Follow us

Leading international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has hired Jan Eltzschig and Heike Schmitz as corporate partners based in the firm's Düsseldorf office in Germany. Jan and Heike join from DLA Piper in Cologne, where they were a partner and a counsel in the firm’s corporate group. Both partners will start on 1 October 2021. They will join together with Senior Associate Marjel Dema and Associate Janis Rentrop.

Jan is a corporate/M&A partner with a focus on the insurance sector. His practice spans domestic and cross-border M&A as well as joint ventures and, in addition, he has broad experience in general corporate and commercial matters  including corporate restructurings, board matters, corporate governance, shareholder disputes and compliance.

He regularly advises insurance companies and insurance distribution companies on complex and cross-border M&A and corporate projects, including acquisitions (both strategic and capital investments), portfolio transfers, setting-up of insurance group structures (among others as to corporate, distribution, services and outsourcing aspects) as well as joint-venture and business combination agreements.

Heike advises investors from the insurance industry, fund managers and asset managers on investments, investment processes and general regulatory issues. She supports her clients in the establishment and structuring of funds, the on-boarding of investors as well as on the distribution of funds and the development of distribution structures in Germany and the EU. A particular focus of Heike is advising funds and insurers on ESG and sustainability aspects, especially with regard to the EU Sustainable Finance Strategy.

Dr Nico Abel, Managing Partner of the firm's German offices, commented:

"It is fantastic that well regarded lawyers such as Jan and Heike are joining our German practice. With their experience in the insurance industry, they complement our German Corporate/M&A practice in a sector where we are already strong internationally and see further growth and opportunities."

Stephen Wilkinson, Joint Global Head of Corporate, added:

"Both Jan and Heike are great additions to our global practice and their expertise will tremendously enhance our comprehensive service to clients across the network. These strategic hires reflect the increasing client demand and opportunities in the market and I am excited about our continuous growth in the region."

Jan Eltzschig said:

"The challenges that insurers and distribution companies are facing also offer opportunities and exciting projects. I am looking forward to working with the strong team at Herbert Smith Freehills to provide comprehensive support to German and international clients in their ventures."

Heike Schmitz added:

"Herbert Smith Freehills advises clients globally on sustainability and ESG and I am very much looking forward to being able to contribute my experience from the insurance industry. Together with the firm's excellent team, I can advise German and international insurance investors, fund and asset managers on all relevant issues around investments and funds, especially in the increasingly important asset class of alternative investments."

Opened in 2013, Herbert Smith Freehills now boasts more than 60 lawyers including 17 partners in its Frankfurt and Düsseldorf offices.

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Friederike Hartmann

Head of Business Development


Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Lydia Lam

Head of Communications, UK, US & EMEA