Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner

Comment: This firm made a name for itself nationwide in a number of specialist disciplines, incl. distribution and insurance as well as litigation in managerial and product liability cases. Just how well positioned FGvW already is here was underscored by work for the new federal company for the storage of nuclear waste involving liability and insurance aspects. The firm also raised its headcount for cross-border transactions by hiring two lawyers with expertise in Iranian and South American legal relations. This demonstrated the firm’s readiness to respond to the needs of its core client base of high-end Mittelstand companies active in exports.
The fact that FGvW is still among the firms at the top of the market in Freiburg is largely thanks to its steady nurturing of young talent, which ensures the firm’s long-term development. The next partner generation is given freedom to establish its own work. In this, FGvW focuses on forming sector specialties and occupying interfaces, a strategy that is already working in the healthcare sector and capital markets. Competitors are increasingly noticing young partners in M&A deals as well, although the lead role in these still tends to be played by the established partners. The corporate practice, which is regularly active for international corporates, is also still largely dominated by the two senior partners Gerhard Manz and Dr. Barbara Mayer.
Lawyers in Germany: 79
International network: Cooperation offices in Brussels, Alicante, Shanghai, Istanbul, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Well-established global network.
Developments: While interoffice and interdisciplinary work is advancing cautiously, FGvW stepped up cooperation with Swiss firm Kellerhals Carrard, which paid off in advice to startups. The young partners played a pivotal role in the firm branching into this growth area.
Though the other offices are catching up in terms of personnel, the south German office is still the firm’s powerhouse. But this should not overshadow the fact that the Freiburg office has to cope with growing competition in Baden-Württemberg: new firms like Squire Patton Boggs and Gowling, but also established firms like Bender Harrer Krevet on a drive towards expansion, are intensifying the already fierce battle for young lawyers in the southwest. This makes it all the more important that FGvW continues with its long-term training policy and retains young talent by offering real career opportunities: abolishing the counsel title in favor of the local partner status is a step in this direction. As well as business responsibility, the new partners are also granted more rights to participate.
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