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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Germany > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Financial services: regulatory

Index of tables

  1. Financial services: regulatory
  2. Fintech
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Alexander Behrens - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Markus Benzing - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Andreas Dehio - Linklaters
    • Christian Schmies - Hengeler Mueller
    • Frederik Winter - Linklaters

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Financial services: regulatory clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Working in conjunction with its corporate, state aid and banking and finance groups, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer covers a wide range of regularly matters. Recently, the practice has been focusing on current market-relevant topics such as Brexit, the Banking Union and fintech. This led to several instructions from banks to assist with the restructuring of their European business in the wake of Brexit and various other connected issues. In the fintech space, Gunnar Schuster advised a large German company on the development of an e-money-based platform, which will initially be introduced in Germany and subsequently rolled out across Europe and beyond. In co-operation with other departments, Alexander Glos assisted HSH Nordbank with various regulatory, corporate and state aid matters. In other work, the team advised on the implementation of the Payment Service Directive (PSD 2), while Deutsche Bank received assistance with Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) matters. DVB Bank is another client and receives regular regulatory advice from Glos and Thomas Emde. Markus Benzing is also recommended.

Assisting with transactional matters constitutes a key element of Hengeler Mueller’s practice along with advising banks and other financial services providers on various regulatory matters including the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR), the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV) and MiFID II as well as on pan-European payment systems and automated clearing houses. The team has also been increasingly active in providing Brexit-related advice including restructuring measures and the establishment of fully licensed Germany-based subsidiaries and branches. As highlights, Dirk Bliesener advised Commerzbank and Hypothekenbank Frankfurt on the transfer of various bank portfolios by way of a spin-off, and Christian Schmies assisted Deutsche Asset Management Investment with the global co-ordination of an asset and asset share transfer into a new fund structure set up by the client. He also advised a German bank on the implementation of the EU Benchmark Regulation (EU BMR), and acted for a large German retail chain on the implementation of PSD 2 with regards to gift cards and vouchers. Advent International and Bawag Group are also clients. Thomas Paul is recommended for investment regulatory law matters. Senior associate Michael Born joined Norton Rose Fulbright as of counsel in August 2018.

Linklaters has extensive expertise in matters pertaining to Brexit, M&A and restructuring measures as well as insurance supervisory law and fintech while also representing clients in preliminary proceedings. Andreas Dehio, who focuses on acting for financial institutions in regulatory investigations and crises management issues alongside handling M&A transactions, advised Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board on regulatory investigations and various disputes alongside compensation comparisons with ten former and one current board member. In co-operation with the firm’s corporate department, he also assisted Deutsche Börse with matters pertaining to Eurex Clearing’s partnership programme, and, together with team head Andreas Steck, he acted on the planned merger with the London Stock Exchange. In significant restructuring work, the team continues to advise HSH Beteiligungs Management and HSH Finanzfonds alongside the city of Hamburg, the state of Schleswig-Holstein and hsh portfolio-management on issues concerning the privatisation of HSH Nordbank as well as compliance and corporate governance matters. In the insurance supervisory law space, Frederik Winter acted for Athora on the acquisition of Aegon Ireland, which included advice on the regulatory implications of this transaction.

Allen & Overy LLP is well versed in combining its regulatory expertise with the firm’s capital markets capacities. This leads to regular instructions on regulatory requirements for financial products, most notably derivates, securitisations and other structured finance and securities transactions. Advising on Brexit-related matters, licensing agreements and transactions that require approval from the European Central Bank (ECB) constitutes another key element of the practice. In the transactional space, Alexander Behrens assisted US financial investor Cerberus Capital Management with the acquisition of a non-performing loan portfolio (NPL portfolio) from HSH Nordbank, acted for a financial institution from the automotive sector in implementing PSD 2, and assisted several international banks and investment firms with various licence applications for setting up a branch office in Frankfurt am Main. Together with Martin Scharnke, he also advised four investment banks on the transfer of their derivates business to Frankfurt am Main. Stefan Henkelmann frequently handles product-related banking supervisory matters. Of counsel Frank Herring is a highly regarded figure in the market. Dennis Kunschke, who made counsel in summer 2017, moved to DLA Piper in December 2018.

Global financial institutions and investors benefit from Clifford Chance’s expertise in contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters pertaining to the Banking Union and ECB requirements alongside Brexit-related issues.Marc Benzler continues to advise several financial institutions on the implementation of a Brexit strategy such as market access requirements, relocation and business transfer issues. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) received assistance with the establishment of a securities bank in Frankfurt, which included the foundation of a holding company in Luxembourg, while, in an equally noteworthy instruction, the team assisted Goldman Sachs with the implementation of MiFID II requirements for its private wealth management division. The team is also well versed in handling derivatives-related regulatory work, advising on matters pertaining to netting, collaterals and clearing, alongside fintech matters, leading to regular instructions from investors and banks on business model and licensing issues.

The ‘hands-on team’ at Hogan Lovells International LLP has particular expertise in matters at the intersection of banking supervisory and capital markets law, which leads to regular instructions on regulatory issues concerning financial instruments. Advising on MiFID II and MiFIR, the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation (PRIIPs) and the EU Benchmark Regulation (EU BMR) are other key areas of expertise, while, in co-operation with its London team, the practice has also been handling an increasing number of Brexit-related mandates; instructions pertaining to fintech and US sanctions are routinely handled in conjunction with various offices across its global network. This broad set-up allows the practice to provide credit and deposit institutions, financial services providers as well as e-money and payment institutions with full-service advice. Highlights included Richard Reimer’s advice to the Federal Association of Payment Institution (Bundesverband der Zahlungsinstitute, BVZI) on the development of an industry standard for IT security documentation for payment services providers following the introduction of PSD 2, and Jochen Seitz’s assistance to the German Derivatives Association (Deutscher Derivate Verband, DDV) with MiFID II and MiFIR matters. Seitz and Peter Maier joined the team in late 2017 and counsel Markus Brusch followed suit in early 2018; the trio joined from Mayer Brown LLP. Tim Brandi is also recommended. Verena Ritter-Döring moved to Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP at the end of 2017.

The team at Latham & Watkins LLP predominately acts at the interface of corporate, capital markets, M&A and fintech, which makes it a popular choice for finance sector players, which frequently instruct the practice to advise on Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and fintech-related matters alongside general financial market regulatory compliance issues. Based on this expertise, Axel Schiemann acted for DMarket on an ICO to finance the development of a decentralised marketplace to trade virtual assets on multiple gaming platforms, and, together with Markus Krüger, he advised Chinese internet company Tencent on the international launch of its product WeChat Payments. The latter instruction included various regulatory and compliance issues alongside agreements with local partners. Together with the corporate practice, he also provides regular advice to CrossLend on regulatory matters concerning the client’s market-based lending platform. In the transactional sphere, the team assisted Apollo Global Management with regulatory issues concerning an indirect acquisition of a stake in Oldenburgischen Landesbank by Bremer Kreditbank.

The ‘very quick, pragmatic and reliable’ team at White & Case LLP is considered a good contact for various regulatory matters pertaining to the Banking Union, the ECB, Brexit and other EU-wide issues, leading to regular instructions from national and international banks and banking associations. Berlin-based Henning Berger is the main contact for Brexit and ECB-related work and also represents clients before German and European courts. Recently, he acted for Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and VR-Bank Rhein-Sieg in two pilot procedures each; all cases were presented before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and concerned the new European bank levy imposed by the European Single Resolution Board (SRB) in 2016 and 2017. In other work, the team also advises on deposit guarantee schemes and issues concerning the technological transformation of the banking sector, while also assisting financial institutions and its shareholders with regulatory issues arising from M&A transactions and internal restructurings. In the technology space, the practice advises several German and European banks on regulatory matters concerning the procurement of IT cloud solutions; recently, it advised various German credit institutions on IT examinations by the ECB and BaFin. Another German credit institution received assistance with the implementation of the Benchmark Regulation. Berlin-based Martin Weber was made local partner in December 2017. Andreas Wieland moved to KPMG Law Germany in October 2018.

