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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 > Restructuring and insolvency > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Insolvency

Index of tables

  1. Restructuring and insolvency: Insolvency
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Biner Bähr - White & Case LLP
    • Rainer Bähr - HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm
    • Axel Bierbach - Müller-Heydenreich Bierbach & Kollegen
    • Lucas Flöther - Flöther & Wissing
    • Arndt Geiwitz - SGP Schneider Geiwitz & Partner
    • Ottmar Hermann - HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm
    • Michael Jaffé - Jaffé Rechtsanwälte Insolvenzverwalter
    • Hans-Gerd Jauch - Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB
    • Frank Kebekus - Kebekus et Zimmermann
    • Bruno Kübler - Kübler
    • Jörg Nerlich - Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB
    • Horst Piepenburg - Piepenburg - Gerling Rechtsanwälte
    • Jan Markus Plathner - Brinkmann & Partner
    • Michael Pluta - Pluta Rechtsanwalts GmbH
    • Christopher Seagon - Wellensiek Rechtsanwälte - Partnerschaftsgesellschaft
    • Sven-Holger Undritz - White & Case LLP
    • Rüdiger Wienberg - HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Insolvency 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB is ‘one of the leading firms in the area of restructuring and insolvency’ and besides handling traditional insolvency administration also has deep expertise in insolvency under self-administration and protective shield proceedings. The broad practice also advises clients on restructurings, distressed transactions and contentious matters and ‘in complex domestic cases stands out for its great pragmatism and practice-oriented approach’. The team surrounding Jörg Nerlich handled several high-end mandates: Hamburg-based Oliver Dankert was appointed as preliminary insolvency administrator for the insolvency of Schneider Versand and its parent company Creatrade; the company was forced to file for insolvency after a failed restructuring attempt. Rolf Weidmann acted as trustee in the insolvency of fashion chain SinnLeffers and Jörg Bornheimer was appointed preliminary insolvency administrator in the insolvency proceedings of home accessories company Butlers. The renowned Hans-Gerd Jauch advises the insolvent solar power company and longstanding client of the firm SolarWorld on restructuring issues. Sascha Feies and Nils Meißner were promoted to partner in May 2017.

White & Case LLP is one of the top addresses for restructuring and insolvency matters with an international aspect and a particular strength of the firm also lies in its expertise in the shipping area. Consequently it not only advises financial institutions, insolvency administrators and companies but also often shipping companies. The team consists of eight insolvency administrators and besides traditional insolvency administration is also well versed in financial restructurings and rescission proceedings. In a prominent matter practice head Sven-Holger Undritz and Riaz Janjuah advised a well known bank on the restructuring of some shipping companies. Sylvia Fiebig also often acts in large restructuring projects in the shipping sector. With the firm’s particular expertise in the automotive industry Jan-Philipp Hoos was appointed insolvency administrator of the automotive supplier Kemmerich, which was successfully sold to the Portuguese Sodecia Group within the frame of a so-called transferring restructuring. The highly regarded Biner Bähr acts as trustee in the insolvency of Düsseldorf Stockheim Group; the distressed catering company wants to rehabilitate itself entirely in self-administration. Insolvency administrator Tim Brune, formerly at Rasenberger Toschek Global Services Coopérative, joined the firm as counsel in June 2016.

With 30 offices Brinkmann & Partner is represented across Germany and has a particularly prominent presence in northern Germany. The firm has expertise in restructurings and the continuation of distressed companies and a focus on the maritime sector, among others. Insolvent Hamburg shipping company Rickmers appointed Christoph Morgen as board member and chief insolvency officer (CIO) and is undergoing comprehensive restructuring. Recent prominent highlights also include the insolvency of online outlet dress-for-less for which Jan Markus Plathner was appointed as insolvency administrator; he managed to find an investor for the fashion company and transfer the business operation to SIGNA Retail in the course of an involvency plan procedure. As one of the most popular insolvency administrators in Germany he was also appointed as trustee in the insolvency proceedings of pet supply trader Karlie. In November 2016 the Frankfurt office was strengthened with the arrival of Sebastian Netzel, formerly at HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm.

HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm’s ‘excellent and experienced’ practice delivers ‘work at the highest standards’ and covers traditional insolvency administration and trusteeship but also restructuring advice. The firm, which is also noted for its ‘competent and engaged working methods’, caused a stir in the market when it announced that it will in in the future only handle large insolvencies. In a particular highlight Jan Wilhelm was appointed insolvency administrator of the energy supplier Care-Energy, which went bankrupt due to legal actions and fines; the company was able to continue and stabilise its business operations. In another notable mandate renowned insolvency expert Rainer Bähr was appointed as insolvency administrator of Mittelsächsische Textilreinigungs- und - handels AG (MTR), which was also able to successfully continue its business operation. The ‘totally reliable, results-oriented and experienced’ Rüdiger Wienberg and Ottmar Hermann, who ‘always acts with sound judgement and a sense for what is practical’, are also recommended. The Frankfurt office, however, saw the departure of Sebastian Netzel to Brinkmann & Partner In November 2016.

Jaffé Rechtsanwälte Insolvenzverwalter is present at eight locations across Germany and besides standard insolvency proceedings increasingly also acts in protective shield proceedings, self-administration, restructurings and insolvency plan procedures. The firm has experience in insolvency and restructuring scenarios with complex company and financial structures and is also well versed in insolvency-related litigation. In a highlight Miguel Grosser acted as insolvency administrator for the international travel company Deutsche Touring, whose business operation was successfully maintained. Michael Jaffé effectively restructured Geraer Verkehrsbetrieb (GVB) and subsequently sold the fixed assets to the city of Gera. He also acts as insolvency administrator for the municipal utility Stadtwerke Gera and sold a share in housing association Elstertal to the real estate company Benson Elliot. The team is comprised of eight partners, who are appointed as insolvency administrators and trustees.

With additional offices in Spain, Italy and Poland Pluta Rechtsanwalts GmbH is well connected on the international level and the broad team around name partner Michael Pluta not only has experience in insolvency administration, trusteeship, self-administration and protective shield proceedings but also in restructuring- and transaction-related matters. The firm continues on its expansion course; in February 2017 Steffen Beck and his team joined from the now closed Stuttgart-based insolvency firm Beck and insolvency expert Michael Bremen additionally strengthened the practice in March 2017 with 12 employees of former firm Bremen Rechtsanwälte. Consequently the firm’s domestic network gained two further offices in Düsseldorf and Aachen. A recent highlight was Stephan Thiemann’s appointment as trustee in the insolvency proceedings of Leipzig aluminium foundry Sächsischer Druckguß (Drubo), which was able to continue operating due to comprehensive reorganisation proceedings. Ivo-Meinert Willrodt found ASTO Telematics as investor for the insolvent telematics company Eureka Navigation Solutions and was able to sell the business operation in the course of a transferring restructuring.

With over 40 offices in Germany, France, the UK and Italy Schultze & Braun belongs to the largest insolvency administration firms in the country. Its 30 administrators increasingly also provide pre-insolvency restructuring advice and act in ESUG (New German Insolvency Code) proceedings besides traditional insolvency administration and trusteeship. In a prominent matter Volker Böhm was appointed as trustee of fashion chain Wöhrl, who filed for insolvency solvency under self-administration. Tim Beyer acts as preliminary insolvency administrator in the standard insolvency proceedings of the Garrel-based construction company GLG Lanfermann, which previously attempted restructuring in self-administration. Dirk Pehl handled the transferring restructuring of steel processing company Friedmann Stahltechnik by finding an investor for the distressed company. Restructuring expert Christoph Chadron, formerly at Wellensiek Rechtsanwälte - Partnerschaftsgesellschaft, heads the Munich practice since August 2016.

SGP Schneider Geiwitz & Partner stands out for its broad portfolio of insolvency matters and increasingly acts in large domestic mandates. The team covers traditional insolvency administration and trusteeship, advice in protective shield proceedings and self-administration but has also seen more work related to pre-insolvency issues with a particular strength in matters around two-way trusteeships. Practice head Arndt Geiwitz was appointed as trustee of the Friedrichshafen division in the insolvency of sand casting specialist MWS; Patrick Wahren acts as insolvency administrator of MWS Garching; and Alexander Hubl for MWS Germany. Geiwitz is also trustee of the insolvent Saatgutherstellers Strube and together with Wahren and Christian Plail handled the trusteeship of the Leiser Group in the retail trade. The firm’s client portfolio furthermore includes Scholz Recycling and Schlecker.

