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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 > Equity capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Capital markets: Equity capital markets
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s US-German ECM team in Frankfurt is noted for its ‘very pronounced expertise and industry knowledge, impressive quality, suitability and team strength, and results-oriented and focused advice’; it works closely together with the practices in Vienna and London with a focus on the DACH region. Clients include corporates, financial service providers and private equity investors and the firm advises both German companies, which seek a listing in Europe, and foreign companies that want to go public in Germany. In the IPO area the team recently assisted ProCredit Holding with the successful flotation on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and at an international level in cooperation with the offices in Amsterdam and Paris also advised NOXXON on the successful IPO on the Alternext stock market in Paris. It furthermore acts in the context of acquisitions, such as for Vonovia regarding the drawing up of a prospectus for new shares in the course of the takeover of conwert Immobilien Invest, and in connection with dual-track procedures, here for instance for EQT concerning the sale of BSN Medical to the Swedish paper manufacturer Svenska Cellulosa, including advice on a possible IPO of BSN Medical. Clients which recently sought advice on capital increases include ADO Properties regarding a capital increase with and without prospectus by way of an accelerated bookbuilding process, and Mologen concerning the successful capital increase via rights issue with international private placement and the issue of a convertible bond. Christoph Gleske is ‘very experienced, very sociable, pragmatic and clear in his recommendations’. Rick van Aerssen is also recommended and US lawyer Mark Strauch leads the practice. Former principal associate Thilo Diehl joined White & Case LLP as local partner in October 2017.

Also in equity capital markets matters Hengeler Mueller’s ‘practically oriented transactional lawyers’ provide a ‘high service level’ marked by ‘high standards, professional cooperation and a solution-oriented approach’. The team recently demonstrated its expertise in IPOs when advising innogy on its prominent IPO with a total placement volume of €5bn in collaboration with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Slaughter and May. On the banking side it also assisted J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley with the plans and preparations for the IPO of BSN Medical, which in the course of a dual-track procedure was not completed due to the acquisition by Svenska Cellulosa. The firm also advises in the context of public takeovers, such as for Linde regarding its planned merger with Praxair via share exchange under a new holding entity, and in connection with capital markets restructurings, for instance for METRO concerning the division of the METRO Group with the planned subsequent IPO of the new METRO Wholesale & Food Specialist. Clients who sought advice on capital increases include KION and Brass Monier and the firm advises the syndicate banks on Deutsche Bank’s proposed capital increase with subscription rights at a volume of €8bn. The team is ‘effective, precise and matter-of-fact’ and is centred around Reinhold Ernst, Dirk Busch, Wolfgang Groß and the ‘very prudent and pragmatic’ Alexander Rang.

Considered the ‘best firm’ by many, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has a deep market penetration in equity capital markets law, which remains undisputed: The firm continues to act for issuers and underwriters both regarding German and US law with particular expertise in advising clients who seek a US issue based on a registration with the SEC. A highlight was advising innogy on the IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with an issue volume of €5bn and the ‘excellent’ team recently also assisted Delivery Hero with the €4.4bn IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Also noteworthy is the firm’s advice to OFFICEFIRST Immobilien regarding its cancelled IPO. For Bayer the team handled the issue of a $4bn mandatory convertible bond, whose net proceeds were used by Bayer for the partial financing of the takeover of Monsanto. Another client was Schaeffler Verwaltungs GmbH concerning the placement of shares at a value of €1.24bn after its debut IPO in the context of an accelerated bookbuilding procedure with backstop agreement; the firm also advised Scout24, ProSiebenSat.1 Media and TLG IMMOBILIEN on the placements of shares as part of accelerated bookbuilding processes. The ‘good lawyer and businessmanCarsten Berrar is the key figure. Krystian Czerniecki and European counsel Clemens Rechberger are also recommended.

