Covington strengthens in Europe with Frankfurt launch as Dentons takes chunk of ailing Australia player

Covington strengthens in Europe with Frankfurt launch as Dentons takes chunk of ailing Australia player

Covington & Burling is to deepen its European footprint with the opening of a new office in Frankfurt – the firm’s third office in the region – while Dentons has taken on 17 partners from domestic Australian firm DibbsBarker.

The US firm has announced today (28 March) the opening of a new Frankfurt branch, which will be led by eight partners, including six from Heymann & Partner and two Covington partners from the firm’s Brussels and New York offices.

The new Frankfurt outpost will open on 3 April and focus on corporate work, including M&A, private equity, finance and restructuring, outsourcing and other technology transactions. M&A and private equity specialist Henning Bloss from Heymann & Partner will lead the new office, accompanied by Thomas Heymann, the founder of the German firm.

The move underlines Covington’s decision to develop its European presence, after last year becoming the second law firm to open an office in Dublin in light of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Timothy Hester, Covington’s chair, said: ‘Our new German team is of outstanding quality and will provide important synergies with the firm, including our London and Brussels offices and will allow us to serve the needs of our clients who have legal issues in Germany.’

M&A partner Heymann echoed Hester’s sentiments, adding: ‘We are convinced that adding Covington’s strengths and global reach will benefit our clients in an increasingly global market, especially with matters in the US, Asia and the UK.’

Covington enjoyed a fruitful year in 2017, boosting its London top line by 16% from $69.5m to $80.5m after strategic hires in the city. Meanwhile, firmwide revenue increased by 13% to $945.5m after opening new offices in United Arab Emirates and South Africa.

Meanwhile, Dentons has also expanded its international operations in Australia by bringing over 17 partners from local firm DibbsBarker, which will wind down its operations after more than 130 years.

The two firms have reached an agreement that will see Dentons acquire 10 partners in Sydney, two in Melbourne and five in Brisbane across its financial services, real estate and corporate practices from 1 May.

DibbsBarker managing partner Stephen Purcell said Dentons was ‘an excellent firm where our partners will continue to deliver high-quality legal services. Being part of a firm with global reach and an innovative approach to legal solutions will further enable our partners to amplify their offering for clients into the future.’

Dentons combined with 500-lawyer Gadens in 2016, securing a presence in Sydney, Perth and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.