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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 > Corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A: Corporate
  2. Corporate and shareholder disputes
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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    • Hans-Christoph Ihrig - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Jochem Reichert - SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG
    • Maximilian Schiessl - Hengeler Mueller
    • Hans-Ulrich Wilsing - Linklaters

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer regularly acts on medium and large cap transactions, which also keep the corporate group busy. A high-profile example is advising Midea on the successful $5bn public takeover of KUKA. In addition, the range of services includes matters concerning stock corporations and partnerships, reorganisations and corporate liability, while the creation of corporate governance and compliance structures is becoming increasingly important. A highlight was assisting Marenave with a pre-insolvency financial and operational restructuring. An example for the establishment and conversion of numerous SEs is advising UBS on the merger of large parts of its European asset management business into UBS Europe SE. Dieselgate-related settlement agreements made for Volkswagen continued to make headlines. Matthias-Gabriel Kremer leads the group, in which Thomas Bücker and Christoph Seibt are also recommended. Lars Meyer and Simon Schwarz made partner in May 2017.

Recognised as a ‘market leader’, Hengeler Mueller handles numerous court proceedings and stands out for its advice on corporate structures. A highlight in this area was advising RWE on a comprehensive carve-out by bundling the renewable energy, grid and infrastructure segment with the sales business to enable the IPO; the instruction, which was led by Hartwin Bungert, included 60 intragroup mergers, spin-offs, changes in legal form, buy-ins and divestments. After already advising Metro on the spin-off of its wholesale business the client now retained the firm for assistance with the founding of the joint venture RTG Retail Trade Group with five other trading companies to bundle central functional areas. Porsche is a long-term client of Gerd Sassenrath and Markus Meier, who assist it in both contentious and non-contentious corporate matters. Key figures of the strikingly large team are also the Düsseldorf-based Andreas Austmann, Rainer Krause and Maximilan Schiessl and the Munich-based Jochen Vetter and Simon Patrick Link. In Frankfurt, Lucina Berger made partner in early 2017.

One of the market leaders for corporate work is Linklaters; the firm advises executives, members of supervisory boards and large corporations on strategic issues. For example, the executive boards of Porsche and Volkswagen, which retained the firm for assistance with the handling of the Dieselgate scandal, are part of the client portfolio. Next to day-to-day commercial advice, the group regularly assists clients such as Bayer and Bilfinger with annual general meetings. An example for currently frequently sought-after form-changing conversions into an SE is advising Hello Fresh on this matter. Other high-profile instructions were carried out for E.ON, Deutsche Bank and the Funke Mediengruppe. The practice is co-led by the Düsseldorf-based Hans-Ulrich Wilsing and Ralph Wollburg, with Staffan Illert another recommended partner. Dirk Horcher, who made partner in May 2017, moved from the Frankfurt to the Munich office. However, Nikolaos Paschos left the firm in August 2017 to join Latham & Watkins LLP.

Hans Schoneweg leads Allen & Overy LLP’s corporate practice, which is particularly recommended for compliance and corporate governance advice. An example is advising Rheinmetall on the remuneration of the management board and assisting an air traffic management company with the introduction of a corporate governance structure. Instructions concerning annual general meetings are handled for Deutsche Telekom, SAP and Deutsche Bank. The latter client retained Hans Diekmann, who also advised a listed energy company on the spin-off of its parent company. Also based in Düsseldorf, Murad Daghles joined the partnership in May 2017. Michael Ulmer left for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in September 2016 and Michael Bernhardt left the group two months later to join Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. Both departures were in the Frankfurt office, where former King & Wood Mallesons partner Michiel Huizinga joined and the ‘swift, pragmatic and extremely good’ Sven Prüfer is recommended.

Traditionally, the ‘solution- and service-focused’ corporate group at CMS mainly acts for mid-market companies, however it has strategically been expanding its client base to include large, international corporations such as eBay and Telefónica. Most recently, it acted on corporate structure, SE form-changing conversions and joint ventures next to some public takeovers and compliance mandates; in this area, assisting Audi and Volkswagen with the Dieselgate scandal was particularly prominent. Another highlight was advising Volkswagen Truck & Bus on entering into a cooperation with commercial vehicle manufacturer Navistar, which includes joint purchasing and technology development. On this matter, Hilke Herchen led advice; she co-leads the group together with Maximilian Grub and Ernst-Markus Schuberth. Harald Potinecke is recommended for corporate compliance, Martin Kuhn for group law and restructuring and Malte Bruhns is ‘not only an outstanding corporate lawyer, but also very commercially minded’. Thomas Sonnenberg joined the team from an in-house position at Triton in August 2016, while Tobias Grau and Christoph Lächler made partner in early 2017.

Clifford Chance achieves ‘high-quality results’ in restructurings, reorganisations and sales, as well as in cross-border mergers, especially advising financial institutions. The group handled some contentious work, such as when representing BNP Paribas in the squeeze-out procedure at DAB Bank. Examples for assisting joint ventures are advising Coca-Cola with a collaborative IT project and advising EQT on EQT Infrastructure’s entering into a strategic partnership with Getec Energie Holding for the further development of some companies. In May 2017, Japan expert Thomas Stohlmeier retired, while Frederik Mühl and Gunnar Sachs made partner. Anselm Raddatz, who is particularly recommended for energy sector work, co-leads the group together with the ‘highly professional and proactive’ Thomas Krecek, who specialises in advising banks and insurance companies.

By forming ‘small and extremely high-performing core teams’, Gleiss Lutz offers an ‘excellent price-performance ratio’. The group gives ‘highly precise yet solution-oriented’ advice on the full range of corporate law: Clients such as Gelita, Infineon Technologies, Merck, Puma and TUI retain the group for advice on annual general meetings, Bosch and Merz Pharma are advised on compliance matters and restructuring work was undertaken for KION Group . Other instructions include Fred Wendt’s assistance of TUI with the formation of a joint holiday airline with Etihad and Michael Arnold’s advice of the supervisory boards of Volkswagen and Audi on the handling of the diesel issue. Handling contentious work is another pillar of the practice. Christian Cascante and Gabriele Roßkopf co-lead the group, which also includes Martin Schockenhoff, Eike Bicker and ‘brilliant lawyer’ Cornelius Götze.

With ‘swift and accurate replies’ and a ‘familiarity with the industry and the business model’, Hogan Lovells International LLP provides clients with a ‘very pleasant cooperation’. Through the sheer number of corporate law partners, the firm has a strong focus in numerous sectors. For example, practice head Lutz Angerer is particularly regarded in the life sciences sector, while Christoph Louven specialises in the insurance sector. Energy sector expert Matthias Hirschmann advised EnBW on founding a joint venture with Siemens Financial Services and DEME Concessions for the participation in a tender process for offshore wind farm Kriegers Flak. Other highlights included assisting Vibracoustic with the conversion into a stock corporation in preparation for its IPO and representing Media-Saturn-Holding in a shareholder dispute concerning the interpretation of the shareholders’ agreement. In addition, restructurings and annual general meetings kept the group occupied. The ‘always availableMichael Rose and Peter Huber, who made partner in early 2017 and is described as ‘analytically very strong and technically excellent’, are also recommended.

Appreciated by clients for providing ‘comprehensive advice’, Latham & Watkins LLP is particularly appreciated for corporate work with an international element. It covers a broad range of topics and has specific expertise in the areas of trade, energy and health. A current automotive sector highlight was advising Daimler on a joint venture investment in Toll Collect. The group also assisted specialty chemicals company H&R with changing its legal form from a public limited company (AG) to a partnership limited by shares (KGaA) and advised ArcelorMittal on the restructuring of its steel production and processing business. Another highlight was acting for the family shareholders of ARAG Lebensversicherung concerning the carve-out of significant assets to ARAG SE. This matter was led by Martin Neuhaus, who co-leads the group together with Henning Schneider. It also includes Harald Selzner, Rainer Wilke and newly appointed partner Nils Röver. Wilhelm Reinhardt and some other partners from different practices left the group in July 2016 to open Gibson Dunn’s Frankfurt office.

By offering ‘in-depth legal knowledge’, a ‘strong partner participation’ and ‘excellent strategic advice’, Noerr establishes close relationships with clients. The corporate law group is increasingly active in corporate liability matters and has recently handled numerous conversions, such as Hello Fresh’s change of legal form into an SE. The ‘creative’ and ‘solution-oriented’ Christian Pleister led advice on this matter as well as on the client’s extraordinary general assembly; he and Alexander Hirsch are ‘ver y well versed in international business’. Other 2016 highlights are advising trivago on the corporate reorganisation in connection with the client’s IPO and assessing the Commerzbank executive board’s liability for penalties incurred in the US. Team changes include the arrival of Volker Land with his team from White & Case LLP in April 2017 and the promotion of Sophia Habbe to equity partner and of Katrin Andrä and Sebastian Schürer to associated partners in the beginning of 2017.

Based in Frankfurt and Mannheim, SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG’s group offers ‘very useful solutions’ of an ‘excellent quality’ for clients such as dm-drogerie markt, Südzucker and Vossloh. Deutsche Bahn’s supervisory board retained the group concerning the Stuttgart 21 railway and urban development project. On the contentious side, it represented Volkswagen in numerous claims for damages of investors and the associated investor sample process law proceedings due to possible violations of disclosure obligations pertaining to the dieselgate scandal. With the addition of of counsel Theodor Baums, the Frankfurt-based group enhanced its corporate governance capabilities in July 2017. In Mannheim, the ‘pragmatic’ Peter Bauschatz joined the team from McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP in July 2016. Stefan Zeyher, who has been with the firm since the beginning of his career, made partner in January 2017. Stephan Harbarth is regarded as ‘reliable and always available’.

White & Case LLP acts ‘swiftly and gets to the heart of things’ when ‘looking for solutions that are not only well-founded legally, but also feasible from a business point of view’. The firm is a popular choice for corporate law disputes and internal investigations, as well as for matters at the interface to capital markets law. Advising members of management and supervisory boards is a prominent area of work, as evidenced by advising the supervisory board of GfK on the voluntary public takeover bid by Acceleration Capital. Practice head Lutz Krämer led advice on this matter, which was facilitated by a close cooperation with the capital markets group. Also based in Frankfurt, Markus Hauptmann, Robert Weber and ‘excellent negotiator’ Roger Kiem are recommended. Volker Land and his team left for Noerr in April 2017.

Arqis Rechtsanwälte’s ‘highly experienced’ advisors are ‘very business and cost oriented’ when developing ‘individual, client-centered solutions’. The corporate practice sets standards when advising executive and supervisory board members. For example, Christoph von Einem led advice to Audi’s supervisory board on the separation from former director of technical development Stefan Knirsch and Volkswagen’s management board from the former legal and integrity director Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt. The latter board also retained the group for advice on the restructuring of the remuneration of the management and supervisory boards as well as on Dieselgate issues. The group also frequently acts on contentious issues, for example when advising Opterra on various corporate law disputes such as declaratory actions concerning the termination of supply contracts and disputes over control in a joint venture company. Next to offices in Munich and Düsseldorf, the firm also has a Tokyo office and a Japan desk, which is used when advising Docomo Digital and numerous Japanese clients with German subsidiaries. Team changes include the departure of Cosima Preiss, who left to become general counsel at Oerlikon in February 2017, and the arrival of Lars Laeger, who joined from Clifford Chance in July 2016. He is based in Düsseldorf, as are the also recommended Andreas Dietl and Christof Schneider.

