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


Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A: corporate
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Corporate and shareholder disputes
  4. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Hans-Christoph Ihrig - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Jochem Reichert - SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG
    • Maximilian Schiessl - Hengeler Mueller
    • Christoph von Bülow - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Hans-Ulrich Wilsing - Linklaters

Who Represents Who

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer fields a market-leading practice and handles all aspects of stock corporation and private company law, mergers and transformations, D&O matters, corporate governance, compliance as well as corporate investigations. The team has a particular focus on advice to clients from regulated industries, often from the financial services industry. It advised HSH Nordbank on its restructuring as part of European state aid procedures and, for the first time, handled annual general meetings for Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) and Hapag-Lloyd. Matthias-Gabriel Kremer heads the group, which includes the recommended Christoph von Bülow, Patrick Cichy and Christoph Seibt.

Hengeler Mueller’s team is ‘ahead of the rest’, ‘sets standards’ and receives praise for its ‘legal expertise, sector knowledge and negotiation skills’. It has a focus on domestic matters and often gives structural advice. It advised Metro on separating Metro Group into two independent, listed companies and assisted RWE with its corporate restructuring. Corporate litigation is another focus and the team recently represented Porsche in challenges to shareholder decisions. A large number of partners are recommended, among them Maximilan Schiessl, Andreas Austmann, Jochen Vetter, Simon Patrick Link, Rainer Krause, Gerd Sassenrath and Markus Meier. Andreas Hoger and Thomas Paul have been promoted to partner.

Linklaters is ‘easily on par with other top players’. The team, led by the renowned Hans-Ulrich Wilsing, primarily acts for directors, boardmembers and major German and international corporations, among them Deutsche Bank and Rewe. Ralph Wollburg gives comprehensive advice to Deutsche Börse and led the team’s advice to E.ON on restructuring the company by setting up two separate, listed entities. Mario Pofahl made partner; Rainer Traugott joined Latham & Watkins LLP.

Allen & Overy LLP’s team led by Hans Schoneweg impresses clients with its ‘broad coverage and pragmatic advice and maintains its high quality at all times’, while adhering to ‘extremely short response times’. Compliance and corporate governance are the team’s main focus areas; remuneration issues, ad-hoc-reporting obligations and the implementation of a planned women’s quota for boards were also recent sources of work. The team provides ongoing corporate advice to AGCS Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty and Hans Diekmann regularly assists publisher Axel Springer with its annual general meetings. Birgit Reese joined Hogan Lovells International LLP; Markus Käpplinger made partner.

CMS’ ‘top position is unquestionable’ and the team gives ‘solution-oriented and appropriate advice’. Maximilian Grub, Hilke Herchen and Ernst-Markus Schuberth jointly lead the practice, which acts for mid-cap as well as listed companies and has a growing international client portfolio. It assisted Hewlett-Packard with its Europe-wide restructuring as well as in corporate litigation. Volkswagen received advice on a comprehensive compliance governance review in the wake of its emissions scandal, and the team handled auditing procurement issues for Telefónica Deutschland. Harald Potinecke and Martin Kuhn are recommended; Richard Mayer-Uellner and Daniel Kamke both made partner.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP gives ‘excellent advice at all times’, particularly on amendments to corporate governance structures and transactions. It assisted the Federal Agency for Financial Market Stabilisation (FMSA) during Deutsche Pfandbriefbank’s privatisation and advised Landesbank Baden-Württemberg’s board on corporate governance and compliance issues. Westlake Chemical was advised on the integration of the newly acquired Vinnolit group. Hanno Sperlich and Gabriele Apfelbacher are recommended along with Oliver Schröder, who shows ‘excellent commercial acumen’. Klaus Riehmer joined Mayer Brown LLP.

Clifford Chance maintains a ‘very high degree of specialisation in all areas of corporate law’ and delivers ‘high-quality results within short turnaround times’. Structural corporate advice is the team’s mainstay, particularly in squeeze-outs and mergers. It recently grew its food and beverages industry work, advising Mondelēz International on setting up a coffee joint venture with Jacobs Douwe Egberts. Corporate litigation work included representing BayernLB in litigation against former directors. Anselm Raddatz, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, now jointly leads the team with Thomas Krecek. Christine Koziczinski joined HauckSchuchardt, and André Schwanna moved to Mayer Brown LLP.

