Heiner Feldhaus - McDermott Will & Emery

Heiner Feldhaus

Heiner Feldhaus

Senior Legal Counsel | Cofinimmo

Frankfurt, Germany

“There is not one day where I do not profit from my time at McDermott.”

Heiner worked for nearly three years on the real estate team in McDermott’s Cologne office, where he developed an appreciation for the tangible nature of the real estate business. In 2021, he moved to an in-house counsel role at Cofinimmo, a European leader in real estate investment in the healthcare sector. Now Cofinimmo is a McDermott client and Heiner works with some of the same lawyers who mentored him as an associate.

How did your time at McDermott impact your career?

There is not one day where I do not profit from my time at McDermott.

I learned during that time that I wanted to stay in the real estate sector because I enjoy this type of law and the industry in general. Real estate is a product that you can really understand because you see what you’re working on. I also learned so much about the drivers of the real estate industry, and that continues to influence my everyday work.

What are you doing in your current role, and what led you there?

I currently work for Cofinimmo, which is a Belgian real estate investor operating in nine Western European jurisdictions, including Germany, where I’m located. Within Germany, Cofinimmo specializes in real estate investment in healthcare, meaning that we buy, hold and sell nursing homes, clinics and sports clubs.

As senior legal counsel, I am responsible for all legal matters that concern the German market, including all transactions and legal asset management. I was interested in moving to an in-house role because I wanted to be an integral part of the decision-making, and I saw that those conversations were happening in-house. It was also clear to me that I wanted to stay in the real estate sector, so when Cofinimmo approached me, it seemed like a good fit.

As a Firm client, what is your advice regarding how best to support you?

Try to think like a business partner, and not only as a lawyer. Keep in mind that some issues are much more critical to the client than others. It may not be easy to figure out what the client needs, but it is at least as important as providing proper legal advice.

Are there any interesting or emerging trends that you see in your industry?

During the last two years, the real estate and healthcare sectors in Germany have been hit by a crisis due to high inflation, high energy costs and a shortage of skilled personnel.

The industry is working hard to address these issues, and the consensus is that once this crisis is overcome, the future should be bright. We know that there is a huge demand for housing for the elderly, especially in Western Europe, where the population is aging quickly. This is a field that requires investment and work, but the demand should continue to grow in the future.

Do you have a favorite McDermott memory?

Most of my favorite memories are connected to moments that were not entirely about work. I have fond memories of the Christmas parties at the Düsseldorf office and the annual retreats, where associates were invited to spend a weekend away together. Being with colleagues outside of the office, you get to know them much better. I always felt that it was easier and more fun to work together after those experiences. I was also part of the LGBTQ+ Diversity Subcommittee at the Firm, and it was a great opportunity to meet colleagues from all over the world who were united by the same cause.

How do you stay connected to McDermott?

My connection to McDermott is still quite strong. Holger Weiß, the partner I worked for when I was an associate at the Firm, is now advising my company as our lawyer, and Carolina Erb, who was a colleague when I was at McDermott, continues to be part of Holger’s real estate team. The alumni network is a useful tool for staying connected, and I enjoy being part of it.


Access our global network directory, robust job board, exclusive benefits and more!