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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 > Capital markets > Debt capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets: Debt capital markets
  2. High-yield
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Alexander Schlee - Linklaters

Who Represents Who

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s continuously ‘strong’ and broad practice provides ‘top advice’ on debt capital markets matters ranging from the establishment of debt issuance programmes and placements through those programmes to hybrid bonds and convertible bonds, including exchangeable bonds. Recently the firm saw several mandates regarding synthetic convertible securities; Rick van Aerssen advised BASF on the structuring and issuance of a synthetic warrant bond and another client was Fresenius in connection with the structuring and issuance of an equity-neutral synthetic convertible bond. The team also assisted the prominent healthcare company with the launch of a €10bn debt issuance programme and the subsequent issuance of bonds at a total volume of €2.6bn through the programme. Continental is another client in this area; recently the firm advised the company on the issuance of a €600m bond that carries no interest and has a maturity date of three years under its debt issuance programme. Another highlight was advising J.P. Morgan as structuring agent and the other syndicate banks on the structuring and documentation of the €500m hybrid bond of Lanxess. The team works in cooperation with the practices in Austria and Switzerland and also collaborates closely with the London office. The renowned Christoph Gleske leads the practice and Mark Strauch advises on US law. The well-known Andreas König retired.

Hengeler Mueller’s debt capital market practice is ‘excellent overall’ and particularly noted for the ‘generally high level of quality’ and ‘good out-of-the-box thinking’. The team advises both on stand-alone and programme issuances and saw another increase in hybrid bond matters, such as assisting Lanxess with the issuance of a €500m hybrid bond for the financing of the take-over of Chemtura. With expertise both on the banks’ and issuers’ side, the firm also advised the banking syndicate on the issuance of a €300m bond of TUI and acted for Braas Monier regarding a €435m bond. A highlight was advising NatWest Markets on the transfer of 18 of the bonds issued by RWE at a total nominal value of €10bn to innogy after an approval resolution of the bond holders had taken place in 16 cases, the largest liability management transaction of a company outside of the financial sector in Europe to date. Also noteworthy is the firm’s advice to agent Deutsche Bank Luxembourg regarding the placement of a €3.6bn-equivalent PIK toggle bond for IHO Holding (a group of holding companies indirectly owned by the Schaeffler family). Hendrik Haag is considered ‘an institution’ in capital markets law. Dirk Bliesener is also recognised as ‘leading’; Daniela Böning was promoted to partner at the start of 2017.

Linklaters has ‘excellent legal expertise and industry knowledge’, is recommended for its ‘appropriate response times’ and continues its ‘strong’ debt capital markets practice around hybrid bonds, liability management and equity-linked transactions, amongst other matters. The firm expanded its practice in particular on the issuer side, including for Covestro, E.ON, Klöckner and Vonovia. On the bank side and in connection with Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto the team advised the banking syndicate on the issuance of €4bn subordinated mandatory convertible bonds through Bayer Capital Corporation. According to clients, ‘luminary in the area of convertible bonds’ Peter Waltz ‘ranks among the five best lawyers in Germany for hybrid financings’; he has ‘very good connections to banks’ and ‘comprehensive experience in the regulatory field’. Also noteworthy is the firm’s advice to Berenberg Bank and Deutsche Bank regarding the issuance of a high-yield bond of Hapag-Lloyd with a volume of €250m and the increase of the bond by another €200m for the refinancing of existing debts. The team furthermore handles increasing work for Chinese banks, such as Bank of China, CCB and ABC. Another focus lies on OTC derivatives; Christian Storck is the key figure. Managing associate Alexander Schlee, who is ‘very pragmatic, very balanced and thoughtful in his wording’, is also recommended.

Allen & Overy LLP advises issuers and underwriters in connection with a multitude of debt issuance programmes and platforms and has expertise in various products, such as EMTN, commercial papers, Pfandbriefe, hybrid instruments, Schuldschein loans and registered bonds. In 2016 ‘good’ practice head Christoph Enderstein advised Deutsche Bank on a series of bond issues with varying structures and maturities at a total volume of over €10bn, and assisted TUI with the issue of a bond with a volume of €300m, which had elements of both an investment grade bond and high-yield bond. Marc Plepelits has additional expertise in high-yield transactions, so-called Yankee bonds and complex stand-alone bonds. He advised Schaeffler Verwaltung Zwei on the successfully executed refinancing at the level of IHO Holding, which involved the placement of covered bonds through IHO Holding in euros and US dollars with an equivalent value of €3.6bn with institutional investors.

