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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 > Real estate and construction > Real estate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Real estate and construction: Real estate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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CMS has ‘a good reputation for good reason’ and provides ‘excellent services including targeted advice and pragmatic and economically viable solutions’, while clients also appreciate the ‘quick response times as well as the team’s ability to call upon additional colleagues on short notice when required’. Hamburg-based Sebastian Orthmann, who is singled out for his ‘in-depth knowledge’ and ‘thorough work’, advised Berenberg and Universal-Investment on the acquisition of the mixed-use property Wilhelmgalerie in Potsdam from a Deutsche Asset Management fund, and Union Investment on the acquisition of an international shopping centre portfolio form Credit Suisse. The team in Berlin is co-led by Andreas Otto and Matthias Kuß and praised for its ‘good and professional advice in complex and demanding deals’; it assisted AOK with the sale-leaseback of 42 real estate properties in north-eastern Germany. Other key individuals include Stuttgart-based Volker Zerr and Frankfurt-based Heinrich Schirmer, who both ‘provide professional and reliable assistance’; the latter assisted Allianz Real Estate Germany with the acquisition of an office building development in Munich, and, together with Johanna Hofmann, who was elevated to the partnership in early 2017, he advised DIC Asset on the sale of an office real estate portfolio with a total value of €143m. Hamburg-based Christiane Kappes and Düsseldorf-based Thorsten Schätzlein were also made partner.

Clifford Chance provides ‘a very high service level when advising on real estate transactions and structurings’. The ‘experienced, creative and strategically very good’ Christian Keilich, who is also noted for his ‘excellent negotiating skills’, advised KanAm Grundkapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft on the sale of a pan-European real estate portfolio to Amundi. As another highlight, team head Cornelia Thaler assisted the fund CEREP III managed by Carlyle with the indirect sale of CityGate in Stuttgart. Up until November 2016, Gerold Jaeger has been advising Eurosic on the acquisition of a large portion of the newly emerging Center Parc holiday park in Leutkirch, in Allgäu, Germany. In other work, he acted for CBRE Global Investors in the acquisition and financing of a logistics portfolio for over €128m, while Fabian Böhm advised Patrizia Immobilien on the acquisition of the nine-part residential and commercial portfolio Cloud 9 from Allianz Insurance.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer handles international transactions ‘quickly and in a structured, pragmatic and goal-oriented way’. The team in Hamburg, led by Johannes Conradi, ‘consists of excellent real estate lawyers, who follow a deal-oriented approach and provide powerful arguments in negotiations’. In particular, clients single out associates Julia Haas, Stefan Frick and Georg Guntrum, who advised Garbe Industrial Real Estate on the sale of the German-Dutch GIANT portfolio consisting of 34 logistics properties. As other highlights, Niko Schultz-Süchting assisted AXA Investment Managers with the purchase of a portfolio of 40 logistics properties in five different countries from Gramercy, and Timo Elsner advised on the takeover of IVG’s core portfolio following the sale of its subsidiary OfficeFirst Immobilien, which previously managed the portfolio. In the hotel property space, Thorsten Kleine acted for Brookfield and Starwood in the sale of the former Interhotel Group, consisting of ten hotels, to FDM Management for €800m.

Having ‘excellent’ real estate law capabilities, Hogan Lovells International LLP’s recommended Hamburg partner Dirk Debald advised Commerzbank on the sale of the City Carrée in Berlin to Art-Invest Real Estate, and, in a similar matter, he assisted Warburg-HIH with the acquisition of the Quartier am Auswärtigen Amt in Berlin from LaSalle Investment. In equally significant work, team head Roland Bomhard advised Marcols on the sale of the Gravity portfolio via a share deal, consisting of 70 retail properties, to Castle Lake and Jones Lang LaSalle, and acted for Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs in the sale of the emerging holiday park in Lüttgau, in Allgäu, Germany. Together with hotel sector specialist Marc P. Werner, Munich-based Martin Günther assisted U Citys with the acquisition of the international Vienna House portfolio from two Austrian private foundations and real estate development and investment company Warimpex Finanz- und Beteiligungsgesellschaft.

