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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 > Investment funds > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: Investment funds
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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With an asset management approach and ‘outstanding quality of collaborationClifford Chance provides advice on fund structuring, the documentation and distribution of domestic and foreign funds, including hedge funds, and alternative investments and also handles restructurings. The punchy team, which is noted for its ‘good commercial understanding, good availability and reliable partners’, gained the ‘very, very good’ Sonya Pauls from King & Wood Mallesons’ closed Munich office in October 2016; ‘with longstanding experience in the fund sector, she is able to reduce complex topics to their essence and thereby simplifies decisions’. She recently advised Rocket Internet Capital Partners (RICP) on the development of the RICP fund, the largest European VC fund to date with over $1bn. With an increasing focus on Asia, practice head Gregor Evenkamp assists Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) with the establishment of a European investment fund for projects in continental and Eastern Europe. He also handled the sale of the office building NOVE by Citterio in Munich’s Arnulfpark for BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management Germany; and Marco Simonis, known for his investment tax expertise, currently advises Union Investment Real Estate on the acquisition of the Letnany Shopping Center in Prague for a special open-ended alternative investment fund (AIF) suitable as collateral. The firm’s portfolio also includes the structuring and launch of Europe-wide and worldwide real estate funds for various insurance companies.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s ‘great practice’ comprises ongoing regulatory advice for investment funds and capital management companies and service providers active in the sector, but also the structuring and implementation of AIFs and of investments via AIFs. The firm saw continuously increasing work in connection with investment structures for institutional investors and regarding innovative structures for debt funds. With a team considered ‘strong in advising banks and financial services providers’, Thomas Emde advises a German bank on the possible establishment of the group’s own capital management company and other German banks seek the firm’s advice on third party and self-administration of investment assets and the labelling of capital investment products as life insurances for tax purposes. The practice often advises on investments in real estate, airplanes and loans; Konrad Schott assists the asset manager of a German insurance company with the investment in a portfolio of aircraft financings. Another client is an English asset manager regarding the formation and management of an investment corporation with sub-funds and the team acts for multiple foreign UCITS funds in the context of notification procedures for distribution in Germany and compliance with ongoing requirements according to the BaFin. Niko Schultz-Süchting in Hamburg is also recommended.

Hengeler Mueller’s ‘outstanding’ investment fund practice continues to occupy a ‘top position’ in the market, particularly in ‘advising on complex matters with regard to open-ended funds’. A strength lies in regulatory advice, including the implementation of MiFID II, but the team also fully makes use of the firm’s expertise in other practice areas, especially M&A and transactional advice, such as assisting State Street with the takeover of business divisions (fund accounting and fund management) and supporting Dealis Fund Operations GmbH and Dealis Fund Operations S.A with data management. It was moreover able to expand its work for foreign asset managers in their activities for German investment funds in the context of outsourcing agreements with German AIFM: It advised a large US asset manager on its first outsourcing agreement with a German capital management company. The firm’s portfolio furthermore consists of numerous derivatives-related mandates in the asset management sector, including advising a British clearing broker on clearing services for a large German AIFM. ‘Quantitatively and qualitatively always very good’ if not ‘excellent lawyer’ Christian Schmies is ‘very quick, contentwise always on the ball, has good connections with the supervisory authorities and is willing to represent the opinion of clients’; according to competitors he will ‘shape investment fund law’. Thomas Paul is a ‘UCITS expert’ and Edgar Wallach is also recommended.

Linklaters focuses on alternative asset classes, including infrastructure, debt, real estate and private equity, and besides its strong position in the German market with clients such as Allianz Capital Partners, Hannover Leasing and Brockhaus Private Equity also regularly advises Swiss insurance companies and pension funds in connection with their investments in foreign funds and investment structures, and US managers regarding the renewed or debut distribution on the European market. With a focus on international real estate funds a key client is CBRE Global Investors; the team now also advises the group with regard to two further real estate funds together with the firm’s offices in London and Luxembourg. Clients in this area also include Internos, Invesco and Triuva. Other expertise lies in advising credit platforms and loan funds, such as acting for Allianz Global Investors in connection with the structuring and launch of a credit platform in conjunction with the IFC. The practice furthermore continues to handle M&A transactions in the asset management sector: It assisted Montagu Private Equity with the acquisition of Universal-Investment, including its subsidiaries and participations in Luxembourg and Austria, and Erste Abwicklungsanstalt with the sale of the asset manager Westfonds to HCI Capital. Alexander Vogt and Markus Wollenhaupt are the two key figures.

