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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: mid-sized deals (sub-€500m) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. M&A: mid-sized deals (sub-€500m)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

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    • Barbara Keil - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Thomas Meyding - CMS
    • Klaus Riehmer - Mayer Brown LLP
    • Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain - Hengeler Mueller

Next Generation Partners

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Who Represents Who

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has ‘in-depth knowledge and experience’, and regularly staffs deals with cross-practice teams. In one example, the corporate team worked with the firm’s employment, tax, antitrust and public law experts in advising Patrizia Immobilien on the purchase of Triuva Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft from IVG Immobilien. The group also works at a cross-office level nationally and internationally and acted for Ceconomy on the €452m acquisition of a minority stake in Groupe Fnac Darty from Artémis in a matter involving the Paris, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf offices. Another highlight was assisting biotechnology company Evotec with the $300m acquisition of Aptuit from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Matthias-Gabriel Kremer leads the team. Nicholas Günther made partner in May 2018; Stephan Waldhausen is ‘an excellent lawyer’; Barbara Keil has ‘an outstanding wealth of experience’; and Wessel Heukamp is noted for his ‘good cooperation’ skills.

At Hengeler Mueller, 32 partners, who ‘are in an absolutely unique position in terms of quality, cost awareness and cooperation’, provide transactional advice. The firm regularly acts as lead counsel in international transactions with a German target, but has also recently built up its outbound portfolio. Highlights included assisting Carl Zeiss with the €25m acquisition of Optec and advising Siemens on the sale of Siemens Convergence Creators, a provider of digital transformation solutions, to Atos. Key partners include Daniela Favoccia, Georg Frowein, Jochen Vetter and Peter Weyland. Sebastian Schneider provides ‘an excellent and comprehensive service’, and has ‘the whole transaction in mind’; he and Daniel Möritz were promoted to the partnership in early 2018. Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain has ‘excellent business acumen’ and Matthias Hentzen is noted for his ‘acumen and negotiation skills’. Andreas Hoger is recommended as a next generation lawyer, Steffen Oppenländer joined Milbank in August 2017.

The M&A advice provided by Baker McKenzie is ‘to the point’, and ‘previously agreed fee agreements are adhered to’. The practice has a strong network internationally and the majority of its deals have a cross-border component. Highlights included advising Corestate Capital Holding on the acquisition of HFS Helvetic Financial Services; Creos Deutschland on the acquisition of all shares in Steag Netz in a bidding process; and Winkler+Dünnebier on the acquisition of Bicma Hygiene Technologie. Nikolaus Reinhuber, Christian Atzler and Heiko Gotsche are also noted alongside ‘excellent negotiatorThomas Gilles.

Gleiss Lutz impresses large German-listed and family-run corporations with ‘fast turnaround times’ and ‘consistently high quality’ transactional advice. The group advised Wieland-Werke on the acquisition of the flat-rolled products division of copper producer and recycler Aurubis. Another highlight was assisting Linde with the sale of Tega - Technische Gase und Gasetechnik to DCC. Christian Cascante and Ralf Morshäuser lead the team, which also includes Michael Burian, Alexander Schwarz, Hoimar von Ditfurth and Thomas Menke. Martin Viciano Gofferje is recognised as a next generation lawyer. Jörn Wöbke joined Schnittker Möllmann Partners. Andreas Löhdefink was a new arrival from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s M&A team in Germany regularly advises on international mid-cap transactions. For example, it acted for Boston Scientific on the $435m acquisition of Symetis, a company specialising in minimally invasive cardiac surgery; advised congatec, a company specialising in the development and sale of embedded computer boards and modules, on the acquisition of Real-Time System; and assisted medical technology company Novanta with the acquisition of W.O.M. World of Medicine. At a national level, advising Autogrill Germany on the acquisition of Le Crobag was a highlight. Martin Neuhaus, Rainer Traugott and Christoph Engeler are key names within Henning Schneider’s team. Personnel changes include the promotion of Natalie Daghles to the partnership at the beginning of 2018 and Tobias Larisch’s arrival from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in March 2018.

