Firm consolidates European stronghold with German presence

International law firm Bird & Bird will be launching a German office in Düsseldorf, on 15th July 2002. An initial team of 8 Andersen Legal partners and 9 associates plus support staff will launch the office, which will operate under the name Bird & Bird. A presence in Europe’s largest economy, will be key to the fulfillment of Bird & Bird’s international strategy.

Düsseldorf is one of the major commercial centres in Europe, in particular for intellectual property, telecommunications, corporate as well as administrative and regulatory law and as such, strongly reinforces Bird & Bird’s focus on key market sectors. This is a particularly important development for the firm given that Germany accounts for almost a third of all output within the twelve nation Eurozone.

The new team will mirror Bird & Bird’s sector focus and will also create a powerful European base for Bird & Bird’s international clients. Joining from the Andersen Legal network, are highly respected partners, Wolfgang von Meibom, Klaus-Juergen Michaeli, Alexander Schroeder-Frerkes, Dr. Jan Byok, Felix Roediger, Christian Harmsen, Uwe Lueken and Maximiliane Stoeckel. They will be joined by a strong team of nine associates. Wolfgang von Meibom will be Chairman of the new office and Alexander Schroeder-Frerkes will be deputy Chairman.

The combined skills of the team will complement Bird & Bird’s key sectors with specific knowledge of intellectual property, IT, telecommunications, Corporate M&A, EU & competition, regulatory, public procurement law and energy and will reflect the firm’s full service approach.

Commenting on the launch, David Kerr, Bird & Bird’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are incredibly excited by this development. Germany is a key country in Europe in our major sectors and Düsseldorf in particular is an important centre for telecoms, IT and intellectual property. This development is therefore, crucial to our strategic aims as a firm. This is an absolutely outstanding team, with whom we have worked for many years. The fit is perfect. I am very pleased to welcome them on board.”

Wolfgang von Meibom, Chairman of Bird & Bird’s office in Düsseldorf, added:

“We have had close links with Bird & Bird for a long time and our synergy has become increasingly apparent, in terms of client-base, culture and attitude to service.

Our objective is simple: we want to be part of Europe’s premier law firm in these sectors. The Bird & Bird brand already has a powerful resonance in Europe and allied with our reputation and resources in Germany, we believe this move will put us well on the road to realising our goal.”

Bird & Bird’s major European roll-out began in January 1999, significantly expanding its office in Brussels, followed by opening an office in Paris in January 2000, a merger with Gedda & Ekdahl in Stockholm in December 2000 and the launch of an office in The Hague six months ago. Since then, Bird & Bird’s office in The Hague has doubled in size. An office in Germany will add substantially to Bird & Bird’s European platform.

For any more information, please contact David Kerr on +44 (0) 20 7415 6000, Larry Cattle on +44 (0) 20 7415 6156 or Wolfgang von Meibom or Jan Byok +49 (0) 211 491 4379.