FRANKFURT, GERMANY– LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – September 4, 2007 – King & Spalding, a leading international law firm, announced today that it has opened an office in Frankfurt, Germany, further expanding its international footprint to four offices outside the United States, to respond to growing client demand in the areas of real estate capital markets, finance, corporate and tax. The office will focus initially on extending the firm’s real estate capital markets capacity in Europe and the UK and is expected to grow quickly to full-service status.
The Frankfurt opening marks the firm’s fourth new office in the past year and its ninth worldwide location.
Robert D. Hays, Jr., chairman of King & Spalding, said, “Our lawyers have been handling real estate matters for German-based clients for 30 years. With the tremendous surge of activity in the high-end commercial property market in Europe, including the UK, brought on by extensive migration of property stock into international investment vehicles, we believe the timing is right for King & Spalding to have a significant presence in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, to allow us to serve our clients throughout Europe.”
The majority of King & Spalding’s European clients and many of its U.S. clients increasingly are concentrating their real estate investments in Europe. King & Spalding advises clients on European real estate investments made by or on behalf of funds or funds of funds, which span multiple jurisdictions, involve joint ventures, include portfolio transfers, require the formation of European fund investment vehicles and are geographically diverse. German expertise and experience, including corporate, tax and G-REIT/investment law experience, are critical components of those transactions.
Management of the Frankfurt office will be through King & Spalding’s real estate capital markets group, headed by partners Scott J. Arnold and William B. Fryer, in New York. Arnold, Fryer, partner Wilfried Witthuhn and senior associate Sebastian F.C. Kaufmann will divide their time between New York and Frankfurt. Witthuhn and Kaufmann are German nationals currently practicing law full-time in New York.
Two German national attorneys are joining King & Spalding as partners in the new Frankfurt office:
— Mario Leissner, until now the general counsel and head of legal and
tax of Oppenheim Immobilien-Kapitalanlagegesellschaft mbH (OIK), in
Wiesbaden, Germany. Leissner specializes in fund structuring, regulatory
law, real estate and corporate transactions and financing work. He studied
law at the University of Potsdam and received training in tax law at the
Tax Law School in Freiburg. Leissner is fluent in German, English, French
and Russian and conversant in Italian and Spanish.
— Michael Prinz zu Löwenstein, until now a partner with Heuking Kühn
Lüer Wojtek, in Frankfurt. Active in the fields of general corporate law,
mergers and acquisitions, structured finance and real estate, he has worked
with King & Spalding for more than 20 years and is well known to the firm’s
lawyers. Earlier, he was with Stegemann, Sieveking & Lutteroth in Hamburg,
Germany, and was retained by the government of Germany as legal adviser to
the office of the president of the Republic of Niger. He studied law and
history at the Universities of Freiburg and Bonn.
Accompanying Leissner at this time in the move from OIK’s legal office are Alexandra Weis and Nicole Bittlingmayer, who are joining King & Spalding as associates.
King & Spalding expects to continue its legal services for longtime client OIK and retain its good working relationship with the Heuking Kühn firm.
“A Frankfurt presence extends our platform for providing King & Spalding clients with sophisticated real estate capital markets work throughout Europe, in addition to our capabilities in the United States, Latin America and the Middle East,” Scott Arnold said. “We anticipate that the Frankfurt office also will work closely with the firm’s transactional teams in London and Dubai.”
King & Spalding’s real estate practice group provides experienced and sophisticated advice on a complete range of commercial real estate transactions. Its real estate capital markets practice — one of the U.S. leaders in this field — has earned a reputation for its creative structuring of mergers and acquisitions and complex equity and debt financing transactions.
About King & Spalding
King & Spalding is an international law firm with more than 800 lawyers in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dubai, Frankfurt, Houston, London, New York, Riyadh (affiliated office) and Washington, D.C. The firm represents half of the Fortune 100 and in a Corporate Counsel survey in September 2007 was among the top firms representing Fortune 250 companies. For additional information, visit www.kslaw.com.