Glade Michel Wirtz - Corporate & Competitionalways meets clients’ needs and finds solutions and alternatives when tricky issues arise’. The team has a strong focus on corporate and antitrust law and frequently acts for automotive sector clients. It handles annual general meetings, acts for directors and boardmembers, advises on setting up new entities and gives corporate advice during transactions. Corporate litigation is another strength and the team continues to act for Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board in ongoing proceedings. In another contentious matter, it assisted Daimler in relation to the alleged late publication of its CEO’s retirement. Marco Sustmann and Andreas Merkner ‘always remain calm and win complex arguments using strong evidence’; both are recommended along with Alexander Retsch.

Gleiss Lutz acts for a number of household names, among them Daimler and Henkel. Christian Cascante and Gabriele Roßkopf lead the practice, which advises on corporate governance, directors’ duties, structural corporate measures and corporate compliance, and represents clients in corporate litigation. It assisted Volkswagen’s board of directors during the emissions scandal inquiry. General Electric received advice on the corporate aspects of its €9.7bn takeover of Alstom-Power and Alstom-Grid, and the team acted for HeidelbergCement in relation to its acquisition of Italcementi. Puma received advice on a cross-border, internal merger of two entities. Fred Wendt, Urszula Nartowska and Martin Schockenhoff are recommended. Eike Bicker joined from Pohlmann & Company, but Stefan Mutter left to found Mutter & Kruchen Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB.

Hogan Lovells International LLP gives a ‘client-oriented service of very high quality’. Lutz Angerer’s team displays ‘great personal commitment’ and has ‘very detailed’ knowledge of the law and the market environment. Corporate compliance, corporate investigations and corporate governance are key areas for the team. A particular strength is advice to clients from regulated industries, where it acts for insurers Hannover Rück and Allianz, oil and gas company ExxonMobil, and the Federal Agency for Financial Market Stabilisation (FMSA). Contentious work included representing Burger King’s former franchisee Kolobov in a dispute regarding new franchise contracts, and acting for Media-Saturn in a shareholder dispute. Michael Rose is recommended. Two new hires were Matthias Jaletzke from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Birgit Reese from Allen & Overy LLP.

Latham & Watkins LLP impresses clients with its ‘extremely short response times and comprehensive advice that covers all issues’. The team regularly acts for large German corporations, capitalising on its automotive, energy and healthcare sector expertise and has strong experience in cross-border mandates. E.ON Kernkraft received advice on the planned E.ON demerger and the team acted for Daimler in its acquisition of a stake in Toll Collect as part of a joint venture. Henning Schneider heads the practice, which has been bolstered by the recruitment of the experienced Rainer Traugott from Linklaters. Harald Selzner, Rainer Wilke and Martin Neuhaus are recommended.

Noerr provides ‘an outstanding level of service’ in its focus areas of compliance, transactions and restructurings, where it regularly acts for large German corporations and their subsidiaries; it also has a good reputation for its work with start-ups. The team assisted BBC Worldwide with amending and extending its joint venture with All3Media Deutschland. Corporate litigation is another focus and the team successfully defended a global car manufacturer against corporate and antitrust claims brought by a joint venture partner. Alexander Hirsch and Christian Pleister head the practice, in which Michael Brellochs and Ingo Theusinger made partner and Hans Radau is recommended. The firm hired Dominik Rompza from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer but Sebastian Wulff moved to Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG adopts ‘a commercial, solution-oriented approach’ and displays ‘expert knowledge even in tricky matters’, achieving ‘rapid turnarounds’. It focuses on the automotive, mechanical engineering, media, financial services and public service sectors. It has been advising new client Volkswagen on claims for damages resulting from the diesel emissions scandal. Contentious matters included representing BayernLB in claims for damages proceedings against former managers in relation to the client’s Hypo Alpe Adria Group acquisition. Stephan Harbarth is ‘an extremely competent legal adviser’.

