02 Sep 2021

Rimon launches Frankfurt office with BCLP partner duo

Office marks US distributed law firm's seventh new location this year

Portrait photos of Bernd Geier (left) and Stephan Krampe

Bernd Geier (left) and Stephan Krampe

The global expansion of US tech-driven distributed law firm Rimon goes on, this time in Germany with the launch of Rimon Falkenfort in Frankfurt by two former Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) partners.

The venture is being spearheaded by ex-BCLP partners Bernd Geier and Stephan Krampe alongside Michael Magotsch, a former colleague who left BCLP in 2019 when he founded a coaching business as well as lecturing in business and social law at SRH University Heidelberg Germany.

The trio will work closely with former Herbert Smith Freehills partner Dirk Hamann, who opened Rimon’s Berlin office last year. Another finance and restructuring partner is expected to join in Frankfurt by the end of the year. 

All three have a track record of holding senior positions at leading firms: Geier headed up Dentons' German financial regulation and funds practice before joining BCLP in 2018; Krampe was a highly rated tax partner at BCLP; while Magotsch, an employment specialist, founded DLA Piper’s Frankfurt office and was office managing partner until 2009.

The new offering, Rimon’s second in the country after Berlin, is an independently registered partnership that’s integrated with the international law firm and will use its collaborative business model built around cloud and video conferencing.

“Our ambition is to change how law firms do business by efficiently using modern technology that directly benefits ur clients,” said Geier.

Rimon uses tech to offer its lawyers and their clients an alternative to the time-based business model and hierarchical structures of traditional law firms. The firm functions around a tech platform that allows for flexible office arrangements and collaboration across more than 100 virtual rooms, with admin staff available around the clock. Lawyers can use the rooms to work with each other and their clients and are free to work in the office, on the go or from home.

The firm also doesn’t use billable hours, offering clients a variety of billing models. And it doesn’t work on a profits per partner basis or hand out hefty bonuses. Instead, partners that bring in work have flexibility over how they choose to charge a client, with other partners being paid a fixed internal rate for work referred internally. As Rimon CEO Michael Moradzadeh told Law.com, this has the effect of not pressuring partners to adjust their rates to meet firm standards and also motivates them to bring in work but not “hog” it.

Juve reported that Rimon Falkenfort’s model relies exclusively on partners with many years of professional experience, in a bid to break away from hierarchical structures. Office space is also rented for lawyers as required, saving on costs.  

“It was essential to us to be adaptable to local market needs, while at the same time offering our clients the familiar international  environment,” said  Krampe, who developed  the business model in Germany. “We give our partners the greatest possible freedom to serve clients from a wide range of market segments, enabling them to provide high quality and cost-efficient advice.”

Rimon has been rapidly expanding its global footprint this year, opening in Seoul, Casablanca, Paris, London, Austin and Montreal as well as Frankfurt, and applying for a license to operate in Hong Kong. The firm was started in 2008 but has seen rapid growth since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and now has more than 40 locations around the globe.

BCLP, meanwhile, is focusing on three primary groups – real estate, corporate and finance transactions and litigation and investigations – as part of its Project Advance strategy, which was unveiled in October last year. 

Last year saw the firm build up its Paris office through a series of real estate-focused lateral hires. Conversely there have been a string departures from is private client group – notably to Taylor Wessing in London and US trust and estates boutique Harrison & Held in the US

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