Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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.
Click here for more details

Germany > Private equity > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Transactions
  2. Fund formation
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Jan Balssen - Gleiss Lutz
    • Michael Bernhardt - Milbank

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Transactions 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 be one of the most sought-after firms among financial investors for private equity transactions, add-on acquisitions and investments, which is reflected in its impressive track record. One of the most striking features of the group’s advice is the cross-location and cross-practice cooperation, which was useful when acting for Advent International: the Berlin-based Stephanie Hundertmark advised the client, together with colleagues from Hamburg, Paris and London, on negotiations for the acquisition of the European Zentiva generic drugs business from French pharmaceutical company Sanofi by means of a combined asset and share deal, which required carve-outs in 13 European jurisdictions. In other highlights, the group assisted a consortium led by BC Partners with the acquisition of the CeramTec group from Cinven in a competitive bidding process, and advised Blackstone on the acquisition of Schenck Process from IK Investment Partners. It also acted for funds advised by EQT Partners and their portfolio company Sivantos on the merger between Sivantos and the Danish hearing aid manufacturer Widex. Markus Paul leads the team, which includes Arend von Riegen in Frankfurt and Kai Hasselbach and Ludwig Leyendecker in Munich. Nils Koffka moved to Allen & Overy LLP in January 2018.

Hengeler Mueller has a substantial portfolio of large and mid-cap transactions covering a wide range of instructions for private equity houses and strategists, including both buy- and sell-side support. Annika Clauss and Peter Weyland acted for Oaktree Capital Management on the acquisition of nursing home operator Vitanas from the Burkhart family and the Andreas Franke group; Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain acted as counsel for EQT Partners on the agreement to acquire a 20% stake in Otto Bock HealthCare. On the sale side, the group acted for Trius Holdings on the sale of its majority stake in the energy service provider ista Luxembourg to Lamarillo; while advising Hensoldt Holding Germany on the acquisition of EuroAvionics from Equistone, and assisting Axel Springer with the sale of the publisher’s new building in Berlin, which is still under construction, to Norwegian sovereign wealth fund Norges Bank Real Estate Management are among the investor-side highlights. Goldman Sachs is also a client. Maximilian Schiessl, Emanuel Strehle and Christof Jäckle are the key names. Sebastian Schneider was made up to partner in November 2017.

Latham & Watkins LLP covers the entire range of private equity work and utilises its extensive expertise, particularly in large-cap deals, to handle cross-border transactions within Europe and with a US focus. Clients in this area include IK Partners, CVC Capital Partners and Triton, among others, while the firm also has a strong mid-cap practice: Chequers Capital, Silverfleet Capital and Dbag are part of the client portfolio. The group advised new client Alpha Private Equity on the acquisition of the Europart group from two investment companies, Triton and Paragon. Other highlights include advising CVC Capital Partners – led by Leif Schrader and practice head Oliver Felsenstein – on the acquisition of an 80% stake in Swiss watchmaker Breitling, and assisting Triton with the acquisition of SGL Gruppe’s cathodes, blast furnace lining and carbon electrodes business. The group also assisted the latter client with the acquisition of Rocore Holdings from Keystone Capital, and the sale of Compo Consumer to listed company Kingenta Ecological Engineering. Rainer Traugott, Burc Hesse and Hans-Jürgen Lütt are also part of the core team.

Clifford Chance has strength advising global private equity firms on transactions in regulated industries and cross-border leveraged buyouts. In addition, the group is experienced in the infrastructure sector, especially in the energy and telecoms space. Markus Muhs and practice head Anselm Raddatz advised CK Infrastructure on a joint venture with CK Asset and on the joint venture’s acquisition of ista International from CVC Capital Partners Fund V with an enterprise value of €5.8bn. In other notable instructions, Joachim Hasselbach and Frederik Mühl advised Cinven on the sale of CeramTec, a manufacturer of high-performance ceramics, to a consortium of investors led by BC Partners; together with colleagues from the London office, the duo assisted private equity investor 3i and funds managed by 3i on the sale of their stake in Scandlines for a total of €1.7bn. Markus Stephanblome joined the team from White & Case LLP in December 2017. Counsel Robert John left for Mayer Brown LLP in November 2018.

