Commercial Dispute Resolution Article: Noerr group forms Frontwing in Hamburg
A five-strong team will leave pan-European firm Noerr to open a contentious and class actions boutique in the northern German city.
A team of five disputes lawyers is spinning its practice out of Munich-headquartered Noerr’s Hamburg office into a new firm.
Hamburg contentious boutique Frontwing Litigation was incorporated on 28 June and will launch in September, with a focus on defence of commercial disputes including class, collective and mass actions as well as allegations of professional negligence in the legal sector. It will be well-positioned to service work under the new collective actions regime, created by the EU Representative Actions Directive which was scheduled to become fully effective across the bloc on 25 June.
The new firm, which will also feature intellectual property (IP) and competition law expertise, intends to leverage the latest in legaltech and technology to enhance efficiency, such as virtual communication, automated processes and AI.
The five founding partners, all under 40 years of age, include Helmand Nadi and Oliver Islam who joined in 2017 and are both currently senior associates at Noerr. Nadi, who had brief stints at Taylor Wessing, CMS and Luther, began his career at the firm as a technology and social media professional, subsequently qualifying as a lawyer in 2019. He sits within the class and mass action defence practice, and has previously advised on regulation of social media influencers and contractual aspects of content-on-demand services.
The mainstay of Islam’s practice includes class and collective action litigation, commercial arbitration, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, as well as professional liability mandates. He also had a short tenure at CMS before arriving at Noerr.
Class action- and financial services-focused Bengt Petersen worked in legal support roles at German corporate firm SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Taylor Wessing before joining Noerr as a trainee lawyer three years ago. Ferechta Paiwand has practised as a disputes lawyer at Noerr for nearly two years, as has former Dresden Higher Regional Court employee Ada Guliyeva who focuses on international commercial disputes and class action matters.
Speaking to CDR via an e-mailed statement, Islam spoke of the benefits of the new firm’s digital-first approach: “Civil proceedings are becoming more complex and expensive, be they in class action lawsuits, mass proceedings or general commercial law disputes.”
He continued: “The market, in addition to high quality, has long demanded cost containment aside from [pure] billable hours. Frontwing is completely digital and legaltech-driven right from the start, so that a special focus can also be placed on cost efficiency.”
Last month Düsseldorf-based Hoffmann Liebs welcomed an IP partner from local boutique Weber & Sauberschwarz, while in June two former CMS practitioners co-founded commercial disputes and transactions firm Drouven Dietlein in Cologne.
Also last month Baker McKenzie’s IP practice leader in Germany moved to German national firm SKW Schwarz in Frankfurt.