivering the next stage of our growth strategy in Germany. Our launch in Frankfurt has provided a great foundation to open up growth opportunities for the firm and it’s fantastic to be strengthening our team with these talented lawyers.”

Dr. Mathias Wittinghofer has joined to lead Gowling’s German dispute resolution practice after 15 years as a partner at Baker McKenzie and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), where he founded the German disputes team. 

A commercial litigation and arbitration lawyer, he has worked independently since leaving HSF earlier this year and focuses his practice on disputes in the financial services, automotive and tech sectors. He is also a solicitor registered at the Law Society of England and Wales, and a listed arbitrator at a number of international arbitration centres. 

Meantime, Carolin Glänzel is joining Gowling as a partner with a mandate to build its German finance practice, having previously been a special counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright. Gowling said Glänzel was expected to help grow its corporate, finance and tax (CFT) and real estate practices. 

Miray Kavruk will also join as a partner having worked as a counsel at her former firm DLA Piper. She will be responsible for building Gowling’s transactional IP team in Germany. 

Finally partner Annette Knoth is joining as head of a larger team from German law firm Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein to establish Gowling’s Germany employment practice. The team, which includes counsel Thomas Hartmann, will provide employment and labour law advice including in relation to transactions, which Gowling said would strengthen its CFT practice. 

The new hires will begin at Gowling 1 January and bring the firm’s Frankfurt team to nine partners and around 16 further lawyers, including four counsel. 

Their arrival furthers Gowling’s plans to build a full-practice offering in Germany as part of a wider ambition to have a “strong core platform” across Europe’s three largest economies, which also includes the UK and France. 

Alongside the team from Taylor Wessing, the firm hired real estate partner Wolfram Paetzold from Pinsent Masons in July in Frankfurt and also has small offices in Stuttgart and Munich. 

Daniel Perlzweig, director of international development at Gowling, said: “We are delighted to continue our growth in Germany, where we are in a prime position to become a full service firm in the short term. With this we are on plan as part of our wider European and international growth initiative.”

Another firm that has expanded recently in Germany is Addleshaw Goddard, which added a team of energy lawyers earlier this month from EY Law. The firm chose Germany for its Europe debut in 2019 when it opened an office in Hamburg and since then has grown its team there to nearly 50 lawyers across four offices. 

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