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Comment: This firm respected for employment experienced an upheaval. Well-known partner Annuß, who is highly respected for his expertise in collective employment law and contacts to German companies, announced his departure for next spring (public knowledge). This could mean the loss of central stand-alone employment work for large German clients. On the plus side, the team can now focus more on international issues, the domain of Frankfurt partner Devey. He recently drew respect for his (coordinating) work in transactional advice and work involving Brexit and possible relocations of London banks. High-profile work for the Federal Ministry of Economics concerning the Kaiser’s/Tengelmann takeover was handled by an experienced associate virtually independently – proof positive that Devey is succeeding in leading the team and fostering young talent.
Strengths: Transactions and project-related work, with many years’ experience in advising foreign companies (esp. US, UK) and their German subsidiaries, coordination of cross-border projects (SE startups).
Development potential: Annuß’ announced departure was a loss, but offers the chance to homogenize the team and focus more on cross-border work, where other international practices like Freshfields have been in the market longer and more consistently. Growth in Frankfurt was an important step. Now the practice needs to round off its profile with key specialties, esp. company pensions.
Recommended: Matthew Devey (“very good at steering international projects”, competitor), Prof. Dr. Georg Annuß (“outstanding legal expertise and very efficient”, competitor).
Practice: ?Insolvency and restructuring, cross-border project management (esp. SE work), pay issues in the banking sector. (2 partners, 1 counsel, 5 associates)
Clients: ?? Federal Ministry of Economics on Kaiser’s/Tengelmann takeover; Fast Retailing on cloud-based HR management; Apax Partner on director contracts; Apollo on planned acquisition of Xella; ongoing advice to Balfour Beatty.
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