The team at GSK Stockmann is jointly led by Munich-based partners Robert Kramer and Timo Bernau and handles a wide range of regulatory matters including those concerning digital payments, crowdfunding, the EU capital markets union and Brexit alongside capital and liquidity requirements, while also providing transactional assistance. In conjunction with its corporate team, Peter Scherer continues to advise a client on regulatory matters pertaining to bitcoins, which includes licensing proceedings before BaFin, and a securities and forex trading house on German Securities Trading Act (WpHG) and German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act (WpÜG) requirements for share transactions. A credit card interest group receives regular advice on various banking supervisory law and bank contract law issues including the implementation of PSD 2 and the German Payment Services Supervision Act, which was provided by Markus Escher and local partner Daniela Eschenlohr. Munich-based Oliver Glück and Frankfurt-based Harald Feiler, who was appointed counsel in January 2018, are other key members of the team. In January 2019, fintech expert Tobias Riethmüller rejoined the firm from Schiedermair Rechtsanwälte.

In response to an increase in regulatory requirements in the financial sector, Noerr established a financial services regulation practice in January 2018. It focuses on Payment Supervision Act matters including fintech, financial regulation and AML compliance alongside general banking regulatory issues, but the team is also known for its transactional advisory work. In one highlight, the team acted for real estate investor ActivumSG on the take-over of the fairvesta group from the Knoll family including related regulatory issues. Jens Kunz, who jointly heads the practice with Thomas Heitzer, assisted a software solutions provider with PSD 2 matters including representing the client before BaFin, while, in cross-departmental collaboration, the team advised Audi Business Innovation on the establishment and introduction of a pan-European online platform for the rental of motor vehicles, which included the preparation of PSP contracts with payment providers. Torsten Fett is also recommended.

At Sernetz • Schäfer, the ‘experienced’ team is based in Munich and Düsseldorf and ‘quickly gets to the heart of the problem, finding practical solutions’ for credit institutions, financial services providers, investment management companies, corporates, private equity funds, stock exchanges and family offices. The Bavarian office, including Ferdinand Kruis, is best known for its litigation capabilities, while the Düsseldorf office predominately handles non-contentious work. It regularly handles payment services law, capital resources and Brexit-related matters and received an increasing number of transactional instructions where the team advises on regulatory matters arising from the acquisition of banks and regulated finance sector companies. Düsseldorf-based Frank Schäfer heads the team, which includes Peter Balzer, Jörg Mimberg and Thomas Eckhold; Eckhold is praised for his ‘practice-oriented, profound and solution-oriented advice’ alongside his ‘extraordinary tactical acumen’. Thorsten Voss joined the team from WTS in July 2017 but left the firm in February 2018 to take up a teaching position and subsequently moved to Fieldfisher.

Aderhold Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s growing team is gaining increasing market visibility, not least through opening a new office in Berlin in May 2018 which is led by Susanne Grohé. Before joining the firm in June 2017, she had been working in-house and her arrival has strengthened the team’s expertise in payment and fintech-sector work. This focus leads to regular instructions from IP and IT services providers, payment institutions and start-ups on licensing procedures under the new Payment Services Supervision Act (Zahlungsdiensteaufsichtsgesetz, ZAG), BaFin registrations, money laundering issues and general regulatory matters. Peter Frey, who jointly heads the practice with Christian Walz from Munich, acted for LogPay Financial Services in a license application under ZAG to issue its LogPay Card, and advised Wirecard Bank on its co-operation with ReiseBank to set up the smartphone-based account bankomo.

The team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton routinely utilises its regulatory expertise to act for banks and financial services providers on transactions. It assists with equity capital products, including the development of various transaction structures, and the issuance of bonds. Gabriele Apfelbacher advised Amundi on regulatory issues pertaining to the acquisition of fund company Pioneer Investment from UniCredit, while, in other work, clients also receive regular assistance with regulatory compliance issues pertaining to the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) as well as with the foundation and restructuring of financial institutions and the establishment of branches. This includes instructions on regulatory matters concerning the provision of banking and financial services in Germany, MiFID II and Brexit. In February 2018, the team received a boost with the arrival of senior counsel Christof von Dryander, who previously served as global co-general counsel at Deutsche Bank. Thomas Kopp and Ward Greenberg are other key members of the practice.

CMS covers a wide range of regulatory matters, leading to regular instructions from banks and financial services providers on group structuring and foundation issues, licensing and Brexit matters alongside administrative procedures before BaFin. The team has considerable clout in the restructuring arena as recently demonstrated by advising VTB Group; the team assisted with regulatory issues including negotiations with, among others, BaFin and Deutsche Bundesbank pertaining to the merger of its European operations. Andrea München, who led the advice, made partner in January 2018 and jointly heads the practice with Joachim Kaetzler.

During the 2017/ 2018 research period, Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH handled several instructions from major domestic and international banks, private banks, asset mangers, fintech start-ups and companies to advise on Brexit and fintech issues alongside the implementation of MiFID II and PSD 2. In Brexit-related work, Mathias Hanten’s team assisted various finance sector players with the development of company relocation strategies. In other work, foreign clients, most notably from China, India and the Middle East, routinely instruct the practice to assist with German market entry matters including the establishment of institutions and the acquisition of targets, while, in fintech, the team focuses on blockchain and cryptocurrency work, which is frequently dealt with in co-operation with its IT team. Recently, the practice advised an asset manager on contract adjustment matters following MiFID II, and assisted a financial services provider with licensing procedures for the establishment of a branch in a non-member country. Frankfurt-based Alexander Heist and Düsseldorf-based Albrecht Kindler are other key members of the team.

The ‘experienced’ practice at Gleiss Lutz advises German and international banks, other financial services providers and corporates on banking law and banking supervisory law matters arising from transactions. Maximilian von Rom advised a client on the acquisition of a minority stake in a bank including related regulatory issues as well as on the appointment of a supervisory board member, and assisted a foreign corporate group with banking supervisory law issues pertaining to the acquisition of a significant share in a German financial services provider. The group advised another financial services sector client on capital requirements, while HSH Nordbank’s supervisory board instructed the team with restructuring measures and privatisation preparations. The group also handles mandates on Brexit relocation strategies, BaFin licensing procedures and insurance supervisory law matters. Helge Kortz heads the team.

The ‘very good’ team at Mayer Brown LLP forms part of the firm’s finance practice and frequently acts at the interface with capital markets law. Following Jochen Seitz’s move to Hogan Lovells International LLP in October 2017, which followed Alexander Behrens’ departure to Allen & Overy LLP in spring 2017, London-based Dominic Griffiths is now leading the practice. In Germany, Patrick Scholl and counsel Holger Schelling are the key contacts; they routinely advice clients in the financial services sector on MiFID II and MiFIR, the global derivatives regulation, benchmarks, the European Banking Union, bank restructuring issues and the Payment Services Supervision Act (ZAG). Schelling advised DZ Bank on the implementation of MiFID II and MiFIR, and assisted a large German bank with regulatory matters pertaining to the creation of a multilateral digital wealth management platform. The Association of German Banks (Bundesverband deutscher Banken) is another client.

At Taylor Wessing, the team has particular expertise in advising foreign banks on entering the German market but is also well versed in handling fintech work; working in close conjunction with its TMT practice, this expertise routinely comes into play when representing clients in licensing procedures and when setting up co-operations with established banks. With Volker Baas in the lead, the team recently advised 3Red Trading on a proceeding with Deutsche Börse and Eurex Exchange on national, European and international regulations governing high-frequency trading, while, in co-operation with the employment law practice, the team also assisted ACT1 Group with various regulatory issues concerning debt collection activities in Germany. In another highlight, Baas and salary partner Anna Izzo-Wagner advised Coöperatieve Rabobank on the launch of RaboDirect’s private client business. The Frankfurt-based branch of the Dutch financial services provider also received assistance with various banking and payment services law matters including compliance. Peter Seemann heads the team from Hamburg.


