Diesen Beitrag hat Philipp Takjas (ehemals Associated Partner im Restructuring, Berlin) ursprünglich auf seinem Facebook-Profil veröffentlicht. Wir freuen uns, den Post hier wiedergeben zu dürfen.
After 6.5 years this was my last week at Noerr. After a few months of traveling Southeast Asia I will start a new career as general counsel for a long-standing client.
In 2010, I had just returned to Germany after a year in L.A., and Noerr had just turned into “Noerr LLP”, having been “Nörr Stiefenhofer Lutz Partnerschaftsgesellschaft” until end of 2009. So, both of us had just become much more international, sophisticated, sexy... It was a natural fit. Admittedly, this was not exactly what I thought when I interviewed there. In 2010, I refused to go back to Frankfurt to once again join one of the Magic Circle firms, let alone an American “sweatshop”. Berlin was (and still is) the place to be in Europe, although for Big Law it was a backyard compared to Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. I was curious whether I would get a taste for “work life balance” after having worked nights and weekends in restructuring during two major crises of the past decade. As a young and cocky Clifford Chance alumnus I expected the projects I would be involved in at Noerr to be less global, less prominent, less complex.
Boy, was I wrong. On my very first day I found myself working on a landmark cross-border insolvency litigation case with a dozen of the world’s largest tech companies on the other side of the aisle. We worked on this case for 4 more years and it got settled while pending before the U.S. Supreme Court! And while in most other firms a young associate like me would probably spend years crafting beautiful footnotes for long briefs, my superiors sent me right into battle – deposing the former president of the insolvency panel at the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) was just one of the highlights. And I got to extensively use the knowledge of U.S. bankruptcy law I had just acquired at UCLA, which I would not have expected even if I had joined a U.S. firm.
Noerr’s preeminent Venture Capital team also gave me plenty of opportunities to learn how companies get started and grown. And cross-border it was again – we got to run international rollouts for various start-ups and to work with local counsel around the globe.
Two secondments into the world of banking & finance, (i) Sal. Oppenheim and (ii) FMS Wertmanagement, the then largest Bad Bank, and a 6 months secondment to Noerr’s New York office, not only made me collect gazillions of frequent flyer miles, but also enabled me to directly work on a daily basis with excellent in-house counsel and, most importantly, make many new friends.
In 2012, a major reform of the German insolvency law was passed and our Restructuring & Insolvency team got to do pioneer work on many of the first cases. As a young associate I was put in charge of important parts of projects and I was at times overwhelmed by the trust senior lawyers, especially my mentor Christian Pleister, put in me. Sometimes the feel of responsibility almost physically hurt, but it made me grow faster than I could have ever imagined. The promotion to Associated Partner was more than an Alan Shore fan could have hoped for.
Joining the Noerr family was the beginning of the most valuable professional experience of my life, the most satisfying, the most intellectually challenging, and – thanks to great colleagues – the most fun. This place made me and I am confident that it prepared me well for what’s to come. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and best of luck to all of you, dear Noerrds! I am looking forward to working with you in the future. Philipp