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M&A, private equity draw US law firms to Munich

  • May 16, 2023
  • Reed Smith, Morgan Lewis, Kirkland & Ellis among at least nine international law firms to expand Munich presence in 2023
  • German city is a key M&A and private equity hub

(Reuters) – International and U.S. law firms continue to invest in Germany, with cross-border M&A, finance and private equity hires driving legal market growth in the country.

Reed Smith is the latest to add to its Munich office, roping in two partners from U.S. rival McDermott Will and Emery, including its German private equity group leader, Nikolaus von Jacobs, the firm said last week.

Expansion in Germany is a “key commitment” for the firm, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-headquartered Reed Smith said in a statement.

A McDermott spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the departures.

Other U.S. law firms have also grown in Munich, most notably Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, which opened its second German office there in March with a 19-attorney group from rival Shearman & Sterling, including its country head and M&A leader Florian Harder.

Kirkland & Ellis, McDermott, Dechert, DLA Piper, Allen & Overy, Ashurst and Dentons all added transactional partners in the Bavarian capital this year.

“The opening of a Munich office is strategically aligned with our global client base, as the city is home to many multinational companies, such as Amazon, Google, Siemens, Linde, Allianz, Audi, BMW, MunichRE, and Microsoft,” Morgan Lewis chair Jami McKeon said in a statement in March.

Goodwin Procter, which launched a Munich office last year, called the city “a private equity hub.”

Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt also saw partner hires by Dentons, Herbert Smith Freehills and Latham & Watkins this year.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised on more than $13 billion worth of deals involving German companies announced in the first quarter of 2023, the highest for any

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