With 12 partners across 40 offices BBL Bernsau Brockdorff & Partner Rechtsanwälte is recommended for its ‘good distribution of tasks between its specialised lawyers’ and provides ‘top quality’ advice, including comprehensive expertise in ESUG proceedings. Besides insolvency administration, general advice around insolvency plays an increasingly important role for the practice, particularly after gaining restructuring experts Florian Linkert, André Binder and Markus Birkmann with their team from the the now closed firm LB Rechtsanwälte. In a high-profile matter Justus von Buchwaldt was recently appointed as insolvency administrator for luxury pawn shop Lombardium Hamburg. Peter Jark is considered a ‘brilliant, internationally well connected lawyer’ and Georg Bernsau is recommended ‘particularly for his detailed advice and implementation of economic parameters’. Lars Hinkel left for anchor Rechtsanwälte.

With seven insolvency administrators at eight offices in Bavaria, Dr Beck & Partner GbR Rechtsanwälte covers traditional insolvency administration and trusteeship but also increasingly pursues ESUG matters, such as advising on self-administration and protective shield proceedings. Joachim Exner’s expertise ranges from the mechanical engineering to the automotive supply sector; he was appointed as insolvency administrator of CrossLink Faserbundtechnik and transferred the business operation to an investor and thereby secured the continuation of the company. Hubert Ampferl recently acted as insolvency administrator of commercial vehicle company ROHR, which was also saved from bankruptcy via transferring restructuring.

Flöther & Wissing is an ‘absolutely fantastic firm, suitable for proceedings of any scale’ and continues to focus on insolvency administration and trusteeship. The team is well versed in self-administration and protective shield proceedings, but also provides restructuring advice. ‘Outstanidng’ practice head and ‘very good negotiator’ Lucas Flöther was recently appointed as trustee of the insolvent Air Berlin. He furthermore acted as insolvency administrator of the Unister Group, whose business operation he successfully stabilised and has continued to the full extent. In another highlight, as insolvency administrator of Heyform Bramsche, he prevented the imminent closure of the plastics producer. Also in the insolvency proceedings of Basler Mode and wheel construction company Mifa the firm acts as insolvency administrator. Andreas Wissing is another key figure.

Grub Brugger has a particularly prominent presence in southern Germany and is well versed in insolvency administration, trusteeship and issues surrounding self-administration. The team has a multi-disciplinary approach both in contentious and non-contentious matters and regularly draws on the expertise of criminal and compliance lawyers. In the self-administration proceedings of automotive group Kontec Philipp Grub was appointed as insolvency administrator and Martin Mucha as trustee. In another highlight the latter acts as chief restructuring officer (CRO) of engine supplier Hoeckle; the company is restructuring in self-administration. Besides executives and corporations the team also represents insolvency administrators. Michael Jilek and Hendrik Wolfer were promoted to equity partner at the start of 2017.

Düsseldorf-based firm Kebekus et Zimmermann follows a two-track approach and offers traditional insolvency administration and trusteeship alongside restructuring-related advice. Most recent highlights include the appointment of Frank Kebekus as fully authorised representative of the insolvent Air Berlin in the connection with its restructuring. He also acts as insolvency administrator of textile group Steilmann, which was partially saved from bankruptcy. Another key figure is Ralf Zimmermann. Dorothee Madsen departed for BRL Boege Rohde Luebbehuesen in June 2016.

Besides insolvency administration and trusteeship Kübler increasingly also focuses on self-administration and pre-insolvency advice. In the insolvency proceedings of the Seidnitz Center in Dresden Bruno Kübler successfully secured the establishment for the long-term by selling it off to foreign investors. He also advised the catering company bean & beluga, which is restructuring in self-administration. Restructuring expert Bettina Breitenbücher is also highly active and restructuring advisor Tillman de Vries joined as new partner from King & Wood Mallesons, where he formerly acted as counsel. After longstanding managing partner Franz Ludwig Danko and Dominik Montag departed for Römermann and Thomas Rittmeister for Reimer Rechtsanwälte in autumn 2017, the firm closed its offices in Frankfurt and Hamburg and Rainer Fröhlich and Christoph Nüsser also left to work at the insolvency administration division of multi-disciplinary firm AHW Steuerberater Wirtschaftsprüfer Rechtsanwälte in Cologne at the start of 2018.