Gleiss Lutz’s ‘very fast and reliable’ team has ‘very good industry knowledge’, does ‘thorough work’ and ‘gets to the point’. It focuses on the large and mid-cap sector. Work examples include advising US-based private equity house Lindsay Goldberg on the sale of its shares in VDM Metals to Aperam with an enterprise value of €596m, and assisting family-owned investment holding Porterhouse Group with the acquisition of the insolvent hospital group Paracelsus as part of insolvency plan proceedings. Patrick Kaffiné, who is known for his expertise in insolvency law, led the advice on the latter instruction. In other work, Jan Balssen successfully advised private equity investor General Atlantic on the bidding process for a minority interest in the digital division of the ProSiebenSat.1 group. Following the departure of renowned private equity specialist Jan Bauer to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in October 2018, Balssen now heads the practice together with Christian Cascante.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s private equity practice is based in Munich and focuses on advising sponsors, an area that relies on the close cooperation with colleagues from the restructuring, finance, tax and capital markets practices. Attila Oldag, who joined the team in summer 2017 from Gütt Olk Feldhaus, and Benjamin Leyendecker assisted Oakley Capital Private Equity III with the acquisition of Career Partner Group from Apollo Education Group; while Volkmar Bruckner advised Oaktree Capital Management on the acquisition of a stake in NL-Holding. In other work, Bernhard Guthy and practice head Jörg Kirchner acted for Silverfleet Capital on the sale of the Competence Call Centre Group (CCC) to French mid-cap private equity investor Ardian. Bain Capital, Bregal Unternehmerkapital and Vestigo Capital are also part of the client base. Finance expert Christine Kaniak joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP as a salary partner in July 2018.

Linklaters’ ‘reliable and technically savvy’ private equity team provides ‘excellent service’ with ‘short turnaround times’, and clients appreciate its ‘very good understanding of commercial aspects’. The firm achieved several new client wins during the research period, inliuding investor Sino-CEEF Europe, which it advised on the planned acquisition of the United Grinding Group, and Dutch investment company Waterland Private Equity, which it assisted with the acquisition of debt collection service provider coeo Inkasso. Other highlights include practice head Ralph Drebes assisting Macquarie with the sale of Techem and with the acquisition of real estate fund manager GLL Real Estate Partners and Florian Harder advising mid-cap fund IK Investment Partners on an acquisition. ‘Client-oriented and reliable’ Sebastian Daub, who offers ‘innovative solutions’ and is ‘eloquent in his speech’ is another central figure in the team. He recently advised Marlin Equity Partners on the acquisition of Abit Europe from Findos Investor. Blackstone and Apollo Global Management are also clients.

Milbank provides comprehensive advice on private equity matters and acts for sponsors in domestic and foreign investments, regularly assisting clients in a cross-practice manner. Norbert Rieger led assistance to Carlyle with the sale of nursing home group Alloheim Senioren-Residenzen to Nordic Capital, including advice on corporate and tax aspects. Peter Nussbaum advised Partners Group on its co-investment in the takeover of listed company Stada Arzneimittel by a consortium led by Bain Capital and Cinven, and assisted international private equity fund L-GAM with the sale of Faist ChemTec to Sika. In other work, Michael Bernhardt advised Swiss investment company Capvis Equity Partners on the acquisition of a stake in the ProXES group, and assisted Deutsche Beteiligungs AG with the sale of its stake in ZGS Verwaltungs GmbH to Oakley Capital Private Equity. Steffen Oppenländer is also a member of the core team.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is ‘strong in mid-cap transactions’ and often works in close cooperation with its financing practice. Based on this cross-practice cooperation, it assisted Gantner Electronic Austria with the acquisition of Syx Automations. The private equity team is headed by Dr Maximilian Schwab, who is one of the key contacts, along with Georg Linde and Dr Axel Wahl. Mario Schmidt sadly died in October 2018.

