MoFo launches in Germany taking Hogan Lovells' Berlin office

Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) is launching in Berlin, taking on Hogan Lovells’ Berlin office.

All nine partners in Hogan Lovells’ Berlin office are joining the US firm, although it is currently unclear how many of the team of more than 20 associates and counsel are joining.

Former Berlin office head Christoph Wagner is joining the US firm, alongside the head of the firm’s German tax practice Jens-Uwe Hinder. Also joining corporate partners Karin Arnold, Jorg Meissner and Dirk Besse, competition partner Eckhard Bremer, Andreas Grünwald (TMT regulatory, antitrust), Thomas Keul (litigation) and Hanno Timner (employment, data privacy).

According to Hogan Lovells, all of the partners concerned bar Wagner have yet to hand in their notice.

“The firm’s co-CEO David Harris said in a statement:”Christoph Wagner’s move earlier this month was planned and agreed. At the time of his departure, the Berlin office partners expressed their strong desire to stay with the firm and we supported that. Despite that support they have now gone back on their commitment and have said that they want to leave. We understand they have accepted offer letters from a competitor, however, they have yet to resign letters or deal with the usual formalities. Until they do so, we expect them to uphold all their responsibilities as partners in Hogan Lovells.”

“Each of our other offices in Germany is significantly larger than Berlin, which represents less than 10% of total German revenues. Germany overall is performing very well and is a recognized and significant strength of the firm. None of this changes that.”

The new office, MoFo’s second international launch this year after opening in Singapore in January, will be headed by Hinder and Timner. It will be MoFo’s 17th office worldwide.

Larren Nashelsky, chair of Morrison & Foerster said: “The German team, a widely recognized force for complex transactions, is the perfect fit for us. Our clients across the United States, Japan, China and Europe are doing the deals that are driving the fast-paced convergence in the TMT sector. The addition of the Berlin team enhances our ability to help our clients advance their business objectives in Germany and other key European markets.”

Hogan Lovells also has offices in Munich, Duesseldorf, Hamburg and Frankfurt, with 75 partners spread across Germany.

Prior to the merger between legacy firms Hogan Hartson and Lovells in 2010, Hogan’s Berlin office split in two, with 18 partners leaving to form their own firm, Raue, rather than join the merged firm.