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Big Law Firm Becomes Latest to Enter Germany

Nov. 5, 2015, 7:05 PM

Goodwin Procter has announced the opening of a new office in Frankfurt, adding four partners who specialize in real estate capital markets and private equity from London-based Ashurst LLP.

The office is the firm’s first in Germany, and its second in Europe, following the opening of a London office in 2011.

In an interview with Big Law Business, Goodwin Procter Chairman David Hashmall said the Frankfurt office is an outgrowth of the firm’s presence in the U.K.: “Many clients we’re servicing from London have needs for legal services in Germany as well.”

Hashmall said it was “fortuitous” that the head of Goodwin Procter’s London office, David Evans, had previously worked at Ashurst, and could recommend the four attorneys. Negotiations between Goodwin Procter and the lawyers started about six weeks ago.

An Ashurst representative declined to comment on the story.

The office opening continues a recent trend of U.S. law firms making high-profile hires in Germany. Hashmall declined to say whether firms are jostling with one another to establish a German presence.

“Obviously, we watch what other firms are doing, not only in Germany, but throughout the world,” he said, “but that doesn’t drive us to make a decision we don’t think is right decision for our firm, independent of what other firms are doing.”

“Germany is the largest and strongest economy, particularly in Frankfurt,” Hashmall added. “And commercial acitivity in real estate investment is higher than it’s ever been.”

According to the firm’s press release, its Real Estate Capital Markets Group represents real estate investment managers, real estate fund sponsors, and public and private REITs in all aspects of raising and deploying capital.

The four partners in Goodwin Procter’s new Frankfurt office are:


  • Stephan Kock, who led Ashurst’s German international finance department for eight years and specializes in real estate finance and leveraged finance, associated debt restructuring in these areas, and loan portfolio transactions.


  • Peter Junghänel, Managing Partner of Ashurst’s German offices from 2009 to 2013, who specializes in acquisitions and sales of real estate properties via share and asset deals, sale and lease-back transactions, commercial leases and all property related transactions and contracts.


  • Marc Bohne, who specializes in acquisitions and sales of real estate properties.


  • Lars Jessen, who specializes in private equity, real estate and M&A work.