Greenberg Traurig Germany provides ‘a competent team for each and every deal’; it consists of ‘reliable and available lawyers’, who are praised as having ‘wide-ranging expertise and the ability to identify with the client’s interests’. Team head Christian Schede, who demonstrates a ‘wealth of expertise and great knowledge of all asset classes’, and the ‘assertive and politically sensitive’ Florian Rösch assisted TH Real Estate with the acquisition of the development project Cube Berlin. Together with Peter Schorling, both lawyers also acted for Berlinovo Immobilien Gesellschaft in the sale of the care home portfolio Pegasus for €420m. Schorling as well as Josef Hofschroer, who was instructed by Tristan Capital Partners to assist with the sale of a Karstadt building in Munich for €250m, also receive praise from clients for their ‘efficient negotiation skills’, while Claudia Hard is noted as being a ‘reliable and solution-oriented expert for real estate financing matters’. One month after counsel Annette Geldsetzer moved to Notus Energy in January 2017, Martin Dressel joined the Berlin office as counsel from Linklaters. Also in early 2017, Nicolai Lagoni was elevated to the partnership. Associate Daniel Benighaus is ‘knowledgeable’.

Hengeler Mueller’s clients appreciate the firm’s ‘excellent work attitude and top expertise’; it provides a ‘very good service’. Daniel Kress, who divides his time between Frankfurt and London and is recommended for his ‘expertise in handling share deal transactions’, assisted Frasers Hospitality Asset Management with the acquisition of the Maritim hotel in Dresden, which constituted the company’s entry into the German market. In other significant work, Thomas Müller advised several real estate funds managed by Blackstone on the acquisition of OfficeFirst Immobilien from IVG Immobilien, and, in a separate matter, he assisted Blackstone with the purchase and the financing of a German-Dutch commercial property portfolio from Hansteen Holdings. Frank Burmeister acted for FDM Management in the acquisition of the nine-piece Interhotel portfolio in eastern Germany from Starwood Capital and Brookfield for over €800m.

Since early 2017, Annette Pospich has been co-heading Noerr’s international real estate investment team with Alexander Goepfert. She advised Art-Invest Real Estate on the acquisition of the media harbour property Wolkenbügel in Düsseldorf and the purchase of Sal Oppenheim’s office properties, while Christoph Brenzinger and René Dubois advised Allianz Real Estate and another investor on their targeted investment of €1bn into the new student housing fund The Fizz, and their acquisition of a launch portfolio. In August 2016, Michael Eggert moved to Kiermeier Haselier Grosse and Marco Winterer to Ernst & Young Law.

Logistics property and data centres-related work constitutes an increasingly important portion of Taylor Wessing’s workload. ‘Providing effective and constructive advice’, team head Anja Fenge is also noted for her ‘pleasant but persistent negotiation strategies’, while clients also benefit from her ‘reliable overview of the commercial deal requirements’. Together with ‘experienced’ corporate lawyer Bernhard Kloft, she assisted the Growth Industrial Asset Net-Income Trust (GIANT) with the acquisition and financing of 34 logistics and industrial properties, for €450m, located in Germany and the Netherlands. Equally noteworthy, Patrick Brock advised Commerz Real on the purchase of the Highlight Tower in Munich. Martin Bartlik is well versed in handling hotel sector work, while Sabine Kaben is experienced in dealing with data centre transactions. Berlin-based Patrick Alexy was made salaried partner in October 2016 and Düsseldorf-based Joachim Mandl followed suit in January 2017. In March 2017, Wolfgang Schaller left the Munich office and moved to SGP Rechtsanwälte.

Allen & Overy LLP frequently acts in real estate transactions and financing matters. As highlights for the latter, Olaf Meisen advised the arrangers and lenders on the €1.7bn financing of Blackstone’s acquisition of OfficeFirst Immobilien, and assisted Landesbank Baden-Württemberg with its acquisition financing of the German BGP division for €1.2bn. In different work, Jochen Scheel advised International Campus on real estate law matters pertaining to its Munich project development The Fizz Short Stay. Other clients include Ares Property Partners and Signal Real Estate. In November 2016, Michael Bernhardt moved to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, while counsel Filip Kurkowski joined Baker McKenzie in June 2016.