Linklaters provides ‘an excellent service’ when advising on mid-cap M&A transactions. The German group is often involved in international deals. An example is assisting the chemical company AECI with the acquisition of Imperial Logistics’ contract manufacturing business, which includes chemical service provider Schirm. Other highlights include assisting Deutsche Postbank with the sale of VÖB-ZVD Processing’s girocard network operation to SIX Payment Services, and advising Siemens Healthineers on the purchase of Fast Track Diagnostics. The Dusseldorf office, in which Ralph Wollburg, Achim Kirchfeld and Tim Johannsen-Roth are based, is particularly active.

Clifford Chance has ‘a deep understanding of economic circumstances coupled with deep market penetration’. The strong cooperation with offices abroad results in a regular flow of inbound transaction mandates. For example, it advised Brazilian supplier of refractory products, systems and services, Magnesita Refratários, on the sale of the production area for magnesia carbon bricks in Oberhausen to Intocast. In another international highlight it assisted Fujifilm Belgium with the sale of its coatings and pressroom chemicals business in the EMEA region to Heidelberger Druckmaschinen; at a national level, notable instructions include its advice to Lanxess on the acquisition of IMD Natural Solutions and handling Software AG’s acquisition of Cumulocity. Thomas Krecek has ‘unlimited knowledge, extraordinary negotiation skills, and is available anywhere and anytime’. He leads the practice group together with Anselm Raddatz. The ‘pragmatic’ Christoph Holstein and Nicole Englisch are also recommended. Markus Stephanblome joined the group from White & Case LLP in December 2017.

CMS advises both German companies on acquisitions abroad and international clients on inbound transactions, with a particularly good network in Southeastern Europe. In recent work it is assisting Sunrise Communications with the CHF500m sale of Swiss Towers; August Storck with the acquisition of a wafer producer; and Nanogate with the acquisition of HTI High Tech Industries’ plastics division. The group also advised new client Xing on the acquisitions of InterNations and application management system operator Prescreen. Maximilian Grub, Hilke Herchen and Ernst-Markus Schuberth lead the team, which also includes Karsten Heider, Henrik Drinkuth, Oliver Wolfgramm and Thomas Meyding. Carolin Armbruster, Igor Stenzel and Tilman Weichert were promoted to the partnership at the beginning of 2018.

DLA Piper has seen a number of personnel changes recently: it strengthened the Frankfurt office with several lateral hires and promoted Carlos Robles y Zepf to the partnership at the beginning of 2018; following this, Florian Hirschmann joined the Munich office in April 2018. Fifteen partners, including Nils Krause and Benjamin Parameswaran, provide advice on mid-cap transactions. The group assisted IT consulting firm Wipro Limited with the $405m sale of Hosted Data Centre Services to Ensono and advised Stillfront Group on the acquisition of the German Goodgame Studios.

Eversheds Sutherland ‘speaks the client’s language’ and offers ‘pragmatic advice’. It regularly advises German, foreign and international clients on acquisitions. For example, the group advised US data centre operator CyrusOne on the $442m acquisition of Zenium Data Centers; assisted Shell with the €340m acquisition of energy supplier and cable network operator First Utility; and acted for Finnish engine and power plant group Wärtsilä on the €210m acquisition of navigation specialist Transas. Within Christof Lamberts’ team, Christophe Samson and Sven Schweneke, who ‘adheres to time and resource constraints’, are noted. Holger Holle made partner in May 2018 and Maximilian Findeisen joined from Mütze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in October 2018.

