Strong growth of the law firm Schalast also in Hamburg
At the turn of the year 2020/2021, the Frankfurt-based commercial law firm Schalast took another major step in its growth path. The firm opened new offices in Duesseldorf and Stuttgart, expanded its offices in Berlin and Hamburg, and added a tax team. This brings the number of professionals working at the firm's five offices to more than 75. Schalast is thus one of the 60 largest law firms in Germany.
Despite the Corona pandemic, Schalast is also pursuing its growth course in Hamburg. In doing so, the firm's goal is to be able to offer its own full-service approach locally at the Hamburg office as well. The office, founded in 2017 by Dr. Ernst Georg Berger, had recently grown to six lawyers. So far, the practice areas Corporate/Commercial, Communications/Infrastructure, Banking & Finance and Real Estate are represented.
As of January 1, 2021, a tax law team around Dr. Oliver von Schweinitz moved from LPA-GGV to Schalast. The team led by Oliver von Schweinitz, who is also admitted to practice as an Attorney at Law and as a tax advisor in New York, advises on the one hand numerous financial institutions in connection with tax law issues, including issues of banking tax law at the interface with US tax law. On the other hand, the team deals with transaction support from a tax perspective. "We are very happy to have found a partner in Dr. von Schweinitz who rounds off our banking law expertise with this important facet" says Prof. Dr. Andreas Walter, who heads the Banking & Finance Practice Group at Schalast. Oliver von Schweinitz, whose team includes the experienced experts) Cordula Clarner (like v. Schweinitz formerly at pwc) and Katharina Stuth, adds "It is a great honor for me to be able to open the tax law practice at Schalast. I am particularly looking forward to working with the Banking and Corporate & M&A teams on transactional issues."
Oliver von Schweinitz took over as head of the new Tax practice group and is based in both Hamburg and Frankfurt. Schalast intends to further strengthen its Frankfurt office in this area before the end of the first half of 2021. In addition to the tax team, two more experienced partners moved to Schalast's Hamburg office on January 1, 2021. Dr. Christoph T. Thies will support the employment law team led by Clemens Schalast. Dr. Thies, who is a specialist attorney for employment law, joined Schalast from the Hamburg employment law boutique Ruge Krömer and has particular expertise in the insurance industry, retail and hospitals/health care. In corporate law, Schalast brought in corporate lawyer Dr. Markus Schuback from Hansalawyers, who strengthens the corporate & M&A team not least with his litigation expertise. Dr. Ernst Georg Berger, head of Schalast's Hamburg office, comments: "With the addition of Christoph Thies and Markus Schuback, we have come a good deal closer to our goal of being able to provide comprehensive legal advice to companies in and around Hamburg. This is all the more true as a new practice group, Tax, will now be managed from Hamburg."
Prof. Dr. Christoph Schalast explains the firm's growth strategy: "In the last two/three years, we have done a lot of homework. We have created a platform and structures that allow us to operate on an equal footing with large law firms. But more importantly, we have also reassured ourselves of the values we stand for. We grow with partners who share these values, we grow in balance, for which flat hierarchies, agility, true work-life balance, freedom for issues besides our profession without neglecting it, clear orientation towards the interests and goals of our clients and legal excellence stand."
Schalast has been growing continuously since 2017. A first important step was the opening of the office in Hamburg as well as the acquisition of CLARIUS.LEGAL as a LegalTech and Legal Project Provider. The current growth follows a clear strategy. In Berlin, the goal is to consistently further expand central topics such as LegalTech, restructuring, also in connection with NPL, as well as VC/startup consulting but also a Berlin-typical sector expertise (tech, bio, healthcare, payment, etc.). The new tax team completes the full service offering, especially in the areas of banking and finance as well as Corporate & M&A, but also covers new topics. The growth will often be achieved with colleagues who have been associated with the firm for many years. Dr. Oliver von Schweinitz and Prof. Dr. Christoph Schalast have known each other for more than ten years from NPL transactions, the new Stuttgart team has a long shared advisory history with the head of the Corporate & M&A practice Gregor Wedell, and the contacts with Tom Braegelmann in connection with LegalTech topics also go back a long way. Dr. Markus Schuback and Hamburg partner Dr. Roland Arlt know each other from their joint work for Paul Hastings in Frankfurt am Main.