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Leading New York firm Debevoise & Plimpton is to launch a Frankfurt office this summer after hiring top corporate partner Thomas Schuerrle from Noerr Steifenhofer Lutz.The loss of Schuerrle is a blow for Noerr, which earlier this year pledged to strengthen ties with its City ally Macfarlanes.Schuerrle will join tax partner Friedrich Hey in Frankfurt, who joins in August from the New York office of Linklaters & Alliance. Hey had been a partner in Oppenhoff & Raedler until it agreed to merge with the magic circle firm at the end of last year.Debevoise’s new office will be watched with great interest by Germany’s best corporate partners, many of whom have been approached by other leading US firms who are now seeking to gain a foothold in Europe’s largest economy.Sullivan & Cromwell has also been looking to hire German partners for a Frankfurt office but has so far failed to secure a heavyweight lateral hire.The two new German appointments will be joined by three other Debevoise corporate partners: Hans Bertram-Nothangel, Marcia MacHarg and David Hickok.

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