Deutsche appoints ex-Linklaters partner as new legal chief as co-GCs prepare to leave bank

Deutsche Bank has appointed EMEA general counsel Florian Drinhausen to the top legal role at the bank, ahead of the departure of current co-GCs Christof von Dryander and Simon Dodds next year.

Drinhausen has been at Deutsche since joining from Linklaters in 2014. He spent almost 10 years as a partner at the magic circle firm, where he was one of the firm’s global telecommunications, media and technology sector leaders .

Frankfurt-based Dryander is leaving the bank at the end of the year, with London-based Dodds set to depart on 31 March. Drinhausen will take over von Dryander’s responsibilities on 1 January 2018 and then will become sole GC on 1 April.

Deutsche chief administrative officer Karl von Rohr said: “The legal department has had very successful years under Christof and Simon’s leadership. This has been thanks to their exemplary cooperation and hard work. Florian is an excellent lawyer and a very experienced manager, who is very familiar with the bank and the challenges we are facing.”

Drinhausen will also continue to lead the bank’s global governance function, a role he took over last year.

Before moving to Linklaters in 2001, he was an associate at German firm Hengeler Mueller.

Both Von Dryander and Dodds, meanwhile, started their career at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Dodds joined Deutsche in 1999 as UK GC as part of the takeover of Bankers Trust, and in 2002 took legal responsibility for western Europe before becoming global head of compliance in 2010.

Von Dryander joined the bank in 2013 as GC for Germany and central and eastern Europe, after more than 30 years at Cleary.

The duo were appointed as co-GCs at Deutsche two years ago, at a time when Deutsche was besieged with legal problems over misconduct. The two replaced Richard Walker, a former head of the Enforcement Division at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, who is now at King & Spalding, and was GC of the bank from 2001 to 2015.

A bank spokesperson said it is not yet known where Dryander and Dodds are going, but that “the timing was right” for the change.

The news comes after Legal Week revealed this year that Deutsche would not pay panel law firms for work carried out by newly qualified lawyers and trainees, a move that was met with some scepticism from partners many other in-house lawyers.

Just under half of almost 200 in-house lawyers who responded to a Legal Week survey said they did not agree with the stipulation, with only one third arguing that it was a good move, while almost 60% of partners surveyed said it was an ”unreasonable” demand.

Additional reporting by Sue Reisinger.