Investment funds

Index of tables

  1. Investment funds
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Investment funds clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

With particular expertise in the automotive, energy, infrastructure, healthcare, life sciences and chemical sectors as well as the real estate and TMT industries, Clifford Chance covers the full spectrum of investment fund matters as part of various transactional and investment-related mandates. Acting for investment funds and asset managers, the team is well versed in combining its expertise from various practice areas leading to regular joint instructions with the firm’s private equity, derivatives and tax departments. Finance expert Oliver Kronat and the highly regarded Josef Brinkhaus assisted a German pension fund with the creation of an alternative investment platform, while Gregor Evenkamp in conjunction with the corporate team advised the Nuclear Waste Disposal Fund (Fonds zur Finanzierung der kerntechnischen Entsorgung) on regulatory matters concerning capital investments and on the set-up of investment guidelines. In other work, Evenkamp, who has notable banking supervisory law and fintech experience, assisted Düsseldorf-based consulting and investment company Postera Capital with the launch of the first EU-regulated crypto asset fund Postera Fund - Crypto I in Liechtenstein. In the transactional space, Marco Simonis acted for Universal Investment on the acquisition of 39 residential properties in Japan, while Brinkhaus advised Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe on its share in the onshore wind farm Nordlicht in Norway. In another highlight, Sonya Pauls assisted EMH Partners with closing its EMH Digital Growth Fund.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s work is based on three pillars: firstly, the team assists investment funds, capital management companies and other sector-specific services providers with regulatory matters; secondly, it advises on the structuring and implementation of alternative investment funds (AIFs) and investments made by AIFs, while handling regulatory issues as part of asset management-related transactions constitutes another key element. With several offices across Germany, each location has its individual focus: in Hamburg, the team including Niko Schultz-Süchting and Alexander Schwahn routinely works in conjunction with its real estate and tax groups, specialising in real estate special assets including the structuring of investment products; within this segment, the team acted for Axa Investment Managers - Real Assets on the acquisition of a logistics property portfolio including 39 properties in five European jurisdictions from Gramercy; while, in the Düsseldorf office, the group around Jochen Lüdicke focuses on asset finance-related tax issues and investment structures. The core team in Frankfurt is co-led by Konrad Schott, Gunnar Schuster and Thomas Emde and routinely handles compliance, corporate governance and tax law issues alongside license requirements. While Emde retired at the end of the business year 2017/ 2018, he remains involved in a number of mandates. With him in the lead, the practice advised several foreign UCITS funds on sales and distribution-related notification procedures alongside BaFin compliance matters, while Schott assists a German AIF capital management company with the structuring and implementation of aircraft investments for German special funds. Markus Benzing made partner in May 2018.

The team at Hengeler Mueller stands out for its regulatory expertise, such as MiFID II implementation matters, and benefits from the close co-operation with other departments, most notably when handling M&A and transactional issues. In this segment, the team acted as lead counsel for Deutsche Asset Management Investment on its global co-ordination of transferring assets and asset shares into a new fund structure managed by the client. Other work includes various German market entry instructions, including Christian Schmies’ advice to a British asset manager on the establishment of a AIFM branch in Germany, and mandates from family offices; in the latter, Edgar Wallach advised a client on the restructuring and establishment of an asset management account structure with several banks, which included RFP procedures and the negotiation of managed account agreements, while another German family office received assistance with investments in private equity fund structures. Other instructions involved advising foreign asset managers on their activities for German investment funds as part of outsourcing agreements with German alternative investment fund managers and on derivates-related issues. Thomas Paul is another key figure.

Linklaters’ wealth of expertise in international real estate fund matters leads to regular instructions from global real estate fund managers. Frequently, these cover the structuring of real estate funds and related sales issues with regards to their placement with international institutional investors alongside German insurance companies and pension funds. Recently, the team advised the financial services group USAA on the structuring of a real estate index fund for institutional investors, and assisted real estate investment company GTIS Partners with the second closing of its closed-end real estate funds, which the team had previously launched; the latter funds had an investment focus on US single-family houses for German institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies. Other work pertains to loan funds and loan platforms as well as M&A transactions and asset management matters; in an example of the latter, the team including colleagues from the corporate group assisted Macquarie with the acquisition of real estate fund manager GLL Real Estate Partners. US managers also routinely instruct the practice, which is jointly led by Alexander Vogt and Markus Wollenhaupt, on European AIFM regulations. This included advising investment company Pimco on setting up special access to an AIF domiciled outside the EU for German regulated investors. GreenOak Real Estate and a Swiss pension fund are also among the clients.

Dechert LLP’s ‘very good’ offering leads to regular instructions from national and international financial services providers, credit institutions, fund managers, investment companies and institutional investors. Its strength lies in handling the full remit of investment fund matters for open-end and closed-end investment funds and their fund managers, most notably in relation to alternative investments. These instructions frequently include assistance with setting up tax and regulatory efficient funds and investment structures, preparing fund documentations and licensing procedures. ICG Alternative Investment receives regular tax and supervisory law advice; recently, this included assistance with alternative investment funds and Solvency II matters, provided by Joachim Kayser. Hans Stamm acted for Wealth Management Capital Holding on the structuring and launch of a German closed-end real estate fund for institutional investors. Martin Hüwel and team head Achim Pütz have ‘in-depth knowledge of specific requirements for international and national investment structures’.

The Frankfurt-based team at King & Spalding LLP is a respected player in the market for real estate investment fund work, acting for asset management companies, institutional investors and fund platforms on the structuring, launch, management, restructuring and liquidation of investment funds, while also providing advice on real estate-related regulatory matters. As another key area of expertise, it also represents investment funds in litigation and arbitration. Team head Mario Leissner advised Barings Real Estate Advisers on regulatory and structuring matters concerning new funds and the sale of existing products in Germany. As another highlight, he acted for Beos, which exclusively instructs the firm with all its regulatory and fund matters, on the structuring and creation of a new fund product for institutional investors as well as on the structuring and establishment of an asset management company, including licensing procedures and various transactions. BMO Real Estate Partners receives regular investment law advice, and Hannover Leasing routinely instructs the practice with regulatory issues alongside fund structuring, restructuring and product listing matters. Other noteworthy work includes assisting Savills Investment Management with the structuring, launch, management and liquidation of various funds, products and vehicles alongside advice on investment law and supervisory law issues. In early 2018, real estate law expert Sven Wortberg moved to Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP.

Clients praise P+P Pöllath + Partners’ ‘very high-service level’ based on ‘very short response times and the reliable adherence to deadlines at fair prices’, while also stressing its ‘excellent private equity and M&A expertise’, which constitutes the key strength of the ‘thorough and goal-oriented’ team. It advises initiators and investors on the full spectrum of tax and regulatory matters concerning private equity funds, including alternative investment funds and global fund investments, and benefits from the close co-operation between the segments fund structuring, supervisory law and tax law. The ‘proactive’ Amos Veith, who jointly heads the practice with ‘market expert’ Andreas Rodin and is considered ‘one of the best contacts in Germany for PE and VC funds’ and is ‘very pleasant to work with’, recently advised private equity investor Afinum Management on various tax and regulatory issues concerning the structuring of a fund and its contractual documentation as well as on negotiations with national and international investors. In the regulatory space, the team has a focus on MiFID II, EuVECA and PRIIPs regulation matters but it is also adept at acting for private debt, venture capital, corporate venture capital and real estate funds alongside infrastructure and energy funds, including those based on Luxembourg fund structures. As an increasingly significant portion of the team’s workload, it also handles fund management work, which frequently includes advice to institutional investors and their asset managers on setting up platforms for the management of alternative fund investments. Other key individuals include Uwe Bärenz and Tarek Mardini, who made partner in early 2018. Caplantic and Commodus Real Estate Capital are also among the clients.

Simmons & Simmons LLP covers a wide spectrum of tax and regulatory matters for asset managers and investors, which are frequently dealt with as part of fund structuring and transactional instructions, as recently demonstrated by Harald Glander’s advice to Allianz Global Investors on its cross-border merger with Rogge Global Partners. Advising on supervisory law issues and assisting with fund investments made by institutional investors constitutes another key element of the practice. First State Investments receives ongoing regulatory advice and recently instructed Jochen Kindermann to assist with supervisory law issues concerning the registration of funds for distribution in Germany. In the investment space, Glander acted in conjunction with colleagues from the corporate practice to advise a global asset manager on an investment in Digital Investment Manager Scalable Capital. He also assisted a client with investment management agreements between a German entity and an Italian pension fund, while Benedikt Weiser advised a client on converting a large alternative investment fund portfolio from a German fund holding to a Luxembourg platform. Tax expert Heiko Stoll heads the team.