P+P Pöllath + Partners is regarded as a top firm particularly in the areas of management consulting, management participation programmes and fund structuring, and is experienced in handling mid-cap transactions. A team led by Benedikt Hohaus advised the management of the NuCom Group on the sale of a minority stake in private equity investor General Atlantic, and Ralf Bergjan assisted funds advised by Equistone Partners Europe with the sale of a majority stake in Oase Gruppe to US private equity investor Argand Partners. Jens Hörmann advised German investment company Odewald & Compagnie on the sale of its entire stake in Klinikverbund Oberberggruppe to Trilantic Europe, and assisted Charleston, portfolio company of EQT Infrastructure, with the acquisition of the Christophorus group. Other key names include Andreas Rodin, Amos Veith, Uwe Bärenz and Matthias Bruse. Bruse advised Findos Investor on the acquisition of Cellular. Christian Tönies is ‘extremely experienced, pragmatic and solution-oriented’. Tarek Mardini was made up to partner in January 2018.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP provides comprehensive advice to private equity houses, which instruct the team to handle LBO transactions, secondary and tertiary buyouts and add-on acquisitions. The group is also experienced in advising sponsors and portfolio companies as well as senior and mezzanine lenders on restructuring situations. It frequently acts in cooperation with the London office, for example when assisting financial investor Novalpina Capital with the public takeover offer for the Olympic Entertainment Group, which is listed on the Tallinn Stock Exchange. Practice head and managing partner Gerhard Schmidt led advice on this transaction, while, in a separate matter, the London office led assistance to financial investors Advent and Bain Capital as well as their portfolio company Concardis Payment Group with the merger of Nets with Concardis to form a leading European payment service provider; the merger took place as part of a share swap. Kamyar Abrar acted for EQT Expansion Capital II on the sale of the Roeser group to Sana Kliniken and, together with Christian Tappeiner, advised Inven Capital on its investment in Dresden-based Cloud&Heat Technologies.

White & Case LLP’s private equity group advises its clients primarily on mid-cap transactions, while also handling large-cap deals and bidding procedures. Stefan Koch advised Nordic Capital on the acquisition of the Ober Scharrer group from tprivate equity firm Palamon Capital Partner, and assisted private equity firm Duke Street with the acquisition of A-Rosa Flussschiff from independent private equity investment company Waterland. Together with colleagues from New York, Gernot Wagner acted for Triton on the acquisition of WernerCo, a Swiss-based manufacturer and distributor of ladders, storage systems and construction equipment. The portfolio company was subsequently advised by Wagner and Hendrik Röhricht on the acquisition of the Zarges group, which previously belonged to a consortium of financial investors. Matthias Kiesewetter joined the partnership in January 2018.

In 2018, Allen & Overy LLP expanded its practice by hiring Nils Koffka from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to take over as practice lead, and also welcomed Dominik Stühler and counsel Kai Terstiege from DLA Piper. The group offers ‘an excellent level of service’: it is ‘always available and quick to answer questions’. In addition, it ‘stands out through team spirit, motivation and an eye for detail, without losing sight of the big picture’. It advises on buy-outs of various sizes and has particular industry expertise in real estate, infrastructure, retail, healthcare and manufacturing. In recent highlights, Michiel Huizinga advised Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking on the acquisition of HES International from Riverstone and the Carlyle Group; while the ‘responsive’ Markus Käpplinger, who is also distinguished by his ‘strong expertise and interdisciplinary capabilities’ and ‘an entrepreneurial spirit’, advised the International Campus Group on the acquisition of a controlling interest in the company by a real estate fund managed by Brookfield Asset Management.

Gibson Dunn focuses on large and mid-cap transactions, which it regularly handles in cooperation with its finance practice. Dirk Oberbracht and Wilhelm Reinhardt advised long-term client One Equity Partners on the acquisition of SGB-Smit from BC Partners, while the group handled new client JM Beteiligungsgesellschaft’s investment in 21sportsgroup. The ‘very good’ team also includes Lutz Englisch, Markus Nauheim and Ferdinand Fromholzer, who according to clients is ‘an excellent and very experienced adviser’ and ‘in addition to his specialist knowledge, also has the ability to argue constructively, objectively and in a result-oriented manner in difficult negotiation situations, thereby making a significant contribution to the success of the respective transaction’. He recently advised a consortium consisting of Baird Capital, VR Equitypartner and Zarges’ management on the sale of the Zarges group to WernerCo, a portfolio company of the Triton IV fund.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s client portfolio includes financial and strategic investors as well as portfolio companies, which primarily instruct the team on mid-cap transactions. Hanns Jörg Herwig, who made partner in January 2018, and practice head Matthias Jaletzke advised investment company Bregal Unternehmerkapital on the sale of its majority stake in ProAlpha to British investment company Intermediate Capital Group (ICG), and assisted Canadian asset manager Brookfield with the acquisition of Lampe Equity Management from Bankhaus Lampe. Dusseldorf-based Lars Benger acted for Invision on its investment in the Laboratorium Dr. Deppe group. Joachim Habetha is one of the central figures in the Frankfurt office. Woodward and Castik Capital are also clients.

