The Legal 500

Germany

Editorial

The brand new edition of The Legal 500 Deutschland HAS NOW LAUNCHED. View the latest rankings here.
Die brandneue Ausgabe von The Legal 500 Deutschland ist JETZT ONLINE. Die aktuellen Rankings finden Sie hier.

The rankings currently on www.legal500.com/c/germany are from The Legal 500 EMEA 2014, which was published in April 2014 and was a condensed translation and update of research from The Legal 500 Deutschland. The English-language content will be updated in March 2015.

 

Legal market overview

Germany’s M&A market has been stable and active at a relatively modest level, but with US investors capitalising on improved borrower conditions for takeovers in Germany, lawyers are optimistic about the market in 2014. Concurrently with this, the implementation of Basel III is expected to lead to an increase in distressed M&A. In banking and finance, lawyers remain busy with loan refinancings; large-cap transactions have reached an unprecedented level of complexity. In capital markets, the space has been characterised by aborted or postponed IPOs. Lawyers have also been busy advising clients on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

In a sign of the market’s relative stability, there were fewer large corporate crises but existing large restructuring mandates such as Pfleiderer and Qimonda kept firms busy in 2012 and 2013. On the insolvency side, the modernising ESUG legislation has been widely used and is regarded as a tool to enforce creditors’ rights. In real estate, new investments have been made as the market has been driven by low interest rates and an influx of foreign capital, both of which prompted substantial transactions and led to demand for real estate assets outstripping supply.

Public sector work has again been shaped by the topics of energy turnaround, grid extension and connection, and the politically charged subject of fracking. Public procurement practices are increasingly setting up a Brussels office as most legislation is being driven by EU law.

Tax lawyers have been busy advising clients on touchy topics such as tax avoidance and compliance, fuelled by recent heated political discussions. The antitrust legislator has also been cracking down on businesses, which sparked an increased need in the mid market for advice regarding compliance and internal investigations; the market has seen unprecedented levels of cartel proceedings.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Germany

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • GSK Advises EnBW AG on Acquisition of Eni’s Joint Venture Holdings in Gas Business

    EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) is acquiring the 50%  holdings of Eni Gruppe, Rome, in EnBW Eni Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Stuttgart, thereby increasing its holdings to 100 %. This makes EnBW indirectly the sole shareholder of Gasversorgung Süddeutschland GmbH (GVS) and terranets bw GmbH. GSK Stockmann + Kollegen provided comprehensive legal advice to EnBW in connection with this transaction.
  • GSK Advises PAMERA Real Estate Group on the Sale of the PAMERA Companies to Cornerstone Group

    GSK Stockmann + Kollegen advised the shareholder of the PAMERA Asset Management GmbH, the PAMERA Retail GmbH and the PAMERA Development GmbH on the sale of these companies to the European Cornerstone subsidiary of US-American Cornerstone Estate Advisers LLC.
  • GSK Advises GEWA 5 to 1 GmbH & Co. KG on Issuance of Real Estate Project Bond

    GSK Stockmann + Kollegen advised the GEWA 5 to 1 GmbH & Co. KG in connection with the issuance of a real estate project bond in the amount of up to € 35 million. Following the issuance by the Cloud No. 7 GmbH this is the second bond issuance for the construction of an apartment and hotel tower that GSK Stockmann + Kollegen has provided advice on.
  • GSK Update: Proposal for Uniform Protection of Trade Secrets Throughout Europe

    In the information society trade secrets are among the most important assets of any business. The quantity and quality of the trade secrets represent a substantial part of the company's assets. In the European Union there are currently varying levels of protection, insofar as trade secrets are legally protected at all. This hinders cross-border business and companies that operate internationally are faced with legal uncertainty. The EU Commission now wants to change this and has submitted a proposal for a uniform level of protection and protective system across Europe.
  • GSK Newsletter: Taxation of Cross-Border Transactions in Germany

    There are a number of ways how a foreign entity or private individual can pursue business activities in Germany. First, you can become active without creating a physical presence in Germany simply by supplying goods and services to German clients from abroad. Second, the foreign business might establish a fixed place in Germany (e.g. a permanent establishment) from which it pursues its German activities. Third, the foreign business might set up a German subsidiary either as a partnership or as a corporation. Last but not least, collective investment schemes, whose taxation regime has been extensively reorganized recently, might also be an interesting alternative for foreign investors. Which route to follow will mainly depend on the kind and the size of the business activities to be carried out in Germany or with German clients as well as on tax considerations that will have an impact on the decisions to be made. This  GSK Tax Newsletter  shall provide a first introduction to the taxation issues a foreign business considering to expand its activities to Germany will have to take into account. We would be pleased to help you with any questions in this regard!
  • GSK advises 2D Holding GmbH in connection with sale of SÜDDEKOR Group to SURTECO SE

    GSK Stockmann + Kollegen advised 2D Holding GmbH in connection with the sale of SÜDDEKOR Group, a leading specialist in surface finishing of wood materials, to SURTECO SE. On October 23, 2013, 2D Holding GmbH and SURTECO SE entered into a pur-chase agreement regarding the sale of SÜDDEKOR Group consisting of  SÜDDEKOR GmbH in Laichingen, Dakor Melamin Imprägnierungen GmbH in Her-oldstatt, SÜDDEKOR Art Design + Engraving GmbH in Willich, SÜDDEKOR LLC (USA) and Süddekor OOO (Moscow) to SURTECO SE. The transaction was suc-cessfully completed on December 2, 2013 after antitrust release had been obtained. The parties agreed to keep the purchase price confidential.
  • GSK attorneys authored the German Chapter of GTDT's 6th edition of Banking Regulation