CMS has fund structuring and transactional matters and work for investors at its core, advising on various asset classes including renewable energy, real estate and private equity. In the structuring space, investment tax expert Tillman Kempf advised GEG German Estate Group on the creation of two open-end special AIFs for institutional investors, and acted for an asset holder on transferring and investing the proceeds from the sale of his own company into an open-end investment company domiciled in Luxembourg. Team head Daniel Voigt assisted Universal-Investment with the structuring and creation of two SICAV-RAIFs as parallel funds. In the investment sphere, the team assisted a German automotive supplier and its pension fund with their joint investment made from a Luxembourg fund into a fund set up for the company, while acting for IVG Immobilien on the sale of Triuva to Patrizia Immobilien, which included various investment law matters, constitutes a transactional highlight. In regulatory work, an electronics group received advice on matters arising from restructuring parts of its German and foreign pension assets. Financial supervision expert Andrea München made associated partner in early 2018; she is qualified in Germany and Luxembourg and is the key contact for Luxembourg law issues.

GSK Stockmann frequently handles fund structuring work for investors and asset management clients and has particular expertise in real estate funds but the team is also well versed in private equity and securities funds. Capital management companies also instruct the team to assist with the implementation of the investment tax reform, the amended anti-money laundering regulation and MiFID II. With Robert Kramer in the lead, the practice advised LaSalle Investment Management on investment and tax law matters pertaining to the structuring of a close-end special AIF for the acquisition of real estate in Bonn, and assisted DF Deutsche Finance Investment with investment, insurance supervisory law and tax law issues arising from the acquisition of real estate-based equity investments. Allianz Global Investors and Allianz Capital Partners are also clients. Harald Feiler was appointed counsel in early 2018.

K&L Gates LLP has ‘a strong understanding of economic relationships’ and ‘the ability to take a broader view’, which leads to regular instructions from fund initiators and fund managers on the preparation of product documentations and transactions including tax law matters. The team has particular expertise in asset classes private equity, infrastructure, debt instruments and hedge funds alongside real estate, renewable energy and other alternative assets, and is well versed in advising institutional investors on fund investments and on restructuring portfolio investments; high-net-worth individuals and their family offices also instruct the team with portfolio and investment structuring matters. Munich-based Hilger von Livonius ‘creates solutions and not problems’ and, according to clients, ‘is one of the best contacts for investment law and investment tax in Germany’; he advised Art-Invest Real Estate on the acquisition of the SZ Tower property via a newly founded investment limited partnership. Berlin-based Till Fock assisted a client with matters concerning the management of cryptocurrency. Other key individuals include Christian Büche, Martin Berg and Philipp Riedl, who was promoted to the partnership in March 2018.

Providing a very good service’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s strength lies in advising German and EU-wide investors on German and Luxembourg fund structuring matters and European fund supervisory law issues including AIFMD, MiFID II and Solvency II. Team head Patricia Volhard, who divides her time between Frankfurt and London, advised Adams Street Partners on the establishment of a German branch including BaFin approval procedures for the provision of financial services, while Bain Capital received assistance with European supervisory law and other fund-related matters. In similar work, I Squared Capital instructed the practice to advise on the creation of an infrastructure fund including various EU-wide supervisory law issues, Lexington Partners received assistance with the creation of a Luxembourg parallel fund, and Park Square Capital with the set-up of a managed account in Luxembourg. Deutsche Beteiligungs AG is another client.

Working in close conjunction with its capital markets group and with particular expertise in real estate funds, the team at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek frequently advises on the structuring of funds, including alternative special investment funds, alongside transactional and regulatory matters. Based on this co-operation, the practice assisted BoxDirect with various regulatory matters and with exchanging container direct investments for listed stocks, while team head Michael Dröge advised WealthCap on the structuring of the close-end domestic mutual fund AIF Wealth Cap Immobilienfonds Deutschland 40, including prospectus preparation. Christoph Gringel is also recommended.

White & Case LLP has a focus on investment law matters pertaining to M&A and outsourcing transactions, most notably in the private equity and real estate sectors, but clients, many of which approach the team via the firm’s global network, also receive regulatory advice on the admissibility of various fund products for sale in Germany alongside admissibility checks for investments made by foreign investment companies. The team advised several investment companies on the sale of foreign funds including various tax law issues, and assisted an international investor with regulatory matters pertaining to the intended creation of an investment pooling vehicle for certain crypto assets. A consortium of international investors instructed the team to advise on the creation of an investment vehicle for the acquisition of a German financial institute alongside navigating investment permit requirements. Former team head Andreas Wieland moved to KPMG Law Germany in October 2018.


Lending and borrowing

Index of tables

  1. Lending and borrowing
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Attracting praise for its ‘extremely high level of expertise’ and ‘speedy response times’, Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘broad and in-depth knowledge’ is not least based on the team’s strong co-operation with its banking, finance and capital markets groups, making it an equally attractive choice for lenders and borrowers. In leveraged and acquisition finance, an area of particular strength, the team frequently advises on mid-cap to large-cap LBOs and MBOs, traditional acquisition loans, bank and bond financings, unitranches and term loan B financings. Issuers and arrangers receive regular assistance with promissory note loans, while the team also handles a wide range of corporate finance matters. In conjunction with its corporate team, John Coburn assisted the US financial investor Cerberus Capital Management with the takeover of HSH Nordbank by independent investors and with the related sale of non-performing loans at a nominal value of several billion euros, enabling the bank to remain competitive without state aid, while team head Walter Uebelhoer advised Evonik Industries on the refinancing of a €1.75bn credit line. Thomas Neubaum ‘has a good understanding of the market’ and recently acted for Kreissparkasse Biberach and Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw on financing issues pertaining to the acquisition of Felss Group by Capvis, and advised private equity investor Bencis on the acquisition of Halex Holding from H2 Equity Partners; the financing structure of the latter transaction consisted of a unitranche financing and a revolving credit facility. The renowned Neil Weiand and counsel Urs Lewens joined Linklaters in late 2017.

Top market playerClifford Chance routinely assists banks, private equity investors and corporates, including family-owned companies, with national and international acquisitions alongside corporate finance, restructuring, refinancing and recapitalisation matters as well as with the acquisition finance for listed companies and infrastructure finance. Team head Bettina Steinhauer advised J.P. Morgan on providing Hochtief with the acquisition financing for its voluntary tender offer for Spanish company Abertis Infraestructuras, and, together with Barbara Mayer-Trautmann, she acted for Barclays as mandated lead arranger on a €12bn financing for Fortum’s public takeover offer for Uniper. In other significant work, the team advised an international banking consortium on financing the takeover of PlusServer, a provider of managed hosting and managed cloud solutions, by private equity firm BC Partners, and assisted Commerzbank with two loans for the acquisition of ZF Friedrichshafen’s Global Body Control Systems business by Hong Kong-based company Luxshare. In other work, the group advised Deutsche Glasfaser on a €650m refinancing, and assisted a Chinese consortium with the acquisition of Robert Bosch Starter Motors Generators. In early 2018, Thomas Weitkamp moved to Latham & Watkins LLP and counsel Mattias von Buttlar joined White & Case LLP. Acquisition finance expert Steffen Schellenschmidt joined the team from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in late 2018.

Considered as ‘first choice for all financing matters’ by many borrowers and sponsors, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is also becoming increasingly active for lenders, frequently advising on tree structures among other issues, and stands out for its ‘excellent service level’ and ‘strategic advice’. As well as its leveraged, acquisition, corporate and real estate finance expertise, the team is also well versed in handling restructuring and insolvency-related credit financing work. It works closely with colleagues experienced in project, asset and structured finance leading to the team’s particular strength in handling hybrid forms of classic corporate and leveraged finance on the one hand and structured project and asset finance on the other. ‘Excellent’ team head Frank Laudenklos advised AXA Investment Managers on financing the acquisition of a nursing home portfolio from Blackstone, and assisted Fresenius with the provision of an interim financing for the acquisition of listed US company Akorn, while Mark Strauch advised JOST Werke on refinancing matters pertaining to a syndicated credit line going back to the takeover by Cinven. Laudenklos also acted for Rewe International Finance as borrower and several other Rewe group companies as guarantors of fixed-rate and floating-rate promissory note loans with a total volume of €1bn, and Mario Hüther advised Volkswagen Financial Services on a syndicated loan of €2.5bn. Michael Josenhans is another key member of the team.

