Osborne Clarke opens in Hamburg

23 Oct, 2012

North European hub is international law firm’s 13th office

Osborne Clarke, the international law firm with an annual turnover of €150m, is about to open a new office in Hamburg. The office brings the firm’s sector expertise to a city that is Northern Europe’s most important economic centre and the gateway to Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltic regions.

The Hamburg office opens with four Partners:

•       Dr. Christoph Torwegge who joins from his role as Head of Legal at Hamburg based trade, oleo and production group CREMER.

•       Prof. Norbert Aust, lawyer, entrepreneur, consultant and former president of Hamburg University of Economics and Political Sciences, who joins from his own specialist consultancy.

•       Dr. David Plitt, who joins from White & Case in Hamburg, where he built a reputation as one of the city’s leading employment lawyers

•       Dr. Isabella Niklas, a specialist energy lawyer who joins from boutique energy law firm WKN and was previously with White & Case and PwC Legal.

The team also includes two new associates: Dr. Thorsten Behle, who joins with Isabella Niklas and Dr. Sebastian Stütze, who joins with David Plitt.

Torwegge, who will head the new Hamburg office, originally trained with Osborne Clarke in its Cologne offices in 2002.

The new office expands OC’s sector capabilities, with the highly respected Energy team of Isabella Niklas and Thorsten Behle focussing on renewable energy projects and transactional work. Additionally, the four new partners bring expertise in Automotive & Transport, Digital Business, Health Care & Life Sciences, Real Estate & Infrastructure and Retail to the office.

Employment law will also be a focus for the office, with David Plitt and Sebastian Stütze being recognised as one of the best employment teams in Hamburg.

Additionally, Christoph Torwegge brings in-depth knowledge and expertise in international trade and shipping.

Norbert Aust not only has excellent knowledge of the northern economic region but also proven expertise in the creation and management and of companies, as well as practical insights from his work as a consultant.

Osborne Clarke’s German Managing Partner, Stefan Rizor (pictured), said: “Hamburg is a strategically important base for OC: it’s the most important North European commercial centre and acts as a gateway to Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltic regions. This is a real opportunity for us to leverage our sector expertise in a new market, where energy companies, digital businesses and transportation providers in particular are growing rapidly.

“We’ve been growing organically in Germany for more than 10 years, expanding our Cologne and Munich offices through lateral hire programmes. Our new office in Hamburg gives us a presence in Northern Germany in addition to our presence in Western and Southern regions. It also gives us a greater national presence, allowing us to offer our clients services across a much larger geographical area.

“The Hamburg legal market has traditionally been a closed shop, and given that around 10,000 companies have relocated to the city recently, year on year, some new competition is long overdue. We’re going to be bringing our sector expertise to our new office, along with our business friendly, cost-effective approach that has proved so popular in other cities.

“Our four new Partners are very well known in the local market and have great contacts, as well as a deep understanding of the local business environment. That, combined with a track record of working across borders on international matters gives our new office a very strong start on which to build.”

The office effectively allows the firm to target the whole of north-eastern Europe.

Head of Hamburg office, Christoph Torwegge, said: “I am very excited to be opening a new office for Osborne Clarke and am looking forward to working with the OC team in Germany and internationally. The firm has ambitious international growth plans, and a sector focused team that has in-depth experience of working in Northern Europe is going to be very attractive to businesses in Hamburg.”

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