    Getting the Deal Through has published the fully revised and updated sixth edition of Banking Regulation, a volume in the series of annual reports, which provide international analysis in key areas of law and policy for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners and business people.
  • GSK attorney Karl v. Hase authored the German Chapter of GTDT’s 10th edition of Dispute Resolution

    Getting the Deal Through has published its fully revised and updated tenth edition of Dispute Resolution, a volume in the series of annual reports, which provide international analysis in key areas of law and policy for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners and business people. Following the format adopted throughout the series, the same key questions are answered by leading practitioners in each of the 47 jurisdictions featured. GTDT's German Chapter was authored by GSK attorney Dr. Karl von Hase. In his article he gives an overview of civil and commercial litigation in Germany, arbitration agreements and alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
  • GSK attorneys authored the German Chapter of GTDT's 5th edition of Banking Regulation

    Getting the Deal Through has published the fully revised and updated fifth edition of Banking Regulation, a volume in the series of annual reports, which provide international analysis in key areas of law and policy for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners and business people.
  • Court of Justice of the European Union renders final decision on...

    Supplementary Protection Certificates with regard to second marketing authorization of medical compounds (decision of July 19, 2012 – Case C-130/11 –Neurim Pharmaceuticals vs. Comptroller General of Patents)

Press Releases in Germany

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Hengeler Mueller successfully represents Uber against prohibition order of the city of Hamburg

    The Administrative Court of Hamburg decided on 27 August 2014 that Uber, a provider for a smartphone-app for on-demand transportation services, may continue providing its services in Hamburg. With its decision, the Administrative Court ordered the suspensive effect of the objection against the prohibition order of the city of Hamburg. The decision of the Hamburg authorities were formally unlawful as the traffic authorities were not the responsible authority and the prohibition order could not be based on the Passenger Transportation Act (Personenbeförderungsgesetz).
  • Start of sale of the real estate portfolio Silo E in September 2014

    Hadfields Philips and insolvency administrator Ottmar Hermann assign Jones Lang LaSalle.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises lease receivables securitization GMEF 2

    IKB Leasing GmbH (IKBL) has securitized a portfolio of lease receivables via German Mittelstand Equipment Financing SA (GMEF). The European Investment Bank (EIB) was one of the investors in the senior Class A Notes issued by GMEF.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Wild Bunch on merger with Senator AG

    On 24 July 2014, Wild Bunch S.A. and the listed Senator AG announced their intention to merge into a European independent film distribution company. Wild Bunch is an important player in the field of international film sales and electronic distribution with a Europe-wide network in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Senator AG is a German film productions and distribution company producing and distributing German and international movies since the 1970s.
  • Hengeler Mueller achieves first success against prohibition order of the city of Hamburg

    Hengeler Mueller has successfully reached a temporary suspension of the prohibition order of the city of Hamburg against Uber, a provider for a smartphone-app for on-demand transportation services. Uber may thus continue providing its services in Hamburg until further notice.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises BSkyB on takeover offer to Sky Deutschland

    BSkyB announced on 25 July 2014 that it had entered into agreements with 21st Century Fox to acquire 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland AG (SkyD) on a fully diluted basis and its 100% stake in Sky Italia. BSkyB also announced its intention to make a voluntary public takeover offer to the shareholders of SkyD for the purchase of their ordinary registered shares with no par value in SkyD against payment of a cash consideration of €6.75 per SkyD Share. The acquisition of 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in SkyD is for a consideration of €3.6bn, valuing SkyD at €6.75 per SkyD share. The total consideration for the acquisition of Sky Italia is £2.45bn with approximately £2.07bn to be paid in cash and the balance to be satisfied through the transfer of BSkyB's 21% stake in National Geographic Channel International to 21st Century Fox at a value of £382m. Subject to the number of SkyD minority shareholders that accept the offer, the total cash consideration overall may be up to approximately £7.0bn. The transactions are subject to regulatory and independent BSkyB shareholder approval.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Adam Opel AG on Single OEM Structure in Europe

    Newly-established Opel Group GmbH assumes full responsibility as Single OEM Manufacturer for the Opel/Vauxhall business in Europe including Russia.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises DONG Energy on the divestment of a 50 per cent stake in Offshore Wind Farm

    DONG Energy signed an agreement to sell 50% of the German offshore wind farm project Gode Wind 2 to a consortium of Danish pension funds (PKA, Industriens Pension, Lærernes Pension and Lægernes Pensionskasse). The total purchase price amounts to approximately €600m. According to the agreement, the wind farm will have a total capacity of 252 MW. DONG Energy will construct the wind farm, provide operation and maintenance services and will provide a route to market for the power production of Gode Wind 2. The purchase is subject to approval by the cartel authorities.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises ZEISS on syndicated loan

    Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen has concluded a €500 Mio. syndicated loan for the purpose of refinancing existing financing. ZEISS is an internationally leading technology group in the fields of optics and optoelectronics with more than 24,000 employees and about €4.2bn in revenues.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Dürr on acquisition of HOMAG shares

    Dürr AG, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Dürr Technologies GmbH, has reached agreement with several major shareholders of HOMAG Group AG (HOMAG) to acquire a total of 53.7% of HOMAG shares. The purchase price for the 53.7% of the HOMAG shares is € 219 million. An agreement was also reached with the Schuler family and the Klessmann foundation, who have so far held a 25.1% stake in HOMAG in the form of a share pool, on Dürr joining the pool. The share pool will consent to the completion of a control and/or profit and loss transfer agreement by Dürr. The execution of the purchase contracts is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities. Dürr will submit a voluntary public takeover offer to the HOMAG shareholders to acquire all of the shares.