The five-strong insolvency administration team at Müller-Heydenreich Bierbach & Kollegen has a particularly prominent presence in Bavaria. Besides insolvency administration, restructuring and litigation, advice to insolvency administrators and creditor committees also form part of the firm’s repertoire. The highly recommended and internationally well connected Axel Bierbach recently acted as insolvency administrator of H. Schreiner Test- und Sonderanlagen; already one month into the proceedings he was able to find an investor with Cincinatti Test Systems. Oliver Schartl was appointed as trustee of the fashion company Roeckl, which is temporarily restructuring in self-administration. Stefan Debus is also recommended.

With a total of 11 offices Piepenburg - Gerling Rechtsanwälte has a strong presence in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia; nevertheless restructuring expert and name partner Horst Piepenburg enjoys a good reputation nationwide. He was appointed as insolvency administrator in one of the most high-profile insolvencies of the year; Germany’s largest solar company SolarWorld had to file for insolvency a second time due to its illiquidity. Other name partner Klaus Gerling is the firm’s second key figure; he advises creditor committees and handles various large cross-border proceedings.

Schmidt-Jortzig Petersen Penzlin provides not only traditional insolvency administration but also advice on restructuring-related matters and is also well versed litigation with insolvency aspects. The team regularly handles significant domestic and international insolvencies, such as name partner Dietmar Penzlin being appointed insolvency administrator of the European business operation of the heavily indebted Hanjin Shipping. Besides companies in the maritime sector, the firm’s client portfolio also includes municipal utilities and clients in the renewable energy sector. Niklas Marwedel and Bjarne Petersen are other key figures.

With a new office in Düsseldorf since February 2017 insolvency and restructuring boutique anchor Rechtsanwälte strengthened its presence in the Ruhr area and is also visible in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Lower Saxony. The firm’s services include traditional insolvency administration and pre-insolvency restructuring advice but also interim management for distressed companies. The insolvency proceedings of food producer Lutz Fleischwaren were a most recent highlight; Robert Hänel, Paul Abel and Martin Hörmann were appointed as insolvency administrators. Other key figures are Christopher Herbst and Alexander Reus and the team was additionally strengthened with the arrival of Lars Hinkel from BBL Bernsau Brockdorff & Partner Rechtsanwälte in February 2017 and litigator Michael Flitsch from Wellensiek Rechtsanwälte - Partnerschaftsgesellschaft, who joined in June 2017.

AndresPartner’s broad restructuring and insolvency practice increasingly covers self-administration and general insolvency-related advice. With 18 offices in Germany the firm is well networked and especially advises companies in the textile and plant construction industries. In one the most recent prominent matters Dirk Andres was appointed as insolvency administrator of Wollschläger Group, which is restructuring in standard proceedings. He was also responsible for the restructuring of mechanical engineering company ATB Schorch. Including Andreas Grund and Martin Schmidt the team consists of a total of seven insolvency administrators, who act nationwide.

BRL Boege Rohde Luebbehuesen enjoys a particularly prominent presence in northern Germany, but also opened new offices in Bochum and Dortmund in mid-2016. The six-strong team is well versed in traditional insolvency proceedings and trusteeship but also covers litigation, advice on restructurings and distressed transactions. Stefan Denkhaus was appointed as trustee of the largest German agricultural corporation KTG Agrar and also acts as insolvency administrator of renewable energy company Erneuerbare Energie Versorgung (EEV) in Göttingen. Insolvency administrator Dorothee Madsen joined the firm in June 2016 from Kebekus et Zimmermann and Katharina Gerdes, formerly at P+P Pöllath + Partners, strengthened the Hamburg office in March 2017.

Under Alexandra Schluck-Amend’s lead CMS’s restructuring and insolvency team advises insolvency administrators, banks and companies in various sectors on distressed transactions, financial and operational restructurings and self-administration proceedings. Michael Frege was appointed as insolvency administrator of HRB Tailor. In another highlight Niklas Lütcke acted as insolvency administrator of video-technology provider Clipkit. Daniel Kamke is well versed in bond financings and Joachim Kühne is also recommended.

Hoefer Schmidt-Thieme - Rechtsanwälte und Insolvenzverwalter’s practice is spread across 11 offices in Germany with the majority based in the southern part of the country. Besides traditional insolvency administration the team also has expertise in restructurings. In a highlight Marc Schmidt-Thieme was appointed as insolvency administrator of electronics company Zentro; it was successfully and fully able to continue its business operations, which were sold to MLS Lanny. Another key figure is Tobias Hoefer.

