Latham lures lawyers from Ashurst

Latham lures lawyers from Ashurst 2006-01-12 Robert Venes <P>US-based law firm <FONT color=#99926b>Latham & Watkins</FONT> is to open an office in Munich following the hire of <FONT color=#99926b>Joerg Kirchner</FONT>, German co-head of corporate at <FONT color=#99926b>

US-based law firm Latham & Watkins is to open an office in Munich following the hire of Joerg Kirchner, German co-head of corporate at Ashurst, according to a report.

Legal Week says Latham has hired Jörg Kirchner from rival Ashurst’s Munich office. Kirchner is currently joint head of corporate in Germany alongside Reinhard Eyring, and specialises in private equity and mergers and acquisitions. According to Legal Week, Kirchner is expected to open a new office for Latham in Munich.

Kirchner: reportedly moving to Munich

Jörg Soehring, managing partner of Latham & Watkins’ Hamburg office declined to comment. Latham & Watkins already has offices in Hamburg and Frankfurt.

Simon Beddow, managing partner of Ashurst in Germany, confirmed to PEO that Kirchner, as well as partners Claudia Heins and Stefan Süßs, have resigned. The three joined Ashurst from Baker & McKenzie in 2001.

Beddow added that no departure date for Kirchner, Heins or Süßs had yet been agreed, but the firm is looking to replace the departees. “We are fully committed to both our offices in Germany [Munich and Frankfurt] and we have full staff in place to service our clients as part of our leading European private equity practice. We will move to recruit in Munich in due course,” said Beddow.

Private equity deals Kirchner has worked on for Ashurst this year include advising The Carlyle Group on its joint acquisition with Advent International of German plastics manufacturer HT Troplast; advising Bain Capital on its divestment of German outdoor clothing maker Jack Wolfskin to Quadriga Capital for a reported $120 million (€102 million) in April; and advising Bain on its proposed €1.4 billion ($1.6 billon) acquisition of Ruhrgas the following month, which was aborted during the auction. Ruhrgas, the metering unit of German utility Eon was sold in June to CVC Capital Partners for €1.5 billion.

Other private equity clients for Ashurst in Germany include Electra Partners Europe and Advent International, according to Beddow.

Latham & Watkins has poached private equity lawyers from Ashurst before, appointing buyout specialist Thomas Forschbach to its Paris office in September 2004.