Baker McKenzie has a ‘very high level of expertise’ in corporate compliance, an area in which the firm recently handled corporate law matters for a German client. In general, the firm’s cross-border capabilities are an excellent selling point for clients. An example is cooperating with colleagues in Chicago, London, Vienna and Luxembourg when advising McDonald’s on the restructuring of German and several foreign groups. As such, the client portfolio includes both renowned German groups and various multinationals such as Amazon, the DFL German Football League, HOCHTIEF and Johnson Controls. The group is led by Andreas Lohner and Nikolaus Reinhuber and also includes Christoph Wolf.

DLA Piper is particularly rated for its restructuring and reorganisation expertise, both at a German and an international level. A recent example is advising H.I.G. European Capital Partners on the corporate reorganisation of its German and Luxembourg fund structure. The group also handled D&O liability, cross-border changes of legal form and compliance matters, and was able to expand its insurance sector work. Nils Krause is the sole practice head since Kirsten Girnth’s departure to Bryan Cave LLP in January 2017. Simultaneously, Michael Burg left for PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) and Jan Schinköth for Sidley Austin LLP. However, the group was strengthened by the addition of Mathias Schulze-Steinen, Andreas Füchsel and Claudius Paul, who came from K&L Gates LLP.

Unparalleled in terms of quality’, Düsseldorf-based corporate and antitrust boutique firm Glade Michel Wirtz - Corporate & Competition fields 15 lawyers specialised in handling annual general meetings, management consultancy, contentious cases and day-to-day corporate advice. Marco Sustmann and Andreas Merkner represented Daimler in a model proceeding regarding the allegedly late publication of Jürgen Schrempp’s resignation as CEO; and assisted the Deutsche Bank supervisory board with ongoing supervisory law proceedings. Merkner and Achim Glade assisted Haniel with founding a joint venture between CWS-Boco and Rentokil Initial, with the client holding 82% of the joint venture’s shares. Arndt Michel is another name to note for corporate advice. The client base also includes Bose, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia’s golf association, Klöckner & Co, L'Oréal and ZF Friedrichshafen.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s ‘swift processing times’ impress medium-sized companies, which make up the majority of the firm’s client base. Its breadth of practice can be illustrated with just a few instructions: It converted Datagroup from a public limited company (AG) to an SE, acted on the annual general meeting of Elanix Biotechnologies and advised the Duisburg port on founding a joint venture with Arkas Container Transport for the construction and operation of a bimodal container terminal in Turkey. Another highlight was assisting wholesale company for building hardware VBH with the implementation of a merger-related squeeze-out and subsequent change of legal form. Numerous partners such as Mathias Schröder, Helge-Torsten Wöhlert and Stefan Duhnkrack – to only mention a few – have corporate law expertise. Also recommended is the ‘remarkable’ Karsten Kühne, while Volker Holl left the group in late 2016. At the beginning of 2017, Fabian Gaffron and Stephan Degen joined the partnership.

In the transactional area, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has long been an established player; traditional corporate law advice is increasingly gaining importance. In this area, acting for managing and supervisory boards is paramount. Norbert Rieger regularly assists the management boards of Axel Springer, FC Bayern Munich and Sixt, while Christoph Rothenfußer advised Sixt Leasing on changing its legal form to an SE and the related extraordinary general assembly. Both are based in Munich, as is Ulrike Friese-Dormann, who represented clients in court proceedings concerning the squeeze-out of minority shareholders. An example is assisting Gentherm with the squeeze-out of W.E.T. Automotive Systems. The Frankfurt-based Arndt Stengel advised Metro on the planned division of the group and assisted Airbus Defense and Space with reorganisation matters.

Technically excellent’, ‘transparent’, ‘proactive’ and ‘highly committed’, Taylor Wessing’s corporate practice, which is spread over all five of the firm’s offices, acts on reorganisations, domination and commercial contracts, charter amendments, mergers and spin-offs. Rating agency Scope retained the group for its change of legal form from a public limited company (AG) to a partnership limited by shares (KGaA). Another important area of business is post-transactional support, particularly in relation to China. The practice is made up of partners from antitrust, M&A, dispute resolution and related areas, and recently re-inforced its finance capabilities. Klaus Grossmann, Dirk Lorenz and Christoph Vaupel are among the key figures, with Christian Traichel and

Lars-Gerrit Lüßmann also recommended. The group saw some departures: Thomas Dörmer and Tim Heitling left for Baker McKenzie and Heinrich Stallknecht retired.

Ashurst LLP mainly advises executives and supervisory boards of German companies and subsidiaries of international groups on corporate housekeeping, corporate reorganisation and corporate governance. Reinhard Eyring played an instrumental role in assisting with the annual general meetings of AVIC, Alno and Biotest, and regularly assists the latter client with board and supervisory board matters. The ‘experienced’ Thomas Sacher advised Adidas on the integration of a newly acquired subsidiary and represented Grammer concerning the defence against a call for an extraordinary general assembly. Another instruction handled by Sacher was advising new client Babcock International on the establishment of a German subsidiary. Private equity expert Holger Ebersberger, who frequently assisted clients with corporate governance and corporate restructuring matters, joined the group from Linklaters in June 2016.

Providing ‘excellent advice’, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acts for clients such as ArcelorMittal, Kohler, Mercer International and Media-Saturn-Holding. Transaction-related advice is of particular importance for the group; for example, Oliver Schröder assisted Westlake Chemical with the post-acquisition integration of Vinnolit, which included cash pool issues. In another highlight, he was responsible for advising Furukawa Electric on founding a joint venture with a subsidiary of Superior Essex for the production, marketing and sale of novel high-voltage cables. An example on the contentious side is representing Agfa-Gevaert in an ICC arbitration. Michael Ulmer, who previously worked at Allen & Overy LLP, joined the group in November 2016.

Mid-sized companies are core clients of Eversheds Sutherland’s corporate group, which mainly acts on annual general meetings, restructurings and the establishment of joint ventures. A recent highlight was advising automotive supplier Autoliv on founding a joint venture with Volvo Cars for the development of autonomous driving and driver assistance system software. Boeing is a regular client, with recent instructions including restructurings and compliance matters. The ‘very thorough, committed and persistentSven Schweneke led advice on this matter; he and practice head Matthias Heisse are based in Munich. In May 2016, the Berlin-based Christian Hilpert and the Munich-based

Christian Mense made partner.

Greenfort offers clients a ‘pleasant cooperation’ when acting on stock corporation law and law pertaining to private limited companies and private partnerships. The Frankfurt team was particularly active advising young companies and assisting with founding joint ventures. The 1. FC Kaiserslautern’s annual general meeting was one of many the group handled in 2016, while the client’s supervisory board and board of directors as well as the association itself are regular clients of the group. Other clients include ayondo, investment bank Houlihan Lokey and Skrill. Within the five-strong group, Andreas von Oppen is ‘quick, easy to reach and friendly’. He is recommended along with Gunther Weiss and Daniel Röder, who also handles dispute resolution next to corporate law issues.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH sets itself apart with a clear focus on advising family businesses and public sector clients, while also counting larger listed companies such as Evonic and groups such as E.ON and Vattenfall as clients. Traditionally, assisting with corporate succession is a significant area of work, which has now gained importance due to the inheritance tax reform. The networking of traditional family businesses with start-ups also became more prominent. Recent examples are advising a large German energy supplier on the restructuring of all of the client’s German distribution network operators; and assisting Amiantit with establishing a joint venture with HOBAS for the development, production and sale of pipes in Europe. The last-mentioned instruction was handled by Klaus Schaffner, who is recommended next to Arndt Begemann and head of the India desk Thomas Weidlich. Cédric Müller made partner in December 2016. The firm also has a notable notary practice.

Norton Rose Fulbright provides ‘reliable advice’ on corporate governance and compliance matters as well as mergers, reorganisations and charter amendments. The group also recently handled some changes of the legal form from a public limited company (AG) to an SE; for example, Sumitomo Electric Bordnetze was advised on the change of legal form to an SE, which also included handling a dispute concerning the legal status. From Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg respectively, Klaus Bader, Frank Regelin and Klaus von Gierke lead the practice, which also includes Eva-Maria Barbosa and Andreas Börner, who are recommended for their insurance expertise. A ten-strong team led by Alexander von Bergwelt, Michael Malterer and Igsaan Varachia left the firm in July 2016 to join Dentons, after the firm already saw Sascha Grimm’s departure to an in-house post in May 2016. In February 2017, Patrick Narr and team joined from White & Case LLP. Partner promotions include Katrin Stieß and Peter Holst in May 2016 and Heiko Bertelmann in May 2017.

Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte’s six partner-strong corporate group develops ‘targeted strategies with excellent expertise and strong commitment’. Particularly recommended are the ‘extremely efficient, strategic and solution-oriented’ Rolf Leinekugel, who is an ‘experienced consultant with a strong entrepreneurial mindset’, and Thomas Trölitzsch. The Stuttgart-based team represents numerous mid-sized, family-owned businesses from southern Germany, but also some large companies such as an automotive supplier and a consulting firm as well as international companies. Since 2016, the group is advising CINETIC, which develops and sells media technology, as main shareholder concerning the squeeze-out of Atevia. On the contentious side, representing Gelita’s board members in a claim for damages brought by special representative Norbert Knüppel and representing the Schwörer group in a shareholder dispute were prominent highlights.

The ‘outstanding’ group at traditional German corporate law firm Sernetz • Schäfer acts for companies as well as numerous large and regional banks, which means it often deals with banking supervisory law. An area of focus is commercial disputes, particularly D&O liability – an area in which the group also handled some arbitration proceedings recently. Other work examples are representing a former member of the management board of a DAX-listed company in litigation regarding the possible misconduct of the management board with billions of Euros in damages; representing a large company in the defence of claims due to compliance-relevant circumstances; and representing investment company Sparta in a stock corporate law dispute concerning the investment in Strabag. In Düsseldorf, Frank Schäfer and Andreas Gätsch are recommended, while the Munich-based Fabian Dietz-Vellmer has an ‘intuitive understanding of a client’s needs’ and Andreas Höder handles ‘difficult cases with the necessary severity’.

Continuously being retained for larger transactions also creates a heavy workload, particularly in the post-closing phase, for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s corporate group. Otherwise, it frequently covers corporate governance matters and day-to-day commercial matters; clients in this area are aircraft components manufacturer FACC, SGL Carbon, Zumtobel and the supervisory board of Stada Arzneimittel. Another example is advising the board of a German association on fraud allegations against the former chairman. Another area of work is handling contentious issues such as representing a steelmaker in an ICC arbitration regarding recourse claims in connection with the spin-off and re-integration of parts of companies. In Munich, practice head Bernd Mayer is recommended.

avocado rechtsanwälte offers its clients, which include many family-owned companies, an ‘excellent service’ when advising on day-to-day corporate matters. The group plays an important role in numerous transactions, frequently acts at the intersection of commercial and distribution law and regularly advises foreign companies on entering the German market. For example, it assisted French menswear studio Atelier with founding and structuring a German subsidiary. Adyton Real Estate retained the group, next to ongoing corporate work, for founding a joint venture for the operation of a clinic. Christian Berger, who played a key role in both instructions, works ‘quickly, reliably and competently’ and is recommended next to Udo Zietsch. Jürgen Heilbock, who specialises in advising stock companies, joined the group from Schalast & Partner Rechtsanwälte in April 2017. In August 2017, Lars-Henning Behrens came from HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm and now also supports the corporate law notary. While all mentioned partners are based in Frankfurt, the firm also has corporate expertise in Berlin and Cologne.