Dechert’s highly active practice covers advice on alternative and traditional funds with a particular strength in private funds and expertise in fund structuring and regulatory fund advice, and a focus on assisting investors. The firm’s advice often includes cross-border aspects, such as assisting Generali Investments with the cross-border merger with Generali Investments Deutschland for the further centralisation of worldwide asset management activities, and advising Pradera on the structuring and launching of a new reserved alternative investment fund (RAIF) based in Luxembourg for the acquisition of a portfolio of assets close to IKEA furniture stores. Recent highlights also include advising Deutsche Real Estate Funds (DREF) on the private placement of a second loan for the financing of student housing, and Prime Capital on the structuring and launching of a Luxembourg investment platform for the investment in aircraft debt for a German pension fund. In Munich Angelo Lercara and Hans Stamm have expertise regarding the distribution of funds and investment tax law respectively. In Frankfurt the well regarded Achim Pütz heads the practice, which saw the the departure of Martin Haisch to Noerr in February 2017 and in June 2017 of Benedikt Weiser to Simmons & Simmons LLP, but gained tax lawyer Klaus Hahne from Allen & Overy LLP in April 2017 and Joachim Kayser in June 2017; he was the former head of the alternative investments and asset management regulatory practice at PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft).

P+P Pöllath + Partners provides ‘an unwaveringly outstanding quality of advice and of all aspects of cooperation’; the large investment fund team continues to be recognised as strong in the market and is ‘very efficient, matter-of-fact, pragmatic, available and flexible’. It advises initiators and investors on legal, tax and regulatory aspects of alternative investment funds and worldwide fund participations with much experience in private equity funds, private debt, infrastructure, real estate and energy funds and good synergies between fund structuring and tax law. With expertise in fund structures in Luxembourg the firm advised the Guernsey Manager of the Luxembourg DBAG Fund VII and its advisor, Deutsche Beteiligungs AG, on all contract law, tax and regulatory aspects of the fund structuring, launch and distribution. It furthermore acted for Talanx Asset Management regarding tax and legal matters before and during the subscription of participations in private equity, debt and infrastructure funds at a volume of more than €1.5bn, and for PINOVA Capital concerning the fund structuring of the PINOVA Fund 2. The firm additionally expanded its asset management and fund litigation practice. The frequently recommended and, via the partner promotion of Jens Steinmüller at the start of 2017, growing team in Berlin also includes Amos Veith and Uwe Bärenz, who is recommended for his ‘very good expertise, business sense and creativity’ and according to clients ‘by now has reached the market leadership in Germany for the structuring of alternative investment funds’. In Frankfurt Andreas Rodin has ‘very good market and industry knowledge’ and Peter Bujotzek is ‘extremely effective and solution-oriented’. The highly regarded Patricia Volhard, however, departed with her team to Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in March 2017.

Simmons & Simmons LLP’s investment funds and asset management practice advises investment funds, hedge funds, closed-ended funds and their asset managers with a focus on the establishment, structuring, marketing and distribution of funds, and regulatory aspects, including regarding the AIFM directive, and questions surrounding buy-side activities of internationally operating investment funds. The team also has expertise in the structuring and listing of stock exchange traded funds and again was active in transactions. It advised Allianz Global Investors on the acquisition of a UK solar portfolio from BayWa, which consists of three solar plants, via the Allianz Renewable Energy Fund 2. It furthermore assists a family office with the restructuring of special fund structures for wealthy investors against the background of the investment tax reform. Other clients include Advent Capital Management, Coronation Global Fund Manager and GoldenTree Asset Management. Heiko Stoll heads the practice, which also includes Jochen Kindermann and the equally recognised Harald Glander. Christian Bornhorst was promoted to partner in May 2016 in Düsseldorf and the team was also strengthened with the arrival of the frequently recommended Benedikt Weiser from Dechert in June 2017.

