Clifford Chance strengthens German corporate practice with White & Case partner hire

Clifford Chance (CC) has hired White & Case corporate partner Markus Stephanblome in Frankfurt, in one of its first lateral additions since it restructured its Germany practice two years ago.

Stephanblome, who departs after three years with White & Case, focuses on public takeovers, private M&A and private equity.

He was appointed partner at the US firm in January this year. Before that, he was a local partner for three years. He joined the firm in 2014 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer where he spent 10 years, latterly as counsel.

CC Germany managing partner Peter Dieners said: “When selecting new partners, we focus on people with the ambition and potential to advance our team and strategy. We are pleased to have found in Markus a partner who matches this profile. His expertise perfectly complements our strong corporate/M&A team, which our clients will certainly appreciate.”

Stephanblome’s hire is one of the first lateral additions CC has made in Germany since a review of its operations in the country in 2015. Around nine partners left the firm at that time, with the firm restructuring the practice around its more junior partners

Most of the exits were partners from the corporate practice. Germany corporate head Arndt Stengel, who was based in Munich, quit for Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in March 2015, as two Duesseldorf corporate partners Peter Rosin and Thomas Burmeister joined White & Case in the same month.

Other high-profile exits in 2015 included the firm’s global co-head of private equity Oliver Felsenstein, who joined Latham.

Other hires since the regional review in Germany include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer global co-head of energy and natural resources, Anselm Raddatz. He joined CC’s Duesseldorf office in late 2015 as co-head of the German corporate group alongside Thomas Krecek.

More recently, CC hired KWM funds partner Sonya Pauls in 2016 in Munich.

A spokesperson for White & Case said: “We can confirm that Markus Stephanblome is leaving White & Case. We wish him every success in his future endeavours.”