UK firm replenishes bench after Dechert loss as it targets EU ‘most important market for investors’
Allen & Overy (A&O) strengthened its German private equity practice with the hiring of Hendrik Rohricht of Weil Gotshal & Manges in Munich.
The move replenishes A&O’s German private equity bench after the departure of Frankfurt real estate partner Markus KÃ¤pplinger for Goodwin Procter in June and Munich-based private equity partner Dominik StÃ¼hler for Dechert in May.
It is also continuing a wave of sideways moves in Munich – Germany‘s private equity hub – with Clifford Chance, Shearman & Sterling and Goodwin Procter all hiring seniors in recent months.
Rohricht was a partner in Weil’s Frankfurt office for two years, where he primarily advised private equity and M&A transactions in a number of industries including technology, healthcare and payments systems.
Before moving to Weil in 2019, he was a partner at US rival White & Case, after joining Clifford Chance where he worked as a senior partner.
Rohricht has experience on the client side of private equity through his work at private equity investor HG in London, where he spent six months on secondment in 2014.
Wolf Bussian, managing partner of Allen & Overy in Germany, said the hiring of Rohricht represents an “important step to sustain and sustainably expand” his private equity practice in the country.
âFor our company, private equity is an important part of the strategy in Germany and our stated aim is to develop the practice of private equity into one of the leading practices in the German market in the medium termâ, a- he declared.
A&O has five partners based in Germany who deal exclusively with private equity transactions and two other partners who advise on the financing of private equity investments (in particular leverage financing).
After what the company has called an initial “pandemic-induced deal lull” in the first half of 2020, growth opportunities in a recovering M&A and private equity market are “excellent”, particularly in Germany , where Nils Koffka, head of German private equity at A&O practices, referred to as “the most important target market in the EU” for many financial investors.
Mergermarket’s first quarter 2021 M&A report singled out private equity as a key driver of European mergers and acquisitions, “supported by a healthy funding market and a significant amount of dry energy available to deploy.” .
Koffka added: âThe current low interest rate policy of the European Central Bank and other central banks as well as the high level of liquidity on the investor side favors leveraged transactions. In addition, major changes in the German economy are creating a very favorable market environment for investments. With the move to Hendrik, we are well prepared for the increased need for advice from our clients. “
In May, Clifford Chance unveiled a trio of Munich side hires from Kirkland & Ellis, bolstering its private equity practice months after losing two partners to Wall Street firm Milbank.
That same month, Goodwin Procter expanded its German presence to Munich with the hiring of private equity partner Jan Schinkoth and a partner in US rival Sidley Austin.
And in January, Shearman & Sterling opened in Munich with the hiring of acquisition finance partners Florian Harder and Jann Jetter from Linklaters.