Apart from its ‘deep international industry knowledge’, Roland Fabian’s ‘well-connected’ real estate team at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP stands out for its ‘high committment and customer orientation’. Frequently recommended key figures include ‘very competent and structured’ tax lawyer Stephan Krampe, whose ‘advice always takes specific business needs into account’, and the ‘experienced’ Carsten Bremer, who ‘provides better legal advice than the counterparty’. Together with Hanns-William Mülsch, Krampe assisted an institutional investor with the acquisition of a logistics portfolio from Growth Industrial Asset Net-Income Trusts in the form of a joint venture. Together with Tina Siebenhaar, he also advised Avignon Capital on the acquisition and the financing of two hotel properties in Berlin and Frankfurt. After Fabian Hartwich’s move to Mayer Brown LLP at the end of 2016, Till Buschmann joined the team from Dentons in April 2017. Philippe Kamarowsky was made partner in May 2017.

DLA Piper’s ‘excellent service level is based on its strong interdisciplinary co-operation, professional work ethic and high levels of experience and commitment’, while clients also praise the team’s ‘quick response times, which are maintained even when dealing with high volumes of transactions’. In 2017, the team was faced with several significant changes: together with three lawyers, former team head Carsten Loll moved to Linklaters, while new and ‘very knowledgable and service-oriented’ practice co-head Lars Reubekeul, who provides Superdry with long-term advice on its European expansion, joined the firm from King & Wood Mallesons along with Florian Biesalski and five other lawyers. The new arrivals boosted the practice’s Asia capabilities and bring additional experience in dealing with data centre transactions. Other frequently recommended individuals include co-team head Fabian Mühlen, who has ‘strong negotiation skills and deep sector-specific knowledge’, and counsel Christian Lonquich, who is noted for his ‘tremendous transactional experience and economic understanding’. Together, they advised Deutsche Fonds Holding on the sale of all shares in the property 20 Moorgate in London to Asian Growth Properties. Other key members of the team include ‘assertive, experienced and well-connected’ financing partner Frank Schwem ), the ‘calm, factual and extremely knowledgableTorsten Pokropp and the ‘solution-oriented’ Martin Haller, whose ‘work effort is tireless’ . The latter two advised Aareal Bank and Allianz Real Estate on the granting of an Europe-wide real estate loan to Invesco Real Estate.

Dentons specialises in the asset classes hotels, nursing homes and speciality properties such as student residences and data centres and has a strong profile for international transactions including the acquisition of corporate chains. Team head Dirk-Reiner Voß and Volker Mergener provide regular advice to IREIT Global and Barings on asset management issues, while CR Investment Management and KanAm Grund are also part of the team’s client roster. In early 2017, Jan Hellner, Sebastian Schmid and Sabine Wieduwilt were elevated to the partnership. Hellner has been advising the hotel group Meininger on various matters, while Schmid has been acting for Commerz Real since 2009, and along with Andreas Ziegenhagen, Wieduwilt assisted AmRest with the acquisition of 15 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Germany.

The ‘business-oriented’ team at GSK Stockmann is noted for its ‘quick response times and appropriate team size’. Clients frequently single out practice head Dirk Brückner for his ‘fast perception of the content matter and strong negotiation skills’ as well as Michael Eggersberger; they jointly advised the Zech Group, including its subsidiaries Art-Invest, Phoenix Real Estate, Wohnkompanie and Deutsche Fonds-Holding, on asset management and construction law matters. In other work, Eggersberger frequently works alongside the recommended Monique Franke: recently, the pair assisted IVG Immobilien with the due diligence for the site The Squaire in Frankfurt with regards to the sale of OfficeFirst properties to Blackstone. The ‘pragmatic’ Maximilian Schilling assisted a joint venture consisting of Bayerischen Versorgungskammer, Hammer and GLL with the acquisition of office spaces in Munich. Frankfurt-based investment fund expert Rainer Werum is also recommended.