Particularly after the prominent arrival of Oliver Seiler from Allen & Overy LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP’s equity capital markets team is considered ‘very strong – absolute experts in the field and pragmatic but thorough’; the firm gives ‘very entrepreneurial advice’ with ‘short response times’. Expertise lies both in domestic and cross-border transactions, including IPOs in Germany, Europe and the US. At the international level Marcus Funke, who is recommended for his ‘particularly close cooperation and willingness to find solutions’, advised Galenica Santé on its subsidiary IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange, and assisted trivago with its IPO and primary listing on the NASDAQ. Within Germany the team advised VARTA on the planned but cancelled IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The ‘renowned expert in capital markets lawRoland Maass recently acted once again for the managers of Scout24 regarding the sale of a share packet of online trade platform Scout24; in total 10.3m shares were placed with institutional investors in an accelerated bookbuilding procedure. The firm also advises on capital increases and in the context of public takeovers; clients include companies (CHORUS Clean Energy), private equity houses (Hellman & Friedman) and banks (Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank).

Linklaters’ ‘very successful’ equity capital markets practice is known for its ‘strong networks within the banking sector’, but advises both on the banks’ and issuers’ side on IPOs, capital increases, private equity exits and dual-track procedures in Germany and at an international level. The very active Marco Carbonare focuses not only on Germany but also Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia and the Benelux region. He advised J.P. Morgan and the other banks on the successful IPO of trivago on the NASDAQ, and Credit Suisse, UBS and Citi regarding the planned IPO of Galenica Santé on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Other highlights included assisting the banking syndicate on Bayer’s planned capital increase with subscription rights for the financing of the takeover of Monsanto; and J.P. Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the listing of METRO Wholesale & Food Specialist on the regulated market of the stock exchange in Frankfurt and in Luxembourg in connection with the splitting up of METRO. Another current client is Credit Suisse regarding its planned IPO. The firm furthermore advised Uniper and E.ON on the IPO of Uniper on the regulated market in Frankfurt and recently also acted for E.ON with regards to its €1.35bn capital increase. Peter Waltz is a recognised expert in equity-linked transactions and the team was additionally strengthened with counsel and US lawyer Kevin Roy, formerly at Herbert Smith Freehills in Hong Kong, in November 2016. In November 2017, however, the well-known Herbert Harrer left the practice to found his own firm.

Allen & Overy LLP saw the loss of the renowned Oliver Seiler, who departed for Latham & Watkins LLP in October 2016, but the ‘hardworking’ equity capital markets team continues to advise on IPOs, capital increases, listings, block trades and equity-linked transactions, often on the side of the issuing banks but also on the issuer side. Knut Sauer took over as practice head in May 2016 and advised Berenberg Bank and Citigroup Global Markets as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners and Commerzbank as joint bookrunner in connection with the IPO of Shop Apotheke Europe, and J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley regarding the IPO of Uniper. With regards to capital increases the firm assisted Goldman Sachs International and UniCredit Bank as joint bookrunners concerning the cash capital increase of ProSiebenSat.1 Media with gross issuing proceeds of €515m, and a syndicate comprised of 14 banks regarding the capital increase of Steinhoff with gross issuing proceeds of €2.45bn. The team also advised on some convertible and exchangeable bonds and often works in close cooperation with the practices in London and Luxembourg with US lawyers based in Frankfurt; Marc Plepelits, who leads the German-US corporate finance practice, is recommended.

With ‘good size and composition as well as broad knowledge and experienceHogan Lovells International LLP’s equity capital markets team ‘focuses on what’s essential’ and ‘gets to the heart of the matter’. Traditionally strong on the banking side, the practice also increasingly acts on the issuer side, such as for Shop Apotheke Europe and va-Q-tec regarding its IPO. Another client was Vibracoustic concerning its planned IPO. Besides IPOs the team is also experienced in capital increases, rights issues, block trades and public takeovers and also convertible, exchangeable and warrant bonds. It advised Berenberg Bank, Bankhaus Lampe and Kempen & Co on the capital increase of Hamborner REIT and assisted Berenberg Bank and M.M.Warburg & CO with the capital increase with subscription rights of MPC Capital. ‘One of the leading equity capital markets lawyers in Germany‎Michael Schlitt is not only noted for his ‘longstanding experience and profound expertise’, but also his ‘calm manner, good communication also with non-lawyers and very good availability’. Counsel Susanne Lenz is also recommended.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s ‘established’ and ‘very good’ equity capital markets team surrounding Stephan Hutter and Katja Kaulamo continues to advise on IPOs, secondary placements of shares, capital increases, including rights offerings, and equity-linked transactions. With lawyers admitted in Germany and the US, the focus lies on cross-border transactions, particularly those requiring US law expertise; the firm often advises on private placements according to Rule 144A and Regulation S and equity transactions in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia. The team assisted DNA Oyj, one of the leading providers of telecoms services in Finland, with its IPO and the introduction of the ordinary shares on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. For longstanding client SGL Carbon it advised on a rights offering at a value of €173m and for J.P. Morgan and UBS Investment Bank it handled the capital increase of TLG IMMOBILIEN in the amount of €116m. Also noteworthy is the firm’s advice on the banking side in connection with planned but not completed IPOs of OFFICEFIRST Immobilien and Vibracoustic.