With ‘deep legal expertise, very good industry knowledge and networks and large engagement and problem-solving awarenessCMS’ ‘coordinated’ and ‘quick and reliable’ team covers fund structuring and transactions, investor advice and regulatory and tax compliance in asset classes such as real estate, debt and renewable energy and ‘regularly keeps an eye on the economic interests of managers and investors’. Besides longstanding clients such as Universal Investment, Aquila and Jamestown it also gained Union Investment and German Estate Group (GEG) as new clients, the latter subsequent to the acquisition of a real estate ensemble consisting of Frankfurt-based high-rise buildings for introduction into an investment structure for institutional investors. The team also advises Chorus Clean Energy on legal and tax matters regarding the structuring and documentation of a closed-ended umbrella fund and regularly assists WillisTowers-Watson with five investments of a company pension fund, an employee pension fund and a contractual trust arrangement in various target funds based in Luxembourg and the UK. The ‘quick, good and out-of-the-box thinking’ Daniel Voigt is recommended for his ‘combination of economic knowledge, legal expertise and pragmatic negotiation skills’, Tilman Kempf focuses on investment tax law and Andrea München, who joined in 2016 as counsel and regulatory lawyer from DLA Piper, gives ‘the quickest German-Luxembourg legal advice at the highest standards’.

GSK Stockmannalways adheres to various quality and time standards’ and clients are therefore ‘entirely satisfied’ with its investment funds practice, which retains its strong position in the area of real estate funds, and also in connection with private equity and securities funds, and increasingly provides advice regarding hedge funds. The firm also covers tax matters in the context of fund constructions and benefits from a growing Luxembourg-related practice in close collaboration with its Luxembourger office. Practice head Robert Kramer, who has particular expertise in closed-ended special and mutual AIFs, and Dennis Stenzel, who focuses on open-ended real estate funds and was promoted to partner at the start of 2017, are both considered ‘highly competent, confident in their legal statements and strong communicators’. They advise ZBI Fondsmanagement on its extension of their business portfolio and licence of a real estate capital management company to the area of open-ended mutual AIFs and the launch of a debut open-ended mutual AIFs in the area of residential property. The firm also handles the liquidation of four closed-ended mutual AIF in the leasing area on the instructions of BaFin. The client portfolio also includes Deutsche Finance Investment, Publity Performance and HPG Capital.

K&L Gates LLP saw the departure of Henning Starke in March 2017, who subsequently founded his own firm Starke. Legal., but had already bolstered its investment fund practice with Hilger von Livonius and his team from King & Wood Mallesons’ former Munich office in July 2016. Consequently the firm strengthened in particular its work in the area of private funds, especially regarding closed-ended special AIFs for real estate. Besides its focus on regulatory advice it also covers the structuring of investment assets and comparable pools and has tax expertise. The practice is closely interwoven with the firm’s US investment fund group. The portfolio recently included handling the structuring and documentation of a special AIF for residential property for a German capital management company; advising an investment company on an investment opportunity for the special fund of a German insurance company in a Luxembourg fund; and assisting an asset and fund manager with the acquisition of a property in Paris for a German special fund. Till Fock is the main figure in Berlin.

With ‘high industry knowledge and legal expertiseKing & Spalding LLP advises on closed-ended and open-ended funds with a focus on asset classes such as real estate, infrastructure and energy. Advice ranges from the structuring and management of funds to the restructuring and liquidation of mutual funds following the financial crisis. Clients note the team’s ‘business sense and instinct for clients’ needs, whether of a legal or economic nature’. Expertise lies especially in real estate-related regulatory matters, but also in litigation: The firm acts for investment funds in the defence against court actions and arbitrations. Besides a focus on advising German funds it also increasingly assists foreign funds with Germany-based activities, such as advising Barings Real Estate Advisors regarding regulatory issues and the structuring in connection with new funds and the distribution of existing products in Germany. Another client is BMO concerning the regulatory and corporate structuring of several activities in various countries in Europe for a new pan-European fund and a new client is BEOS regarding the structuring and launch of a new fund product for institutional investors. Other clients include HANSAINVEST, Hannover Leasing, Savills Fund Management and TRIUVA. Andreas Böhme has ‘phenomenally detailed knowledge and long-lasting negotiation power as well as an understanding for the economic aspects of the transaction’. Mario Leissner is also recommended.