Gleiss Lutz focuses on the asset classes retail, offices and logistics but the team was also able to increase its workload in the residence and commercial real estate sectors. Tim Weber and Johannes Niewerth advised A.T.U. Auto-Teile-Unger on rental and asset management matters pertaining to the conclusion of new leases as part of a restructuring. As a significant matter in the transactional space, the team acted for Praderas in the acquisition of a pan-European retail portfolio. In 2016, RFR Holding instructed the firm with the acquisition of various properties in Leipzig and with the project development of the East Side Mall in Berlin.

Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB’s ‘responsive, friendly and well-co-ordinated’ team stands out for its ‘deep knowledge and solution and business-oriented approach’. According to clients, the firm’s ‘price-performance ratio compares favourably to the one provided by large law firms’. Frequently recommended individuals include Berlin-based practice head Jan Lindner-Figura, who demonstrates ‘a sovereign and assertive authority without arrogance’, and ‘strong, diligent and dynamic negotiator’ Georg Christian Reuter, while in Cologne, clients praise the ‘reliable’ Markus Heider for his ‘deep transactional experience and the ability to see the big picture’. In Munich, ‘knowledgable and confident negotiator’ Frank Stellmann stands out for ‘his negotiation skills’. Highlights included providing Castlelake with due diligence assistance on a portfolio consisting of 70 retail properties, and advising Deka Immobilien Investment on the acquisition of Highrise One in Munich. New arrival Ingo Winterstein joined the Frankfurt office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Graf von Westphalen focuses on advising institutional clients, family offices and individual investors on real estate acquisitions and sales alongside project development and hotel sector matters. Together with practice head Lorenz Czajka, Ulrich Schroeder has been advising H-Hotels on several sale and leaseback transactions, while also assisting the client with its expansion to Hungary. New client Orion Capital Partners instructed Wolfram Müller to assist with the leasing of the ODIN portfolio. In October 2016, Maximilian Jahn joined the Frankfurt office from Kapellmann und Partner, while Hamburg-based Andreas Wolowski was made partner in early 2017.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s ‘responsive’ team provides ‘high-quality advice at reasonable prices’. Düsseldorf-based Peter Zimmermann is an ‘excellent real estate lawyer’, who ‘creates a positive climate for negotiations and manages to get to the heart of difficult matters’. Recently, he assisted Corpus Sireo with the acquisition and partial re-letting of Zurich Insurance’s company headquarters in Cologne and Bonn. In other significant work, Marc Scheunemann advised Benson Elliots on the sale of Berliner Volksbank’s central office, via a share deal, to Barings Real Estate Advisers, while Peter Vocke acted for Domicil Beteiligungsgesellschaft in the acquisition of two residential property portfolios consisting of a total of 1800 units. Michael Dröge and Sönke Görgens assisted the multi-family office Dereco with the acquisition of a project development and an associated joint venture set-up with the project developer S W Invest Finance Trade. At the end of 2016, Volker Holl left the Frankfurt office for an unknown destination, while Steffen Wilberg was made salaried partner in early 2017.

Real estate transactions, most notably in the hotel and retail sectors, constitute a key portion of Jones Day’s workload along with financing, project development and asset management matters. Recently, Frankfurt-based Nicole Kadel advised Hansteen Holdings on the sale of its German-Dutch real estate portfolio to a joint venture between Blackstone and M7 Real Estate for €1.28bn. In 2016, Christian Trenkel assisted Pandox with the acquisition of a portfolio consisting of seven hotels in various European locations. Frankfurt-based Sandra Kamper heads the team.

