Herbert Smith Freehills to expand German offering with arbitration partner hire and Düsseldorf office opening announcement

Herbert Smith Freehills is pleased to announce that it will be strengthening its German practice with the hire of respected arbitration and disputes partner Thomas Weimann and the opening of a new office in Düsseldorf, the firm’s third in Germany, in 2016.

Thomas, for many years a partner at Clifford Chance and head of that firm’s Düsseldorf arbitration and litigation practice, enjoys a practice that spans a wide range of disputes work, local, domestic and international, with a special focus on post M&A arbitrations and disputes concerning plant construction, industrial engineering and civil construction projects. As president of the Chinese European Legal Association and board member of the Hamburg-based Chinese European Arbitration Centre, he also has extensive experience of advising in Sino-European disputes. Thomas also sits as an arbitrator in proceedings under the auspices of the ICC, DIS, CIETAC and PCA and other arbitral institutions.

Thomas will be working out of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Frankfurt office until the opening of the firm’s new Düsseldorf office early next year. He will be joined there by competition, regulation and trade partner, Michael Dietrich and his team who will be relocating to Düsseldorf from Frankfurt.

Home to some of the largest and best known German blue chip corporates, Düsseldorf and its vicinity also play host to the European or German headquarters of many international corporates, including numerous Japanese and Chinese companies.

A major market in Germany for corporate, competition and IP/patent practices, opening an office in Düsseldorf is a logical next step for Herbert Smith Freehills’ expanding German network, especially in light of the firm’s world leading corporate and disputes practices. The office will open early 2016, following on from Frankfurt and Berlin in 2013.

Mark Rigotti, Joint CEO, commented:

“As Europe’s largest and strongest economy, Germany is naturally a key market for the firm, especially in light of our strategy to grow our EMEA platform, which will be further strengthened by our forthcoming office opening in Johannesburg. Our new Düsseldorf office will greatly enhance our ability to offer a full German service to clients both domestic and from across our global network”.

Ralf Thaeter, who heads Herbert Smith Freehills’ German offices, added:

“I’m delighted both to welcome Thomas to the firm and to announce the opening of our new Düsseldorf office next year. Thomas is a highly respected arbitration and disputes lawyer and strong synergies exist between his areas of expertise and the firm’s international offering and client base both in Germany and beyond.

“Opening in Düsseldorf underlines our commitment to expanding our German offering. Since first opening in Germany in 2013, we will soon have ten extremely talented partners operating across the nation’s financial, regulatory and corporate capitals”.

This latest office launch from Herbert Smith Freehills closely follows the recent launch in South Africa further strengthening the firm’s EMEA network of 10 offices in 8 countries.

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