Bird & Bird’s corporate group advises clients in close collaboration with colleagues from other practice groups such as antitrust, labour, IP and IT. In 2016 and 2017, corporate housekeeping instructions, in addition to some reorganisations, were on the group’s agenda. For example, the group advised ENTRADE Energiesysteme on its annual general meeting of 2016 and on corporate governance matters, next to ongoing corporate advice. On the contentious side, the group represented a company in a case concerning shareholder meetings. In the technology and media sector in particular, the practice has a strong network and a broad client base. New clients include Forward Engineering, a specialist in lightweight construction for the automotive and machinery industries, Menzies Aviation and TomTom. Peter Veranneman leads the group from Düsseldorf, where Stefan Gottgetreu is also recommended. In Frankfurt, Kai Kerger made partner in May 2017.

Buse Heberer Fromm regularly works in the field of mechanical engineering and the supplier and sales industry. For example, the group advised Maurer, a steel, mechanical and plant engineering sector company, on its double change of legal form from a GmbH & Co. KG through an AG into an SE. Another instruction was advising the management of an energy trader on the diverging interests concerning the management, accounting and profit distribution of two 50% shareholders. An example of advice rendered to a foreign company is acting for the Belgian B Logistics (now Lineas) concerning the founding of a new German subsidiary. From Hamburg, Jossip Hesse leads the group, which also includes the recommended Düsseldorf-based Wolfgang Großmann and Christian Quack. The group saw three external additions at partner level: Peter Fissenewert joined in October 2016 from HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm, Thomas Hausbeck came from Kairos in November 2016 and Alexander Wolf joined from Kestler Mielert & Partner in March 2017. Internally, Heinrich Schmitz was promoted to partner.

Flick Gocke Schaumburg has a wealth of experience in restructurings and changes in legal form as well as in advising family businesses on the full range of services. Equally frequently, the group acts on group law matters, for example when preparing an expert opinion for an international energy supply company concerning the investment in another supply company. It advises numerous banks on corporate governance matters, such as Volksbank Bonn Rhein-Sieg on creating a new corporate governance framework in view of the merger with Volksbank Köln. Other clients include Knorr-Bremse, Fränkische Rohrwerke Gebr. Kirchner and Vattenfall. In January 2017, Florian Haus made partner and Benjamin Ullrich associated partner, while Stefan Simon left to join the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank. Simultaneously, Martin Brockhausen joined from King & Wood Mallesons and Thilo Richter, Christoph Sieberg and Roman Stenzel from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Recommended for their long-term experience are Christoph Schulte, Dieter Leuering and Michael Erkens.

Fielding a large corporate group in the export-friendly state of Baden-Württemberg, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner acts for numerous international mid-sized companies. The Freiburg-based Gerhard Manz ‘always has practicable and quick-to-implement solutions at hand’ and has ‘strong knowledge of the French language and culture’. He assisted Haufe-Lexware with two joint venture companies for the Haufe group’s activities in China. Albert Schröder regularly handles restructurings and recently represented Maquet Medical Systems in a case against originally 72 shareholders of Pulsion Medical Systems in relation with the conclusion of a domination and profit transfer agreement. Barbara Mayer has a ‘broad knowledge’ of stock corporation law and medical technology expert Jan Henning Martens made partner. In addition to Freiburg, the firm also has corporate teams in Cologne, under the leadership of Tobias Lenz and Arnt Göppert, and in Frankfurt.

GSK Stockmann often collaborates with other practice groups such as supervisory law, tax, real estate and finance when handling corporate issues. A highlight was advising Colliers International on the merger of five German subsidiaries into the Deutschland Holding. Adler Real Estate retained the group for the cross-border change of legal form into a GmbH of a Dutch subsidiary to Germany. Lead advisor was Max Wilmanns, who took over the practice lead from Michael Stobbe in November 2016. Another internal change was Raoul Kreide’s promotion to local partner in the beginning of 2017. Additions include Thomas Derlin’s move from K&L Gates LLP in June 2016 and Katy Ritzmann’s move from FPS in January 2017. However, Matthias Dau left the firm in August 2016 to join Dr Mittelstein & Partner. Hendrik Riedel’s unfortunate death in late 2016 was another loss for the group.

Yorick Ruland leads Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB’s ‘determined and always well coordinated’ corporate group, which is spread over five offices. Since his move from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in November 2016, Oliver von Rosenberg forms part of the Cologne team, which also includes Wolfgang König and Michael Dolfen. Recommended partners in other offices are Thomas Winkemann in Berlin, Matthias Menke in Frankfurt and Frank Evers in Hamburg. The ongoing assistance of mid-sized companies is an important part of the firm’s work; the assistance in annual general meetings, for example for Medigene, also forms part of the group’s the daily business. On the contentious side, it represented EN+ Group and CEAC Holdings in post-merger arbitration proceedings against the state of Montenegro concerning the investment in aluminium plant KAP located in the country. Other clients include Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Trusted Shops and Aspen Pumps.

Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP’s ‘pragmatic’ team is equally active in contentious and non-contentious corporate matters. Nico Abel has led the practice since May 2017 and advised manufacturer of electromechanical drive technologies and power transmission components Altra Industrial Motion on restructuring measures, including transforming Stromag AG into a limited liability company and changing the corporate governance structures of various companies in order to integrate the Stromag business into the German Altra group. Other clients include plastic processor profine and debtor management service provider Euler Hermes. In Frankfurt, Markus Lauer is recommended alongside Abel, while Sönke Becker is one of the names to note in the Düsseldorf office.

Düsseldorf-based full-service firm Hoffmann Liebs Fritsch & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB mainly acts for mid-sized companies concerning restructuring as well as limited liability and group law matters. Handling succession planning for family-owned companies and acting for start-ups are two further pillars of the practice. The predominantly German clients include consulting firm Agora Invest, KFM Deutsche Mittelstand and medical aid manufacturer Definitiv. The latter client is regularly advised on its ongoing business, most recently on the restructuring of the circle of shareholders, a capital increase and the possible set-up of a joint venture with a Chinese company. As this example shows, instructions often have an international aspect and foreign companies are also increasingly relying on the team. It grew in August 2016 with the addition of Andreas Hecker from Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH and now includes 13 partners. Raoul Mosel and Norbert Bröcker are recommended.

Full-service firm K&L Gates LLP has an excellent reputation for corporate law issues, especially in relation to stock corporation and capital markets law. Printing press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer is a new client, which the group advises on day-to-day corporate law issues and on annual general meetings. Other clients include Bundesdruckerei, several companies of the EDF Group, OpenSynergy and Wittur. Now nine partners strong, Thomas Lappe’s group includes Boris Kläsener and Klaus Banke, who is ‘extremely precise’ and has a ‘very good understanding of economic background’. From late 2016 to early 2017 the group saw several changes: Alexander Kollmorgen came from WilmerHale, Franz Schaefer from King & Wood Mallesons and Thilo Winkeler from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP. However, the Frankfurt-based team led by Mathias Schulze-Steinen, Andreas Füchsel and Claudius Paul left for DLA Piper, and Thomas Derlin joined GSK Stockmann.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP is primarily known for handling transactions, but is also well positioned to handle corporate law matters. For example, the group assisted IT service provider Fiducia & GAD IT with the spin-off of a business unit to Ratiodata. EHealth company CompuGroup Medical is another client which retained the group for advice on stock corporation law, its annual general meeting and the change of legal form from a public limited company (AG) to an SE. Christian von Sydow, Norbert Schulte and Stephan Rau are based in Düsseldorf, while the group also has corporate law capabilities in Munich and Frankfurt. Anja von Alemann left for an in-house position at Sana Kliniken in September 2017. Philipp Grenzebach made partner in early 2018.

Stuttgart firm Menold Bezler’s 13 corporate law partners provide ‘solid legal work’ concerning the formation of subsidiaries, advice on corporate structure and on changes of legal structure. For example, the group assisted Ritter Gruppe, a provider of regenerative heating systems, with centralising company locations and simplifying corporate structures. Another example for advice on structural matters is advising TTS Tooltechnic Systems on the restructuring of a subgroup in preparation for the sale of an investment. Another important pillar of the practice is handling annual general meetings, for example on behalf of property management company Dinkelacker. Name partner Rudolf Bezler and Hansjörg Frenz are recommended along with Beatrice Fabry, who primarily advises public sector companies.

Oppenhoff & Partner is highly regarded for ‘short processing times, strong technical expertise, pragmatic solutions and a high level of performance’. In collaboration with colleagues from the labour and insolvency departments, the corporate group assisted Ford-Werke with two contractual trust arrangement structures to other groups. KSB, a manufacturer of pumps and valves, was advised on changing its legal form from a listed public limited company (AG) to a partnership limited by shares (KGaA), with the general partner a monistic SE, as well as on the annual general meeting. Both matters were led by practice head Harald Gesell, who is ‘client oriented and has a high level of specialist expertise’. Other instructions include the establishment of a limited liability company’s branches and subsidiaries in various countries, the restructuring of a corporate governance structure, and matters related to management board liability. Day-to-day corporate advice rendered to NH Hotel Group is handled by Stephan König, to IPS Pressevertrieb by Alf Baars and to Vaillant by Myriam Schilling. While mainly based in Cologne, the group also has corporate capabilities in Frankfurt; here, Oliver Kessler left in July 2016 to join Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences.

From its Düsseldorf office, the ‘client orientedOrth Kluth Rechtsanwälte acts on the full range of corporate law, including corporate housekeeping, changes of legal form, compliance and shareholder disputes. In 2016, the group advised crane trader Terex MHPS on the restructuring of the German groups in preparation for the group’s sale to Kone Cranes; and assisted long-term client engineering company Meyer Burger with corporate law matters. Robert Orth advised electric vehicle company Faraday Future on the development of its business activities in Germany and Marc Henze assisted Dematic, provider of integrated automation technology, software and services for supply chain management, with intra-group restructurings. Also recommended are Kai-Michael König and Tim Christian Giesselmann, who made partner in early 2017.

Swift and professionalP+P Pöllath + Partners frequently acts on matters related to tax law, for example when handling succession and wealth planning. As well as family-owned businesses, it also regularly advises large corporations, start-ups and private equity funds. Practice head Wolfgang Grobecker conducted a responsibility audit on behalf of Deutsche Bank regarding potential compliance violations by former members of the executive board. Eva Nase advised the Giesecke & Devrient group on adjusting its group-wide corporate governance structure during a restructuring operation. Representing clients in corporate disputes is also part of the group’s day-to-day work. For example, it represented Wacker Neuson and a subsidiary in arbitration concerning a joint venture and acted for HeidelbergCapital in proceedings brought by former minority shareholders of Nextevolution concerning the review of cash compensation from a stock coporation squeeze-out.