The team surrounding Martin Lambrecht at Lambrecht Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB covers traditional insolvency administration and provides pre-insolvency advice but additionally offers strong expertise in self-administration and protective shield proceedings. Annamia Beyer advised furniture company Matratzen Direct in protective shield proceedings; after the unexpected exit of a creditor the client found itself in financial difficulties. Union Knopf is another client regarding the restructuring via protective shield proceedings. Besides companies and creditors the firm also advises investors and executives.

LECON Insolvenzverwaltung stands out for its ‘pronounced orientation towards restructurings’ and ‘delivers outstanding work in all aspects’. Besides restructurings the firm also handles insolvency administration, and self-administration and the preparation of insolvency plans are further pillars of the practice. Practice head Thomas Klöckner recently advised V.I.P Service on the insolvency plan proceedings in self-administration. The ‘solution-oriented’ Michael George and the ‘extraordinarily competent’ Gunther Neef are also recommended.

After the spin-off of the Düsseldorf office in August 2016, which now operates under Lambrecht Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB, Leonhardt Rattunde is now comprised of four offices in Germany. The team continues its strong presence in Berlin and has experience both in traditional insolvency administration and restructurings. In a particular highlight Rolf Rattunde was appointed as insolvency administrator of cocoa processor Euromar as the company strives for its restructuring. Torsten Martini is another key figure.

Reimer Rechtsanwälte primarily advises on matters with maritime aspects and focuses on restructurings and litigation. In total the practice includes seven insolvency administrators; Peter-Alexander Borchardt was recently appointed as insolvency administrator of Magellan Maritime Services, whose containers are now being sold, and Hendrik Gittermann acts as insolvency administrator of 22 single-ship companies. Tjark Thies is also recommended and in Octobre 2017 the firm opened two new offices in Frankfurt and Mannheim in addition to its current six offices in northern Germany; Thomas Rittmeister, who joined from Kübler, took over as practice head at both locations.

Besides traditional insolvency administration and trusteeship Dr. Ringstmeier & Kollegen is also experienced in giving general insolvency-related advice. The team surrounding Andreas Ringstmeier has four administrators; Mark Boddenberg recently acted as insolvency administrator of industrial bakery Kronenbrot and sold the company to London-based funds in the course of a transferring restructuring. Ruth Rigol was appointed as trustee of the fashion chain Promod.

Wellensiek Rechtsanwälte - Partnerschaftsgesellschaft increasingly places a focus on pre-insolvency and insolvency-related advice and saw the departure of Michael Flitsch to anchor Rechtsanwälte in June 2017. The team primarily advises companies, executives and shareholders in crisis situations and distressed transactions. Christopher Seagon and Sebastian Rudow are the key figures; Patric Naumann was promoted to partner.


Restructuring

Index of tables

  1. Restructuring and insolvency: Restructuring
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Restructuring 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s restructuring practice ‘also has the needed industry knowledge besides its legal expertise’ and stands out for its ‘uncomplicated and practical approach’. The 15-strong team surrounding Lars Westpfahl, who is recommended for his ‘feel for sensitive questions and his solution-oriented work ethic’, is well versed in restructuring and transactional advice with additional expertise in financing matters. The practice is increasingly active on an international level and recently saw much work in the maritime sector and automotive industry. In a particular highlight the firm advised the German shareholders of the insolvent Takata-Gruppe on the potential sale to an investor. The ‘highly engaged, solution-oriented and competent’ Jochen Wilkens assisted industrial safety technology company BARTEC with the restructuring of its capital structure; the team also advised the insolvent shipping company Hanjin on restructuring matters. While the team primarily acts for companies, the client portfolio also includes creditors and funds. Franz Aleth is also part of the core team.