Providing ‘short processing times’ and ‘good value for money’, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is a good choice for clients looking for advice on mid-cap deals. The group regularly advises larger medium-sized companies, including several automotive suppliers. A recent example is assisting the International Consolidated Airlines Group with the acquisition of Air Berlin subsidiary Niki. On the sale side, it acted for TÜV Rheinland on the sale of its Food Labs business units in China and Taiwan in a bidding process. Philipp Dietz, Michael Krömker and Thomas Weidlich regularly advise on transactions related to Asia. Christian Horn, who joined from K&L Gates LLP in June 2017, has ‘a good understanding of business’. Thomas Kuhnle leads the team, which was strengthened by the addition of Denis Bacina from PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) in September 2018.

Noerrcombines legal excellence with a pragmatic and solution-oriented approach’. Even when handling cross-border instructions, the group ‘advises from a single source with internationally integrated teams’. The firm’s international network is becoming increasingly important. For example, the group advised electronics manufacturer AVX Corporation on the acquisition of a business division of TT Electronics and on the takeover of Kumatec. Other highlights include assisting Condor and parent company Thomas Cook with the takeover of the insolvent Air Berlin Aviation, and advising Lendico on the takeover by ING Deutschland. ‘Good negotiator’ Florian Becker and Alexander Hirsch lead the practice group which saw Marlies Raschke’s promotion to partner at the beginning of 2018. Other names to note are Gerald Reger, Christoph Spiering and Christian Pleister, who is ‘unbeatable in negotiations’ and ‘provides comprehensive advice’.

With 27 partners, Taylor Wessing is no longer exclusively focused on transactions in the IT and IP industry. In addition to US and Asia cross-border transactions, the Spanish and Brazilian desks also ensure a strong deal flow. The group has numerous long-standing clients, including Evonic Industries, which it recently advised on the acquisition of 3M’s compounding business with highly concentrated additives and on the acquisition of cosmetics company Dr. Straetmans. It assisted Imperial Logistics with the €128.4m sale of chemical services provider Schirm to chemicals group Aeci. The team includes Klaus Grossmann, Peter Hellich and Dirk Lorenz. Ernst-Albrecht von Beauvais ‘fully comprehends economic topics’, is ‘very structured’ and ‘holds all the threads together during a transaction’. Hassan Sohbi has ‘a sure instinct and significant transaction experience’.

White & Case LLP’s 19-partner M&A team ‘thinks with an entrepreneurial and client-oriented mind’. It is often involved in cross-border transactions, with inbound mandates from China playing a particularly important role. Highlights included advising Asklepios Kliniken on the acquisition of the Paracelsus Group; assisting Conzzeta with the acquisition of Otto Bock Group’s plastics division; and acting for automotive supplier Faurecia on the acquisition of Hug Engineering. Tobias Heinrich is ‘a strong project manager’ and has ‘extensive technical experience’. Roger Kiem, Markus Hauptmann and practice head Jörg Kraffel are also recommended. Matthias Kiesewetter made partner in the Hamburg office in January 2018.

Allen & Overy LLP’s M&A group provides advice that is ‘fast and always to the point’. Recently, it assisted several US clients with acquisitions in Germany, for example Eli Global with the acquisition of; and learning platform Chegg with the acquisition of Cogeon. Hans Schoneweg leads the M&A team, which comprises 19 partners including Michiel Huizinga and Helge Schäfer. Hans Diekmann has ‘a diligent approach as well as immense experience’. Hans-Christoph Ihrig left the practice in August 2017 to co-found Mannheim-based boutique Ihrig & Anderson Rechtsanwälte.

Ashurst LLP provides ‘a very good service’ on M&A transactions and clients value the ‘communication with one or two contacts who consult with lawyers from other practice areas’. Holger Ebersberger is ‘fast, efficient and creative, and always ready to go the extra mile’. He advised H + H International on the acquisition of the German and Swiss sand-lime brick business of HeidelbergCement. Reinhard Eyring assisted Nilit with the sale of its global nylon compounding business Nilit Plastics to Celanese. Thomas Sacher and Benedikt von Schorlemer are also recommended.