Frankfurt-based real estate team at King & Spalding LLPhandles matters in a timely manner, also those on short notice’ and is praised for its ‘business-oriented approach, which takes the clients’ interests into account’. Team head Mario Leißner and Axel Schilder demonstrate ‘top-drawer industry knowledge’ and provide ‘very good advice on structuring matters’, while Andreas Böhme is praised as ‘aligning legal contracts with economic aspects’. Other recommended individuals include the ‘diligent and knowledgeable’ Sven Wortberg and counsel Henning Aufderhaar, who ‘understands the goals and operating procedures of large institutional investors and never loses sight of the strategy behind an investment’. Since 2016, the team has been advising Tishman Speyer on various transactions including the acquisition of the Pressehaus in Alexanderplatz in Berlin. New client Barings Real Estate Advisers instructed the practice to assist with the purchase of Berliner Volksbank’s head office.

Providing services on a highly professional level’, Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘competent, friendly and client-oriented’ real estate team in Hamburg is also praised for its ‘pragmatic and solution-oriented approach’ and its ‘extremely fast and timely response times’. The ‘highly professional and efficientChristian Thiele advised HanseMerkur Grundvermögen on the acquisition and financing of a portfolio consisting of 34 German and Austrian office and retail properties from Conwert, while ‘strong negotiator and capital markets expertTorsten Volkholz provides regular real estate financing advice to Institutional Investment Partners. Holger Iversen assisted Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investment with the sale of the retail portfolio Christie. Counsel Stefanie Fuerst, who is considered a ‘thorough negotiation strategist’, and counsel Annette Griesbach, who is recommended for commercial tenancy and land purchase contract law, both moved to Eversheds Sutherland at the end of 2017; the former joined the new unit as a partner.

Frequently recommended for real estate transactions and related structuring work, Linklatersdelivers on time, also when under pressure’ and ‘makes communication with the entire team easy’. Also when ‘dealing with international clients’, the team provides ‘excellent advice’ and ‘insightful due diligence reports’. Wolfram Krüger stands out for his ‘very broad real estate industry knowledge’. The team, with highlights such as advising CBRE Global Investors on the acquisition of two logistics properties, increased its bench strength significantly by adding Carsten Loll and five other lawyers from DLA Piper.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP’s ‘well-structured’ real estate team ‘is able to adapt to clients’ needs and provides pragmatic solutions’ and stands out for its ‘excellent transaction management skills’. Team head Jens Ortmanns is ‘a real personality’ and provides ‘an excellent balance of legal know-how and business risk assessment’. Alongside the ‘solution-oriented’ Thomas Beisken, he has been advising an international asset manager on the acquisition of various Frankfurt-based retail properties. Other recommended individuals include Ulrich Flege and Frankfurt-based counsel Nina Siewert; both are praised for their ‘quick response times and extensive knowledge’. Together, they assisted Oaktree Capital with the realisation and optimisation of the Adelaide non-performing loan portfolio by selling the properties in several individual and portfolio transactions.

P+P Pöllath + Partners is ‘able to call on colleagues from various other departments in order to cover all aspects that may become relevant when dealing with real estate transactions, and handle them in a timely manner’. Matthias Durst is particularly commended for his ‘ability to evaluate crucial issues and present them to the client with much detail, ensuring that all risks are assessed’. He advised Quantum Immobilien Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft on the acquisition of a residential portfolio in Hamburg and Düsseldorf via a share deal, while practice head Stefan Lebek assisted Deutsche Wohnen with the purchase of a portfolio consisting of 28 nationwide nursing home properties from Berlinovo in a structured bidding process. Raphael Söhlke was elevated to the partnership in early 2017.

White & Case LLP suffered some significant losses in 2017: at the beginning of the year, Hamburg-based Stefan Feuerriegel and Patrick Narr moved to Norton Rose Fulbright together with five other lawyers, while Sibylle Münch joined Latham & Watkins LLP and Daniel Müller left for UniCredit in spring of the same year. Frankfurt-based Holger Wolf continues to advise Digital Realty on the acquisition and project development of data centres in Germany and abroad, while Thomas Flatten assisted Tishman Speyer with the acquisition financing of the Taunus Tower in Frankfurt. Practice head Endrik Lettau acted for Deutsche Euroshop in its purchase of a 50% stake in the shopping centre Saarpark-Center in Neunkirchen.