Gleiss Lutz advises clients in insolvency scenarios, distressed transactions and out-of-court restructurings and refinancings with a particular strength in bond restructurings. The 20-strong team around the renowned Helge Kortz also handles contentious matters and is well versed in mediation in crisis situations. A most recent highlight was the successful completion of the restructuring of the company A.T.U Auto-Teile-Unger, which Andreas Spahlinger and Matthias Tresselt advised on restructuring measures and renegotations of rental agreements. Together with Kai Arne Birke the latter also assisted the distressed shipping company Rickmers with the restructuring of bank and bond liabilities. In another high-profile matter Stefan Rützel represented HETA Asset Resolution in 11 separate civil proceedings and Ralf Morshäuser acted for Charles Vögele and its shareholders in the restructuring and the sale of the German branch network to the trading companies TEDi, Woolworth and KiK. The client portfolio furthermore includes Scholz Holding, Infineon Technologies and Pfeiderer Group.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s broad team is well known in particular for its advice to lenders. The firm regularly handles cross-border mandates and besides its expertise in international legal matters also has experience in financial restructurings, litigation and distressed M&A transactions. Together with Sacha Lürken and Wolfram Prusko, who was promoted to partner in October 2016, Leo Plank advised the bondholders of HETA Asset Resolution in connection with the enforcement of receivables from bonds. The team also advised the ad-hoc committee of BARTEC’s lenders on the financial restructuring of the corpoation. Besides lenders, clients also include creditors, funds, shareholders and insolvency administrators. Bernd Meyer-Löwy is also recommended.

Allen & Overy LLP stands out for the close cooperation and good synergies between the banking and finance practice and the restructuring team. The 11 partners consequently primarily act for banks, investors and lenders. They also advise major creditors and insolvency administrators on financial restructurings, distressed transactions and contentious matters. Practice head Peter Hoegen assisted Lino Management, A.T.U’s principal lessor, with the restructuring and renegotiation of rental agreements and, in another highlight, Walter Übelhoer acted for the syndicated loan providers and a subsidiary of Commerzbank in the successful refinancing of BARTEC Group. Marc Zimmerling is particularly well versed in liability matters; he represented auditing firm KPMG against the insolvency administrator of trade and tourism corporation Arcandor in connection with damage claims due to incorrect restructuring advice. Sven Prüfer advises on distressed M&A transactions.

Clifford Chance’s restructuring practice surrounding the renowned Stefan Sax demonstrates ‘great industry expertise, a good network’ and ‘good business sense’. The team primarily advises banking syndicates, lenders and creditors in a variety of sectors. Much activity recently stemmed from disputes and distressed M&A transactions, where the firm often acts on the side of investors. In matter led by Sax, Scholz Holding sought the firm’s advice on the financial restructuring and the sale to a Chinese investor. The ‘charismatic advisor’ also assisted Jack Wolfskin’s management in connection with the financial restructuring of the company. Counsel Cristina Weidner regularly advises on headline matters and has particular expertise at the intersection with banking and finance. The team saw the departure of counsel Oda Lehmkuhl in October 2016.

Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB has a ‘strong practice in the restructuring area’ and stands out for ‘being both broad and specialised in this field’. The team around Martin Stockhausen and Helmut Balthasar, who is recommended for his ‘high economic expertise’, advises private equity companies, financial institutions, insolvency administrators and companies, primarily in the shipping, retail and automotive sectors. Besides insolvency and restructuring-related advice the firm also handles distressed cross-border M&A transactions and disputes. In a highlight the ‘very experienced’ Christian Bärenz acted for the creditor pool of the insolvent HETA Asset Resolution. The ‘pragmatic’ Thorsten Bieg took over responsibility for the restructuring of KTG Energie in self-administration proceedings. Other clients include the insolvency administrator of Steilmann and the majority shareholders of insolvent A.T.U regarding various insolvency and restructuring issues. In May 2017 Sascha Feies and Nils Meißner were promoted to partner.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s restructuring practice provides ‘quick and effective work at the highest level’ and has ‘imaginative tactics’. The four-strong team focuses in particular on operative and financial restructurings and refinancings and another pillar lies in the increasing advice on distressed M&A transactions. The client portfolio is comprised of companies, investors, creditors, hedge funds and private equity companies.The ‘outstanding’ Jörn Kowalewski assisted the listed metals recycling group Chiho-Tiande with the acquisition and debt relief of the insolvent Scholz Holding. In another highlight practice head Frank Grell, who is recommended for his ‘comprehensive and strategic thinking’, advised Hayfin Capital as senior lender in connection with the restructuring and the sale of A.T.U; at the same time the firm also acted for French Mobivia in the acquisition of the distressed automotive company. Another client is Rockaway Capital regarding the takeover of the insolvent UNISTER group.

