FGvW managing partner Barbara Mayer: Berlin is the focal point for the start-up scene, private equity and venture capital investors in Germany
German independent targets capital's start-up scene with fourth German office
Leading German independent law firm Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partners (FGvW) is opening an office in Berlin after hiring a three-partner team from BRL Boege Rohde Luebbehuesen (BRL).
The office, which is opening in May, is being set up by private equity specialist Alexander Hartmann and tax adviser Oliver Ehrmann, who are joining the firm from Hamburg-based BRL’s Berlin office along with two associates and a team of tax compliance professionals.
A further partner, property lawyer Jörg Michael Siecke, will move from BRL to FGvW with his team at a date to be announced.
The Berlin office will be FGvW’s fourth in Germany. The Freiburg-based firm also has branches in Cologne and Frankfurt while it has international offices in Brussels and Alicante.
The Berlin arm will focus on advisory and transactional work, particularly for start-ups, private equity houses and investment funds, covering corporate, company and tax advice.
Siecke’s arrival will strengthen the firm’s national real estate practice as well as its foothold in Berlin’s busy property scene.
Barbara Mayer, managing partner of FGvW, said: "Berlin is the focal point for the start-up scene, private equity and venture capital investors in Germany. The establishment of our own office in Berlin is therefore an important step to further expand our M&A business. The same is true for our strongly growing transaction practice in the area of real estate."
The three new partners have experience in setting up shop in the German capital, having done so for their former firm in 2014. They cited FGvW’s entrepreneurial culture, work with start-ups, and owner-managed businesses, and the firm’s complementary finance practice as reasons for joining.
Hartmann and Ehrmann both have experience working at large international law firms. Hartmann started his career at K&L Gates, where he built up his M&A experience and developed venture capital connections within the Berlin market and gained technology sector experience.
Ehrmann has spent time at both Olswang – now part of CMS – and global law firm Dentons and has developed a wide network of tax clients in Berlin’s start-up sector and in particular, advises international investors and family offices on their German investments.
Siecke, meanwhile, will develop his experience in institutional and commercial real estate in the retail and light industrial sectors at his new firm.
The firm was set up in 1973 by name partner Friedrich Graf von Westphalen and employs more than 90 lawyers.
In January, Japanese law firm Nishimura & Asahi announced it was opening two offices in Germany – its first in Europe - in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf,