Herbert Smith assembles team to head up triple office launch in Germany

Herbert Smith has set out details of its international expansion plans, with the City law firm hoping to open three offices in Germany in addition to a base in New York in the wake of its failed merger bid with former European alliance partners Gleiss Lutz and Stibbe in November last year.

The firm has appointed London corporate managing partner Patrick Mitchell and City corporate partner Alan Montgomery to head a committee dealing with its launch in Germany, where it hopes to open in Frankfurt, Duesseldorf and Munich.

Frankfurt is set to be the first opening in early 2013, with Herbert Smith able to open in Germany no earlier than January due to the wind-down terms of the alliance.

City dispute resolution partner Tony Dempster has been charged with leading the firm’s 
New York committee, with Herbert Smith hoping to open an office focused on international arbitration, investigations and cross-border disputes in Manhattan in July this year.

Herbert Smith is also planning to launch two offices in Africa – one in Anglophone and one in Francophone Africa – which it expects will open later this year.

The firm is also hoping to open in South Korea in the second half of 2012, subject to receiving its licence to practise.

Herbert Smith senior partner Jonathan Scott (pictured) said: “We have now set up individual committees for each of our targeted new offices and are taking steps to get them up and running within an efficient timeframe.”

The news comes as partners from Australian leader Freehills have been in London this week to discuss the potential merger between the two firms. Herbert Smith confirmed the talks to staff earlier this month, with the deal expected to go live on 
1 July if approved by partners at both firms.