Clients often consult White & Case LLP as ‘preferred advisor’ for equity capital markets matters, not least due to the advantageous ‘US law expertise within its European offices’. The ‘very well-functioning team’ recently saw IPOs and capital increases in Germany and Switzerland and private placements, block trades and accelerated bookbuilding procedures as part of its portfolio. It assisted the Swiss Zur Rose Group with its IPO at the SIX Swiss Exchange and in the area of block trades advised Credit Suisse on the share issue of GAM, the global asset manager with a seat in Switzerland. It also acted for the supervisory board of GfK in connection with Acceleratio Capital’s voluntary public takeover offer for all remaining publicly traded shares of GfK at a total volume of €690m. With regards to capital increases clients included the syndicate banks regarding the €13bn capital increase of UniCredit, and Guggenheim Securities, Baader Bank and Trout Capital concerning the capital increase of Medigene. Lutz Krämer is ‘one of the old masters in the equity capital markets area and a very popular advisor for complex matters’. US lawyers Gernot Wagner and Rebecca Emory, who was promoted to partner at the start of 2017, are ‘both easily reachable, available and very pragmatic’. Benedikt Gillessen, however, joined Norton Rose Fulbright in October 2017, a departure that was rapidly met with the hire of local partner Thilo Diehl, previously principal associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Clifford Chance has expertise in IPOs, capital increases and private placements, including international transactions. George Hacket leads the practice and is well versed in matters surrounding US securities law and those with a cross-border Austrian aspect. The team advised the issuing banks in connection with the cash capital increase and the reallocation of 500,000 shares of the Austrian food corporation AGRANA held by Südzucker, and BUWOG on its cash capital increase in the amount of over 12 million BUWOG shares. Another highlight was advising the banking syndicate comprised of Citigroup Global Markets, Berenberg Bank and Hauck & Aufhäuser on the IPO of Aumann on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and HAMBORNER REIT was another client in connection with its capital increase. Sebastian Maerker is recommended for both equity and debt capital markets matters.

With its ‘excellent industry knowledgeGleiss Lutz’s ‘absolutely client-oriented’ equity capital markets practice continues to focus on advising issuers and provides ‘business-related and realistic results and solutions’, since ‘economic issues are taken into account and, due to the team’s experience, it can also master special constellations’. The client portfolio is comprised of medium-sized companies, such as Adler Modemärkte, centrotherm photovoltaics and SLM Solutions, but also larger corporations, including Infineon and LEG Immobilien, and the team often cooperates with the London-based capital market practices of US firms Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP. It advised AlzChem on the planned but postponed IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Trelleborg on the planned but not executed IPO of TrelleborgVibracoustic. However, the team also successfully completed a capital increase with subscription rights and pre-placement with institutional investors for MPC Capital, and another capital increase of about 10% under exclusion of the subscription right of the shareholders for curasan. As co-counsel the firm also acted for KION regarding a 10% capital increase at a volume of €460m. The ‘solution-oriented and experienced’ Stephan Aubel is recommended: ‘His skills paired with his focus on what’s essential are rounded off with precision, reliability and a very pleasant manner of communicating with the clients but also third parties’.