Clifford Chance is considered an ‘extraordinarily well-positioned international firm for financing matters – also and particularly for large companies’ and its ‘very experienced, well connected and legally outstanding’ debt capital markets practice covers both debt issuance programmes, including EMTN and commercial paper programmes, and stand-alone bonds. Sebastian Maerker is ‘very competent in the field of capital markets law’ and has a ‘practical and solution-oriented approach: problem solver, not problem finder’; he recently advised ENBW on the issue of a hybrid bond at a total nominal value of €1bn. At an international level the also highly recognised George Hacket assisted a banking syndicate consisting of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, UBS and UniCredit Bank as joint lead manager with the debut offering of the Italian UniCredit in the US dollar market. Other highlights included advising Siemens on the issue of a $7.5bn bond according to Rule 144A placed primarily with institutional investors in the US, and Volkswagen on the issue of a bond with a total volume of €8bn. The team also advises football clubs on bond issues.

Latham & Watkins LLP is particularly known for its profound experience with high-yield transactions and the development of high-yield products in the European market and ‘promptly accommodates clients’ needs and requests’. In the area of investment grade bonds the firm focuses primarily on Yankee bonds and Pfandbriefe in close collaboration with the teams in London and the US and additional expertise also lies in hybrid bonds, particularly on the issuer side. With over 14 years’ experience the ‘dynamic, intelligent and innovative’ Rüdiger Malaun is ‘a pro in high-yield bond matters’ and is ‘very well connected in the banking sector’; ‘his solutions are always commercially-oriented’. Together with Alexander Lentz, who was promoted to partner at the start of 2017, he recently advised DEMIRE on the debut issue of senior notes according to 144A/Reg S at a total volume of €270m. Another highlight was assisting the issuing banks led by Deutsche Bank and Citigroup with the bond placement of IHO Holding at a value of €3.6bn. Marcus Funke acted for the joint bookrunners in the issue of bonds worth over $4bn through BMW, the debut issue of bonds of BMW according to Rule 144A/Regulation S.

Powerhouse in the debt capital markets areaWhite & Case LLP for some clients is ‘by far the preferred firm for matters with a cross-border element’. The ‘broad and experienced team’ demonstrates ‘an above-average commitment and flexibility’ and ‘above-average industry knowledge and business sense’ and advises both on debt issuance programmes and stand-alone bonds with additional expertise regarding equity-linked transactions, hybrid products and banking regulation. Another focus lies on high-yield bonds; expert Gernot Wagner and Rebecca Emory, who was promoted to partner in 2017, assisted Hapag-Lloyd with the issue of a high-yield bond with a volume of €250m. Other highlights included advising the arrangers on the launch of the first international debt issuance programme for the issue of Polish mortgage pfandbriefe at a value of €4bn through PKO Bank Hipoteczny; and assisting Evonik Industries with the issue of bonds with a total volume of €1.9bn. ‘Market and opinion leader in German debt capital market lawJochen Artzinger-Bolten is ‘experienced and reliable’ and has ‘a remarkably pleasant and authoritative way of working’. ‘Rising partner in the debt capital markets area’ Karsten Wöckener has ‘enormously detailed knowledge’, ‘shows an impressive level of accuracy, diligence and oversight’ and has an ‘honest, direct and solution-oriented approach’.

Uncomplicated and flexible’, Gleiss Lutzprovides the best quality at the fairest price for complex transactional structures’ and, not least due to the ‘good synergies between its capital markets and its very strong insolvency practice’, ‘belongs to the market leaders in the area of bond restructurings’. As such, the team not only advises on the issues of corporate bonds, including high-yield transactions, and debt issuance programmes, but also on bond restructurings. The ‘very good and sociable’ Kai Arne Birke is an ‘excellent and experienced lawyer, who solves problems quickly and pragmatically’; ‘it is fun to work with him’, according to clients. He advised Rickmers Group on the restructuring of its entire financial debt, including a bond at a volume of €275m primarily held by private investors, and also acts for DZ Bank in connection with its US commercial paper programme. Other highlights included advising Steinhoff Europe on the adjustment of existing US bonds and Valeant on the issue of covered high-yield bonds at a volume of up to €3.5bn.

