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06/28/06

DLA Piper expands into Munich

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary intends to expand its presence in the German market with a focus on technology, media, and telecommunications, as reported by The Lawyer Group.

The German market for private equity players is saturated with major U.S. players like Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, all of whom have offices in Munich with strong focuses on private equity. Moreover, the German patent office is located in Munich, and this has made it a center for IP/IT work. DLA Piper is the latest to stake a claim to the Munich legal market.

Ever since it first launched its German operation less than two years ago, DLA Piper has increased its staff from three to 80 attorneys within Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Cologne. The firm also maintains a five member German banking and finance team.

Cleary hires from Freshfields for Cologne office
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has announced plans to station a full-time corporate partner at the firm's Cologne office. To that end, the firm has recruited Jurgen Sieger, an M&A partner from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Sieger, who is likely to join in September, will be doing full time work in corporate law in Cologne, while the other corporate partner, Thomas Buhl, will commute between the Cologne and Berlin offices. The total number of attorneys at the Cologne office is expected to reach 25 by next year. Cleary presently has 15 lawyers at Cologne, of whom five are engaged in corporate practice.

Global Graduates hangs in balance
A number of sponsors of the Global Graduates program have indicated their interest in working with alternate diversity organizations. This has put the future of the London-based organization in doubt.

Founded in 1999, Global Graduates counsels and mentors young lawyers from nontraditional backgrounds, helping them best present themselves to legal employers. The program's Diversity in Law campaign tours law schools to assist minority law students secure post-graduate employment.

Sponsors of the program include Weil Gotshal & Manges, Linklaters , Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Ashurst and Allen & Overy. These firms offer in-house training seminars and one-on-one support for young attorneys and law students. Many of these sponsors, however, have indicated that when their sponsorship contract with Global Graduates runs out, they will not renew.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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