Noerr secures four-partner German corporate team from Latham

Former Shearman partners move again; DWF also secures team, from DLA Piper

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Two sets of team hires in Germany have seen Noerr secure a four-partner team of corporate lawyers from Latham & Watkins and DWF take on two experienced employment partners from DLA Piper.

The Latham partners – Harald Selzner, Martin Neuhaus, Natalie Daghles and Rainer Wilke – will join Noerr’s Düsseldorf office, where Wilke, who heads the team, will also take up a management role as office co-head.

All four partners are former members of Shearman & Sterling's German arm; Wilke, Selzner and Neuhaus having left Shearman in 2013 to help Latham launch its Duesseldorf arm.

Each of the partners has acted for DAX 30 companies on a wide range of advisory and transactional mandates, as well as related parties such as banks, funds and private equity investors, both nationally and on complex cross-border European deals.  

Key to their new firm will be their experience advising boards, and in restructuring deals, both areas highlighted by the pandemic. Co-managing partner Alexander Ritvay praised the quartet’s established client relationships and their high-end practice, which he said complemented the firm “perfectly”.

With a blend of experience and age, the team is well regarded locally; before his 13-year stint at Shearman, Wilke worked for Schilling Zutt & Anschütz, one of Germany’s oldest, and most established, corporate law boutiques. 

Selzner, meanwhile, was formerly managing partner of Latham’s German offices and a past co-chair of the firm’s global M&A practice, as well as head of the German corporate team.

Noting client demand on complex and cross-jurisdictional transactions, co-managing partner Torsten Fett said the arrivals would strategically grow Noerr’s market share, adding: “Our new partners have an impressive track record precisely in these areas and fit in ideally with our strategy.”

DWF, meanwhile, has recruited two employment partners from DLA Piper: Bern Borgmann and Eva Einfeldt. Borgmann, who was head of DLA Piper’s Cologne office, is a past co-managing partner of the firm in Germany, including when current DWF CEO Sir Nigel Knowles was in charge.

He specialises in advising businesses in the insurance, metal and electrical industries on restructuring and transactions, both areas of likely future demand. 

Einfeldt, who made partner at DLA in 2017, leaves after six years, having previously worked at Luther. With a similar sectoral background, she also advises on employment, data protection and compliance issues and is based in Dusseldorf. 

They will be supported by two associates and a partner based in DWF's Munich and Düsseldorf offices.

Oliver Bolthausen, DWF’s Germany managing partner, said both lawyers had a “great reputation in the market. They will both play instrumental roles leading the employment practice here in Germany as well as working with the global employment team”.

DWF lists 26 lawyers in Germany working out of offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Munich and Cologne. It opened in Düsseldorf in October 2019 after hiring a five-partner team from Marccus Partners, its entire local office. 

In June it said it was reducing its Cologne presence and consolidating its operations in that region of Germany to Düsseldorf as part of a wider cost-cutting drive that included the closure of its Brussels and Singapore offices.

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