Hengeler Mueller’s strength lies in providing advice on syndicated acquisition finance and promissory loans. Acting as lead counsel, Johannes Tieves acted for a bank consortium on matters pertaining to a €2.5bn revolving syndicated loan for SAP to refinance its existing credit line, and advised HeidelbergCement on a €3bn syndicated revolving multi-currency credit facility for cash drawings and loan guarantees in euros and other currencies. Daniel Weiß assisted Erwin Hymer Group with the reorganisation of its group financing by concluding a syndicated credit facility and a promissory note in the aggregate amount of €400m, while Nikolaus Vieten assisted Finland-based energy company Fortum Oyj with the €12bn acquisition finance for the launch of a voluntary public takeover offer to all Uniper shareholders. In other significant work, Ralph Defren advised Metro on various financial instruments including private and public bonds, bilateral credit facilities, promissory loans and revolving credit facilities, and Daniela Böning acted as lead counsel for Davis-Standard and its majority owner Oncap on the acquisition of Maillefer International Oy including related financing matters. Other key individuals include Heinrich Knepper and co-managing partner Dirk Bliesener. In November 2018, Andreas Lischka joined White & Case LLP as local partner.

Working closely with its capital markets team alongside its London and US offices, Latham & Watkins LLP is adept at handling acquisition finance, LBO and corporate finance transactions, frequently combined with covenant lite structures and high-yield bonds, while also having experience in restructuring and real estate finance matters. The team acts for borrowers and lenders alike, leading to regular instructions from companies, investment banks and sponsors. Together with colleagues from the firm’s capital markets practice, Alexandra Hagelüken and counsel Sibylle Münch advised a bank consortium on matters pertaining to the financing of the high-yield bond-financed takeover, the first one of its kind on the German market, of MDAX listed group Stada by Bain Capital and Cinven, and assisted another banking syndicate consisting of Citigroup Global Markets and Royal Bank of Canada with a €2.5bn credit line for VW Credit. Together with counsel Cora Grannemann, Hagelüken also advised private equity firm BC Partners on financing the acquisition of PlusServer by way of a covenant lite transaction. In Munich, Christian Jahn and Andreas Diem, who retired in summer 2018, advised One Equity Partners on the financing of the acquisition of SGB-SMIT Group from BC Partners, consisting of a term loan B, a guarantee facility and a facility feature totalling €590m. In May 2018, the firm’s Bavarian office was augmented with the addition of Thomas Weitkamp from Clifford Chance. Daniel Ehret moved to King & Wood Mallesons in October 2017.

The practice at Linklaters was significantly bolstered by Neil Weiand and counsel Urs Lewens’s arrival in late 2017 from Allen & Overy LLP. Much of the team’s work pertains to corporate and leverage finance, infrastructure and real estate finance as well as insolvency and restructuring matters. Together with its corporate practice, Weiand advised E.ON on the financing of the intended acquisition of innogy by way of a voluntary public takeover offer, while the team called upon colleagues in the restructuring and insolvency group to assist state-owned promotional bank KfW with Air Berlin Group’s rescue aid funding, in order to temporarily maintain its flight operation. With Michal Hlásek in the lead, the team also acted for cocoa and chocolate factory Barry Callebaut and several of its subsidiaries on amending its €750m revolving credit facility. Team head Marc Trinkaus advised Waterland Private Equity on financing issues pertaining to the takeover of coeo Inkasso. Blackstone and Marlin Private Equity are also clients. Carl-Peter Feick retired in March 2018.

Ashurst LLP stands out for its ‘very good business sense, good negotiation skills, in-depth understanding of the market and excellent service level’. While the team’s strength continues to lie in handling small and mid-sized LBO financing and refinance work in the German nursing market, it was able to boost its real estate and asset finance capabilities by adding Filip Kurkowski from Baker McKenzie in January 2018, while the addition of senior associate Frederik Jahn, who joined in February 2018 from Allen & Overy LLP, increased its bench strength in acquisition finance. Securitisation specialist Martin Kaiser, who ‘has a good reputation in the sector’, was another new arrival from Baker McKenzie; he joined the firm in September 2017. As well as its increase in personnel, the team was also able to expand its client base with the addition of several loan funds, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds. Pemberton instructed the team led by ‘very reliable and unbelievably productive’ Anne Grewlich, who is also ‘a strong negotiator’, to advise on the financing of the acquisition of Desotec, a Belgium-based provider of mobile filtration technology, by EQT VII, while BlackRock received assistance with the financing of the acquisition of the pump factory Wangen by Silverfleet Capital. Together with Bernd Egbers, Grewlich, who ‘is also well respected by the opposite party’, advised Ardian Private Debt on the unitranche financing of the acquisition of care home operator Emvia Living by Chequers Capital. The latter private equity firm also received assistance with the refinancing of existing liabilities linked to its portfolio company Cordenka.

Gleiss Lutz is praised for its ‘quick response times’, ‘very pragmatic approach’ and ‘fair pricing’ alongside its ‘good understanding of the key points’, leading to regular instructions on corporate and acquisition finance, LBOs, real estate and project finance alongside promissory note loans. In corporate finance, the team frequently acts for borrowers, but also advises banks, while, in real estate finance, it focuses on work for banks, and, in acquisition finance and LOBs, it acts for both borrowers and lenders, frequently in matters pertaining to strategic takeovers. The practice is led by Helge Kortz and includes the ‘pragmatic and quick and at the same time thorough and reliable’ Frank Schlobach, who is frequently recommended for PE-related work. He advised VDM Metals, a portfolio company of Lindsay Goldberg, on the €280m refinancing of its existing loan with a syndicated loan, a bilateral loan and a factoring line, and acted for United Internet in financing the public takeover of Drillisch by way of a syndicated loan. In other highlights, Kortz assisted Aareal Bank with the financing of the acquisition of several department stores in Hamburg; the portfolio was sold by Frankfurt investor RFR to Signa; and Eva Reudelhuber advised Steinhoff Europe on a revolving credit agreement totalling over €750m for its subsidiary Hemisphere International. Burkhard Jäkel frequently handles real estate finance matters.

Top’ firm Milbank receives regular instructions from banks, debt funds and other lenders alongside financial investors to assist with the full spectrum of debt financing. Its strength lies in acquisition finance, most notably in a cross-border setting and when involving capital market products, while handling corporate finance for investment grade and sub-investment grade borrowers constitutes another key element of expertise. It has notable expertise in refinancing, IPO preparation and restructuring scenarios. In co-operation with its New York office, Mathias Eisen advised Goldman Sachs Lending Partners on the refinancing of Unifrax, and, in loan financing, he and the ‘practice-oriented and very experienced’ Thomas Ingenhoven assisted BlueBay Asset Management with the takeover of Bike24 by Bridgepoint; the client provided the acquisition finance and a co-investment in the form of preferred equity, a hybrid instrument. In other noteworthy work, the team acted for an international banking consortium as mandated lead arrangers on the refinancing of the Duran Group, and advised private equity investor H.I.G on the refinancing of the acquisition of Conet Group and its add-on acquisition of the ACT Group by way of long-term senior financing with a super-senior facility feature.

The ‘very specialised’ team at Noerr is praised for its ‘very high service level coupled with a good business sense and capacity to put ideas into practice’. The ‘pragmatic and SME-focused approach’ is based on ‘very good industry knowledge’ and aims at ‘practical solutions’, leading to frequent instructions on real estate, acquisition and corporate finance including insolvency and restructuring-related matters. The team focuses on work for lenders and acts for several banking consortiums and has recently extended its market presence with several new instructions from various banks including Bank of Ireland, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and a number of debt funds such as Crescent Capital, but the practice is also increasingly active for companies. Bank of Ireland instructed a team with Tom Beckerhoff in the lead on a super-senior financing pertaining to the acquisition of Competence Call Centre by private equity firm Ardian, and Crescent Capital received assistance with the financing of the acquisition of Abit Group by Marlin Equity Partners. Together with its office in Moscow, ‘very good’ team head Andreas Naujoks, who ‘enjoys a very good reputation in the market’, ‘grasps new matters quickly and has a high level expertise’, advised a Russian private commercial bank on the refinancing of an existing REPO transaction including secured loan agreements for a group of companies with a German holding company. Other key individuals include ‘always contactable’ Sebastian Bock, who ‘is always on top of every matter’, and the ‘very experienced’ Nikolai Warneke, who is praised for his ‘strong business acumen and structured approach’. In early 2018, Alexander Schilling joined as associated partner from Allen & Overy LLP, while, in January 2019, real estate financing expert Karsten Fink was appointed senior counsel.