In early 2018, Arnecke Sibeth merged with Dabelstein & Passehl Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB and now operates under the name Arnecke Sibeth. The firm covers financing and transactional work alongside tenancy law and asset management matters including related investment and tax issues. Maximilian Gutsche heads the team from Munich, while Daniel Pflüger and Frankfurt-based Angela Klingmüller are also recommended. Clients include large real estate companies, private and institutional investors as well as companies in their role as tenants.

The real estate team at Ashurst LLP includes a number of well-known figures, most notably Hendrik Theismann, Liane Muschter and Sven Nickel. In early 2017, the practice advised Cerberus Capital Management on the sale of a portfolio, consisting of 39 wholesale markets leased to Metro, to Aroundtown Property, which included advice on existing senior and mezzanine financing matters, and assisted R+V Versicherungsgruppe with the acquisition of the shopping centre Weinheim Galerie in Baden-Württemberg from DC Developments. Derk Opitz, who frequently handles real estate financing work, and newly promoted partner Nicolas Deuerling jointly acted for a lender consortium in the financing of the acquisition of the retirement and nursing home portfolio Panacea by Primonial Real Estate Investment Management. Credit Suisse and Lloyds are new clients in Germany.

Beiten Burkhardt stands out for its ‘short turnaround and response times at affordable prices’. Since 2015, the recommended Frank Oprée has been assisting Linde with lease and architect law, most notably with regards to the conclusion of facility management contracts, while Detlef Koch and Guido Ruegenberg advised Groß & Partner Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft on a project development joint venture. Real estate financing expert Petra Fendt joined the team from Ashurst LLP and, in April 2017, Daniel Fischer joined from Schmidt, von der Osten & Huber. Also in early 2017, Stephanie Wichmann and Friedrich Munding were made salaried partners in the Munich and Frankfurt office respectively.

FPS is particularly visible in retail and commercial property transactions and financing. Recently, Frankfurt-based team led by Hendrik Sandmann advised Catalyst Capital on the acquisition and the financing of the nationwide commercial portfolio Project 10 for €200m. In other work, Dietrich Sammer assisted new client Meyer Bergman with the acquisition of the department store Stadtpalais Potsdam. ING Bank is another client.

Goodwin opened its Frankfurt office in 2016 and frequently acts in real estate transactions, including asset, share deal and joint venture contracts, tenancy law, asset management and project development matters. Former Ashurst LLP-partners Peter Junghänel and Marc Bohne are the key contacts. Recently, Bohne advised the Canadian client Slate Asset Management on the mixed share and asset deal acquisition of more than 70 retail properties, and Junghänel assisted Gramercy Europe with the sale of its entire property portfolio in five European countries for over €1bn. He also routinely acts for Castlelake, which purchased 68 German properties from Marcol via a share, asset and loan deal.

On the buy-side, Heussen is particularly active for institutional and international investors alongside family offices. By adding Nora Byra from Jebens Mensching LLP in April 2017, the team has also strengthened its real estate regulation capabilities, and she is additionally well versed in handling fund advisory work. Munich-based Christoph Hamm has been advising Real I.S. on several transactions, such as the acquisition of the project development Neue Mitte Karlsfeld, which included construction law and financing advice. Jan Dittmann assisted Pifron with the acquisition of three properties from GEBAG, and handled various project development transactions for Matrix Immobilien.

The ‘stable’ real estate team at K&L Gates LLP is ‘fast, business-oriented and competent’. Its work results are considered to be ‘of high quality’ and based on ‘a good understanding of the client’s economic requirements’. Together with team head Felix Greuner, the frequently recommended Christof Hupe advised an international real estate company on the acquisition and financing of a logistics portfolio for €170m. Clients also recommend Tobias Gries and Anja Rösch, who acted for Ashtrom Properties in the purchase of seven nursing home properties. In the project development space, Florens Girardet and Kristina Baurschmidt assisted Rockspring with the development of large-scale logistics properties.

