International firm Herbert Smith Freehills has transferred the German arm of its business into its UK limited liability partnership, as growing numbers of firms prepare for Brexit.
Herbert Smith Freehills said its German LLP would no longer be able to exist as an English company domiciled in Germany after the UK leaves the European Union. Incorporating the German business into the UK LLP will ‘ensure the seamless operation of our business’, it said, and will not make a substantive difference to the day-to-day running of the firm. Herbert Smith is believed to be the third law firm that has changed the LLP status of its German business ahead of the UK’s departure.
The firm’s Seoul office has also re-registered its office licence to become a branch of the Australian partnership, under the Australia-Korea free trade agreement. Herbert Smith’s licence to operate in South Korea has historically been dependent on the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
Herbert Smith Freehills opened in Germany in 2013 and closed its Berlin office last year. The firm stressed that it is not scaling back its German operations and plans to concentrate growth in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.