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For the first time since its acquisition of 60-attorney Warner Cranston in London four years ago, Reed Smith has expanded its European presence, opening an office in Munich, Germany. Firmwide managing partner Gregory Jordan said the acquisition involves a seven-lawyer practice group from Luther Menold, a law firm affiliated with Ernst & Young. Jordan said Reed Smith officials were introduced to the Munich group through a mutual client, Federated Investors. There will be two partners located in the new office, Stefan Kugler and 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. Jordan said the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation has caused problems for law firms affiliated with accounting firms in terms of their ability to do business in the United States, and Kugler and Fischer were looking to merge their practices into a large American firm. Kugler handles investment management and other finance work, maintaining the relationship with Federated Investors. Fischer handles mergers and acquisitions and private equity work. Kugler has been a partner at Luther Menold since 1998. Before that, he was at Rogers & Wells in New York and Frankfurt. 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. Jordan said since the Warner Cranston acquisition, the firm has been looking to open sites in Germany and France. Unlike England and France, Germany does not have one dominant legal market, and American firms have opened offices in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich. For instance, Morgan Lewis & Bockius has a 15-attorney office in Frankfurt, while Dechert has four lawyers in Frankfurt and seven lawyers in Munich. Jordan said Reed Smith was looking to open a German office in general and was attracted to the lawyers, who happened to be located in Munich. Next on Reed Smith’s plate in Europe is Paris. Jordan said the firm’s London office has roughly 15 French-speaking lawyers and represents numerous French companies.

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