As sponsor of this year’s JUVE Award for Banking and Finance Law, our Frankfurt-based consultants Nicolai von Steinacker and Alexander Gorny had the opportunity to talk to colleague Dr. Kurt Dittrich about the nomination in particular and the market in general.
Laurence Simons (LS): Dr. Dittrich, congratulations once again on your nomination. How do you rate your chances of holding the title in your hands on October 26?
Kurt Dittrich (KD): We are at the top of the market across the entire financing spectrum and have a top team – both in terms of personnel and expertise. And we have been able to successfully accompany some of the most prominent deals. Not least, the Porsche IPO showed that cooperation between the individual departments is certainly one of our strengths, especially in international business. In short: I think our chances are very good!
LS: Indeed, especially since the company had a very successful year overall and the German business in particular was one of the growth drivers.
KD: The past financial year went very well for us and we look to the future with confidence. Germany was and is an important jurisdiction for Linklaters, which is also in focus accordingly.
LS: As “German Senior Partner” you are responsible, among other things, for recruiting the firm. What is your strategy in this regard?
KD: We have grown significantly despite the current economic market environment. We are and will always be interested in good applicants and are especially looking for our former law clerks for new hires.
LS: And the women’s quota – is that an issue for you? You’re in good midfield there, if I’ve counted correctly.
KD: We believe that a diverse partnership achieves the best results for our clients, and we continue to strive to increase the number of our female partners accordingly.
LS: How do you see the market in general at the moment and are there any topics that are particularly moving it at the moment?
KD: The market in the financing sector is certainly not easy due to the rise in interest rates. Brexit has noticeably led to a shift from the UK to Europe and in particular to Frankfurt. This creates opportunities for our strong regulatory practice, which is also in demand when it comes to consolidation in the banking sector – most recently, for example, when we advised on the sale of Aareal Bank.
We also continue to focus on ESG – both on the product side and in strategic advice to our clients. We advise on this classic “cross-cutting topic” with a cross-disciplinary group led by my partner Dr. Julia Grothaus. If you feel like it, stay a little longer: directly after our talk, we have Eva Meyer (Chief Sustainability Officer & Member of the Board) from BNP Paribas as a guest at our Sustainability Forum, who will speak on the topic of “Biodiversity” (Linkedin Post).
LS: We assume that the lecture/presentation is well attended?
KD: Indeed, the topic of ESG is very present among our clients. And we, too, are naturally thinking about how we, as Linklaters, can make our contribution to this important topic.
LS: That’s to be expected. What does Dr. Dittrich do in his private life, what drives you?
KD: I used to be a competitive long-distance athlete and this stamina still benefits me in my job. In the meantime, the training units have been significantly reduced. Besides running, football is a passion that has always appealed to me strategically, so I was coach of my son’s youth team for many years.
LS: You are now coaching “Team Germany” at Linklaters. If you were to lift the “trophy” in the final on October 26, in which office would the trophy be placed?
KD: That’s a very good question. In terms of team strength in finance, there is a lot to be said for Frankfurt.
LS: Dear Dr. Dittrich, thank you very much for the interview. We are looking forward to the reunion and the evening together!