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Herbert Smith Freehills expands Düsseldorf offering with senior corporate partner hire

04 May 2016 | Germany
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International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed senior corporate lawyer Sönke Becker to join its Düsseldorf office. 

Sönke Becker joins Herbert Smith Freehills from Baker & McKenzie, where he chairs the firm's EMEA M&A practice and is a member of the global M&A steering committee. Sönke was the firm's German corporate practice co-head until 2014. Prior to that, Sönke was with Hengeler Muller until 2007. He was admitted to practice in New York in 1999 and in Germany in 2001.

Sönke has more than 15 years of experience advising clients in cross-border and domestic M&A transactions, including HOCHTIEF, Telefónica and Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft.

Scott Cochrane, Global Head of Corporate, commented:

"We welcome Sönke to the firm. I am excited to see another senior lawyer of such high calibre to join our top-tier global corporate practice. EMEA is a key region for us and Germany is naturally a key market for the firm given the size and strength of its economy. We are proud to further enhance our offering to our clients in the region, particularly in cross-border transactions."

Ralf Thaeter, Managing Partner in Germany, added:

"Sönke is very well regarded in the market and his appointment demonstrates our commitment to providing top-quality advice to our clients. It is exciting to see our fifteenth extremely talented partner joining us since our firm's first office opening in Germany in 2013. Herbert Smith Freehills now operates across the nation's financial, regulatory and corporate capitals."

Sönke is the latest in a string of high-profile hires amid rapid growth in the firm's German practice. Since opening in Frankfurt and Berlin in 2013, and this year in Düsseldorf – the firm has now grown from one to 15 partners, and a total of over 70 people.

The latest appointment will bring the German corporate practice to 5 partners and a total of 12 lawyers. The Düsseldorf office opened in February with Thomas Weimann, an arbitration and disputes partner, who was joined by Michael Dietrich, a competition, regulation and trade partner, who relocated from Frankfurt to Düsseldorf.

Earlier this month, the international law firm announced two corporate crime and investigation partners, Helmut Görling and Dirk Seiler, and a team of seven other lawyers and forensic experts joining its Frankfurt office, bringing the German dispute resolution practice to five partners and a total of 16 lawyers. At the same time, international arbitration heavyweight Dr Patricia Nacimiento has joined as a partner in Frankfurt.

About Herbert Smith Freehills
Operating from 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and the US, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium  quality, full-service legal advice. The firm provides many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including Banks, Consumer products, Energy, Financial buyers, Infrastructure & Transport, Mining, Pharma & Healthcare, Real estate and TMT.  www.herbertsmithfreehills.com

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