Ashurst LLP advises on capital markets transactions of German and international companies, both on the side of syndicate banks and issuers, with expertise in IPOs, capital increases, including with subscription rights, and share placements, but also with regards to advice on the ongoing duties of listed companies. The firm has particular industry knowledge in the real estate and technology areas; it advised Kinnevik in connection with an accelerated bookbuilding procedure within which Kinnevik sold shares of Rocket Internet at a value of €200m, and IBU-tec as transaction counsel with the first ever IPO in the newly created segment for small to mid-sized companies in the open market on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (the listing segment Sclae). Recently the team also acted for Berenberg Bank regarding the capital increase of SNP Schneider-Neureither & Partner for the financing of the acquisition of three South American SAP consulting companies. Other clients include Alno, GRAMMER, Baader Bank, Oddo Seydler Bank and ICF BANK. Matthias von Oppen is the key figure; he also heads the China Desk based in Frankfurt.

CMS advises on equity capital markets often in close collaboration with the M&A, energy and restructuring practices, amongst others, and has particular expertise in the field of stock dividends. The firm recently assisted longstanding key client Capital Stage with the legal aspects of the successful takeover offer to the shareholders of CHORUS Clean Energy and again advised on the payment of a stock dividend. It also acted for Bankhaus Metzler as underwriter in the capital increase of Pantaleon Entertainment. Andreas Zanner leads the practice and Philipp Melzer is also recommended.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s equity capital markets practice often advises on the US aspects of various transactions. A key client is Deutsche Bank; currently the firm advises on its capital increase announced in March 2017 consisting of a rights issue of up to 687.5 million new shares and a volume of €8bn. Gabriele Apfelbacher also advised the syndicate banks on the planned but cancelled IPO of a German company. Other clients include Commerzbank and Nordic Investment Bank. US lawyer Ward Greenberg is also recommended; Hanno Sperlich, however, left the firm in the summer of 2017.

With a ‘big readiness to assist clientsNoerr provides ‘excellent advice’ on equity capital markets matters and was again able to position itself in advising on IPOs: The firm assisted trivago with its €430m IPO and listing on the NASDAQ in New York. Other expertise lies in public M&A transactions and delistings. Besides key client Oddo Seydler, the practice also gained Berenberg Bank and Baader Bank as two further banks in its portfolio. Additionally the team was significantly strengthened with the takeover of White & Case LLP’s Hamburg office in April 2017, which included the arrival of capital markets expert Volker Land. Holger Alfes is considered an ‘experienced lawyer, who identifies potential problems’.

A ‘preferred firm’ for several clients, Norton Rose Fulbright’s equity capital markets practice is considered ‘very good’ and advises primarily on the issuer side. A highlight was advising ADLER Real Estate on the issue of a convertible bond at a value of €137.8m by issuing subscription rights to the existing shareholders and convertible bond holders and private placements in particular jurisdictions outside Germany and the US. The team also acted for paragon in the context of its €13.5m capital increase under exclusion of the subscription rights of the shareholders and an international private placement with qualified investors. Another key client is quirin bank. Frank Regelin head the equity capital markets practice and also the corporate team. Peter Holst is noted for his ‘quick thinking and very good equity capital markets knowledge’ and in October 2017 Benedikt Gillessen joined from White & Case LLP.

Taylor Wessing is considered ‘very good for and experienced in mid-sized matters’ and has expertise in IPOs, rights offerings, listings and public takeovers. Lars-Gerrit Lüßmann and Christoph Vaupel were particularly busy with the comprehensive legal and strategic advice for the Ministry for Economics, Transport and Regional Development of the State of Hesse (HMWVL) as responsible securities and exchange commission in the examination of the proposed merger between Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange. ‘Very qualified and experienced lawyer’ Marc-Oliver Kurth in Berlin also delivers ‘grounded, prompt and fact-oriented work’; he advised Scope Corporation on the conversion of the legal form of the company into a partnership limited by shares. The team also acted for Oddo Seydler Bank as sole global coordinator and bookrunner regarding the capital increase with subscription rights of the shareholders of SNP Schneider-Neureither & Partner.

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