Comment: Although not in great strides, this firm is making visible progress in key areas, underscoring its position even beyond its hard-fought home market in Hamburg. One cornerstone of this development is ESC’s success in generating higher quality work in more and more practices. Examples include advice to Danish boat paint manufacturer Hempel concerning an internal investigation after a corruption affair, complex restructuring work for Hamburg Airport and French service provider Elis, and a growing number of M&A contacts on the buyer side. The reasons for this are manifold: firstly, the MDP benefited from the typically well-integrated cooperation between various practices, e.g. corporate, M&A, tax and employment. Secondly, ESC is taking a more structured approach to expanding and referring work internally: out of contacts stemming from last year’s merger with accounting company Dr. Muser Treuhand the firm developed high-profile trademark work for G. Pohl-Boskamp (“Gelomyrtol”). ESC increasingly has the younger generation of partners, who are making a mark in central practices like corporate and M&A as well as in trademarks and unfair competition, to thank for such accomplishments: an important sign with regard to long-term prospects.
See also: ?Hamburg.
Lawyers in Germany: 59
International network: Member of the Lawyers Associated Worldwide network.
Developments: Now and then it may have looked as though the firm’s position as a top dog in Hamburg could come under pressure in recent years, but this has now been put into perspective. This is probably one of the reasons why major strategic changes to the setup, like new offices or a potential national merger within the firm, are no longer playing a significant role in current considerations. Nonetheless, the challenges facing the management duo of Dr. Wolfgang Deuchler and Dr. Andreas von Criegern are by no means insignificant. One in particular appears as unanticipated as it is pressing: retaining the young generation. ESC needs more young lawyers for its further growth, but the introduction of a new career level, intended to bridge the phase between non-equity and equity partnership, does not appear as popular with the young generation as hoped and is seen more as a hurdle on the career track. The firm must thus prevent a permanent bad atmosphere and involve young lawyers more in the dialog around what is on the whole a very well-thought-out concept for the development of young talent.
For further success, striking the right balance between high-end work and stability from numerous traditional and ongoing client relationships appears crucial.
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