With the additions of Fabian Hartwich and counsel Philipp Schaefer from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in early 2017, Frankfurt-based ‘business-oriented and knowledgeable’ team at Mayer Brown LLP was able to expand its ‘strong international platform’. Recently, Hartwich, who is praised for his ‘broad knowledge of the real estate market’ and ‘extensive experience in handling real estate transactions’, has been advising on a number of shopping centre sales. Team head Joachim Modlich assisted Universal-Investment with the acquisition of Netto specialist stores and other retail parks from project developers, while Jörg Michael Lang advised Internos Global Investors on the acquisition of a local supply centre in Dortmund-Brackel. New clients include Asian Growth Properties and Star Capital Partners, among others.

In the first half of 2017, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Hamburg office increased its bench strength significantly by adding the ‘deal and solution-oriented, experienced and easy-to-deal-withStefan Feuerriegel and Patrick Narr alongside three of counsels and two associates from White & Case LLP. The team has been advising Patrizia on the acquisition, which is partly structured as a forward deal, of a retail portfolio from Newport. In other work, the practice assisted ECE and Strabag with matters pertaining to the development of the MesseCity Köln including hotel leases and the completion of real estate transactions. Other highlights included Thomas Hopf’s advice to Frasers Centrepoint and its subsidiaries on the acquisition of a majority stake in Geneba Properties from Catalyst RE Coöperatief, and Maren Stölting’s assistance of a Swiss pension fund with the acquisition of a mixed portfolio consisting of office, logistics and retail properties.

Raue LLP’s Cornelia Gorn, who was elevated to the partnership in January 2017, and Valentin Todorow, advised Corpus Sireo International on the acquisition of three senior citizen housing complexes in Berlin, while also frequently acting for BIM Berliner Immobilien Management. He also represents Polis Immobilien in damage claim proceedings against a large consulting firm regarding errors in a real estate transaction-related due diligence. Other highlights included Carl-Stephan Schweer’s and Klaus Goecke’s assistance to Berliner Volksbank with the acquisition of its new administration building, and Wolfram Hertel’s advice to Bundesvereinigung deutscher Apothekenverbände on the sale of the listed Mendelssohn-Palais in Berlin in a structured bidding process.

The ‘service-oriented’ and ‘well-positioned’ practice at Rödl & Partner provides ‘very good to excellent services and immediate solutions when required’ and attracts praise for its ‘broad offering’. Sebastian Schüßler and Meike Farhan are both frequently recommended and noted for their ‘structured approach and extensive knowledge’. Highlights included Harald Reitze’s advice to Accor on its investment in the 25 hours Holdinggesellschaft and Jörg Schielein’s assistance of an international pharmaceutical company with facility management matters. In autumn 2016, Jürgen Siegl moved to Theopark Rechtsanwälte und Steuerberater Partnerschaft mbB and Tanja Nein joined Max Bögl Bauservice, while Munich-based Thomas Fräbel was made partner a few months earlier.

Fast, result and customer-oriented’ Berlin-based law firm BMH Bräutigam & Partner is ‘very good at handling the whole spectrum of real estate transactional work’. Currently, the team consists of five dedicated real estate lawyers which includes the frequently recommended Boris Reschucha and Alexander Nast, who jointly advised SIGNA Funds KidInvest on the nationwide development of day care centres for children. In other work, the team assisted SIGNA Holdings Medicents with the acquisition of two medical centres via a share deal. UferHallen regularly instructs the practice with contentious and non-contentious commercial lease work.

BRL Boege Rohde Luebbehuesen is particularly active in transactions, project development and commercial tenancy law work and has a specialism for the hotel sector. Ongoing highlights include Michael-Alexander Rojnic’s advice to Unibail-Rodamcos on the acquisition and planning of a construction area in the southern Überseequartier in the HafenCity Hamburg, and Marc Biebelheimer’s and Alexander Hartmann’s joint assistance of the Austrian investment company S Immo with the due diligence and purchase agreements for the acquisition of a German property holding company. Soini Immobilienentwicklung instructed the team to assist with the forward-financing sale of the hotel project Star Inn Premium in Heidelberg to Commerz Real.

