(March 17, 2005, New York, London, Munich) – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Reed Smith LLP, a top 25 international law firm, announces the opening of an office in Munich, Germany, and the addition of a group of seven lawyers headed by newly elected partners, Dr. Stefan Kugler and Dr. Michael Fischer. The group expects to begin operations no later than May 1. They are joined by one of counsel, four associates and several support staff.
“The global business demands of our clients require that we expand our European operations beyond the United Kingdom, and specifically into Germany,” said Gregory Jordan, Reed Smith’s firmwide managing partner. “We already count many German companies and US and UK companies doing business in Germany among our clients. In addition, many of Germany’s large industrial and financial firms are well aligned with our most active practices, including the financial services, life sciences, litigation, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate groups.
German businesses have made many acquisitions in the US and UK and are a steady source of corporate and M & A work. The German firms are increasingly looking to make US and UK acquisitions in a range of industries, such as pharmaceuticals and software. Additionally, UK and U.S. companies are active in Germany.
“A strong German practice is a key part of a strong European practice,” said Doug Rofe, a London based Reed Smith partner who has played a key role in the firm’s expansion into Germany. “Many of our US and European based clients have significant business interests in Germany and we want to be there to serve them.”
Dr. Kugler and Dr. Fischer’s areas of expertise are in asset management, regulatory and internet banking law, finance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and general commercial law. Jordan said, “We are particularly delighted to have Stefan and Michael joining us, and they are already doing work in Germany for some of our leading clients. With their addition to our firm, we will be able to provide a more seamless and global level of service to these key clients.”
Peter Germain, General Counsel, of Federated Investors, a current Reed Smith client, has previously worked with Dr. Kugler in connection with Federated’s German business operations. “We have always received very high caliber legal services from Dr. Kugler,” said Germain. “It’s a very positive development that they have joined Reed Smith and will now be a part of the team that comprehensively addresses our firm’s global legal issues.”
Dr. Kugler joins Reed Smith from Luther Menold, a firm tied to Ernst & Young, where he had been a partner since 1998. Prior to 1998, he was at Rogers & Wells in New York and Frankfurt.
With extensive experience in German and international transactions, Dr. Kugler provides representation in the fields of asset management (mutual funds, hedge funds, mezzanine funds and real estate funds), regulatory and internet (electronic) banking laws and finance. He advises in financing transactions such as structured finance, acquisition finance, asset backed securities finance, factoring as well as cross-border and domestic lease finance agreements.
Dr. Kugler studied at the School of Law of the University of Munich, The School of Law of the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and The School of Law of the University of Hamburg. He was admitted to the German Bar in 1992.
In 1993, he received an LLM in International and Comparative Law from Southern Methodist University School of Law, Dallas, Texas and in 1994; he was admitted to the New York Bar.
In 1996, Dr. Kugler was awarded a Ph.D. in law. He is fluent in German, English and French and is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Association of the Bar at the Court of Appeals of Munich, and the German/American Lawyers Association. He has published and presented widely on taxation and hedge funds.
Dr. Fischer was also a partner at Luther Menold, joining that firm in 2000. From 1992 to 1999, he was at Linklaters Oppenhoff & Radler, as an associate in both the Berlin and Munich offices, and, from 1996, as a junior partner in the Munich office. His primary fields of practice interest have been corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital and general commercial. He has published widely on these topics.
Dr. Fischer studied law at the Universities of Konstanz, Tubingen and Wurzburg, Germany. He has a Ph.D. in Corporate Law from the University of Tubingen. He is fluent in German, English and French and has undertaken English language studies in the UK, USA and South Africa