Noerr focuses on advising sponsors in the mid-cap segment, although the group is also increasingly positioning itself in the large-cap segment. This focus was further developed in August 2018 when Holger Ebersberger joined from Ashurst LLP. He joined the Munich office, which also includes the ‘very committed’ Georg Schneider, who advised DPE Deutsche Private Equity on the acquisition of a majority stake in the Air Alliance group and who assisted Bridgepoint and its portfolio company WiggleCRC with the acquisition of Bike24 from private equity fund Riverside. Together with associated partner Tobias Koppmann, who moved to McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP in June 2018, Schneider also advised Silverfleet Capital on the acquisition of the 7days group from investment company Odewald KMU and the founders Marc Staperfeld and Ulrich Dölken; the two founders continue to be involved in the company through a return investment. Schneider, who is valued for his ‘very good industry and specialist knowledge’ and ‘comprehensive advice’, heads the practice together with Berlin-based Christian Pleister. Volker Land is also recommended: he is ‘a strategic thinker’, works ‘thoroughly and efficiently’ and has ‘business acumen’.

Ashurst LLP provides comprehensive advice on buy-outs and buy-ins as well as management participation programmes, and regularly uses its financial law expertise for transaction support. The group advised new client Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DBAG) on the investment and acquisition financing of Sjolund, and assisted DPE Deutsche Private Equity with the acquisition and financing of Euro-Druckservice (EDS). Practice head Benedikt von Schorlemer advised Equistone Partners, including portfolio company Vivonio Furniture, on the acquisition and financing of fm Büromöbel Franz Meyer. CapVest Partners and Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF) are also clients. Holger Ebersberger joined Noerr in August 2018.

Baker McKenzie acts for financial investors, private equity funds, strategic investors and family offices in national and cross-border transactions. It significantly expanded its practice with the addition of Berthold Hummel, counsel Katja Heuterkes and counsel Julia Braun, who were previously at Dechert LLP. Highlights included advising Avedon Capital Partners on the acquisition of the Altendorf group (led by practice head Ingo Strauss and M&A lawyer Heiko Gotsche), and assisting Deutsche Beteiligungs AG and its DBAG Fund VII with an investment in duagon (for which the group cooperated with the Zurich office). Gerald Schumann joined DLA Piper in September 2018.

BMH Bräutigam & Partner is popular choice in the mid-sized market. It frequently acts for long-term client capiton, including advising on various transactions, such as the recent takeover of all shares in Swiss cyber security service provider Ispin. The team has notable expertise in the technology, software and online business sector, as well as in the the biotech space. Andrea Reichert-Clauß led advice on the matter and also assisted Signa Retail with the acquisition of all limited partnership shares and the business operations of Publikat Verlags- und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Jan-Peter Heyer and Patrick Auerbach-Hohl are other key contacts. ArchiMed is another client.

DLA Piper’s team is headed by Nils Krause in Hamburg and Andreas Füchsel in Frankfurt. The latter advised Active Ownership Capital on the voluntary takeover offer for all shares in Luxembourg technology holding exceet Group, which is listed in Germany; on the sale of a minority stake in Stada Arzneimittel to the private equity funds Cinven and Bain Capital; and on the acquisition of Pintsch Bubenzer. Krause assisted Arsenal Capital Partners and its portfolio company IGM Resins with the acquisition of BASF’s photoinitiators business. Personnel changes include the departures in 2018 of Dominik Stühler and counsel Kai Terstiege to Allen & Overy LLP and Florian Hirschmann to Reed Smith, as well as the September 2018 arrival of Gerald Schumann from Baker McKenzie

Venture capital

Index of tables

  1. Venture capital
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Justus Binder - Reed Smith
    • Nicolas Gabrysch - Osborne Clarke
    • Stefan-Ulrich Müller - CMS
    • Andreas Nelle - Raue PartmbB
    • Christian Tönies - P+P Pöllath + Partners
    • Frank Vogel - Vogel Heerma Waitz
    • Jörg Zätsch - CMS