Baker McKenzie increased its bench strength by adding real estate finance expert Filip Kurkowski from Allen & Overy LLP, who constitutes one of the main contacts for real estate work along with Florian Thamm and Ulrich Hennings. The team advised Maple Knoll Capital and European Commercial Real Estate on the acquisition of four commercial properties in Landshut, and assisted Hochtief Projektentwicklung with the sale of the Mercatura shopping centre in Aalen to TH Real Estate. In other significant work, the practice acted for an international IT provider in the sale of eight data centres in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

The real estate team at Buse Heberer Fromm consists of 16 partners operating across six German offices and is led by Markus Ruhmann in Hamburg. Regular instructions include real estate transactions, project development, lease-sharing matters, certifications as well as litigation.

Boutique Jebens Mensching LLP lost real estate litigator Hendrik Bott to FPS but is nonetheless recognised for a number of new instructions including advising Quantum and Astria on the sale of the Kaisergalerie in Hamburg to AFIIA, and for assisting BMO Real Estate Partners with the sale of its sidewalk portfolio to AEW Europe. Philipp Jebens is recommended.

Kapellmann und Partner focuses on real estate transactions, project development, commercial tenancy law and asset management work. Frankfurt-based Michael Schlemmer, who was made associate parter in early 2017, and Stefan Pützenbacher have jointly been advising a technology company on a property purchase. Christian Bönker advises FREO on lease agreements for East Side Mall, while Florian Kirchhof assists HSBC Trinkaus and Burkhardt with matters pertaining to the construction and lease of a new office complex.

Anne Schöning and Oliver Reimann are Möhrle Happ Luther’s main contacts for real estate law. Up until the end of 2016, they jointly acted for JPMorgan Asset Management in the acquisition and financing of two office properties in Stuttgart from Wohninvest. Other highlights included assisting Habacker Holding with the acquisition of land for the development of a logistics facility, and advising Quantum Immobilienkapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft on the sale of two hotels in Berlin and Cologne to their operators.

At Reed Smith LLP, Munich-based Etienne Richthammer is best known for transactional work and Frankfurt-based co-head Martin Meißner specialises in project development but both also handle asset management matters. Richthammer represented the new client Abinger-Capital in its joint acquisition with the DIWIG Group of the retail real estate portfolio BelMo. Together with René Lochmann, he has also been advising key client W.P. Carey on the acquisition of a majority stake in Wyndham Stuttgart Airport Messe Hotel; this has been ongoing since autumn 2015.

Simmons & Simmons LLP has transactional and financing work at its core, most notably with respect to logistics, commercial and residential properties. Frankfurt-based Matthias Wagner was made partner in May 2017 and advised new client FREO on the sale of the Adina Apartment Hotel in Nürnberg to Inveso Real Estate. Other clients include Hatfield Philips International and Haus Cramer, which belongs to Warsteiner; both clients receive regular advice from counsel Barbara Heinrich. Munich-based Oliver Beyer acted for Immofinanz in the sale of the historic Gerlingquartier in Cologne for €235m.

Real estate transactions and fund structuring work is a primary focus for Squire Patton Boggs. Recently, managing partner Kai Mertens advised Deutsche Wohnen on the acquisition of a residential property portfolio consisting of 4,200 units, while PPHE Hotel receives regular advice from Axel Kunze; he also acts for the Success Hotel Group in various project development matters.

Andreas Helm and Gero Martin are the key contacts at Wagensonner. Recent highlights include advising a chemical company on the sale of a former production property, and assisting a project developer with the acquisition of a property for a real estate development for hundreds of millions of euros. The team also provided transactional and project development advice to GBW with regards to a residential development in Hessen, and assisted the Danish investor German High Street Properties with the sale of a mixed-use property for around €10m.

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  • LAG Düsseldorf: Dismissal with immediate effect valid in response to threat

    Anyone who seriously threatens their employer or superior should expect to be dismissed with immediate effect. This was confirmed by a ruling of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Düsseldorf [Regional Labour Court of Düsseldorf] from June 8, 2017 (Az.: 11 Sa 823/16).
  • 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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