Hamburg-based corporate law firm Raschke | von Knobelsdorff | Heiser advises a broad range of German (family-owned) companies and international corporations on all corporate law matters. The five-partner group is particularly recommended for its extensive expertise handling contentious issues: Gilbert Tassilo von Knobelsdorff was appointed arbitrator in a post-M&A dispute between a listed software company and the company it had acquired. In another proceeding, he represented Thielert in prospectus liability litigation against the management board, supervisory board, syndicate bank and auditor. Dominik Ziegenhahn also frequently handles contentious matters, while Nico Torka mainly acts on non-contentious work. For example, he regularly advises Vapiano on concluding joint ventures and on its annual general meetings.

Able to handle work from across the full range of corporate law matters, von Boetticher Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB focuses on assisting medium-sized companies active at an international level with restructurings and limited liability law matters as well as on transaction-related litigation and arbitration. Current highlights include advising a German real estate company on the restructuring of the group, assisting several US-based IT companies with founding German subsidiaries, and representing a power plant operator in a shareholder dispute. The group has many long-term clients such as 3B Pharmaceuticals, Humedics and laser manufacturer Lumenis, which retain the group for day-to-day corporate law matters. In Munich, Stephan Rettenbeck, Jens Horstkotte and Martina Sunde are recommended, while Ulrich Block is a respected lawyer in the Berlin office.

M&A: Large international deals (€500m+)

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A: M&A: Large international deals (€500m+)
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Hans Diekmann - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Andreas Fabritius - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Thomas Meyding - CMS
    • Ralph Wollburg - Linklaters
    • Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain - Hengeler Mueller

Who Represents Who

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Both German and international companies regard Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as one of the leading law firms for large-cap M&A deals. For example, Arend von Riegen and Rick van Aerssen advised, as part of an international team, the Chinese home appliance group Midea on the public takeover of robotics and automation specialist KUKA for around $5bn, to date the largest acquisition of a German company by a Chinese bidder. In this transaction, as in several others particularly from the financial services sector, supervisory law matters played a significant role. Another instruction that gained plenty of media attention was Maersk’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd from the Oetker group, with the team acting for the buyer. Andreas Fabritius, Gregor von Bonin and van Aerssen advised Vonovia on corporate matters pertaining to the voluntrary public takeover bid to the shareholders of Conwert Immobilien Invest in the amount of €2.86bn; the client had previously already retained the group for assistance with the planned merger with Deutsche Wohnen. The M&A group is led by Matthias-Gabriel Kremer, with Christoph Seibt also recommended. Shortly before the editorial deadline, Annedore Streyl announced her move to Ernst & Young Law.

The German full-service firm Hengeler Mueller is also in demand on the international stage: The group acted in over 70 countries in recent years. For example, Fresenius Helios retained the group for advice on the €5.76bn acquisition of the largest private hospital operator in Spain, Quirónsalud, from CVC Capital Partners and its managing director. A sale with Chinese participation was handled for Robert Bosch: The company sold the previously spun-off business unit Starter Motors Generators to a Chinese buyer consortium for €545m. An example of a merger is the €38.18m merger of equals of Linde, the firm’s client, and Praxair through a share exchange under the umbrella of a new holding company. In addition, the group assisted some private equity funds with large-cap deals, for example KKR with the €1.1bn acquisition of Airbus’ defence electronics business. Advisors on this instruction include Martin Ulbrich, who made partner in early 2017, and Maximilian Schiessl. Also recommended are Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain, energy expert Nicolas Böhm and Matthias Hentzen, who specialises in restructuring-related M&A transactions.

Top law firmLinklaters regularly advises major German corporations such as Bayer, E.ON, RWE, Siemens and Volkswagen on acquisitions abroad, with the firm’s offices outside of Germany also frequently involved. For example, a German team and the Madrid office were responsible for advising Siemens on the acquisition of Gamesa. Another large-cap deal was the sale of Osram's lamp division to a consortium including M.L.S. Electronics and IDG Capital Partners, which included, according to media reports, the payment of over €400m plus royalties for the use of trademark rights; in this instruction, as in the sale of all shares held in thyssenkrupp Slab International to the Argentinian steel producer Ternium, the group acted for the seller. Ralph Wollburg and Hans-Ulrich Wilsing jointly head the group, which includes 27 partners since the promotion of Dirk Horcher in May 2017. Stephan Oppenhoff is another name to note for large-cap international transactions, while Nikolaos Paschos left for Latham & Watkins LLP.

Clifford Chance sets itself apart through its strong industry expertise in the automotive, banking, energy and health sectors. The ‘business-minded’ Thomas Krecek is regarded as an ‘excellent advisor’ along with Anselm Raddatz. Together, they advised Svenska Cellulosa on the €2.74bn acquisition of medical device company BSN medical. Nicole Englisch led advice to a joint venture founded by Audi, BMW and Daimler on the sale of a 15% stake in HERE to Intel and a 10% stake to a Sino-Singaporean consortium. Other transactions include the assistance of DIF Infrastructure and EDF Invest with the €700m acquisition of Thyssengas and the advice to KUKA concerning the $4.6bn public takeover bid over MECCA/Midea. In May 2017, Thomas Stohlmeier retired, while Christopher Kellett left for Linklaters. Simultaneously, Frederik Mühl and Gunnar Sachs made partner.

Equipped with ‘competitive industry knowledge’, Latham & Watkins LLP is clearly one of the leading firms for large-cap international transactions, as illustrated by current instructions: The group assisted Henkel with the mandatory takeover offer for the $1.05bn acquisition of Darex Packaging Technologies from GCP Applied Technologies, and advised Siemens on the $4.5bn acquisition of Mentor Graphics. The sale of Kaiser’s Tengelmann and Tengelmann E-Stores – the firm’s clients – to EDEKA attracted plenty of media attention. With the addition of Nikolaos Paschos, who formerly worked at Linklaters, in October 2017, the group gained another highly regarded partner. In the previous year, Rainer Traugott, who has a ‘high level of expertise and integrity’, had already joined the group. Now, Martin Neuhaus and Henning Schneider lead an 18-partner strong group, which also includes Harald Selzner and Christoph Engeler.

With Noerr, a German law firm is also at the top of the international large-cap ranking, as the quality of the advice is ‘measured against international standards’. Therefore, some clients highlight the ‘very good value for money’ offered by the group led by Alexander Hirsch and Florian Becker. One of the largest transactions handled by the group in 2017 was the $2bn sale of Johnson Controls subsidiary Scott Safety to 3M, with the group advising the seller. Assistance to the former Lazada shareholders concerning the $1.5bn sale to Alibaba was rendered, among others, by Christian Pleister; he is recommended along with Gerald Reger. In the first half of 2017, the group added two partners: Martin Haisch came from Dechert and Volker Land from White & Case LLP; in addition, Katrin Andrä and Sebastian Schürer made associated partner.

CMS’ good network especially in Europe, with a focus on Southeastern Europe, is regarded to be particularly advantageous by clients for outbound business. In 2016, Telefónica Deutschland, for example, retained the group for the sale of mobile towers following the spin-off of the group to Telxius. Another highlight was advising the Partners Group as the lead investor of a consortium on the joint acquisition of a majority stake in the company, which holds the project rights to the Merkur offshore wind farm. Maximilian Grub, Hilke Herchen and Ernst-Markus Schuberth co-lead the practice, in which Thomas Meyding and Christian von Lenthe are also recommended. Thomas Sonnenberg joined from Triton in August 2016 and Tobias Grau, Christoph Lächler, Jochen Lux and Michael Wangemann made partner in early 2017.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s international network, particularly with the US offices, ensures a steady flow of instructions in the area of large-cap transactions. For example, a large German team in collaboration with partners in Paris, London, Brussels, New York and Washington recently advised General Motors on the €2.2bn divestment of the European Opel and Vauxhall business and the European GM Financial business; the buyer, Groupe PSA, became the second largest car manufacturer in Europe as a result of the acquisition. The group also advised LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton on the €640m acquisition of RIMOWA. Oliver Schröder, who is recommended along with Gabriele Apfelbacher and Michael Ulmer, played a leading role in both transactions. With ‘high standards’, the six partners work from the Frankfurt office, while the Cologne office is staffed with one counsel in the M&A sector.

Gleiss Lutz is increasingly active in the international high-end business, where it cooperates with partner law firms as required. A 2017 highlight was the advice given to JAC Capital and Wise Road Capital on the $2.75bn acquisition of the standard product division of the Dutch semiconductor manufacturer NXP Semiconductors. Two private equity examples are advising KION on the $3.25bn acquisition of Dematic from AEA Investors and Ontario Teachers Private Capital and the assistance of GoDaddy with the €1.7bn acquisition of the Host Europe Group from Cinven. The client base also includes numerous DAX30-listed companies, which retain the firm for strategic outbound transactions. The integration of the real estate transaction and the capital market transaction teams in the corporate and M&A group at the turn of the year 2016/2017 aimed at further bundling the transaction capacities. At the same time, Martin Viciano Gofferje made partner. Christian Cascante and Ralf Morshäuser co-lead the group, in which Thomas Menke and Fred Wendt are also recommended. Since Rainer Loges no longer acts as managing partner, he is increasingly active handling client work. Former counsel Roland Sterr has been general counsel at HeidelbergCement since October 2017.

M&A advice at Hogan Lovells International LLP is ‘timely’ and ‘always rendered with commercial expertise’ by ‘excellent lawyers’. Düsseldorf-based Christoph Louven leads the practice at the Continental European level and Munich-based Lutz Angerer leads the German group. Matthias Jaletzke and Tim Brandi are recommended in Frankfurt, Birgit Reese is another name to note in Düsseldorf and Peter Huber, who recently made partner in Munich, keeps ‘all the balls in the air and ensures that the cooperation with the client runs smoothly’. Most recently, the group advised financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and the German association of savings banks (DSGV), on the sale of credit card company Concardis to Advent International and Bain Capital for about €600m, according to media reports. In further highlight transactions, Statoil retained the firm for the acquisition of a 50% stake in the AWE Arkona wind farm development company from E.ON Climate & Renewables; and NXP Semiconductors was advised on the $2.75bn sale of standard product lines to AC Capital and Wise Road Capital.

Jones Day’s ‘very good’ M&A practice is particularly well known for acting on large US-German transactions and is also very active in public takeovers. One example is advising GfK on the public takeover offer by KKR followed by the squeeze-out and delisting. Of particularly high volume was Total’s €3.2bn sale of specialty chemicals subsidiary Atotech to Carlyle, with a team led by Adriane Sturm acting for the seller. The practice group was strengthened in June 2016 by the addition of Kerstin Henrich from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and a month later by Christian Trenkel’s addition from Clifford Chance. Ansgar Rempp leads the now 17 partner-strong group, which is spread over three locations, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich.

