White & Case is shutting its Munich office and offering the entire team the option to relocate to Frankfurt.
The US firm, which also has bases in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg, intends to close the Munich branch by 2016. It launched the office ten years ago after poaching a team from the now defunct Haarmann Hemmelrath.
Of White & Case's five German offices, the outpost in Bavaria is among the smallest. Only one partner, Tobias Freiherr, is stationed in the branch permanently. The other, Markus Langen, divides his time between Munich and Frankfurt. Five local partners and four associates make up the remainder of the team.
Earlier this year, White & Case benefitted from another international firm’s downsizing in Germany. As Clifford Chance cut back on partners in the country, the US firm picked up two - Peter Rosin and Thomas Burmeister, both corporate energy specialists - in Düsseldorf.
In addition to Clifford Chance, which began a review of its German operation in late 2014, a number of foreign firms have made significant adjustments to their German networks, in some cases retrenching entirely.
Recent years have seen Sherman & Sterling consolidate its three Germans offices to one in Frankfurt, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe close two of its four branches in Berlin and Frankfurt, Olswang also exit Berlin, and Sidley Austin shut its sole German outpost in Frankfurt.
New entrants are seemingly undeterred by these experiences. Goodwin Procter launched in Frankfurt last month and Greenberg Traurig took over from Olswang in Berlin.