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Lorenz Jellinghaus - Lutz Abel Rechtsanwalts PartG mbB
    • Clemens Waitz - Vogel Heerma Waitz

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Venture capital 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


CMS covers the entire range of venture capital advice and has particular expertise in the life sciences and software sectors. Markus Häuser advised WapoVentures and Sponsoo on their respective ICOs and the sales of tokens, while Stefan-Ulrich Müller assisted Immatics Biotechnologies with a series F financing round and advised the Munich-based start-up VisionHealth on seed financing and crowdfunding issues. Jörg Zätzsch acted for Berlin-based start-up uberall on a series B financing round. In addition to ICOs and financing rounds, the group also handled some exits: it assisted the shareholders of medical technology company invendo medical with the sale of the Nasdaq-listed Ambu, and advised LSP Life Sciences Partner on the sale of Luxendo – a spin-off of European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) – to Bruker. Corporate venture capital advice includes acting for Chinese electric car start-up Jiangxi Aiways Entity on a joint venture with sports car manufacturer Roland Gumpert, while work in the venture capital debt space includes advising eGym on the granting of European Investment Bank loans amounting to over €25m.

Osborne Clarke handles the entire growth financing cycle, including fund structuring, debt financing and regulatory issues, which are regularly handled on a cross-practice basis. The group advises investors and start-ups and acts for well-known clients, particularly in the corporate VC sector. Highly regarded practice head Nicolas Gabrysch advised Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures on acquiring a participation in global address system provider what3words, and assisted steel and metal trading company Klöckner with acquiring a stake in Berlin tech start-up BigRep. The team is also very knowledgeable in digitisation and payment matters, as demonstrated by advising Berlin-based FinTech N26 on the series C financing round of over $160m; new investors include Allianz X, Chinese digital company Tencent and Greyhound Capital. Benjamin Monheim is also noted and Robin Eyben, previously a senior associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP, joined as a partner in February 2018.

‘Very good’ venture capital boutique Vogel Heerma Waitz is, according to clients, ‘highly commendable’: investors and start-ups benefit from the firm’s broad range of services, which includes advice on IP and data protection issues. The group was recently strengthened by the addition of a number of new associates, and the number of partners grew with the promotion of Sabine Röth at the beginning of 2018. She advised Almotive on a series C financing round led by B Capital Group and Prime Ventures. Together with the ‘very pragmatic’ Clemens Waitz, Röth also assisted Cherry Ventures with InFarm’s €20m series A financing round led by Balderton Capital. In other work, ‘extremely experienced and strong negotiator’ Frank Vogel assisted Axel Springer Plug and Play with a $160m financing of mobile bank N26, and advised Earlybird Venture Capital on the financing of Xain. Creandum is another client.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, clients ‘are in very good hands’: the group ‘delivers brilliant work’ with ‘very good turnaround times’ and has ‘excellent industry expertise’. It acts for founders, start-ups and, in particular, investors who also instruct the team to deal with regulatory issues. The recommended Nikolas Zirngibl advised Daimler on its investment in aviation start-up Volocopter, and assisted Rostock-based diagnostics company Centogene with a series A financing round of over €25m. He also advised Experteer’s shareholders on the sale of the online job exchange of the same name to publishing group Medien Union. The online cruise ship travel agency Dreamlines instructed the group for a financing round and Volker Geyrhalter led advice to Personio on a series A financing round after the team had already advised the client on the seed financing in 2016. Peter Huber is ‘always available and supports his clients with creative, pragmatic solutions’.

Noerr focuses on advising companies and investors on corporate VC issues, financing rounds, exits and IPOs. Felix Blobel acts for a number of portfolio companies and financial investors, which he advises on investments in various start-up companies. Sascha Leske recently handled a series A financing round: he advised Caterwings on a financing in which Rocket Internet, Rocket Internet Capital Partners and Holtzbrinck Ventures acted as investors, and was also involved in a series A financing round for Digital Services. In other work, Leske assisted Emerging Markets Taxi with the sale and transfer of the Easy Taxi Group’s key assets to its Spanish-South American competitor Cabify. Munich-based Georg Schneider and Hans Radau in Berlin are also key figures.