White & Case LLP specialises in advising banks, sponsors and companies on leveraged finance alongside corporate, real estate, project and asset finance, while the Hamburg office is best known for its expertise in structured finance and refinance work in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Assisting with banking supervisory law and restructuring-related matters constitutes another key element. Vanessa Schürmann advised an arranger on the repricing and increase of the existing term loan B for Apcoa Parking to €380m, and assisted a banking consortium with the financing of One Equity Partners’ acquisition of SGB-SMIT Group from BC Partners. A different banking syndicate received advice on the refinancing of the German transport and logistics company Hapag-Lloyd by way of increasing a revolving syndicated loan of $125m to $145m, while, together with capital markets expert Rebecca Emory, Schürmann assisted a banking syndicate led by Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan with the €1.35bn refinancing of the Senvion Group, which included a €400m high-yield bond, a secured multi-currency revolving facility valued at €125m and a €825m secured multi-currency letter of guarantee facility. The team also increased its bench strength by adding several associates alongside local partner Sebastian Schrag, who joined in June 2017 from now dissolved firm Heymann & Partner. Mattias von Buttlar joined the firm in January 2018 from Clifford Chance but left again in June of the same year. Local partner Veit Sahlfeld joined Norton Rose Fulbright as of counsel in April 2018, while Andreas Lischka joined the firm as local partner from Hengeler Mueller in November 2018.

While CMS’ team has traditionally been focusing on work for borrowers, it continues to expand its capabilities acting for lenders, leading to a diversified client portfolio consisting of banks, German and international companies and sponsors. Its strengths lie in dealing with acquisition finance, most notably in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors, and corporate finance alongside refinancing and restructuring matters, while real estate finance constitutes an increasingly significant portion of the practice’s workload; in this segment, the team has recently been advising several funds and private equity firms. Co-team heads Markus Pfaff and Marc Seibold advised Evcap on the financing of the acquisition of City Carré Magdeburg, and GSAF Holdco EUR on the financing of the acquisition of a number of student residences in various major German cities. In corporate finance, the practice assisted Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche with the issuance of a €280m promissory note loan, and advised listed corporation ElringKlinger on a €200m promissory note loan. Hirschvogel instructed the team to assist with a syndicated financing totalling €400m, while Hamburg-based Marc Riede advised construction company Hochtief on a syndicated revolving credit facility valued at €1.7bn. Highlights in the acquisition finance space included advice to strategic investor Bottega InvestCo on the financing of the acquisition of Getronics for €200m, and Afinum Siebte Beteiligungsgesellschaft on the financing of the acquisition of a majority stake in Garz & Fricke.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s banking and finance team benefits from the firm’s international network on one hand and from strong internal ties with various other practice groups on the other, allowing the team to handle the full spectrum of acquisition and real estate finance matters alongside trade and export finance work. This leads to a balanced client portfolio consisting of borrowers and lenders, including banks and various alternative lenders such as debt funds and insurance companies, while the team has also been increasingly active for French clients such as Société Générale, which is predominately due to the expansion of the firm’s Paris office. Recent significant matters include advising Grover on an asset-backed loan structure provided by Varengold Bank, assisting Ares Management, in co-operation with the London office, with corporate financing matters, and acting for Lang LaSalle in adjusting a multi-currency loan agreement with an international banking syndicate. Patrick Mittmann, who joined Baker McKenzie in September 2018, also advised Lang LaSalle on senior notes. In acquisition finance, team head Katlen Blöcker and members from the corporate practice assisted CTDI with financing issues concerning the acquisition of Communications Test Design’s EMEA repair services division. In late 2017, counsel Sven Seibold moved to DLA Piper.

Norton Rose Fulbright provides ‘high-quality advice’, which is frequently drawn upon by national and international lenders such as banks and credit institutions but also companies acting as borrowers. Its offering includes assistance with acquisition, corporate and real estate finance as well as restructuring and insolvency-related matters. Practice head Oliver Sutter is ‘excellent, very pragmatic and solution oriented’. Hamburg-based shipping expert Timo Noftz has notable expertise in asset and project finance. Banking law expert Rüdiger Litten moved to Fieldfisher’s Frankfurt office in April, while of counsel Veit Sahlfeld joined the team from White & Case LLP at the same time. Markus Radbruch made partner in January 2019.

With a focus on the German mid-cap market and in close co-operation with its colleagues form the firm’s global network, Shearman & Sterling LLP acts for borrowers and lenders in LBO transactions, unitranche and super-senior financings alongside corporate finance. Together with its corporate practice, Esther Jansen, who jointly heads the team with Winfried Carli, advised Allianz Deutschland on financing law matters concerning the sale of its majority stake in Oldenburgische Landesbank to Bremer Kreditbank, and assisted Citic Capital China Partners III, a buyout fund managed by Citic Capital, with matters pertaining to the financing structure of a co-investment with 3i Group in the company Formel D. In other highlights, Carli advised capiton on the financing of the acquisition of Magix Software, acted for Cathay Capital on the financing of the acquisition of the automotive supplier E.Winkemann from Equistone Partners Europe, and assisted Crescent Capital with the unitranche refinancing of 3B Scientific Group, a global manufacturer of medical and scientific teaching tools. The last-mentioned mandate was co-led by Matthias Weissinger, who made partner at the end of 2017; in another highlight, he acted for Commerzbank as arranger in the refinancing of the Huber Packaging Group.

Benefiting from its global reach, the team at Baker McKenzie frequently works in conjunction with various offices from its international network. Led by Oliver Socher, the team focuses on handling syndicated loan matters as part of trade and export finance, acquisition finance and restructuring mandates, but had to face a significant loss when securities expert Martin Kaiser moved to Ashurst LLP in September 2017 followed by real estate and asset finance specialist Filip Kurkowski in January 2018. As a counterbalance, the practice added real estate finance partner Patrick Mittmann from Hogan Lovells International LLP in August 2018. Recent highlights include advising Standard Chartered Bank on a two-currency loan facility valued at $306m and €956m respectively and issued to Yapı ve Kredi Bankası, which required co-operation with the firm’s Istanbul and London offices. In other work, Socher assistedo Credit Suisse with a unitranche financing and a facility feature, and acted for Commerz Real Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft on the acquisition of a wind farm for its CR Institutional Renewables Energies Fund. The latter mandate was handled in co-operation with colleagues from the M&A and energy law groups and demonstrates the team’s growing capabilities in energy sector work. In further demonstration of this, the team advised a consortium consisting of 13 European and Asian banks on the financing of the acquisition of ista International, a global provider of efficient energy services. In real estate, Kathrin Marchant assisted a banking consortium with the financing of the acquisition of the Sony Center in Berlin.

With ‘outstanding industry knowledge’, DLA Piperprovides the full package’ and focuses on advising companies and financial institutions on acquisition finance, while handling project finance work in the energy and infrastructure sectors constitutes another central pillar of the practice. In this segment, ‘flexible and well-versed’ counsel Robert Hofbauer assisted DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale with the project financing for the offshore wind farm project Nordlicht in Norway, and advised Norddeutsche Landesbank on the project financing for one of Marguerite’s wind farm projects in Sweden valued at €60m. Team head Torsten Pokropp is ‘precise and highly experienced’ and ‘consistent’ real estate finance expert Frank Schwem is ‘an extremely strong negotiator’. The team added counsel Sven Seibold from Hogan Lovells International LLP in late 2017 but lost former practice head Wolfram Distler to Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in September 2017.

The ‘reliable’ team at Mayer Brown LLPachieves outstanding results for its clients within the envisaged time frame and the agreed budget’. Clients also appreciate its ‘in-depth advice and its strong commercial understanding’ alongside ‘its short response times’. The team acts for borrowers and lenders, most notably banks, funds and companies, on real estate finance, asset-based financing transactions, acquisition finance, syndicated corporate loans and restructuring matters. ‘Very good’ practice head Martin Heuber, who has ‘profound expertise’ and ‘a deep understanding of the client’s concerns’, assisted energy and infrastructure services provider Entega with a syndicated loan issued by a banking consortium. Together with the London office, the team also advised the Heide refinery, part of Klesch Group, on the refinancing of various credit financings including a high-yield bond and a hedge, and acted for a manufacturing group on refinancing a total of five syndicated bilateral credit facilities. Kirsten Schürmann was appointed counsel in November 2017, while, in the following month, Markus Strelow left the firm to work independently.