Above all, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP stands out for its excellent experience handling the defence against takeover attempts. The group also advised Standard Industries on the successful $1.2bn takeover offer to Braas Monier. Carsten Berrar, one of the partners involved in this transaction, previously led advice on the largest acquisition of a US company by a foreign buyer and the largest M&A transaction of a German company: rendering advice to Bayer on the final merger agreement with Monsanto with a total value of $66bn; the six partner-strong Frankfurt team made international headlines acting on this transaction. Managing partner Wolfgang Feuring and York Schnorbus are also key figures.

Hans Schoneweg leads Allen & Overy LLP’s group, which advises with ‘utmost resilience’, ‘incredible dedication’ and ‘24/7 availability’. ‘Excellent negotiator’ Nicolaus Ascherfeld is ‘very pragmatic’ and led advice to DEME on the acquisition, construction and financing of the €1.6bn Merkur offshore wind farm. Advent International and its portfolio company, Allnex, retained the group for the planned €812m acquisition of chemical company Nuplex Industries. In 2016, the group saw two losses with the departure of Michael Bernhardt to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and Michael Ulmer to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. The year 2017 started with the addition in the Frankfurt office of Michiel Huizinga, who came from King & Wood Mallesons. In Düsseldorf, where Hans Diekmann and Jan Schröder are considered excellent consultants, Murad Daghles made partner. In Frankfurt, Hartmut Krause and the ‘extremely pleasant’ Matthias Horn are recommended.

With ‘business sense and a pragmatic approach’, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acts for numerous large companies, mainly from Germany and the US, on international large-cap transactions. Often, inbound deals are led by partners in the US office, who count on the German team for support; for example, this was the case when assisting Cardinal Health with the $6.1bn cash acquisition of three businesses from Medtronic. The German group also advised Air Products & Chemicals on the $3.8bn sale of its specialty additive business to Evonic Industries. A highlight was assisting Lanxess with the $2.4bn acquisition of Chemtura. The main contact is Frankfurt-based Matthias Horbach since Lutz Zimmer left the firm in August 2017.

M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m)

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A: M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Barbara Keil - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Thomas Meyding - CMS
    • Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain - Hengeler Mueller

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m) 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


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer continues to rank among the market leaders handling international M&A transactions. Across industries, but with particular expertise in the healthcare, financial and technology sectors, mid-sized transactions can be staffed with large teams as needed. Especially in the shipping sector, the group was particularly active; for example, Marius Berenbrok advised Hapag-Lloyd on the acquisition of United Arab Shipping Company and assisted Mærsk Line with the acquisition of all partnership shares held in the shipping company Hamburg Süd from the Oetker group. In another highlight transaction, the group advised Vossloh – which had already been a client when the company entered the rail business – on the $117m acquisition of track sleeper manufacturer Rocla Concrete Tie from Altus Capital Partners. The practice is also active in countries where the firm doesn’t have its own offices as the assistance of Klöckner Pentaplast with the €41m acquisition of Turkish packaging manufacturer Farmamak shows. Matthias-Gabriel Kremer heads the group from Frankfurt, where Christoph Seibt is also recommended. In Munich, Kai Hasselbach, Ludwig Leyendecker and Barbara Keil are stand-out practitioners; Stephan Waldhausen is a respected advisor in Düsseldorf.

With a very high dealflow, Hengeler Mueller once again secures a leading position. The German firm has a strong network of international law firms, with whom it cooperates as needed; for example, it advised Konecranes on the €230m sale of Stahl CraneSystems to Columbus McKinnon, which involved a total of ten countries. Another seller-side instruction was the assistance rendered to SGL Group concerning the €350m sale of the graphite electrodes business to Showa Denko, while the firm acted for the seller, the Chinese Dare group, in the €139m acquisition of automotive supplier Carcoustics from AlpInvest Partners. An example for a merger is advising Epigenomics, which accepted a voluntary public tender offer made by Summit Hero Holding for all outstanding shares. While a large number of partners are involved in M&A transactions, Daniela Favoccia, Andreas Hoger and Peter Weyland are particularly recommended in the Frankfurt office. In Munich, Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain is a ‘skilled negotiator’ and Georg Frowein regularly acts on share deals in the energy, raw materials and real estate sectors. Annika Clauss and Martin Ulbrich made partner in early 2017.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘outstanding international network’ ensures a steady flow of instructions in the mid-cap sector. A complex mixed share and asset deal with carve-out in various countries was handled by the pumps, seals and valve manufacturer Flowserve on the €186m sale of the Gestra Group to Spirax Sarco. Other highlight instructions included advising Grünenthal on the acquisition of Adhesys Medical, Allegion on the acquisition of all of its shares in Trelock, and Dassault Systèmes on the €220m acquisition of all CST - Computer Simulation Technology shares. Alba Group and HOCHTIEF also retained the group, which is led by Nikolaus Reinhuber and Andreas Lohner and also includes the recommended Heiko Gotsche. In 2016, the group saw the addition of Thomas Dörmer and Tim Heitling from Taylor Wessing and the departure of Sönke Becker for Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP. In addition, Christian Atzler and the ‘down-to-earthIngo Strauss, who is ‘flexible in terms of times and a teamplayer’, made partner in July 2016.

DLA Piper was able to defend its excellent position in the German market again with its ‘client-focused advice’. Recently, the group advised Columbus McKinnon on the acquisition of STAHL CraneSystems from Konecranes and IGM Resins on the acquisition of BASF's global photoinitiator business from BASF. Different country desks ensure a steady flow of instructions from abroad. For example, Nils Krause and Florian Hirschmann are responsible for the China business and Benjamin Parameswaran for the India business, while the Africa desk is gaining more and more attention. The group saw three departures in January 2017 and and three additions in May 2017: Kirsten Girnth left for Bryan Cave LLP, Michael Burg for PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) and Jan Schinköth for Sidley Austin LLP; while Mathias Schulze-Steinen, Andreas Füchsel and Claudius Paul joined from K&L Gates LLP.

When advising DAX-listed companies and mid-sized companies, Gleiss Lutz is ‘excellent, not just from a legal but also from the economic perspective’. Clients also value the ‘great experience working with Japanese clients’ on inbound transactions, while the group also regularly acts for companies from other European countries. The group is particularly experienced handling insolvency-related instructions, as evidenced by advising Oakley Capital on the bidding process for the insolvent Unister group. In a merger and the public takeover offer, the group acted for SinnerSchrader, which was valued at around €100m and merged with Accenture. Other instructions included advising Rickmers on the sale of Rickmers-Line to Zeaborn and assisting eBay with the sale of ViA-Online to Nexec. The partner duo Christian Cascante and Ralf Morshäuser leads the 23 transaction partner-strong group, in which Martin Viciano Gofferje made partner in early 2017. Michael Burian finds ‘commercially viable and feasible solutions’ and is recommended along with Gerhard Wegen and Alexander Schwarz. Former counsel Roland Sterr left to become general counsel at HeidelbergCement in October 2017.

According to clients, Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘unconditionally recommendable for transactions with an international component’; this can be attributed, among other things, to the good relations with international offices of the firm, especially in the US and Great Britain. For example, when advising Astellas Pharma on the €422m acquisition of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, the group cooperated with offices in Houston and Washington; and when assisting Mobivia with the acquisition of A.T.U Auto-Teile-Unger with the Paris office. In addition, the group has been involved in a number of healthcare and energy sector transactions. Martin Neuhaus and Henning Schneider co-lead the 18 partner-strong practice, which is spread over four locations. Recommended are Rainer Traugott in Munich and Harald Selzner in Düsseldorf; Nikolaos Paschos joined the latter office from Linklaters in October 2017. In addition, the group saw the internal partner promotions of Leif Schrader in Frankfurt and Nils Röver in Hamburg.

In addition to handling major transactions, Linklaters also focuses on advising German companies on outbound transactions in the mid-cap sector. For example, the group advised ZF Friedrichshafen on the bidding process for the complete takeover of Swedish brake manufacturer Haldex and assisted Baywa with the complete takeover of Agrimec/Abamec. Another highlight was advising BP Europa on the split of the Ruhr Oel joint venture with Rosneft. Often when foreign offices lead advice, such as the London office in advising Deutsche Post on the acquisition of UK Mail, the German team is involved in an essential manner. The practice includes 26 partners at five locations and is jointly led by Ralph Wollburg and Hans-Ulrich Wilsing. Both work from the Düsseldorf office, in which Achim Kirchfeld and Tim Johannsen-Roth are also recommended. In 2017, Nikolaos Paschos left the firm for Latham & Watkins LLP, while Dirk Horcher made partner.

The ‘very diligent’ team at White & Case LLP is frequently involved in German-Chinese transactions. Current instructions related to other countries include advising the French Groupe Legris Industries on the acquisition of Schiederwerk; assisting software developer Luxoft with the acquisition of the Swedish software company Pelagicore; and supporting DZ Bank with its merger with WGZ Bank. At the beginning of 2017, Frankfurt-based Hendrik Röhricht and Markus Stephanblome joined the partnership. Also recommended are Tim Arndt, Tobias Heinrich and Andreas Stilcken. The practice, led by Jörg Kraffel in Berlin, saw three departures: Axel Pajunk founded LEXAdvice in late 2016, Patrick Narr joined Norton Rose Fulbright in early 2017 and Volker Land left for Noerr in April 2017.

Since opening an office in Tehran, CMS has increasingly been advising domestic companies on entering the Iranian market. Generally, the group assists both German companies with acquisitions abroad and international companies with inbound transactions; recently, some Chinese companies retained the group for acquisitions in Germany. Maximilian Grub, Hilke Herchen and Ernst-Markus Schuberth lead the 65-strong team, which is spread over eight locations and has five new partners: Thomas Sonnenberg joined in August 2016 from an in-house position at Triton and Tobias Grau, Christoph Lächler, Jochen Lux and Michael Wangemann made partner in early 2017. In addition, Oliver Wolfgramm and Thomas Meyding are recommended.

Clifford Chance has excellent relationships with China and Japan: This is illustrated, for example, by advising the Japanese family business Musashi Seimitsu Industry on the acquisition of 100% of the shares in the automotive supplier Hay Group of The Gores Group. Another highlight from 2016 is assisting Acino International and Acino Pharma with the €250m sale of the transdermal patches and implant technology divisions to Luye Pharma. The 15 partner-strong practice, jointly led by the ‘excellent advisers’ Thomas Krecek and Anselm Raddatz, also includes product groups industrial enterprise M&A, financial institution M&A and private equity. Particularly recommended is ‘outstanding negotiator’ Christof-Ulrich Goldschmidt, who is able to ‘explain complex issues to non-lawyers’. Team changes in May 2017 include the departure of Christopher Kellett to Linklaters and the partner appointments of Frederik Mühl and Gunnar Sachs. Thomas Stohlmeier retired.

From Frankfurt and Munich, and often in collaboration with London and US colleagues, Dechert’s M&A practice, which is led by Federico Pappalardo, advises ‘very swiftly and extremely professionally’. With the participation of 12 international offices of the firm, assisting Shanghai Shenda with the arrangement of a joint venture with the automotive supplier International Automotive Components was a particularly international instruction. Other highlights included advising Lazada on the acquisition of RedMart, the largest online food retailer in Singapore, and assisting AKKA Technologies with the acquisition of the German, Swiss and Austrian Gigatronik groups. In Munich, Giovanni Russo made partner and Carina Klaes-Staudt national partner in early 2017. In Frankfurt, ‘tough and very good negotiatorSven Schulte-Hillen is recommended, who ‘acts like a businessman’ and ‘thinks about the financial impacts of decisions’.

