Bird & Bird opens in Munich


International law firm Bird & Bird will be opening its second office in Germany on the 1st of October. The launch of an office in Munich will place Bird & Bird in another major economic zone in Germany, following the establishment of an office in Düsseldorf in June last year.

The core team will consist of Dr. Joseph Fesenmair and Dr. Ulrich Goebel. Prior to joining Bird & Bird, Dr. Fesenmair was head of legal at T-Online. He has also held the role of head of sponsorship and trade mark law at Deutsche Telecom. He joined Bird & Bird in May 2003 and is responsible in Munich for expanding Bird & Bird's work in IT, telecoms, sport, sponsorship and trade mark law.

Dr. Goebel joins Bird & Bird from Luther Menold, where he was head of their Munich Corporate/M&A department. Prior to Luther Menold, he was the General Counsel of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace. At the new Bird & Bird Munich office he will be spearheading the areas of corporate/M&A and private equity.

Two further lawyers will be joining the team. Well-known licensing expert, Dr. Michael Gross also joins from Luther Menold and IT specialist Dr. Alexander Duisberg joins from Baker & McKenzie. Both will be Senior European Consultants at Bird & Bird. As well as working for Bird & Bird, Gross will continue his involvement in the research institute, the "Fraunhofer Society".

The Munich office will open with 10 lawyers. As well as the four team members mentioned above a further six are expected to join the office as it officially launches on the 1st of October.

The office will initially focus on Intellectual Property, Corporate/M&A, IT, Telecoms, Sport and Sponsorship although in the longer term it is expected to expand into the media sector and will also offer antitrust and employment legal services.

Following the launch of its Düsseldorf office in June 2002, Bird & Bird can look back on a very successful year. Under the leadership of Wolfganag von Meibom and Dr. Alexander Schröder-Frerkes, LLM, the initial team of 18 lawyers has now grown to 35 within the year. The addition of the new office in Munich will raise this figure to 45. In recognition of the firm's successful strategy and commercial approach, Bird & Bird was voted "European Law Firm of the Year 2002/3".

Wolfgang von Meibom, Chairman of Bird & Bird in Germany and Co-Chairman of the International IP practice group, said;

"We are very satisfied with our first year in Germany. We have successfully established ourselves in the German market and have exceeded our own expectations. The launch of our new office in Munich is an important part of our strategy. As well as Düsseldorf, Munich is an equally important centre for trade marks and patents within Europe. Munich also offers great expansion potential for our sport and sponsorship areas".

Dr. Schröder-Frerkes, LLM, Vice-Chairman of Bird & Bird Germany added:

"The already impressive growth of our corporate and M&A practice will be boosted by our new Munich office and will also help our private equity activities. A number of DAX listed companies and some very interesting IT, Telecoms and Media companies are headquartered in Munich. By having a presence there we will be able to service them much more efficiently."

For more information, please contact Wolfgang von Meibom, Chairman (+49 (0) 211 2005 6221) or Dr. Alexander Schröder-Frerkes LL.M., Vice-Chairman (+49 (0) 211 2005 6223).