Since the prominent Frank Herring has only assisted the practice as of counsel since May 2017, Allen & Overy LLP’s investment fund team has significantly less manpower but continues to focus strongly on transactional work with increasing advice also on MiFID II. It advised key client Union Investment on the implementation of MiFID II. It furthermore acts for International Campus Group (IC) regarding the launch of a fund for student accommodation under Luxembourg law with an equity volume of €600m. Another client is Deutsche Asset Management.

Respectable playerDebevoise & Plimpton LLP gained the renowned Patricia Volhard from P+P Pöllath + Partners in March 2017, who is known for her ‘good know-how’ and ‘good eye for clients’ needs’ and consequently offers ‘notable’ regulatory expertise in the area of private funds. In close collaboration with the London team the practice focuses on cross-border matters in continental Europe. It acts for Lexington Partners, Bain Capital and other capital management companies in connection with European regulatory and fund-related issues, assists Adams Street Partners with the establishment of a German branch and advises SwanCap Partners not only on regulatory matters but also regarding the cross-border investment activities of funds in target funds.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s investment fund practice provides advice on the conception of funds as much as on transactions and regulatory matters. A focus lies particularly on real estate funds, such as advising AVANA Invest on the launch of a special open-ended hotel property AIF. A recent highlight was assisting new client HTB Hanseatische Fondshaus with the establishment and structuring of two closed-ended mutual AIFs and the firm also continues to act for WealthCap, including regarding the structuring of the closed-ended domestic mutual AIF WealthCap Immobilien Deutschland 39 and in connection with the structuring of a closed-ended special AIF for a single investor. Michael Dröge in Hamburg heads the practice and Christoph Gringel in Frankfurt is considered ‘very good in investment regulatory law’.

With ‘extremely sound expertise’ and ‘very high client focusHogan Lovells International LLP advises on the structuring of investment funds and distribution of investment shares in Germany and Europe, including related regulatory and tax issues. The client portfolio consists of domestic and international investors and capital management companies and the team works with the firm’s practices in Luxembourg and the US. It advised Commerz Real on the tax structuring from the perspective of German and Luxembourg law regarding the securitisation of a participation in a closed-ended fund and assisted Allianz Global Investors with the worldwide outsourcing of AllianzGI Investor Services to State Street for its entire range of funds with over €450bn of managed assets. The firm was also able to expand its work for Cheyne Capital, TRIUVA and Union Investment. Michael Dettmeier has a ‘very high tax expertise and clear opinions, which he represents effectively’. Michael Leistikow heads the practice.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘very broad portfolio’ in the investment fund area consists of advice on open-ended and closed-ended funds, including alternative asset classes. The client portfolio is comprised of asset managers, international investment banks and issuing houses and the firm advises on the structuring of funds and the distribution with regulatory expertise on matters around MiFID II, among others. The team surrounding Martin Krause has been busy providing advice in connection with funds for institutional investors. The practice also benefits from an office in Luxembourg.

White & Case LLP’s investment fund practice around Andreas Wieland advises a client portfolio consisting of asset management companies and German capital management companies and handles regulatory and tax matters but also transactions related to asset management, such as assisting Ameriprise Financial with the planned takeover of Pioneer Investments. The firm also regularly acts for foreign investment companies with regard to the distribution of foreign funds in Germany and other EU jurisdictions, including tax aspects. Key clients concerning matters around the German Capital Investment Code (KAGB) and distribution in Germany include Allianz Invest, BNY Mellon Asset Management, Goldman Sachs, HSBC Global Asset Management and Fidelity Investments. The team furthermore advises private equity investors on issues in connection with private equity investments in Germany.

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