LATHAM & WATKINS

Comment: This highly recommended employment practice changed its structure over the past two years. Competitors’ attention focused for a long time on Lunk’s advice to managers, for which he is still highly renowned. But firm growth has resulted in a broader practice, esp. on the interfaces with restructuring/insolvency and the reinvigorated, now much broader, corporate work. The young Düsseldorf office opened the door to large industrial clients such as Henkel. The appointment of Leder, who works closely with the restructuring practice and landed a top-class company pensions instruction, as partner reflects the positive development. Established partners Lunk and Heins, who are best known for their restructuring specialties, were kept busy by major strategic projects, e.g. for Merck and Airbus.
Strengths: Cross-border restructuring projects; advice to management boards.
Development potential: With a partner appointment and three associate hires, the practice was given a huge boost, unlike most international competitors. But the team has always been much smaller than that of Freshfields. L&W will now need to use its newfound clout for further specialization.
Recommended: Prof. Dr. Stefan Lunk (“good dogmatist”, competitor), Claudia Heins, Dr. Tobias Leder (“sound expertise, collegial”, competitor).
Practice: Broad practice active in project-related issues (esp. restructuring, privatization/outsourcing, e.g. in the healthcare sector) and (cross-border) regular advice, litigation and transactions. Activity on the interface with restructuring and antitrust. In Hamburg, advice provided to decision-making bodies and other managers. (3 partners, 1 counsel, 7 associates)
Clients: ?? Astellas Pharma on acquisition of Ganymed; Henkel on acquisition of Darex Packaging; Scholz Recycling on restructuring; Rockaway Capital on acquisition of insolvent Unister; ongoing advice to Dow Chemical, incl. on sale of operating unit.
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