Back to All Insights

Talking Head with Managing Partner Dr. Alex Petrasincu, Hausfeld LLP.

By Nicolai von Steinaecker

The Juve Awards are coming soon. Laurence Simons is sponsoring this year's Law Firm of the Year Award in Antitrust. Among the nominees is the US law firm Hausfeld, with whose German managing partner Dr. Alex Petrasincu, our colleagues Nicolai von Steinaecker and Alexander Gorny were able to talk about the nomination. In addition to Hausfeld's nomination, we discussed the legal market in general - and how the law firm, as a very diverse employer with a working culture of respect and trust, managed to score exceptionally well with young talent.

Talking Head with Managing Partner Dr. Alex Petrasincu, Hausfeld LLP.
Talking Head with Managing Partner Dr. Alex Petrasincu, Hausfeld LLP.

LS: Hello, Dr. Petrasincu; thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us today and congratulations on being nominated again - all good things come in threes, so nothing stands in the way of the award in October?

AP: We certainly wouldn’t mind! In any case, we see the renewed nomination as an award for the successes we achieved for our clients last year.

LS: Maybe Juve Publishing should think about revising its ranking. You are always right up there with the big news and successes, but not in the handbook. Legal500 sees it differently.

AP: Yes and no, with our focus on antitrust law in digital markets and antitrust litigation, we serve a niche within the niche, and we are therefore generally pleased about the recognition. But you are right in that we have by far one of the largest teams on the market with 20 colleagues who work purely in antitrust law.

 LS: Since you were founded in Germany, you have indeed shown astonishing growth, which was also recognised by your inclusion in the international management of the firm and your appointment as Managing Partner in Germany. A few years ago, you yourself believed there was no need for a classic management structure.

AP: Due to our strong growth, we also needed clear management structures, but this does not mean we take a “top-down” approach. We coordinate all crucial issues closely within the partner group, as we have done since our founding. 

LS: Would you be open to external reinforcement in the form of “lateral hires”?

AP: In principle, yes, although it is important to us that every new colleague is distinguished by absolute professional brilliance, fits in well with our team and is enthusiastic about our innovative approach to legal enforcement. But anyway, we are in the very fortunate position of already having excellent colleagues, so we also expect robust organic growth in any case.

LS: And how do you recruit younger colleagues?

AP: Fortunately, we don’t have any problems. Although we have much higher academic requirements than many other law firms, we receive a large number of outstanding applications. One reason for this may be that we have extremely exciting mandates in our niche and have achieved very good success for our clients. I think this also attracts young colleagues, for whom it is all the more important today to be on the “right side” and to stand up and fight for a “good cause”. In addition, as a law firm, we attach great importance to a collegial and fair working atmosphere, including regulated working hours. For example, we offer our lawyers not only the possibility of working 80% part-time or 35 days of holiday per year but also the guarantee that they will not be disturbed while on holiday.

LS: That means you don’t have to go to job fairs - as is usually the case - to find young talent? 

AP: Not really, although we are deliberately making an exception here with our planned participation in the “Stick and Stones” fair next year, as the LGBTQ+ issue is very close to our hearts. We do this out of conviction, also because we are very diverse as a law firm, which I think is great!

LS: When preparing for the interview, we noticed that as a law firm, you employ atypical profiles such as a Head of Economic Analysis and Legal Project Management or a Competition Economist. 

AP: As a law firm that is regularly confronted with very complex issues, huge amounts of data and the need to build up economic and business know-how, we have to take a multidisciplinary approach. In many cases, we work with external economists, whose hourly rates, as a side note, might make some large law firm partners envious. Here, however, the exchange of knowledge and communication is sometimes challenging, so we have internal staff who channel this information and serve as mediators between the worlds. We have 70 staff in Germany, and only thirty of them are lawyers. Particularly with large mandates, we always form multidisciplinary teams in which the project responsibility is shared by a counsel or senior associate on one side and a project manager on the other (under the main responsibility of a partner, of course).

LS: That almost sounds like you are breaking new ground as a firm?

AP: Absolutely. It is our aim to always bring out the best for our clients, and in doing so, we are also prepared to go in new and innovative ways. For example, we have set up assignment models for our clients that were controversial for a long time but were only recently approved by the Federal Supreme Court. Another example is the use of new regulations to control the market power of digital companies, e.g. the now infamous tipping paragraph.

LS: And what are you looking forward to most when the brief is ready?

AP: First and foremost, my family, of course. Apart from that, my great passion is American football - my favourite teams are the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL and the Rhein Fire in Germany.

LS: Dr Petrasincu, thank you very much for the entertaining exchange, and we are looking forward to the joint celebration in October!