Dechert LLP’s M&A group in Frankfurt and Munich is ‘always available even when facing high workloads’. It frequently cooperates with the firm’s London and US offices when advising on joint ventures and acquisitions, acting for clients such as American Express Global Business Travel and Lazada. Managing partner Federico Pappalardo has ‘a business-oriented mindset and acts in the interest of the client’. Giovanni Russo has ‘excellent knowledge of transaction structures and related legal details’, and is ‘an excellent help in contract negotiations’. Armin Fary joined SNP Schlawien Partnerschaft MBB in September 2018.

Hogan Lovells International LLP considers its clients’ concerns in ‘a very individual and personal manner’. Practice head Lutz Angerer advised medical technology firm Ambu on the €225m acquisition of invendo medical, while Birgit Reese assisted Talanx with the acquisition of financial and supply consulting group FVB. Tim Brandi acted for NordLB on the planned sale of Deutsche Hypo as part of a bidding process. Matthias Jaletzke, Andreas Meyer and Christoph Louven also stand out among the 18 partners who provide M&A advice.

Mayer Brown LLP always has ‘the economically feasible in mind’ when advising on mid-cap transactions. In recent work, it assisted Benteler with the sale of shares in SGL Technologies Composites, with parent company SGL Carbon becoming sole owner of the former joint venture. Practice head Klaus Riehmer and Carsten Flaßhoff are recommended. Ulrike Binder ‘creates enormous trust’ by ‘keeping an eye on all points’ and ‘being extremely strong in her field’. Counsel Christoph Broich is ‘a very pleasant negotiator who remains calm even in difficult situations’.

Milbank impresses with ‘fast responses and processing times’ handling mid-cap transactions. The group advised H.C. Starck on the €450m sale of the Tantalum and Niobium business to a subsidiary of JX Nippon Mining & Metals and on the €150m sale of the Surface Technology and Ceramic Powders business to Höganäs. On the merger side, it assisted Affinitas with joining forces with Spark Networks under a new German holding company. In Munich, Martin Erhardt, ‘dealmaker’ Peter Nussbaum and the ‘excellent’ Norbert Rieger are recommended. The Frankfurt office is particularly known for its private equity expertise.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s M&A team stands out for its ‘fast processing and broad knowledge’. It has specialist expertise in energy and infrastructure, insurance, agribusiness and technology as well as in capital markets transactions. Newly promoted partner Marco Niehaus ‘keeps a close eye on related fields thanks to his extensive experience in complex deals’ and Katrin Stieß is ‘reactive, unbureaucratic’ and ‘confines herself to the essentials’. Klaus Bader and Klaus von Gierke are also recommended.

Oppenhoff & Partner stands out for its ‘high willingness to innovate’ and ‘reliability’. It advises numerous international companies on investments in Germany. On the sale side, it assisted Siemens Healthineers with the disposal of the immunodiagnostics business to DiaSorin, and advised Saint-Gobain Rigips on the sale of the insulating materials business to Hirsch Servo. Both transactions were led by Ronald Meißner from Frankfurt. The office saw the addition of Markus Rasner and Till Liebau from Graf von Westphalen in July 2017. Myriam Schilling, Stephan König and Peter Etzbach are based in Cologne.

Paul Hastings LLP’s Frankfurt-based M&A team is particularly active in the life sciences, energy and TMT sectors. It frequently advises foreign investors (mostly from the US and Asia) on investments in Germany. A highlight was assisting Merck with the €464m acquisition of Rigontec. It also handled various joint ventures for Crane Payment Innovation. Regina Engelstädter and Christopher Wolff are particularly recommended.

