The firm has initially appointed a three-partner team of energy and corporate specialists to launch the office who will join in February. Dr. Thorsten M. Volz, Dr. Sönke Gödeke and Dr. Torsten Wielsch all join from KPMG's German legal arm.
Dr. Volz, who has headed up KPMG's Energy and Major Projects group in Germany since 2010 and led it through a period of significant growth, will be head of Pinsent Masons' Düsseldorf office and lead the firm's German energy practice. The founding team is highly specialised in advising on complex power plant projects, renewable energy and network infrastructure projects. Dr. Gödeke formerly led the KPMG Hannover office.
Pinsent Masons intends to further build-out its energy capability in Düsseldorf in due course, and also expand into Life Sciences and TMT.
The firm's decision to launch a second office in Germany follows the success of its technology-focused practice in Munich in July 2012. Since opening in Germany the firm has trebled in size and acted on a number of standout mandates including the acquisition of fintech business IND by FTSE-listed MiSys and the disposal of mobile communications infrastructure to Drillisch AG as a result of the Telefonica/e+ merger.
Last year Pinsent Masons appointed former head of IP at Clifford Chance in Munich Marc Holtorf, and former Fieldfisher Munich head Sibylle Schumacher. In January 2016, the Munich office also took on a team of capital markets specialists through the bolt-on of Mayrhofer + Partner.
Düsseldorf will become the firm's 21st office and bring the total number of partners at Pinsent Masons to in excess of 400.
Richard Foley, Senior Partner at Pinsent Masons, says:
"Munich has been a real success story since launch three and a half years ago and the time is right to take the next step. Our vision is to be recognised as an international market leader in the global sectors in which we operate and the appointment of this team in Düsseldorf is another significant milestone on that journey. We're confident that our clear emphasis on sector specialism means we can bring something unique to the market."
Rainer Kreifels, who leads Pinsent Masons in Germany and is a member of the global Board of the firm, says:
"This is a very exciting development for us. We were determined, when we launched Pinsent Masons in Germany, that it would be the beginning of a process and not an end in itself. The firm's approach to focussing on sector specialism aligned to skillset excellence has proven a compelling proposition for our clients in Germany and internationally. Düsseldorf is an obvious progression for us given our global credentials and existing network of clients in the region. We very much welcome our new partners and are proud to have them with us to further develop our practice."