The Legal 500

Editorial

The brand new edition of The Legal 500 Deutschland HAS NOW LAUNCHED. View the 2015 rankings here.
Die brandneue Ausgabe von The Legal 500 Deutschland ist JETZT ONLINE. Die aktuellen Rankings (2015) 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 advises Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. on going public in new and innovative Structure

    On 31 October 2014, Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., one of the world's leading suppliers of lighting and electronic components for the automotive industry, announced its going public in an innovative and tailored structure.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises ImmobilienScout24 on acquisition of FLOWFACT

    ImmobilienScout24 expands its activities in the field of Customer Relation Management systems (CRM) and acquires FLOWFACT AG, headquartered in Cologne. FLOWFACT AG is a leading provider of software in the real estate sector in Germany. The company was founded in 1985 and has more than 120 employees at the location in Cologne.   Read more...  
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Siemens on Sale of Audiology Solutions business

    Siemens sells its Audiology Solutions business to the Swedish investor EQT and the German entrepreneurial family Strüngmann as co-investor for €2.15bn plus an earn-out component. Due to the very attractive offer made by the two investors, Siemens has decided not to further pursue preparations for the public listing it announced in May. Siemens will invest €200m in preferred shares in the equity capital of the audio solutions business and will thereby be able to participate in the future success of the business.    Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Rabo Real Estate Group on the sale of PalaisQuartier

    Rabo Real Estate Group ("Rabo"), the real estate division of Rabobank with headquarters in the Netherlands, has sold the PalaisQuartier in Frankfurt am Main to funds managed by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management. ECE is participating in the acquisition with a 10 % stake and will manage the "MyZeil" shopping centre.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Axel Springer SE on repurchase of minority share in online classified busin

    Axel Springer and US growth investor General Atlantic have reached a binding agreement on increasing Axel Springer's share in Axel Springer Digital Classifieds GmbH from 70% to 85% with the option to purchase the remaining 15% share. Axel Springer Digital Classifieds GmbH is a strategic partnership in which Axel Springer SE currently holds a participation of 70% and General Atlantic currently holds a participation of 30%.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises IBM on acquisition of IT Infrastructure Business from Lufthansa

    IBM has signed an outsourcing agreement with Deutsche Lufthansa under which IBM will acquire Deutsche Lufthansa's IT infrastructure business with approximately 1,400 employees and deliver IT infrastructure services to Deutsche Lufthansa over a term of seven years. The contract volume amounts to approximately €1bn for the entire term.   Read more...  
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Supervisory Board of HAWESKO on tender offer

    On 21 November 2014, TOCOS Beteiligung GmbH submitted a voluntary tender offer to the shareholders of HAWESKO Holding AG for the entire share capital of HAWESKO not already held by the Bidder at a price of €40 per share. The bid price values the share capital of HAWESKO at €359m. On 4 December 2014, the Management and Supervisory Board both issued an according statement in accordance to § 27 WpÜG (German Takeover Act).   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Axel Springer on possible transformation into KGaA

    The executive board and the supervisory board of Axel Springer SE have decided to explore a change of the legal form of Axel Springer SE to a partnership limited by shares (Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien - KGaA). The proposed change aims to provide Axel Springer with more flexibility in financing future growth. The legal form of a partnership limited by shares will provide the basis required to retain the commercial influence of Axel Springer Gesellschaft für Publizistik GmbH & Co., the majority shareholder of Axel Springer SE, also in connection with capital increases.   Read more...  
  • GSK adds french firm Lefèvre Pelletier to its international alliance of business law firms

    The internationally cooperating law firms Nabarro LLP (UK), GSK Stockmann + Kollegen (Germany), Nunziante Magrone (Italy) and Roca Junyent (Spain) are adding a new member to their alliance. With Lefèvre Pelletier & associés the alliance was able to gain one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in France. Thus, the alliance now has more than 980 lawyers and 31 offices in the most important financial and economic centers in Europe and thereby covers 10 jurisdictions, including Algeria, Morocco, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises KKR on investment in arago

    KKR, a leading global investment firm, announced an investment in arago AG ("arago"). arago is a German-based high-tech company specialised in IT automation. KKR will acquire a minority stake in arago and support the global roll-out of arago's product portfolio with growth equity.