Hogan Lovells International LLP advises on bonds, Schuldschein loans, profit-participation certificates, registered bonds and hybrid bonds for a client portfolio comprised in particular of international investment banks and European and German financial institutions. The team continues its strong position with regards to automotive banks, such as General Motors Financial International, but also advises an increasing number of companies, including Repower and Globus. Sina Hekmat, who divides his time between Frankfurt and New York, assisted the managers with the issue of a $1.5bn bond of Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank and Sven Brandt acts for the arrangers and dealers regarding the update of the €65bn debt issuance programme of FMS Wertmanagement and issues under the programme, including recently for Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International and Merrill Lynch International concerning the issue of bonds at a value of €1.5bn. Michael Schlitt leads the capital market practice, which in October 2017 was significantly strengthened with the arrival of Jochen Seitz, who also has capital market regulatory expertise, and Peter Maier from Mayer Brown LLP.

Mayer Brown LLP advises on bonds, Pfandbriefe, Schuldschein loans and bond issuance programmes, but also liability management and bond restructurings, often in close collaboration with the practices in London and New York. Recently the firm advised the lead managers Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley on the issue of 2,875% terminable subordinated reset bonds of Deutsche Pfandbriefbank with a volume of €300m; it also assisted UniCredit Bank with the update of the debt issuance programme of Volkswagen Financial Services and Volkswagen Bank as dealer counsel after the emissions scandal. Patrick Scholl advises The Royal Bank of Scotland on the update of the €35bn EMTN programme of HSH Nordbank and the issues under the programme. With additional expertise in the area of certificates and OTC derivatives, the team also acts for HSH Nordbank in the yearly update of the German debt issuance programme for certificates, structured bonds, bonds based on credit standing and Pfandbriefe. In October 2017 the team saw a substantial loss after Jochen Seitz, who also has regulatory capital market expertise, left for Hogan Lovells International LLP together with Peter Maier.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP advises on strategic bond issues with expertise in German and US law, particularly equity-linked issues and US issues on the basis of a registration with the SEC or according to Rule 144A. A highlight was assisting Bayer in the connection with the partial financing of the acquisition of Monsanto with a $4bn mandatory convertible bond, which was issued by its subsidiary Bayer Capital Corporation and guaranteed by Bayer. Krystian Czerniecki advised Council of Europe Development Bank on the issue of an SEC registered bond at a volume of $1.5bn and regularly acts for longstanding client KfW regarding its 20 SEC registered debt issues with a total volume of $79bn in the context of its US commercial paper programme. Other clients include FMS Wertmanagement and Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank.

Ashurst LLP’s debt capital markets practice surrounding Tobias Krug focuses on advice regarding classic bonds and option and conversion bonds. Clients include in particular loan funds such as Ares, ICG and longstanding client Patrimonium, which the firm advised on 13 secured bonds subscribed by Patrimonium Middle Market Debt Fund in 2016. A highlight was assisting the banking syndicate with the financing of the expansion of the federal motorway A6 through a bond issued by the project company ViA6West; the total project volume amounts to €1.3bn. The team also advised Ares Management and Bremer Kreditbank on the refinancing of the Zarges Tubesca group via a unitranche, which was granted by Ares through a bearer bond, and recently handled the issue of a €130m corporate loan for DIC Asset.

CMS’ debt capital market practice advises mainly on Schuldschein loans and the establishment and restructuring of commercial paper and EMTN programmes. In September 2016 and again in February 2017 the firm assisted the lead managers with the issue of a public loan of hsh finanzfonds AöR with fixed interest rate and an issue volume of €750m. It furthermore advised the joint arranger Bayerische Landesbank and Société Générale on the debut placement of a Schuldschein loan of Agrial Group. Oliver Dreher is the key figure; he also regularly advises German and international commercial banks on derivatives business.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s strength in the debt capital markets area lies in particular in matters requiring both US and German law expertise. Recently the firm advised Deutsche Telekom on the issue of a bond for institutional investors according to Regulation S/Rule 144A via the Dutch finance subsidiary Deutsche Telekom International Finance; Ward Greenberg advised on the US law aspects. The team also assisted the respective syndicate banks with several drawings under Nordic Investment Bank’s MTN programme at a total volume of $5bn. Gabriele Apfelbacher is also recommended, but Hanno Sperlich left the firm in the summer of 2017.

Besides a focus on equity capital markets Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s team around Stephan Hutter and Katja Kaulamo also advises on debt capital markets matters with particular expertise in cross-border transactions, especially those that require US-law advice. Recently the firm was primarily busy with advising the province of Carinthia, the Kärntner Landesholding and Kärntner Ausgleichszahlungs-Fonds in connection with the restructuring of HETA Asset Resolution’s debts at an amount of €11bn. Furthermore it also assisted longstanding client AGRAVIS Raiffeisen with the issue of profit-participation certificates.

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