Eversheds Sutherland’s M&A practice is gaining visibility due to its involvement in numerous cross-border transactions. Recently, the group handled transactions related to China, France, the United Kingdom, Iran, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. For example, Christof Lamberts advised Starbucks on the sale of all shares in Starbucks Coffee Deutschland to AmRest and was also involved in advising IT infrastructure provider Globalways on its acquisition by Star Capital Partners. The ‘very thorough, dedicated and persistentSven Schweneke led advice to automotive supplier Horizon Global on the €167m acquisition of Westfalia-Automotive and Terwa from DPE Deutsche Private Equity and other co-investors. He also led assistance to automotive supplier Autoliv with founding, together with Volvo Cars, the joint venture Zenuity for the development of software for autonomous driving and driver assistance systems. Practice head Matthias Heisse and Christian Mense, who joined the partnership in May 2016, are also renowned lawyers.

Particularly German small and medium-sized companies continue to retain Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s broadly based M&A practice, which is headed by the Suttgart-based Thomas Kuhnle. It advised Knorr-Bremse on the acquisition of the British GT Group and, in a separate transaction, Eneco on the acquisition of energy supply company LichtBlick. Philipp Dietz, Michael Krömker and Thomas Weidlich frequently handle Asia-related transactions, with inbound transactions from China accounting for a significant portion. Christian Rodorff joined from King & Wood Mallesons in February 2017 and Christian Horn from K&L Gates LLP in June 2017.

Mayer Brown LLP’s private equity practice expansion at the beginning of 2016 made for a high workload in this area in 2017. Examples from non-PE transactions include advising Generac Power Systems on the acquisition of the Motortech Holding and assisting Knorr-Bremse with acquiring tedrive Steering Systems. In particular, advice on Asia-related transactions increased recently; for example, the Chinese Spearhead group retained the firm for its $148m acquisition of the German smartphone advertisement agency Smaato from over 30 US, Asian and European sellers, with some of the firm’s US lawyers also involved. Klaus Riehmer leads the group, which includes nine partners and seven counsel in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. Carsten Flaßhoff, Julian Lemor and Marco Wilhelm are recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright provides ‘client and service-oriented’ advice with a focus on energy and infrastructure, insurance, agribusiness and capital market transactions, and more recently in the technology sector and financial institutions. Sandvik retained the group for the sale of its mining systems operations business in a bidding procedure which involved more than 15 jurisdictions. An example for a merger is acting on behalf of machine tool manufacturer Rofin-Sinar Technologies concerning the merger with laser manufacturer Coherent. Klaus Bader, Frank Regelin and Klaus von Gierke co-lead the group. Sascha Grimm left to work in-house at Veritas in May 2016, while Alexander von Bergwelt, Michael Malterer and Igsaan Varachia left for Dentons two months later. However, the group also saw the arrival of Patrick Narr from White & Case LLP and three internal partner promotions: Katrin Stieß and Peter Holst in May 2016 and Heiko Bertelmann in May 2017.

Paul Hastings LLP is a popular choice for both foreign and domestic clients, and thanks to an active China desk, the group often acts for Chinese investors. Intra-European transactions are another focus; for example, the group advised the manufacturer of blood pressure monitors Dexcom on the acquisition of the Nintamed group in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Other transactions came from the real estate industry, where the group is particularly active in the mid-cap transactions. Regina Engelstädter and Christopher Wolff are recommended within the five partner-strong Frankfurt-based practice.

SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG primarily advises German and European companies on transnational acquisitions, sales and joint ventures. Its clients include names such as Uniwheels and Südzucker, as well as numerous high-net-worth individuals. One of the current highlights is advising a British private equity firm on the acquisition of a Deutsche Post subsidiary. One of the advisors on this instruction was the ‘reliable and always available’ Mannheim-based Stephan Harbarth, who is recommended along with the Frankfurt-based Stephan Brandes. The group includes 13 partners since Stefan Zeyher was promoted in January 2017 and Peter Bauschatz joined from McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP in July 2016.

With ‘fast turnaround times’ and ‘appropriate team strengths’, Taylor Wessing offers German and international clients an excellent base for cross-border transaction advice. Recently, the representative US offices were further expanded and, in addition to many years of expertise in the Asian market, the firm has its own desks for Spain and Brazil. A recent example is advising the founding family on the sale of Pfeiffer Intercontec, a specialist for hybrid connectors and quick lock systems, to TE Connectivity. In 2016, the group assisted DaVita with a total of 18 acquisitions of outpatient and inpatient dialysis units in order to establish a Germany-wide network of medical care centres. Peter Hellich led advice to Albany Molecular Research on the acquisition of Euticals GmbH, SpA and SAS. The group saw some departures with Thomas Dörmer’s and Tim Heitling’s departure to Baker McKenzie in July 2016 and Heinrich Stallknecht’s retirement in late 2016. However, with 29 partners, including the recommended Klaus Grossmann and Dirk Lorenz, the group has a broad base.

Allen & Overy LLP is particularly active handling inbound transactions, as evidenced by advising Colfax on the €195m acquisition of all shares held in Siemens Turbomachinery Equipment and its international operations in Italy, the US and Denmark from Siemens. Other highlights included assisting HP with the acquisition of 3D scan technology companies David Vision Systems and David 3D Solutions as well as advising Bilfinger on the sale of Bilfinger Marine & Offshore Systems to Van Oord. In 2016, Michael Bernhardt left for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and Michael Ulmer for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, while Michiel Huizinga joined from King & Wood Mallesons in early 2017. Within the group, which is led by Hans Schoneweg, the ‘excellent negotiator’ Nicolaus Ascherfeld, the ‘extremely pleasant’ Matthias Horn and newly made-up partner Murad Daghles are recommended.

The ‘competent and very friendly lawyers’ at Ashurst LLP regularly handle cross-border transactions and recently handled some corporate venture capital instructions. Of particular note are advising SAP on the acquisition of all shares in Fedem Technology and assisting the Nilit group with the sale of its global nylon compounding business, Nilit Plastics, to Celanese. In addition, it advised Babcock Mission Critical Services on the acquisition of Heli Aviation, including two Chinese subsidiaries, and its participation in the joint venture Northern HeliCopter by a shareholder of the Ohnhäuser group. The ‘experienced’ Munich-based Thomas Sacher, and the Frankfurt-based Reinhard Eyring and Benedikt von Schorlemer are recommended. Holger Ebersberger joined the Munich office from Linklaters in June 2016, bringing the number of partners in the team to six.

Bird & Bird is particularly successful handling cross-practice and cross-border instructions. For example, the group advised the Japanese wholesaler Sojitz on the acquisition of Solvadis, a marketing and distribution service provider of basic and specialty chemicals, together with other practice groups and offices. Another 2016 highlight was advising SpeedCast, a provider of satellite communications and network services, on the acquisition of the Maltese company Wins from Eutelsat and Techinvest. The group also advised PostNL on several transactions in Germany and cooperated with other offices when assisting with acquisitions of German subsidiaries. Within the seven partner-strong group, Peter Veranneman, Alexander Schröder-Frerkes and Stefan Münch are recommended, while Kai Kerger joined the partnership in May 2017.

Greenberg Traurig Germany is particularly well known for its many years of expertise in real estate transactions, as well as its expertise in the technology, media and telecoms sectors. On the German side, Josef Hofschroer advised Rentokil Initial on the establishment of a joint venture with the Haniel group to create a company for workwear as well as clean room and hygiene services. Peter Schorlingleads transactions with great caution and always has the target clearly in sight’ and Henrik Armah is ‘very responsive’. Within the Berlin team, Nicolai Lagoni made partner in the beginning of 2017.

In addition to the active national transaction business, Oppenhoff & Partner also acts on a large number of international takeovers, acquisitions and sales. For example, the ‘excellent’ Myriam Schilling assisted Deutsche Post with numerous transactions such as with the sale of Optivo to the Californian provider of marketing solutions Episerver. Next to the European market, Latin America is also a focus. From Cologne, Stephan König leads the group, in which Peter Etzbach is also recommended. Ronald Meißner, who is part of the much smaller Frankfurt-based team, is ‘always available’. Oliver Kessler left the firm in July 2016 to work at the University of Karlsruhe.

The ‘business-minded’ seven partner-strong group at Simmons & Simmons LLP is well positioned with locations in Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. Boris Schilmar is head of the China Desk and frequently acts for Chinese investors on acquisitions in Germany; for example, he advised China Automobile Industry Engineering Corporation on the acquisition of the owner-managed automotive supplier Finoba. Practice head Michael Bormann assisted BALT International with acquiring two German companies of the AB Medica group, which distributes medical devices in Germany. Stephan Ulrich is ‘very solution-oriented and competent’ and ‘represents the interests of his clients very well and effectively’. Robert Heym joined from CMS in September 2017.

Beiten Burkhardt frequently advises small and medium-sized German companies from the industrial sector and is gaining recognition in venture capital exit transactions. For example, it assisted Tianjin Keyvia Electric with acquiring two German subsidiaries of the British Balfour Beatty group. Another highlight was advising automotive supplier Megatech Industries on the acquisition of Boshoku Automotive Europe’s interiors division and of several subsidiaries of the Toyota group. Axel Goetz, Knut Schulte and Christian von Wistinghausen are recommended along with the ‘client-oriented, efficient, swift and precise’ Detlef Koch. Moritz Brocker left for

BDO Legal in April 2017.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner is particularly well connected with German SMEs and has an ‘intercultural understanding, especially with regard to French companies’. It advised the Knauf group on the sale of the foam insulation business, including shares in the French SAS and assets in the UK and Italy in a bidding process; and assisted the Swedish Getinge group with the acquisition of a hospital software development company. From Freiburg, Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer co-lead the group, in which Jan Henning Martens made partner in January 2017. Also recommended in this office is Hendrik Thies, who is described as a ‘brilliant lawyer’ and has ‘very strong social skills, which is particularly important in the difficult stages of an M&A process’. Arnt Göppert leads the Cologne office.

The Frankfurt-based Greenfort is ‘excellent in terms of value for money, availability and client services’; a lack of international transaction capacities is compensated by cooperating with foreign law firms. For example, when advising a Swedish infomedia and printing company Elanders on the acquisition of the LGI Logistics Group, the group cooperated with a local law firm; and when advising US chemical company Celanese on the acquisition of the NILIT group, it cooperated with a US-based firm. CST Computer Simulation Technology retains the group for various acquisitions in Italy, Spain and the US. Within the four partner-strong practice, Gunther Weiss and the ‘swift and friendly’ Andreas von Oppen are recommended.

The ‘efficient team’ at Heymann & Partner Rechtsanwälte, which is particularly strong in the technology sector, is often retained for advice when the target company’s value depends on the technology asset. Three partners, including name partner Thomas Heymann and Henning Bloss, regularly handle corporate acquisitions, sales, mergers, public takeovers and joint ventures. For example, the group advised Securelink on the acquisition of iT-CUBE SYSTEMS against a payment with its own shares. In another transaction, the group assisted the management with the sale of the technology leader in high-precision miniature ball bearings development and production, GRW Bearing, to the US company Kaman Aerospace.

