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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 > M&A: Large domestic deals (€500m+) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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

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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.

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Legal Developments in Germany

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    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
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    ECJ, decision of February 16th, 2012, ref. C-360/10 – SABAM
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    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.
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    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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