K&L Gates boosts German real estate offering with Eversheds team hire

The US firm has added nine lawyers across its Munich and Frankfurt offices including two partners

Germany’s busy market for lateral hires has seen K&L Gates add a nine-lawyer team to its real estate practice in Munich and Frankfurt from Eversheds Sutherland.

Led by Munich partners Philipp Turnwald and Dr Nicolas Mähner, the team also includes counsel Jennifer Hock, Dominik Sailer and Dr Andrew Stanka and associates Patrick Glück and Laura Mayr in Munich, as well as counsel Julian-Claudius Götz and senior associate Stefan Koch in Frankfurt.

Turnwald and Mähner both have more than 15 years’ experience as real estate lawyers, with a primarily commercial property client base and added specialisations in logistics and retail. Turnwald has left Eversheds after nine years, having worked for two local Munich firms previously, while Mähner has joined K&L Gates as a partner after two stints at Eversheds of four and three years apiece interspersed with two years at Orrick.  

They act for a mix of household-name corporates, property investors, developers and real estate investment funds including Boeing, for which they concluded a major real estate deal in April 2021 at their former firm. 

Heather Howard, senior in-house counsel at Boeing, said then that the pair were “a huge and critical part of getting us to completion” on the deal, calling them “outstanding for reliable responsiveness, good counsel, significant drafting, and effective negotiations”.

The nine-strong arrival boosts K&L Gates’s real estate practice in Berlin, with additional representation in its financial centre Frankfurt as well as Munich, where K&L Gates first opened in 2016 with a three-partner hire from King & Wood Mallesons

Turnwald said the move was demand-led and the local additions would optimise the strength of the group as a whole, adding that the firm’s real estate group would increase to 25 lawyers in total – significant for the German market. The move is also indicative of the US firm’s assertive lateral hiring policy; it has added more than 80 lawyers to its roster since January 2020, with a three-partner team of restructuring lawyers joining in Frankfurt last year.  

Rüdiger von Hülst, local managing partner, said the firm was “ideally positioned to advise logistics companies, project developers and companies in the corporate real estate sector, while also helping [us] to establish a stronger presence in the important markets of Munich and Frankfurt".

Wayne Smith, head of global real estate, said the move was also intended to further strengthen the firm’s pan-European offering in all aspects of corporate real estate, having previously added French real estate partner Denis Charles in Paris in May from Pinsent Masons.  

Other hires undertaken in Munich recently include a trio of lateral hires by Clifford Chance from Kirkland & Ellis in May, following on from similar additions by Milbank, Shearman & Sterling – which has reopened in Munich after a seven-year absence – and Goodwin Procter.

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