Hoffmann Liebs Fritsch & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB has an exceptionally strong focus on China, which means it regularly acts on inbound transactions for Chinese clients. In particular, Claus Eßers is a ‘specialist in the China business with great negotiating skills’ and an ‘absolutely professional lawyer with deep legal expertise and a high level of technical understanding’. In 2016, the group advised online marketing group Ströer Digital on the acquisition of Stayfriends with companies in Germany, Switzerland France and Sweden. In this matter, Daniel-Sebastian Kaiser, who is ‘business-oriented and has a high level of expertise’, was lead adviser. In August 2016, Andreas Hecker came from Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in April 2017 and Julian Hoff made partner.

K&L Gates LLP is particularly well known for its excellent expertise advising on US-related transactions, but is also gaining a strong profile in Europe. For example, the group advised the Swedish provider of cloud-based communications services CLX Communications on the acquisition of Xura Secure Communications. The ‘extremely accurate’ Klaus Banke assisted Luye Pharma with the €250m acquisition of Acino Pharma’s transdermal patches and implant technology business. Thomas Lappe is the sole practice head since the departure of Mathias Schulze-Steinen; the latter and Andreas Füchsel and Claudius Paul moved to DLA Piper in April 2017, while Thomas Derlin had already left for GSK Stockmann in June 2016. New joiners are Thilo Winkeler, who came from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP in October 2016; Alexander Kollmorgen, who joined from WilmerHale in November 2016; and Franz Schaefer, who worked at King & Wood Mallesons until December 2016.

Jörg Kirchner leads Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s M&A practice, which is particularly renowned for its private equity expertise; in this area, clients such as Bain Capital, Blackstone and Silverfleet Capital recently retained the group. A prominent real estate sector transaction was advising the major shareholders of IVG Immobilien on the sale of Office First to Blackstone. The group also assisted WL Ross with the intended acquisition of carbon products manufacturer SGL Carbon’s performance products business. Recent additions to the team are Benjamin Leyendecker, who joined from Hengeler Mueller in April 2016, Volkmar Bruckner, who came from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in May 2017, and Attila Oldag who left Gütt Olk Feldhaus in September 2017; in addition, Bernhard Guthy made partner in October 2016. However, a large team including the former managing partner Volker Kullmann as well as Christian Zuleger, Marcus Klie and Nicole Schlatter left the group to join Sidley Austin LLP in February 2017.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP establishes long-term relationships with national and international clients by advising with ‘excellent expertise, long-term experience, responsiveness and swift processing times’. The group advised Instrumentation Laboratory, which is part of WerfenLife, on the acquisition of medical technology company Tem Gruppe, which included the integration of companies in England, France, Canada, Switzerland and the US. On behalf of Affinitas, the group handled a merger, with Spark Networks, for the establishment of a global leader in online dating. Steffen Oppenländer joined the Munich team from Hengeler Mueller’s London office, where Martin Erhardt and Norbert Rieger, who offers ‘expert knowledge and targeted advice’ in tax matters, are also recommended. The Frankfurt team continues to stand out for its private equity expertise following the arrival of Michael Bernhardt from Allen & Overy LLP at the end of 2016 and the departure of Peter Memminger, who left to found Memminger LLP in early 2017.

Noerr sets high standards in advising large German companies as well as assisting financial investors with cross-border transactions with ‘high competence and good industry knowledge’. A core client is Daimler, for example. A joint venture was established on behalf of Kieser Training, which teamed up with the project developer ESI Euro Sino Invest in order to enter the Chinese market. The ‘very efficient and pragmatic’ Florian Becker advised Shanghai Electroc on the €174m acquisition of the Broetje Automation Group from Deutsche Beteiligungs AG and other co-investors. He and Alexander Hirsch co-lead the M&A group, which grew with the additions of Martin Haisch from Dechert in March 2017 and of Volker Land from White & Case LLP in April 2017. Also recommended are Christian Pleister and Christoph Spiering; Katrin Andrä and Sebastian Schürer made partner in early 2017.

Thomas Schmid leads Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s ten partner-strong practice, whose client base includes both German and international companies, often from the technology or life sciences sectors. A recent example is advising the Swedish AB Fagerhult on the acquisition of WE-EF, a specialist for outdoor lighting, with seven affiliates in Australia, France, Great Britain, Switzerland, Thailand and the US. Stefan Schultes-Schnitzlein was one of the lawyers involved in this transaction; he and Sven Greulich made partner at the beginning of 2017. Christoph Brenner and his team joined from King & Wood Mallesons in January 2017, while Kerstin Henrich left for Jones Day in June 2016.

P+P Pöllath + Partners stands out for its expertise in management participation programmes in the context of the sale of companies; in this area, Benedikt Hohaus is particularly renowned. Tax planning is another strength of the practice, while it is broad enough to handle all aspects of a transaction. For example, it advised Middle Peak Medical on its acquisition by medical technology company Symetis and assisted CUS Affiliate with selling KJ Tech Services to inspection, testing and certification company Intertek, after which the founders remained active as directors. Frank Thiäner and Jens Hörmann took over the lead of the 13-strong group from Georg Greitemann and Otto Haberstock in March 2017.

Combining expertise and dynamism’, Reed Smith LLP advises numerous German, US and Chinese companies on cross-border transactions. For example, Constantin Conrads assisted Brunswick Corporation and its subsidiary Life Fitness with acquiring the Indoor Cycling Group. Also based in Munich is Justus Binder, while Andreas Jürgens and Rolf Hünermann are recommended partners in Frankfurt. Following the entry of an antitrust team in early 2017, the group is now able to cover transactions in a broader manner, including with regard to merger control and foreign trade law.

Shearman & Sterling LLP provides an ‘excellent service’ when advising large and medium-sized international corporations on acquisitions, sales and joint ventures. For example, Andreas Löhdefink led advice to Xperion Aerospace on the sale of a built-to-print composite production to Airbus. The firm is also known for advising Allianz, General Electric and Dow Chemical. Other recommended partners within the Frankfurt team are Alfred Kossmann and Thomas König.

Managing partner Gerhard Schmidt leads Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s M&A group, which frequently cooperates with colleagues in London, Paris, and New York as well as Asia. For example, when advising British specialty chemicals company Elementis on the $360m acquisition of SummitReheis from One Rock Capital Partners, the group collaborated with colleagues from London and New York. Another highlight was assisting Professional Datasolutions (PDI) with the acquisition of Lomosoft, provider of planning software and mobile computing for the oil and gas industry’s distribution chain. Following Volkmar Bruckner’s departure to Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, the group now includes three partners in Frankfurt and one partner in Munich.

M&A: Large domestic deals (€500m+)

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A: M&A: Large domestic deals (€500m+)
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain - Hengeler Mueller

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which M&A: Large domestic deals (€500m+) 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


Excellent from a legal and economic perspective’, Gleiss Lutz is one of the top tier firms for large-cap transactions, with a particularly broad client base at a national level, which includes numerous MDAX and DAX30-listed companies from all industries. The German firm has M&A expertise at all six locations. In Stuttgart, Jochen Tyrolt advised United Internet on the financing of its voluntary public tender offer for Drillisch. In Düsseldorf, Thomas Menke assisted Henkel with the sale of the Western European construction chemicals business to BASF; this included the flooring business with the Thomsit brand name and the floor and tile laying systems business with the Ceresit brand. Within the group, which is led by Christian Cascante and Ralf Morshäuser,

Martin Viciano Gofferje made partner at the beginning of 2017.

German law firm Hengeler Mueller is undoubtedly one of the leading M&A firms on the national level, not least because of the sheer number of deals. Clients such as Axel Springer, Knorr-Bremse, thyssenkrupp and rail logistics and wagon hire company VTG recently retained the group for transactions. Emanuel Strehle and Christof Jäckle advised Deutsche Telekom on the €600m sale of internet provider Strato to United Internet; and Maximilian Schiessl assisted Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology’s public takeover bid for Busch Vacuumpumpen und Systeme, with the second takeover bid exceeding €1bn. The majority of the firm’s lawyers are regularly involved in M&A transactions, with Daniela Favoccia, Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain and recently made-up partner Martin Ulbrich particularly recommended.

At Latham & Watkins LLP, a group of 17 partners regularly acts on cross-border and domestic high-end transactions. An example is assisting Osram with the spin-off of its lamp business Osram Licht to Ledvance for over €400m plus royalty payments for the use of trademark rights. In another instruction, the family shareholders of ARAG Lebensversicherung retained the group for the sale of the company to Heidelberger Leben. In Düsseldorf, Harald Selzner, Rainer Wilke and Martin Neuhaus are recommended, in Munich Rainer Traugott. Nikolaos Paschos joined the Düsseldorf office from Linklaters in October 2017. In Hamburg, Henning Schneider, who leads the practice together with Neuhaus, is recommended. Nils Röver made partner in January 2017 and Leif Schrader in March 2017.

Indispensable for a national M&A ranking is Noerr. Christian Pleister is leading advice – since late 2015 – to Bremer Kreditbank concerning the acquisition of Bankhaus Neelmeyer from UniCredit and Michael Brellochs’ assistance rendered to ARAG Lebensversicherung concerning the sale of the company to Heidelberger Leben is well known in the market. Florian Becker and Alexander Hirsch co-lead the group, which recently saw the addition of Martin Haisch from Dechert and Volker Land from White & Case LLP.

With six partners, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s Frankfurt-based M&A group is comparatively small, but still regularly involved in large-cap transactions. Especially with regard to the defence against hostile takeovers, the group made headlines recently: it advised Deutsche Wohnen on its successful defence against the intended hostile takeover by Vonovia with a transaction volume of €14bn. Managing partner Wolfgang Feuring, Konstantin Technau and York Schnorbus were involved in this matter and Carsten Berrar is also recommended.

M&A: mid-sized domestic deals (€100m-€500m)

Index of tables

  1. #Corporate and M&A: M&A: mid-sized domestic deals (€100m-€500m)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Barbara Keil - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Thomas Meyding - CMS
    • Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain - Hengeler Mueller

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which M&A: mid-sized domestic deals (€100m-€500m) 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


Gleiss Lutz works ‘highly precisely from a legal standpoint and yet is solution oriented’ and is therefore recommended for the ‘excellent price-performance ratio’. In addition to international transactions, the M&A group, which is spread over six locations, also regularly assists German clients with domestic takeovers, sales and joint ventures. For example, Bosch was advised on the acquisition of ITK Engineering; the shipping group Rickmers Holding on the sale of the Rickmers line to Zeaborn; and Charles Vögele and its shareholders on the sale of the German branch network to the trading companies TEDi, Woolworth and KiK. A merger was handled on behalf of the publisher Landwirtschaftsverlag, which entered into a joint venture with Gruner + Jahr regarding the bundling of the magazine business. The Stuttgart-based Christian Cascante and the Munich-based Ralf Morshäuser co-lead the group. Within the 23 partner-strong group, Martin Viciano Gofferje, who made partner in early 2017, and Hoimar Von Ditfurth are recommended in Frankfurt and Thomas Menke in Düsseldorf.

