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Allen & Overy Germany welcomes four new partners in 2023

  • Patent lawyer Denise Benz named partner in Germany

  • Funds specialist Dorothee Atwell joins Frankfurt office as partner on 1 May

  • 50 percent of women among new appointees

  • Regulatory lawyer Martina Stegmaier joins firm as counsel

  • COO & CO Annette Höher-Bäuerle appointed associate director

Following the move of three high-profile partners from other market-leading firms to Allen & Overy, namely restructuring expert Josef Parzinger, tax lawyer Florian Lechner and funds specialist Dorothee Atwell, the firm now caps it all off with an appointment from its own ranks, making senior associate Denise Benz (Patents) from its Munich office partner, effective from 1 May 2023.

"Denise Benz is a highly talented lawyer who increasingly takes the lead in complex cross-border patent disputes in the high tech sector and who has consequently raised her profile in the market with lasting effect. Clients turn to her as a trusted advisor for her technical and legal expertise and her client-oriented strategic approach," explained Dr Wolf Bussian, managing partner of Allen & Overy in Germany. 

"By expanding our German patent law practice, we lay the necessary groundwork allowing us to offer our clients even stronger advisory capabilities in cross-border patent disputes demanding a high level of resources, including those before the Unified Patent Court (UPC). For major IP clients, it is paramount to instruct a firm that is able to provide comprehensive advice, deploying an international team of experts, in the key markets worldwide. We are confident that a strong German practice will generate further synergies within the global IP practice group and will provide invaluable impetus to cross-jurisdictional cooperation. The appointment of Denise Benz moreover highlights that Allen & Overy Germany's growth plan offers excellent perspectives to our associates."

Denise Benz (34) advises technology companies in connection with their intellectual property rights, in particular in complex patent disputes. She represents national and international clients both in advance of litigation and in patent infringement proceedings before all patent litigation chambers and in validity proceedings before the German Federal Patent Court (including appeal proceedings before the German Federal Supreme Court) and the patent offices. In addition, Denise acts in arbitration proceedings in connection with intellectual property rights. Her expertise covers a wide range of industries and technologies, including mechanical engineering, telecommunications and IT (including software), electronics and semiconductors. In this context, she also specialises in the interface to antitrust law (FRAND) and regularly acts in litigation concerning standard-essential patents.

Also on 1 May, renowned funds specialist Dorothee Atwell will start as partner in Allen & Overy's Frankfurt office, as was already announced by the firm in early February. With Dorothee, Allen & Overy is expanding its advisory capacities in asset management and alternative investments. In addition, she will also contribute comprehensive ESG competence in structuring funds and is therefore the perfect fit for Allen & Overy's growth strategy. "With two new female partners, we are coming closer to our goal of having an overall diverse partnership in Germany. Even though we are still a long way from reaching that goal we have taken another step in that direction," said Wolf Bussian.

In addition, well-known regulatory specialist Martina Stegmaier will join Allen & Overy on 1 July 2023 as counsel, strengthening the market-leading banking regulatory team led by Frankfurt partner Dr Alexander Behrens. She joins A&O from Deutsche Bank where she previously worked for more than eight years for the legal department's regulatory team.

"We are very pleased to have been able to attract Martina, a renowned regulatory expert. Due to her experience, her legal excellence and her strong network in the German market, she is the ideal addition to our team and will help us to further expand our leading market position in the field of banking regulatory law," explained Dr Alexander Behrens, head of Allen & Overy's German Banking Regulatory practice.

"The regulatory environment is characterised by an extremely high volume of regulations and complexity while simultaneously being highly dynamic. Consequently, there is a high demand for advice among our clients. It is therefore a huge advantage that Martina, in addition to her activities as lawyer, also boasts several years of experience as in-house counsel and therefore has in-depth knowledge of clients' needs."

Martina (39) started her legal career in 2011 in Freshfields' Banking Regulatory practice. In early 2015, she joined the regulatory team of Deutsche Bank's legal department. As senior counsel, she advised Deutsche Bank Group's business and infrastructure divisions on a wide range of banking regulatory and capital market issues. In this context, she particularly focused on providing advice on licence requirements under banking regulatory law, regulatory capital and liquidity requirements, recovery and resolution planning as well as regulatory advice on M&A transactions and restructurings of Deutsche Bank Group. In early 2018, Martina worked for three months at the bank's legal department in London and provided advice to the local business divisions on the implementation of Deutsche Bank's Brexit planning. In the spring of 2021, she was promoted to director.

Annette Höher-Bäuerle, chief operating and compliance officer (COO & CO) at Allen & Overy Germany, was appointed associate director, effective from 1 May 2023. This makes her part of a small group of high-ranking employees of the firm's business teams holding this position and will in future see her be involved even more especially in global information and decision processes and play a relevant role in shaping the strategic and operational management of the firm.

Annette Höher-Bäuerle (49) was appointed COO & CO for Allen & Overy Germany in 2022. Together with the German management team, she is responsible for the transformation and the profitable and diverse growth of the German practice. She leads the majority of the business team functions and develops their strategy together with the function heads, building on a client-centric service offering based on service excellence, efficiency and digitisation. As compliance officer for the German business, Annette works closely with the global Compliance & Risk team. Before joining A&O in 2020, Annette held various leadership positions in the tourism and hospitality sector, amongst them general counsel and later customer experience and operations director in large international organisations. She studied law and business administration in Frankfurt and Madrid.

Allen & Overy has appointed 36 lawyers worldwide as partners effective from 1 May 2023; of the new appointees, 42 percent are women. The new partners represent 13 offices and are distributed across five of the firm's practice groups, Banking (12), Corporate (11), Litigation (6), International Capital Markets – ICM (4) and Tax (3).

"Congratulations to all of our new partners," said global managing partner Gareth Price. "The group reflects a very diverse range of talent. I'm also pleased to see a strong geographical spread and a breadth of practice and product specialisms, reflecting the quality and global reach of our new partners. Each member of the cohort brings different expertise and a wealth of experience in providing exceptional service to our clients."