Signature Litigation announces Frankfurt office launch with Mayer Brown partner hires

By Signature Litigation
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Signature Litigation


1 July 2024: London-headquartered commercial disputes firm Signature Litigation today announces the launch of its new office in Frankfurt, Germany, with the appointments of partners Ulrich Helm and Dr Jan Kraayvanger, who join from Mayer Brown.

Signature Litigation’s Frankfurt office opened on 1 July 2024 and follows the launches of its Gibraltar and Paris offices, which launched in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

Signature launches in Frankfurt

Signature’s Frankfurt office will advise and represent clients in commercial disputes including mediation, civil court proceedings as well as national and international commercial arbitrations.

Industry sectors of key focus for Signature Litigation in Frankfurt include oil & gas and renewable energy – notably offshore wind farms and power plant projects – construction and infrastructure, automotive, financial services, as well as insurance.

Commenting on the launch of its new office, Signature Litigation CEO, Kevin Munslow, said: “Frankfurt is a burgeoning financial services hub in the continent, and its position in the German and wider European economies makes the city a natural fit for Signature Litigation’s financial and corporate disputes practice to launch its newest office.”

Kevin continued: “The complexity and level of disputes litigated and arbitrated in the region makes for an exciting new environment to engage with, at a time where Frankfurt has climbed the list of top financial centres globally.”

Signature appoints two new partners to lead its new Frankfurt office

Ulrich Helm joins Signature Litigation’s Frankfurt office as partner from Mayer Brown. Ulrich specialises in international arbitration, particularly in relation to the construction – where he is recognised as a market leader -, energy and renewable energy industries.

With 30 years’ experience advising clients in complex cross-border disputes concerning construction, energy and infrastructure projects, Ulrich has represented clients in over 20 countries. He has considerable experience in out-of-court negotiations, mediation, dispute adjudication board proceedings, as well as in litigation and arbitration.

Sectors of focus include energy and renewable energy – such as offshore wind and power plants -, manufacturing, chemicals, construction, infrastructure, utilities, as well as public private partnerships. In respect of his construction arbitration and disputes expertise, Ulrich advises on several areas including delay in delivery, building defects, mechanical failure, as well as other project-related disputes.

Launching the Frankfurt office alongside Ulrich Helm is Dr Jan Kraayvanger, who also joins from Mayer Brown. With over 20 years’ experience in high profile international disputes, Jan represents clients in complex disputes across several jurisdictions, including Europe, North and South America, Asia, and India.

He has worked on over 100 disputes, including more than 30 arbitrations, across a broad range of sectors including in the financial, insurance and construction industries. Jan regularly acts in post-M&A disputes and warranty & indemnity insurance disputes, financial industry and restructuring disputes as well as in professional and management liability disputes.

Signature Litigation founding partner, Graham Huntley, commented: “We have worked with Ulrich and Jan on several occasions in the past and, consistently with our conservative approach of building opportunities around the right people, we are delighted to welcome them to our firm. Their expertise and deep understanding of the territory will complement our bench of international litigation and arbitration specialists.”

Graham continued: “Signature has an established foothold in Paris, itself a leading commercial disputes centre, and Gibraltar, where its English law platform dovetails with Signature’s broader work. The new Frankfurt office to be led by Ulrich and Jan is a natural extension of our offering of expert and conflict-free litigation and arbitration support for international clients in the key financial market and arbitration hubs.”

Ulrich Helm commented: “Signature holds a distinct position in the market as a prominent, international, dispute resolution boutique. I am looking forward to the opportunity to grow our offering in Germany and related markets, providing specialist arbitration and litigation advice on a conflict free platform.”

Dr Jan Kraayvanger said: “Establishing Signature in Frankfurt is an exciting challenge that Ulrich and I look forward to pursuing with the support of our new partners across Europe. We are delighted to be contributing to Signature’s success in the global disputes arena.

Signature Litigation now comprises 26 partners and over 100 members of staff globally at its offices in London, Paris, Gibraltar and now Frankfurt.

This news was published in Global Arbitration Review here, Solicitors Journal here, JUVE here, CDR News here, Law360 here, the Financial Times’ Full Disclosure newsletter here, Le Monde du Droit here, The Global Legal Post here and Global Legal Chronicle France here, and Partnerships Bulletin here

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