Legal business DWF has announced plans to open an office in Berlin in order to strengthen its financial services, real estate and corporate/M&A service lines and continue expanding its European footprint. The office will open 3 April 2017.
Partner Wolfgang Richter, who joined DWF Germany following the firm's 2016 merger with German commercial law firm BridgehouseLaw, will head the new Berlin office in the role of Executive Partner. The office, which will initially launch with eight lawyers, includes two additional partners, financial services lawyer Dr. Nina Siedler and real estate lawyer Irene Schmid from DLA Piper who have decided to close their Berlin office.
Establishing a presence in Berlin will allow DWF to enhance its existing capability in Germany, where the firm currently has offices in Cologne and Munich, particularly in the financial services sector where the firm has a growing specialism in fintech. DWF will also focus on growing its European corporate/M&A practice, benefiting from Berlin's well-established private equity and international venture capital scene, and will continue building its international real estate practice to complement its strong national team in the UK as well as an increasingly active construction and infrastructure practice in Dubai.
Andrew Leaitherland, Managing Partner and CEO of DWF, said: "As a firm we have a continued focus on identifying growth opportunities that reflect both the direction of our business and our growing international outlook, as well as the priorities of our client base. Opening in Berlin presents a strategic opportunity in its own right, offering significant opportunities in the financial services and real estate markets, along with being a key piece of our wider international growth plans. Building our German presence, combined with our recent opening in Paris, allows us to really bed in our European offering and continuing extending our international links into key geographic markets globally, including the Middle East and Africa."
Michael Falter, Managing Partner of DWF Germany, said: "Having spent the last year focusing on the strategic growth of our Cologne and Munich offices, including the development of a strong technology sector practice, DWF is in a good position to take advantage of the opportunities presented in the Berlin market. The city has become the digitilisation capital of Germany, with a thriving fintech and international start-up business scene that is a natural fit for our expertise and will be key as we build our German and international client base."