View of Medienhafen Harbor in Düsseldorf, Germany


Herbert Smith Freehills Germany managing partner Michael Dietrich is leaving the firm to join Clifford Chance’s Dusseldorf office just five months after he took up the leadership post.

The departure of competition, regulation and trade partner Dietrich comes after he succeeded outgoing HSF German managing partner Ralf Thaeter, who had been in the role for five years, this January.

Dietrich, who started his career at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2007, joined HSF in 2014 from Taylor Wessing, where he led the firm’s German competition, EU and trade practice.

Alongside his regional managing partner duties, he also led HSF’s Germany antitrust practice. He relocated to Dusseldorf from Frankfurt in 2016 when HSF launched in the city in 2016.

Discussions are now underway to appoint a new Germany managing partner. Dietrich’s departure date is yet to be confirmed.

Clifford Chance Germany managing partner Peter Dieners said Dietrich would be a good fit for the firm.

“When selecting new partners, we focus on personalities with particular ambition and potential to advance our team and strategy. We are pleased to have found, in Michael Dietrich, a partner who matches this profile,” he said. “His expertise and experience perfectly complement our strong antitrust team, which our clients will certainly appreciate.”

Dietrich’s hire comes weeks after Clifford Chance added former Freshfields regulatory partner Thomas Voland to its corporate practice in Dusseldorf, while the Magic Circle firm also hired White & Case corporate partner Markus Stephanblome for its Frankfurt office last November.

Clifford Chance antitrust partner Joachim Schuetze said the firm is committed to expanding its antitrust practice and strengthening its client offering and market position. “We will continue our growth both by winning experienced laterals to our platform and by further developing our talented counsels and associates,” he said.