White & Case LLP’s team works closely with the capital markets and M&A practice groups, and is able to leverage its international network to attract new clients, including recently winning significant new life sciences industry clients. Corporate litigation is a major focus of the practice, which assisted several clients in D&O and compliance matters, among them a listed company and a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund’s investment division. It also represented market research company GfK in claims for damages proceedings against former directors, and advised Edeka on setting up its European purchasing and marketing co-operation AgeCore. Lutz Krämer and Christian Wirth are recommended.

Arqis Rechtsanwälte gives ‘outstanding’ advice and attracts a significant number of Japanese clients due to its Tokyo office, among them Sumitomo Electric Industries. It also acts for German household names, and has been advising Volkswagen’s board of directors. Life sciences and insurance are two key industries, wherein the team advised ERGO on its warranty and indemnity insurance market entry. Christoph von Einem and Jörn-Christian Schulze are recommended along with Andreas Dietl and Christof Schneider, who both have ‘excellent subject matter knowledge and great litigation skills’. Meiko Dillmann made partner and Daniel Wied joined from DLA Piper.

Benedikt von Schorlemer leads the team at Ashurst LLP, which focuses on corporate housekeeping, reorganisations and corporate governance. It advised adidas on setting up a corporation for a new area of business and assists Biotest with annual general meetings. Reinhard Eyring is recommended along with the ‘very experienced’ Thomas Sacher. Jan Krekeler made partner. Lars Jessen joined Goodwin, while Ingo Scholz moved to Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

Baker McKenzie’s team displays ‘in-depth specialist knowledge’ and ‘a high degree of pragmatism’. Corporate compliance and annual general meetings are focus areas and the team acted for Uniwheels in its first public annual general meeting after its IPO in 2015. It also advises on restructurings, an area in which it recently acted for Johnson Controls, and handles contentious matters, with one such matter being handled for a software development company. Household names such as Lufthansa and Porsche are also clients. Andreas Lohner heads the practice, in which Christoph Wolf and Christian Vocke are also recommended. Peter Wand and Heiko Gotsche joined from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Hengeler Mueller, respectively, and Christian Vocke made partner. Sönke Becker joined Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Joachim Drude left to set up his own firm, DRUDE.

DLA Piper impresses clients with ‘very short response times, competent advice at all times and its strong client focus’. Annual general meetings are a particular strength and the team frequently assists financial services and healthcare sector clients with rescission proceedings. Structural corporate advice is another aspect of the practice and the team advised HIG Europe Capital Partners on the corporate reorganisation of its German and Luxembourgish funds structure. The team has seen some movement; former practice head Benjamin Parameswaran has taken up a new role as managing partner and Kirsten Girnth now jointly leads the team with Nils Krause. Jörg Paura and Daniel Weiß joined from Bird & Bird, and Ulrich Jüngst departed to JP Rechtsanwälte.

Eversheds Sutherland frequently acts for industrial service providers and manufacturing sector clients, particularly advising on annual general meetings, shareholder disputes and restructurings. Matthias Heisse heads the team, which acts for corporations, family-owned companies and family offices.