The 13-partner strong team at SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG, which is based across the firm’s Frankfurt and Mannheim offices, is ‘goal and solution oriented’, and the ‘teamwork between the different practices leads to optimal results’. In 2017, it advised Hoffmann Group, a manufacturer of quality tools and operating equipment, on the acquisition of Contorion. Stephan Brandes is ‘versatile’ and has ‘a good memory’, and Jochem Reichert is ‘a very successful negotiator’. Stephan Harbarth is now vice president of the Federal Constitutional Court.

Bird & Bird’s corporate group often cooperates with other practices such as antitrust, IP and employment. Together with the IP and employment groups, the team advised Precision Medicine Group on the acquisition of all shares in Epiontis. Another highlight was assisting EWV Energie- und Wasser-Versorgung in merger talks with Stawag Stadtwerke Aachen. Peter Veranneman and Stefan Münch are recommended.

The ‘objective, goal-oriented and cooperative’ M&A lawyers at Greenberg Traurig Germany have ‘a hands-on approach that is highly effective at achieving optimal results’. The group assisted Tecnoquímicas with the acquisition of Bayer’s generics business in a combined share and asset deal; Henrik Armah, who is ‘very prudent’ and ‘always remains calm, even in demanding situtations’, led the advice. ‘Astute’ practice head Peter Schorlingconducts even the most complicated negotiations very well’ and ‘knows very well what is enforceable’. Wencke Bäsler, who made partner in March 2018, works ‘quickly and precisely’ and is recommended alongside Josef Hofschroer.

K&L Gates LLP is a popular choice in the mid-cap segment thanks to its ‘good economic understanding’ and ‘fast response times’. Highlights included advising VTG on the acquisition of CIT Rail Holdings and the Nacco Group; ‘very good transaction lawyer’ Thomas Lappe, who heads the Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich-based group, led the advice on the German side. In March 2018, Martina Ortner joined the partnership.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is particularly known for private equity transactions. The team’s strong integration with the firm’s international offices ensures a constant flow of instructions. For example, it worked with the London office in advising vehicle component manufacturer Accuride on the takeover of Mefro Wheels. Jörg Kirchner, Benjamin Leyendecker and Volkmar Bruckner are recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has a focus on the technology and life sciences sector but impresses M&A clients from all sectors with its ‘active partner involvement’ and ‘close cooperation’. It acted for Deutsche Telekom on the establishment of joint venture Tooz Technologies with Zeiss Group for the development of smart glasses. It has also acted for various Chinese clients on acquisitions in Germany. The practice is headed by Thomas Schmid and also includes ‘outstanding negotiator’ Oliver Duys. In early 2018, Christoph Rödter and Nikita Tkatchenko were made up to local partners.

P+P Pöllath + Partners regularly advises management teams on participation programmes, and routinely covers tax structuring in transactions. In addition to handling numerous private equity transactions, it also assisted Cewe Stiftung with the acquisition of Stardust Media And Communication and online printing company Laserline. Otto Haberstock led advice on this matter; he is based in Munich alongside Eva Nase, Frank Thiäner, Jens Hörmann and the ‘pragmatic and solution-oriented’ Christian Tönies. Georg Greitemann is the name to note in Frankfurt.

Clients of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP appreciate the ‘flexibility’ of the M&A teams in Frankfurt and Munich, which frequently cooperate with colleagues in New York, London and Paris. Examples of recent cross-border transactions include assisting Alibaba with the acquisition of Pakistani e-commerce platform Daraz from Rocket Internet, and advising Doncasters Group on the sale of Nelson Fastener Systems to Stanley Black & Decker. Gerhard Schmidt leads the team in which Christian Tappeiner is known for his ‘excellent negotiation skills’.

Beiten Burkhardt’s ‘decisive team’ provides ‘a high level of professional competence at competitive prices’ and is a popular choice for German medium-sized companies in particular. It advised the family owner of SieMatic on the sale of a majority stake in the company to the Nison Group. The group is increasingly involved in venture capital exit transactions including advising ING-DiBa on the purchase of online credit marketplace Lendico. Axel Goetz is ‘very client oriented’, has ‘good market knowledge’ and is recommended alongside Christian von Wistinghausen, Detlef Koch and Hans-Josef Vogel. Sebastian Weller was a new arrival in early 2019 from FPS.

Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH provides ‘a lean team structure’, ‘manoeuvres the client towards core issues’ and has ‘access to experts in other areas as needed’. The group worked with the firm’s labour and antitrust departments in advising Grupo Ferrer Internacional on the sale of Trommsdorff to Dermapharm. In another highlight, it assisted Kyocera with the acquisition of software provider Alos. Michael von Rüden, who is ‘competent’ and ‘responsive’, and ‘thinks like an entrepreneur’, led advice on this matter. Harald Stangkeeps an eye on all the components of a transaction’ and Julia Petersentakes all areas into account and is a good negotiator’. Markus Schackmann is also recommended.

Flick Gocke Schaumburg is a popular choice for medium-sized (family-run) companies. In recent work, it advised Schindler on the acquisition of Dralle Aufzüge, and assisted film production company Brainpool with the acquisition of MTS. Stephan Göckeler and Michael Erkens are recommended in the Bonn office, one of six German locations. In Frankfurt, Finn Lubberich joined the partnership in January 2018.

The ‘highly regarded’ M&A team at Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner advises German medium-sized companies as well as foreign clients including a medical technology company. The group advised Knauf on the takeover of Opitz Holzbau and on the sale of the foam insulation division. Barbara Mayer is ‘pragmatic and goal oriented’, and manages the practice together with Gerhard Manz. The ‘exceptionally good’ Stefan Lammel has a good ‘overview’ into matters and Hendrik Thies has ‘a very high social competence’. Arnt Göppert heads the Cologne office. Unless stated otherwise, named individuals are based in Freiburg.

Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB has a good deal flow in the mid-market segment. A team led by Frank Evers assisted Veolia with the acquisition of Eurologistik Group, and Michael Dolfen and Wolfgang König advised Zeitfracht Luftfahrt Holding on the acquisition of Leisure Cargo from Air Berlin. Evers and Oliver von Rosenberg lead the M&A team, which was strengthened in September 2018 with the addition of Tobias Fenck and a team from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

At Frankfurt-based firm Greenfort, five partners are responsible for M&A transactions and provide ‘a consistently high level of quality’. Clients include ProSiebenSat.1 Media and RTL Group, which the team advised on various acquisitions. The group assisted medical equipment producer Cantel Medical counted with the acquisition of the BHT Group. The practice is headed by the ‘very client-oriented’ Andreas von Oppen, who is ‘responsive, accurate and always friendly’. Gunther Weiss ‘keeps an eye on the big picture’ and Carsten Angersbach is ‘extraordinarily reliable’, ‘always available’, and provides ‘strategic suggestions’ and ‘prompt feedback’.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s M&A lawyers are ‘directly accessible’, which is well received by the medium-sized companies that comprise its client base. The team advised Datagroup on the acquisition of HanseCom, a joint venture between Siemens and Hamburger Hochbahn. In another highlight, it assisted TP Group Service with implementing its buy-and-build strategy, for example through the acquisition of Weiderer Personaldienste and of Mach Professionals. In Stefan Duhnkrack’s team, Boris Dürr, Mathias Schröder and Peter Ladwig are noted. In the Hamburg office Tim Petermann made partner in January 2018, in Cologne Andreas Lenz joined from the now-dissolved Kanzlei Corso.

At Shearman & Sterling LLP, Frankfurt-based Alfred Kossmann and ‘very good’ adviser Thomas König are involved in handling transactions. The latter leads the practice group, which is mainly active in cross-border transactions. At a national level, the group assisted Allianz with the sale of its 90% majority stake in Oldenburgische Landesbank to Bremer Kreditbank. Andreas Löhdefink joined Gleiss Lutz.

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