To further its client-led international expansion leading UK legal business DWF acquired German international commercial law firm BridgehouseLaw on 1st January 2016 to create DWF Germany. Driven by client demand, the strategic acquisition helps to build the firm’s international capability, particularly in Germany and strengthens DWF’s capability in its chosen industry sectors, specifically energy, real estate, retail, food & hospitality and technology.
BridgehouseLaw built a strong reputation advising foreign, especially US and Israel-based companies expanding into Germany and German companies expanding abroad, especially into the US, and advising them on the full range of commercial issues with particular expertise in corporate/M&A, distribution and franchise law, employment, IT/IP and dispute resolution matters. BridgehouseLaw's strong focus on the energy, real estate, retail, food & hospitality and tech industry sectors complements and strengthens DWF’s own sector focus, bringing DWF new clients including Carbo, Deutsche Telecom, Media Broadcast, MEP and Univa.
The merger gives DWF two new offices in Cologne and Munich and enhances DWF’s international offering, giving the firm access into the German market and enhancing DWF’s existing MENA offering, which is led through DWF’s office in Dubai. DWF established its Dubai office in March 2015 following demand from clients across the construction, energy, insurance and transport sectors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to support the construction boom in large infrastructure, housing, tourism, and air and port facilities across the Middle East.
DWF has been advising clients in Germany and the USA, as well as Canada, China, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States and India, both on UK and international matters for over 20 years. In December 2015 the firm opened an office in Brussels to provide greater competition and regulatory support to its major UK and international clients.
DWF’s Managing Partner & CEO, Andrew Leaitherland, continues to lead the overall business and Michael Falter leads operations in Germany as Managing Partner of DWF Germany. The merged firm has a turnover of £194million and employs approximately 2,360 people across 16 locations. BridgehouseLaw’s four equity partners - Oliver Bolthausen, Klaus Brisch, Michael Falter and Dr Mathias Reif - have become equity partners of DWF LLP.