Greenfort’s team advises on company foundations, restructurings and annual general meetings. It assisted plastics developer Balda with the sale of its entire operating business. Corporate litigation is another mainstay of work and the team represented Varta in post-squeeze-out disputes, and defended Francesco Ago against D&O claims relating to his role on Hypo Real Estate’s board. Printing services provider Parzeller receives advice on trade and corporate law, as well as in contentious matters. Andreas von Open, Gunther Weiss and Daniel Röder are recommended.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek is valued for its ‘high-quality advice, availability and short turnaround times, even in unpredictable and complex matters’. The practice primarily advises mid-cap clients on corporate compliance issues. It regularly acts for Flughafen Berlin and advised Apassionata World on its joint venture with a Chinese investment company; Chiquita received corporate restructuring advice. The ‘very pragmatic’ Karsten Kühne is recommended along with Mirko Sickinger and Helge-Torsten Wöhlert. Mathias Schröder heads the practice, which has been bolstered by the recruitment of Volker Holl and Frank Hollstein from Simmons & Simmons LLP, as well as Jens-Hendrik Janzen from Menold Bezler. Adi Seffer joined Kraus Donhauser, Dirk Koch moved to GSK Stockmann and Michael Pauli is now at avocado rechtsanwälte.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH focuses on providing ongoing operational advice to German companies, with other strengths being structural corporate advice and corporate litigation. It assisted PrimaCom during its reorganisation, advised Deutsche Kreditbank on its merger with SKG Bank and represented the Deichmann family in a capital investment dispute. Alsco Berufskleidungs-Service received advice on its corporate restructuring following the takeover of Larosé. Arndt Begemann and Thomas Weidlich are recommended. Ulf Gibhardt joined from Göring, Schmiegelt & Fischer; Oliver Krall made partner.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP shows ‘broad, excellent expertise’ and impresses clients with its ‘remarkable speed’. Transformations, outsourcings and shareholder actions are the cornerstones of the practice, which advised Metro on the planned division of operations and assisted ProSiebenSat.1 with its Societas Europaea (SE) transformation. Gentherm received advice on contentious matters regarding a profit distribution contract with WET Automotive Systems and the team assisted Airbus with corporate restructuring matters. Arndt Stengel is recommended along with Christoph Rothenfußer, Ulrike Friese-Dormann, Katharina Kolb and Thomas Tiedemann.

Norton Rose Fulbright gives ‘clear and reliable recommendations’, covering operational and strategic advice, as well as litigious representation. The team acts for Adler Real Estate, GrainCorp, Hyperion Insurance and Haikui Seafood and regularly represents Berenberg Bank in contentious matters. Klaus Bader, Frank Regelin and Klaus von Gierke lead the team; Katrin Stieß and Peter Holst made partner. The firm hired Tino Duttiné from Baker McKenzie, while Corrado Wohlwend joined Fuhrmann Wallenfels.

Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte’s ‘outstanding’ practice meets ‘global law firm standards’ and is ‘very good value for money’. It focuses on the media, energy and pharmaceuticals sectors, recently advising Germany’s ten largest regional newspaper publishers on setting up a common marketing corporation, Score Media Group. Corporate housekeeping and corporate litigation are also key areas; the team represented Ehinger Energie in a complex shareholder dispute. Rolf Leinekugel is ‘extremely swift and efficient’ and Thomas Trölitzsch is ‘very factual and down-to-earth’.

Small but mighty’, Sernetz • Schäfer has ‘an excellent reputation’, with particular strengths in complex litigation and a notable recent focus on representing financial institutions and managers. It continues to represent Deutsche Pfandbriefbank in damages proceedings against former directors and has been assisting a former boardmember of a listed company with defending high-value D&O liability claims. The ‘committed and convincing’ Andreas Höder is recommended, along with the ‘hands-on, reliable’ Fabian Dietz-Vellmer, as well as Ulrike Schäfer and Jörg Mimberg.

Primarily known for its transactional prowess, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is also recommended for its corporate governance work. The practice gives ongoing advice to eBay as Intershop Communications’ largest shareholder in relation to annual general meetings and provides comprehensive corporate and governance advice to FACC on an ongoing basis. Stephan Hutter, Katja Kaulamo and Matthias Horbach are recommended. Matthias Jaletzke joined Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Taylor Wessing provides ‘high-quality advice at moderate fees’. Klaus Grossmann and Dirk Lorenz lead the broad-based practice, which advises on corporate restructurings, contractual issues and amendments to companies’ articles. Recent highlights include advising the state of Hesse’s Ministry for Economy, Energy, Traffic and Urban Development on Deutsche Börse’s planned merger with the London Stock Exchange. The team also advised a European company on its comprehensive restructuring. Lars-Gerrit Lüßmann, Christoph Vaupel and Christian Traichel are recommended. The team has seen a number of promotions to partner, among them Ulrich Reers. Burkhard Frisch departed to KPMG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH and Christian Kleeberg joined Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

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Legal Developments in Germany

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • LAG Düsseldorf: Dismissal with immediate effect valid in response to threat

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    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".
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    ECJ, decision of February 16th, 2012, ref. C-360/10 – SABAM
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  • Lessons in Cross-Border M & A Transactions

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  • 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

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to