22 Dec 2020

Watson Farley & Williams to open in Düsseldorf with eight-lawyer Pinsent Masons team

Fourth German office to house energy team, including partners Thorsten Volz and Torsten Wielsch

Dancingdice; Shutterstock

Watson Farley & Williams is set to open a new office in Düsseldorf as the firm seeks to expand its German energy practice. 

The move follows the arrival of new partners Thorsten Volz and Torsten Wielsch and a team of six other lawyers from Pinsent Masons in Düsseldorf. Volz specialises in regulatory and M&A law in the energy and transport infrastructure sectors, while Wielsch focuses on energy and corporate law from a regulatory perspective. The new office, which opens in January, is the firm’s fourth in Germany.

Lothar Wegener, WFW’s managing partner, said: “While WFW has long been recognised as one of the leading law firms in Germany for energy and infrastructure expertise, our focus has historically been on finance, M&A and projects-led. Thorsten Volz, Torsten Wielsch and their team joining us represents a major expansion of both our energy expertise and regulatory practice in Germany.”

Other members of Volz and Wielsch’s team include real estate and infrastructure lawyer Thomas Wolfl and construction and projects specialist Christoph Benedict, both of whom join as of counsel. The team also includes managing associate Britta Wissmann, who specialises in energy trading, and senior consultant Alexander Loos, who advises on project and plant constructions.

Volz brings with him 16 years of experience in the energy sector, most recently as head of Pinsent Masons’ German energy practice and head of the firm’s Düsseldorf office, where he spent almost five years. Prior to that he was a partner and head of energy and natural resources at KPMG Law, and before that an energy lawyer at Hogan Lovells.

Volz said: “WFW is the ideal platform from which Torsten and I can contribute to the continued growth and expansion of the service WFW provides across the energy sector. We especially look forward to establishing WFW Düsseldorf and working with our new colleagues in Germany and across the firm’s international network”.

Wielsch also spent almost five years at Pinsent Masons, following Volz from KPMG Germany where he worked as a senior manager. He was previously an associate at German management consultancy firm RolfsPartner. 

Earlier this month, Mayer Brown hired a team of five competition lawyers from Baker McKenzie in Düsseldorf and in October Noerr secured a four-partner team of corporate lawyers from Latham & Watkins, also in the manufacturing hub.