08 Jun 2021

Latham & Watkins eyes German M&A market with twin partner hire from Baker McKenzie

Duo includes Ingo Strauss and Heiko Gotsche, who join the firm's Düsseldorf office


Latham & Watkins has made a twin M&A hire in Düsseldorf from Baker McKenzie as the firm seeks to strengthen its German corporate department.

Ingo Strauss and Heiko Gotsche join as partners and will work across the firm’s private equity and M&A practices. The duo bring with them roughly three decades of combined experience advising public and private companies, buyout firms, banks and other investors on a range of transactional matters, from cross-border M&A to carve-outs.

Burc Hesse, the firm’s German office managing partner, said: “[Strauss and Gotsche’s] practices and experience will add tremendous additional firepower to our market-leading M&A capabilities in Europe.”

Strauss had been at Bakers for roughly nine years, most recently as chair of its EMEA private equity group. Before that he spent six years at German firm Hengeler Mueller, as well as a brief spell at Linklaters in Cologne. Before his career in the law he was a professional handball player, playing for HSV Düsseldorf in the German Bundesliga and representing the German national team. Gotsche, meantime, was a partner at Bakers for more than five years, also joining from Hengeler Mueller where he spent six years, the majority of them as a senior associate.

Ed Barnett, global co-chair of Latham’s M&A practice in London, said: “Ingo and Heiko are seasoned M&A practitioners with formidable technical skills, strong commercial judgement, and deep knowledge in a number of dynamic global industries that only comes with years at the forefront of the practice. Their arrival represents another step forward for the firm as we look to further establish the premier transactional practice.”

The duo’s arrival follows the exit of four Düsseldorf-based corporate partners – Harald Selzner, Martin Neuhaus, Natalie Daghles and Rainer Wilke – to German firm Noerr in October last year, with Wilke becoming co-head of its Düsseldorf office. 

In December last year, Watson Farley & Williams announced plans to open in Düsseldorf following the arrival of an eight-strong team from Pinsent Masons, led by partners Thorsten Volz and Torsten Wielsch, while Mayer Brown’s Düsseldorf practice hired a five-strong German competition team led by partners Christian Horstkotte and Johannes Weichbrodt.