The team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP consists of ‘good lawyers, who take their job seriously’, leading to ‘a very high level of services and high-quality advice’. It predominately acts for borrowers, but also has a number of lender clients, on acquisition finance, structured finance, syndicated loans and debt restructurings, which frequently involve financing structures consisting of a combination of senior loans, high-yield bonds and mezzanine finance; this approach is based on a close co-operation with its tax and capital markets law teams. Team head Johannes Kremer is ‘an outstanding all-rounder in all financing-related matters’ and ‘an excellent negotiator’, who ‘considers the interdependencies between different forms of financing and by doing so, avoids conflicts’. As a highlight, he advised, among others, Key Safety Systems on two loan commitments pertaining to the acquisition of various assets and operating businesses from Takata for a total purchase price of $1.588bn. In other work, the team assisted the portfolio company of an international investment company with changing its senior credit facility, which provided an add-on term loan of over $190m and refinanced the original tranche B-2 term loan and all outstanding amounts under the secondary credit facility, and, together with its New York office, it assisted a bank with a $1.8bn secured loan agreement for a manufacturer of aluminium products.

At Taylor Wessing, clients receive ‘speedy and accurate advice’, which ‘always addresses the key points and is provided at reasonable rates’. Clients also praise its ‘very good quality of work across all seniority grades’ and note the team’s ‘commercial approach’ and ‘ability to take on the view of a lending institution’. As the key element of the practice, it predominately acts for sponsors on acquisition finance, while also offering assistance with corporate loans, restructuring and reorganisation finance alongside real estate and project finance. The ‘highly professional’ Sabine Schomaker, who stands out for her ‘deep market expertise’ and ‘very good and relaxed negotiation style’, advised Afinum Management on the financing of the acquisition of Düsseldorf-based advertising agency It Works. Other key individuals include the ‘very experienced and committed’ Clemens Niedner, who ‘is very good at negotiating and also very pragmatic’, and salary partner Ulf Gosejacob, who is recognised by clients for his ‘quick response times’ and ‘his focus on the points that matter most to the client’; he assisted Bayerische Landesbank, HSH Nordbank and SEB with acquisition finance issues concerning the takeover of NRW Building Technology by Munich-based company Bregal Unternehmerkapital and, in corporate finance, he advised Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba) and Bremer Kreditbank (BKB) as arrangers on increasing and extending PAS Group’s syndicated credit facility.

Goodwin has real estate finance at its core but the team led by the renowned Stephan Kock also handles various other forms of loan financing and, due to the firm’s international reach and strong co-operation with its US offices in particular, it is well versed in handling US-related matters. This leads to regular instructions from, among others, German banks, which require assistance with their US business, while, in leveraged finance, the practice works in close conjunction with its Paris colleagues, and, in real estate, with its London office. In recent co-operation with its colleagues in London, the team advised real estate financing company Medical Properties Trust on the financing of a joint venture with Primonial Group with an investment value totalling €1.635bn. In other work, the team has been increasingly active in advising investors and debt funds; it advised a debt fund set up by GreenOak on the provision of a €100m loan to finance a real estate portfolio in Germany. HSH Nordbank instructed the team to advise on the financing of the acquisition of a commercial property in Germany as part of a share deal by Global Gate Capital Management. Kira Müller joined the team as international legal consultant from Baker Botts L.L.P.’s Moscow office in May 2018.

With a focus on SME sector work, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek predominately assists borrowers with mid-cap acquisition finance and corporate finance matters but the team also advises lenders. Acting for several private equity funds, Michael Neises advised Auctus Capital Partners on the financing of Fernao Networks Group’s acquisition of Berlin-based IT system vendor globitis and Barleben-based system vendor Netzwerk Kommunikationssysteme as well as on increasing its existing financing. He also assisted the Swiss private equity firm CGS with the financing of the acquisition of a stake in Stürtz Maschinenbau, while team head Thomas Schrell, who has ‘a good overview of the market’, advised new client Katjes International on the financing of the acquisition of the Italian group Sperlari. Other highlights include advising a consortium of public-sector banks on the financing of the acquisition of speciality clinics by Ufenau Capital Partners, and assisting Premium Equity Partners with the refinancing of an external bank financing of a portfolio company. Helaba and SW Invest Finance Trade are also clients.

Jones Day provides advice on acquisition finance, corporate loans and real estate finance to both lenders and borrowers and, in doing so, frequently acts in co-operation with other offices across the network. Together with its New York office, of counsel Sascha Schmidt advised Auria Solutions USA on matters pertaining to a $350m loan granted by Bank of America consisting of a long-term loan valued at $100m, a $150m revolving credit line and a $100m fixed-term loan with deferred claim. He also assisted the management of Stürtz Maschinenbau with financing matters pertaining to the sale of its majority stake to CGS, a Swiss private equity firm, while team head Sandra-Christiane Kamper advised Emeram Capital Partners on the acquisition and the financing of two parallel transactions in the healthcare sector: firstly, the acquisition of Meona and, secondly, the acquisition of E.care bvba. Hunnewell Partners instructed the team to advise on issues concerning its joint venture with Georgian Co-Investment Fund to found Cement Invest as well as the joint venture’s acquisition of 50% voting rights and 45% of CaucasusCement Holding’s equity from HeidelbergCement Central Europe East Holding. Claudia Leyendecker is the main contact for real estate finance.

K&L Gates LLP is recognised for its ‘quick responses and flexible processing times’ alongside its ‘very good industry knowledge’, while the team is also ‘pleasant to work with’. Its client roster includes banks and other financial institutions, national and international companies, investors and sponsors, who regularly receive advice on domestic and cross-border financing transactions and benefit from the team’s substantial expertise in asset financing, most notably in the infrastructure sector including rail, rolling stock and aviation-related work, but it also handles acquisition finance and real estate finance. ‘Quick and flexible’ co-head Matthias Grund, who receives praise for his ‘good negotiation skills, expertise and commercial understanding’, advised private equity firm Paragon Partners Condekta on the financing of the acquisition of Condecta Group, and assisted Prime Capital with matters pertaining to the financing of the acquisition of the insolvent company Tempton and with the refinancing of existing loans including the subsequent provision of a new financing arrangement. Handling insolvency-related matters constitutes a key area of expertise for the team, which Grund jointly heads with Frank Thomas; Grund is also the main contact for infrastructure work including aviation financing. He advised on a syndicated loan agreement to refinance more than 5,000 used railway carriages and to finance approximately 1,000 new carriages. Bastian Bongertz is another key member of the team; he recently assisted a borrower with a granted real estate financing for the acquisition of three logistics properties, and advised a private equity firm on a loan agreement.

King & Spalding LLP delivers ‘high-quality work’, frequently in conjunction with its London and New York-based finance teams, among others. Due to this, Sebastian Kaufmann, who is considered ‘a specialist in pfandbriefe’ and provides ‘well-founded high-quality advice’, splits his time between the Frankfurt and New York offices. The team’s strengths lie in advising lenders and borrowers on cross-border real estate finance in the mid-cap sector. Andreas Böhme advised Tishman Speyer on financing the acquisition of Pressehaus on Alexanderplatz in Berlin from media group Bertelsmann for its new fund Tishman Speyer European Real Estate Ventures VII.