A ‘top law firm’ for M&A transactions, Hengeler Mueller enjoys a strong reputation among competitors, while clients attest to a ‘good selection of lawyers both in terms of number and seniority’. Recently, the MEDIAN group was advised on the acquisition of and the merger with AHG Allgemeine Hospitalgesellschaft; LEG Immobilien on the joint venture with B&O Service und Messtechnik; and Knorr-Bremse on the acquisition of the electrical systems business from Vossloh. Lawyers with M&A expertise are available at all four offices: in Munich, Jochen Vetter is recommended, Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain is considered a ‘strong negotiator’ and Martin Ulbrich made partner in early 2017, while Andreas Hoger is considered a next generation lawyer in Frankfurt.

Alexander Hirsch and the ‘very efficient and pragmatic’ Florian Becker lead Noerr’s M&A practice, which impresses with a ‘very good service level, high competence and good industry knowledge’. Becker led advice to Passauer Neue Presse in a much-noticed transaction in the newspaper industry, the acquisition of Donaukurier Verlagsgruppe. Another highlight was assisting Volkswagen Financial Services with the acquisition of around 51% of shares held in LogPay Transport Services. With six German offices and expertise in a broad range of sectors, the firm is well positioned to handle national transactions. Additions to the team include Martin Haisch, who came from Dechert in March 2017, and, a month later, Volker Land from White & Case LLP. Internally, Katrin Andrä and Sebastian Schürer were promoted to associated partners at the beginning of 2017.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘very competent’ M&A group led by Nikolaus Reinhuber and Andreas Lohner is spread over four offices and therefore has a strong national network. ‘Down to earth’ and ‘time-flexible team playerIngo Strauss, who made partner in July 2016, and Heiko Gotsche advised claims management provider GFKL Lowell on the acquisition of Tesch Inkasso. Christian Atzler, who made partner at the same time, led assistance to automotive supplier Presswerk Krefeld with the acquisition of the insolvent IBEX Automotive and Gebrüder Kunze. In 2016, a group led by Thomas Dörmer and Tim Heitling joined from Taylor Wessing, while Sönke Becker left for Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP.

With 65 partners at eight locations, CMS’ M&A practice led by Maximilian Grub, Hilke Herchen and Ernst-Markus Schuberth is one of the largest in the market in terms of team size. Nationally, lawyers such as the Stuttgart-based Karsten Heider and Henrik Drinkuth handle small and medium-sized transactions. Here, two lawyers were promoted to the partnership, as well as one in Leipzig and one in Munich; in Cologne, Thomas Sonnenberg joined from an in-house position at Triton. The group advised Hamm Reno Group on the sale of the majority of its shares to the financial investor Capiton, shoe retailer Ziylan and others in a bidding process. Other transactions came from the real estate and insurance sectors, while regulated industries are also a focus.

At Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, advice is ‘timely and comprehensive’, ‘with a strong sense of the needs of the client’ and, if needed, in ‘close cooperation with the tax area’. Around the turn of the year 2016/2017, the group advised new client Rondo Ganahl on the acquisition of packaging specialist Walz and assisted HANNOVER Finanz with the acquisition of Schiller Fleisch. Harald Stang6 -

led advice on the last-mentioned deal. Michael von Rüden has a ‘strong understanding of economic matters’ and Georg Lehmannknows how to simplify complex issues’, is a ‘strong negotiator’ and has a ‘keen perception’. Julia Petersen joined from Lindenpartners in June 2016, while Sabine Pittrof left for Squire Patton Boggs in December 2016.

A German full-service firm with M&A capacities at all eight national locations, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek is a sought-after player in mid-cap transactions, setting standards with ‘high-quality advice, direct availability and fast turnaround times’. Boris Dürr advised the technology group AL-KO on the acquisition of Steca Elektronik and Anne de Boer led advice to Krauss Maffei on the acquisition of component manufacturer for mechanical engineering IBS Plamag Maschinenbau. Other recommended partners include practice head Stefan Duhnkrack, Mirko Sickinger and Mathias Schröder. Oliver Treptow joined from Taylor Wessing in July 2016 and Bodo Dehne from Noerr in early 2017. Simultaneously, Fabian Gaffron and Stephan Degen made partner, while Volker Holl left the group at the end of 2016.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP distinguishes itself from competitors through a strong focus on the energy, infrastructure and transportation sectors, with the Hamburg office particularly noted for its maritime and energy transactional expertise. As well as handling the acquisition and sale of wind farm portfolios, the office advised Zeaborn on the acquisition of Rickmers-Line, a general cargo, heavy cargo and project cargo shipping company. In Munich, Simon Preisenberger assisted the shareholders of the digital agency webguerillas with the sale of 100% of the shares held in the communication and advertising agency Territory. The group is co-led by the Frankfurt-based Torsten Rosenboom and the Munich-based Dirk Janssen; in Hamburg, Wolfram Böge made partner in May 2017.

Arqis Rechtsanwälte is particularly well connected among medium-sized family businesses, which it advises with a ‘very strong business sense’. In 2016, the group assisted TRIGO, a provider of operational quality management solutions for the manufacturing industry, with acquiring the Böllinger group, which specialises in the automotive industry. Another highlight was advising tour operator Fit Reisen on the acquisition of the company formerly belonging to the insolvent Unister group Within the 13 partner-strong group, the Düsseldorf-based Jörn-Christian Schulze and Munich-based Christoph von Einem are recommended. Cosima Preiss left in February 2017 to work in-house at Oerlikon, while Lars Laeger joined from Clifford Chance in July 2016.

German full-service firm Flick Gocke Schaumburg mainly acts for upper middle class clients, family offices and high net worth individuals on national transactions. For example, it assisted capital management company Investmentgesellschaft für langfristige Investoren with acquiring Kromi Logistik, a trading and logistics company for cutting tools for the metal and plastics processing industry. In January 2017, Florian Haus made partner and Benjamin Ullrich associated partner. Simultaneously, the group saw four additions and one departure: Martin Brockhausen joined from King & Wood Mallesons and Thilo Richter, Christoph Sieberg and Roman Stenzel from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, while Stefan Simon left to join the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank.

Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB is regularly retained by medium-sized companies for company acquisitions, sales and joint ventures. Recently, it advised Frankfurt Business Media on the acquisition of Die Stiftung Media from GoingPublic Media; and assisted the owner family of pharmaceutical wholesaler Ebert + Jacobi with the sale of the group to Noweda. Yorick Ruland leads the 15 partner-strong practice, which is spread over six offices from Cologne. Here, Wolfgang König and Michael Dolfen are particularly recommended and Oliver von Rosenberg joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in November 2016. In Hamburg, Frank Evers is recommended.

The ‘unpretentious and highly service-oriented’ lawyers at Menold Bezler frequently act on transactions including distressed companies. For example, the group advised the insolvency administrator of Maier Formenbau’s assets on the sale of the business to automotive supplier Elring Klinger. In addition to the automotive sector, mechanical engineering is an area of focus. Here, it assisted the TecDAX-listed engineering group Pfeiffer Vacuun Technology with the acquisition of all shares in Dreebit. This instruction shows the supraregional capabilities of the group, which is particularly well-respected in the greater Stuttgart area. It includes ten partners including Oliver Schmidt, Michael Oltmanns and managing partner Christoph Winkler.

Osborne Clarke’s ‘solution-oriented, pragmatic and sophisticated’ group continues to see a strong deal flow in the mid-market segment. On the national level, advising financial services provider FWU on the acquisition of Fortuna Lebens-Versicherungs AG from Generali is a 2016 highlight. The following year, it assisted IT and recruitment services provider Allgeier with the acquisition of Ciber’s German business and advised Indus Holding on the acquisition of m+p international. Philip Meichssner leads the group, which is mainly based in Cologne, Hamburg and Munich.

Offering a ‘very personal and hands-on’ service, SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte advises its broad client base on small and medium-sized transactions. For example, it advised a group of four family offices on the €14m acquisition of all shares held in a German advertising industry company. The practice has also been involved in providing legal support to numerous joint ventures, including advising X Filme Creative Pool on entering into a strategic partnership with Beta Film. The 11 partner-strong group is headed by Stephan Morsch, who is based in Munich, as are Sebastian von Wallwitz and Matthias Nordmann.

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  • Tax evasion: Only voluntary disclosure affords protection from severe penalties

    Anyone who has been caught for tax evasion should expect to be faced with severe penalties. Voluntary disclosure is the only way of returning to a state of normal tax affairs and avoiding penalties.
  • GSK Update: AIFM Marketing in Germany - The clock is ticking for U.S. and other non-EU fund managers

    Our GSK Update informs about the impact of recent German investment fund legislation (UCITS V Implementation Act) for AIF managers, who are not domiciled in the EU (“non-EU-AIFM”) and who seek to market AIF shares in Germany in accordance with applicable German investment fund law under the EU-AIFM Directive (2011/61/EU).
  • GSK expands Luxembourg presence with a new tax partner

    Opened at the beginning of March 2016, GSK Stockmann + Kollegen continues to expand its Luxembourg office. Mathilde Ostertag recently joined the Luxembourg team of Equity Partners Dr. Marcus Peter, Andreas Heinzmann and Dr. Philipp Mößner as Local Tax Partner.
  • EIA - Strengthening the role of the public

    Among other things, the recent amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act has broadened the rights of (what is termed) the "affected public". The affected public consists primarily of various citizens' initiatives pursuing environmental or public-health purposes. It may for instance file an appeal against a negative decision at the screening stage (i.e., a decision according to which the given project does not require the issuance of an EIA report), and seek its annulment in court. The affected public has been granted a stronger voice also in subsequent procedures in which the fate of a building project is being decided: zoning proceedings and the proceedings on the issuance of a building permit. Taken together, these legislative changes may make it more difficult to implement projects which require an EIA report; in particular, the length of permission proceedings may be substantially extended.
  • New Top Level Domains – Noerr expert warns against trademark infringements

    On June 13, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published the names of those who have applied for a new top level domain the ending of which may be geographic, such as "munich", industry identification such as "insurance" and even all trademark names and company descriptions such as "canon" and "adidas".
    - Noerr
  • No obligation to set up filtering systems in order to prevent copyright violations

    ECJ, decision of February 16th, 2012, ref. C-360/10 – SABAM
  • Further ECJ Ruling concerning NGO’s right of action under German environmental law

    For the second time within a short period of time, the non-governmental organisations right to challenge administrative decisions under German law is going to be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In January 2012, the German Supreme Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) referred a case to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling concerning the NGO’s right of action.
  • Lessons in Cross-Border M & A Transactions

    The fundamental advice for international business transactions is obvious and easy to understand: different countries have different laws, business habits and cultures. These differences may range from minor nuances, such as lengthy French business lunches or unusual Spanish office hours, to significant legal roadblocks, such as strict European employment laws.
  • Priority rental rights in insolvency

    Parties to rental contracts for commercial premises often agree priority rental rights. In practice, this concept is used to cover a whole series of legal structures. These range from fixed options for the tenant to a promise made by the landlord as a business policy that if any additional premises become available, they will be offered to the tenant. In 2010 the Berlin Court of Appeal issued a ruling on such priority rental rights in insolvency; the decision has recently been published.

Press Releases in Germany

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