P+P Pöllath + Partners’ client base includes VC companies and funds, institutional and strategic investors as well as start-ups, which it frequently advises on financing rounds, exit transactions and tax planning. The ‘extremely experienced, pragmatic and solution-oriented’ Christian Tönies advised Berlin-based banking platform solarisBank on a financing round of over €56.6m and Michael Inhester assisted CommerzVentures with a participation in mobile payment services provider Payworks as part of a series B financing round. The client participated in the company for the first time as a main investor, in addition to financial services company Visa, and, in a separate matter, also retained the group for advice on the participation, by way of a series B financing round, in PropTech company realbest. On the start-up side, the group assisted Blacklane with a series D financing round. Senior associate Sebastian Gerlinger is ‘extremely professional, attentive and modest’. Growth fund HPE Growth Capital and venture capital company Wellington Partners are also clients.

The private equity group at Raue PartmbB is ‘very competent, committed and responsive’ and provides ‘an outstanding level of service’: clients particularly emphasise the ‘very fast turnaround times’, ‘very good insight into the start-up sector’ and ‘excellent communication’. The lawyers ‘cover a wide range of topics’, leading to a diverse client portfolio including numerous start-ups and investors. Andreas Nelle, who frequently but not exclusively acts on the investor side, advised Earlybird Venture Capital on a $160m series C financing round of Berlin-based fintech start-up N26, and assisted Big Rep with technology group Körber’s participation in the company in a series B financing round. The ‘always available, solution-oriented and efficient’ Jörg Jaecks has ‘very good knowledge of the start-up scene’ and is therefore regularly instructed by start-ups; he advised Lofelt on a series A financing round of over $5.4m. His ‘experience in acting on closings’ is perceived by clients as ‘extremely valuable’: he is ‘like a Swiss army knife combining many skills in one person’ and ‘manages to differentiate the essential from the non-essential’. In addition, he can ‘explain difficult topics in an understandable way’ and shows ‘entrepreneurial understanding’.

In close cooperation with the IT and IP teams, Taylor Wessing’s practice advises on the entire spectrum of venture capital transactions and is particularly experienced in the areas of healthcare, technology and fintech. The group focuses on investors such as Mutschler Ventures and Piton Capital, which were advised by practice head Jens Wolf – who divides his time between the Hamburg and Berlin offices – on the secondary sale and new investment of SoftBank Vision Fund in Berlin pre-owned vehicle platform Auto1 Group; the investment totalled €460m, of which €110m came from the client. Berlin-based Norman Röchert assisted General Catalyst with the series C financing in Contentful; together with existing investors Benchmark, Balderton Capital and Point Nine Capital, approximately $28m was invested. He also acted for another investor on BioNTech’s $270m series A financing round. In Düsseldorf, Maria Weiers is one of the central figures: she advised innovation platform and subsidiary of Duisburger Hafen Startport on the parent company’s corporate venture activities.

Venture capital clients feel ‘in good hands’ with BMH Bräutigam & Partner and appreciate the ‘very entrepreneurial and practical approach’, which leads to ‘good advice with regard to risks and costs’. The team is also ‘unconditionally recommended’ due to its ‘excellent service level’, ‘pragmatic negotiation’, ‘precise contract wording’ and ‘excellent market knowledge’. It concentrates on advising start-ups including Berlin-based blockchain and AI start-up company Xain, which instructed the group for its seed financing round totalling €6m; Bastian Reinschmidt and the ‘very straightforward’ Patrick Auerbach-Hohl, who is ‘extremely pleasant to work with’ and ‘provides prompt, high-quality advice’, led the advice. Investors including Floodgate are also part of the client base: the group advised the Silicon Valley investor the investment in Berlin start-up Jodel. Alexander Wulff, who made salary partner at the beginning of 2018, is another central figure in the team.

André Eggert and Natalie Vahsen are the main contact persons at Lacore Rechtsanwälte LLP, which is well established in the Berlin start-up scene and regularly acts on financing rounds. Recent work includes assisting German aviation start-up Lilium Aviation with a series B financing round with a volume of $90m, in which Chinese internet group Tencent and private bank LGT participated, among others.