Praised for its ‘cost-efficient approach’, ‘quick response times’ and ‘straightforward manner’, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH handles the full remit of banking and financing matters, including related areas such as insolvency and tax. This leads to regular instructions on real estate and acquisition finance alongside factoring matters but the team also increased its bench strength in project finance with the addition of Alexander Wojtek from Watson Farley & Williams LLP in December 2017. This broad offering is matched by an equally broad client portfolio consisting of numerous borrowers, showcasing the team’s strong SME sector focus, while it also acts for lenders such as banks and credit funds. The ‘solution-oriented and pragmatic’ Christoph Schauenburg ‘has excellent expertise in financing law and always focuses on the relevant issues’. He advised the English debt fund Beechbrook Capital on the financing of the acquisition of the Beinbauer Group by private equity fund H.I.G., and credit fund Idinvest Partners on the financing of the acquisition of shares in Auvesy by Brockhaus Private Equity. Fakt instructed the team to assist with the acquisition of real estate-secured loans.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP is particularly active in acquisition and corporate finance, most notably in the transport, real estate, private equity, energy and infrastructure sectors. Clemens Hillmer assisted Berenberg Bank with its acquisition, jointly with a Japanese financial institution, of a circa $460m performing shipping loan portfolio from the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Stefan Kilgus advised Nord/ LB Girozentrale and Nord/LB Luxembourg Covered Bond Bank on the financing of the acquisition of Albrecht & Dill Cosmetics by German Equity Partners IV, a fund managed by ECM Equity Capital Management. In another highlight, the team assisted Tank & Rast group with the refinancing of its €1.45bn senior credit facility, replacing its senior debt with a new long-term investment grade financing structure, which is based on a common terms debt platform and includes new bank facilities and senior debt securities issued in private placements to accredited investors in the US and Europe. Thomas Hollenhorst and Maren Brandes are other key members of the team. Alexander Wojtek joined Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in December 2017.

Based on its close co-operation with its M&A, private equity and restructuring teams, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is particularly well versed in handling acquisition finance alongside public takeovers and financing matters arising from restructurings and distressed asset deals. Michael Kohl, who jointly heads the team with Wolfram Distler, advised global copper and copper alloy manufacturer KME on financing matters pertaining to the issuance of senior secured notes alongside its extension and modification of existing collateralised syndicated bank loans and cross-border factoring financing of the group. Together with its London office, the team assisted Advent International and its portfolio group Brammer with a syndicated bank loan financing as part of the acquisition of the IPH Group, and, together with its London colleagues and its German corporate team, Distler advised financial investor Novalpina Capital on the financing of its voluntary takeover offer for Tallinn-based Olympic Entertainment Group by Morgan Stanley and Raiffeisen International.


Project finance

Index of tables

  1. Project finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Frequently working in conjunction with other departments, Clifford Chance covers a wide range of project finance transactions but has particular expertise in ECA-backed financing, leading to regular instructions on German and international conventional and renewable energy and infrastructure projects. As another key element, the practice is also increasingly active in healthcare sector project work; an element that was further boosted by Anna Thwaites’s appointment as counsel in May 2018. Together with Riko Vanezis, she advised a banking consortium on the financing of the construction, operation and maintenance of an integrated health centre in Turkey. In other work, team head Florian Mahler assisted Global Infrastructure Partners with the financing of the acquisition of a 50% share in the offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 2, which is currently under construction, and together with capital markets law expert Sebastian Maerker, he advised the city of Düsseldorf on its €600m financing to re-acquire the city’s sewer system. Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe received advice on its shareholding in the onshore wind farm Nordlicht in Norway, while advising the Saudi Arabian General Authority of Civil Aviation on the privatisation of five international airports in Saudi Arabia constitutes one of its international highlights. Beda Wortmann is another key member of the team and frequently handles PPP projects. Stadtwerke Augsburg is also among the clients.

With a focus on energy and infrastructure sector work, Allen & Overy LLP predominately acts for lenders on national and international projects and has particular expertise in refinancing issues and portfolio deals. In the infrastructure sector, of counsel Peter Stenz advised several banks and investors on financing the PPP project for the German A10 and A24 motorways between the Neuruppin and Pankow junctions for a total amount of around €620m; the financing package included various credit facilities alongside a long-term registered bond, which is subscribed by international investors. In the energy space, Stenz and counsel Jens Gölz advised Commerzbank on matters pertaining to the financing of the two French wind farms Haute Epine and Buissons as well as the financing of the onshore wind farm Lakiakangas in Finland, while Norbert Wiederholt assisted a banking consortium with the refinancing of the existing project financing package for Trianel Windkraftwerk Borkum. In other work, he advised a lender on restructuring and refinancing its circa €100m financing for a solar park in Spain.

Hogan Lovells International LLP focuses on national and international financing matters concerning energy generation plants, most notably in the renewable energy, energy-from-waste and conventional energy sectors, alongside infrastructure-related financing work and acts for manufacturing companies, banks and investors. Carla Luh, who made partner in January 2018, assisted Northland Power with the acquisition and the financing of offshore wind farm Deutsche Bucht totalling €1.3bn, advised NRW.Bank on refinancing the €315m offshore wind farm Trianel Wind Farm Borkum, and acted for DekaBank on refinancing Swiss PPP project Zeughausareal Burgdorf, which included the construction and operation of a public administration centre, a road inspection agency and a prison. Hamburg-based Christian Knütel and Frankfurt-based Tobias Faber are also key members of the team.

Linklaters advises banks and sponsors on the financing of national and international energy and infrastructure projects; an approach based on a strong co-operation with various other offices from its network, most notably its Paris and London offices, and with colleagues from a number of other departments including energy, public, tax, capital markets and corporate law. Counsel Judit Körmöczi and corporate lawyer Thomas Schulz advised UniCredit Bank as lead manager of the existing financing on the refinancing of offshore wind farm Borkum West I as well as the financing of the wind farm Borkum West II’s second expansion phase. In other work, the team assisted a bank with the refinancing and restructuring of a portfolio consisting of several wind farms in Poland as part of a change of ownership, and advised Allianz Global Investors on the acquisition of a 49% share in a wind farm portfolio consisting of seven wind farms in France from Steag. Michal Hlásek is another key individual.

Predominately acting for lenders, Watson Farley & Williams LLP is well versed in handling infrastructure and energy sector work including wind, solar and conventional energy project finance matters. In addition to its national work, the team has a focus on advising German banks and investors on international projects, most notably in France, Scandinavia, the UK and Ireland. Recently, Thomas Hollenhorst advised Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale on the financing of a solar park portfolio consisting of eight solar parks in Denmark with a total capacity of 70MW, while the team acted for a banking consortium on the financing of the offshore wind farm project Deutsche Bucht totalling €988m. Stefan Kilgus assisted KfW Ipex-Bank and the German government-owned development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau with the $31.7bn financing of the Argentinian onshore wind farm project Kosten. While senior associate Alexander Wojtek joined Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH as partner in December 2017, the team increased its bench strength in the transport and asset finance segments with the addition of aviation financing expert Jonathan Mullender in March 2018; he was previously of counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright and is best known for advising German arrangers, funds, airlines and banks on financing transactions in the aviation sector and on national and international aircraft leasing matters including the acquisition and sale of such assets.

The project finance team at White & Case LLP advises banks, financial investors and sponsors on the financing of national and international energy and infrastructure projects and benefits from its close co-operation with the firm’s Düsseldorf-based energy team and its Berlin-based public law and regulated markets department. Team head Florian Degenhardt advised Meag Munich Ergo Asset Management on the refinancing of a motorway section by way of project shares and bank loans, and assisted Bayerische Landesbank and UniCredit Bank with the financing of Bavaria’s first forest wind farm portfolio by means of commercial loans. A consortium of two banks instructed the team to act as mandated lead arranger and security agent on the structured financing of a wind farm in Scandinavia.

In project finance, the team at CMS frequently handles renewable energy sector work, most notably in the onshore and offshore industries. As a recent example, Holger Kraft, Kerstin Block and Marc Riede advised British Wind Energy (BEW) on the financing of the offshore wind farm project Deutsche Bucht in the Nord Sea with a financing volume of €1bn made available by a consortium of ten commercial banks.

The ‘very experienced’ Daniel Reichert-Facilides is the main contact at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for project finance work. In co-operation with other practice groups, he advises clients from the energy and transport sectors on various project finance matters and the financing of PPP projects.

Norton Rose Fulbright predominately acts for lenders and advises them, in conjunction with various other departments and colleagues from other European offices, on financing matters concerning energy and infrastructure projects. Anthony Morton and Hamburg-based Timo Noftz, who assists lenders, lessors, lessees and sponsors alongside project companies and other corporate entities with national and international financing and leasing transactions for aircrafts, ships and railways, are key names. Of counsel Jonathan Mullender joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP as partner in March 2018.


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