The ‘very prompt, precise and service-oriented’ venture capital team at Lambsdorff Rechtsanwälte is ‘always available’ and is appreciated for ‘the mixture of enthusiastic dedication, a very high level of experience and knowledge, and low hierarchies’. The client base has traditionally consisted of start-ups, but increasingly includes investors. The group advised Berlin start-ups Asana Rebel, Blinks Labs and DaWanda on respective financing rounds and on general corporate and commercial law matters as well as on intellectual property protection, while US start-up AppDynamics instructed the group to assist with its market entry in Germany. On the investor side, the group acted for London-based venture debt provider Norgine Ventures on various investments in German growth companies. Konstantin Graf Lambsdorff is ‘a very confident deal strategist’ and Pablo Rüdiger De Erice is regarded as ‘absolutely confident in the VC business’.

Lutz Abel Rechtsanwalts PartG mbB has ‘a reliable, prompt and uncomplicated’ venture capital practice, which stands out in the market for its ‘expedient communication’ and ‘good price-performance ratio’. The key figures in the Munich office are the ‘objective, sympathetic, solution-oriented and very competent’ Bernhard Noreisch, the ‘prompt and reliable’ Marco Eickmann and Björn Weidehaas. Highlights included advising MIG on BioNTech’s series A financing round with a volume of $270m, and assisting BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft with the exit from Impeo Software. In Hamburg, the ‘very precise, prompt and practical’ Lorenz Jellinghaus is the central contact; according to clients, he is ‘very good at communicating with other parties’ and ‘thereby contributes to a client’s successful business development’. He assisted Hamburg start-up Dreamlines with negotiations with financing partners.

Reed Smithmeets even very tight deadlines in difficult cases and advises not only from a purely legal perspective, but also takes into account the economic impact’. The comprehensive range of advisory services includes financing rounds, exit transactions, portfolio sales and fund structuring matters; the client base is equally broad, consisting of domestic and foreign venture and growth capital funds and other financial institutions as well as private investors and portfolio companies. The practice is headed by Justus Binder, who ‘does an excellent job and can explain extremely complex issues very well and make them comprehensible’.

Schnittker Möllmann Partners was launched in summer 2017 as a spin-off from Flick Gocke Schaumburg and, despite its short existence, already has a considerable volume of venture capital instructions, particularly in the context of financing rounds. The advice is based on close interaction between the funds and transactions groups, which is an attractive combination for investors in particular; however, the group also acts for start-ups. The highly regarded Peter Möllmann advised investment group Battery Ventures on travel booking portal GetYourGuide’s $75m financing round, and acted for Greyhound Capital on fintech company N26’s $130m financing round and senior associate Ansgar Frank assisted venture capital firm Creandum with fintech start-up Billie’s series A financing round. On the company side, the group acted for Swiss luxury watch start-up Chronext in a series D financing round. Helder Schnittker is another central figure in the team.

Baker McKenzie was able to significantly expand its consulting capacities by adding several former Dechert LLP lawyers: Berthold Hummel and counsel Katja Heuterkes joined in autumn 2017 and counsel Julia Braun was a new arrival in January 2018. The core business includes advising financial and strategic investors on investments in start-ups, although Michael Bartosch also assists start-ups with financing rounds: he recently advised Cleverciti Systems on a €13m growth financing, and assisted Munich-based start-up Reactive Robots with its second financing round, in which Dr. Doll Holding and MTIP MedTech Innovation Partners participated, among others. Other work included advising Forbion Capital Partners on CatalYm’s €10m series A financing round.

Dechert LLP stands out for offering ‘the highest level of professionalism and reliability’. While mainly acting for investors, the group also advises start-ups on financing rounds and portfolio transactions. The ‘excellentGiovanni Russo is recommended. Berthold Hummel and Katja Heuterkes joined Baker McKenzie in autumn 2017; the latter is a counsel at the new firm, as is Julia Braun, who joined the same firm in January 2018.

With a focus on corporate venture capital, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP specialises in advising investors, but also counts start-ups among its clients. The instruction lead is regularly shared with colleagues from the London and US offices; together with a London-based team, Munich-based Thomas Schmid assisted Vitruvian Partners with its investment in German online loans comparison platform Smava as part of a series D financing round. In another highlight, he advised, together with Jörg Ritter, Atomico on an investment in aviation start-up Lilium through a $90m series B financing round.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

International Law Firm Networks

International Law Firm Networks

Press releases

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

Legal Developments in Germany

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

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