Linklaters’ restructuring practice is closely linked to the firm’s services in employment, insolvency and tax law. Key expertise lies in refinancings and restructurings especially in the banking sector. The team recently saw a high volume of contentious matters; it has significant experience in insolvency rescission proceedings and liability claims. Clients primarily include insolvency administrators, financial institutions and companies in the shipping and energy sectors. After the prominent departure of Kolja von Bismarck to Sidley Austin LLP in spring 2017 Sven Schelo remains the only partner in the team. A highlight was his advice to the insolvency administrator of IBEX Automotive and Gebrüder Kunze in the context of the transferring restructuring. Another key figure is counsel Sabine Vorwerk.

White & Case LLP is particularly known for its comprehensive advice on refinancings, restructurings and insolvencies in the shipping and finance sectors. Besides providing restructuring advice in and out of court the team is also well versed in rescission proceedings. It is also noted for its excellent network and often cooperates with the offices in London and New York. In a highlight Tom Schorling and Riaz Janjuah assisted the steering committee of the most important lenders of the insolvent recycling group Scholz Holding with the financial restructuring of its debt structure and the participation of a new Chinese investor. In another noteworthy matter the firm advised a prominent bank on the restructuring of several shipping companies. Other key figures include Sven-Holger Undritz, Jan-Philipp Hoos and Sylvia Fiebig. In June 2016 the office in Dresden was strengthened with the arrival of counsel Tim Brune, formely at Rasenberger Toschek Global Services Coopérative. Martin Heidrich, however, departed for Taylor Wessing’s Hamburg office in April 2017.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘client-oriented’ restructuring practice is noted for its ‘timeliness, industry expertise and economically viable solutions’. Besides giving advice on restructurings the team around practice heads Dorothée Prosteder and the ‘extremely quick and praticalHolger Ellers also has experience in refinancings, the acquisition and sale of distressed companies and protective shield and insolvency plan procedings. Clients include banks, creditors, debtors, insolvency administrators and companies in various sectors such as electrical engineering and the automotive and raw material industries. Most recent highlights include advising recycling specialist and raw material supplier ALBA Group regarding the entry of the Chinese investor. Burkard Göpfert, who is known particularly for his employment expertise in crisis situations, advises Etihad on the group restructuring of its distressed subsidiary Air Berlin. Schneider Electric, EnVersum and MAT Holdings are also clients.

CMS is considered a broad practice in the restructuring market, which covers advice on financial and operative restructurings and distressed M&A transactions. In the sale and acquisition of distressed companies the firm acts both on investor and seller side. It is also well versed in contentious matters with a focus on the prevention of liability risks. Besides advising clients in the banking and financial services industry the portfolio also includes insolvency administrators, companies and investors. The team is increasingly active on an international level; recently counsel Christoph Poertzgen and Rolf Leithaus advised the English insolvency administrator of the distressed firm King & Wood Mallesons, which seeks the firm’s advice regarding the wind-up of its German offices. The practice is led by Alexandra Schluck-Amend; Daniel Kamke has expertise in debt financings. The team’s sector expertise depends on the office: in Baden-Württemberg the focus lies on the automotive sector, in northern Germany on shipping. Michael Wangemann was promoted to partner in January 2017.

Dentons is ‘particularly active in the field of trusts and advice on pre-insolvency matters or insolvency itself’. The practice had a new office in Munich since July 2016 and was additionally strengthened with the arrival of counsel Benjamin Kurzberg from Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. Besides comprehensive expertise in financial restructurings the 15-strong team also advises on self-administration and handles in insolvency-related disputes. A particular focus lies on restructuring advice in connection with two-way trusteeships. ‘Outstanding practitioner’ Andreas Ziegenhagen advised Scholz Holding regarding the transfer of the shares held in a trust to Chiho-Tiande Group. In another highlight the firm assisted AEG Power Solutions with the introduction of a restructuring plan and agreement with bondholders. The Frankfurter office saw the departure of counsel Till Buschmann to Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in April 2017; Dirk Schoene and Sebastian Schmid, however, were already promoted to partner in January 2017 and Daniel F. Fritz, who is ‘well connected and involved in current legislative proposals’, joined from HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm in September 2017.

Well established firmHengeler Mueller is recommended for its ‘high quality, sound and focused working methods’ and able to ‘efficiently handle large restructurings’. The team enjoys a prominent presence particularly in Frankfurt and is well versed in financial restructurings, restructuring opinions and, due to its close cooperation with the offices in Brussels and London, in distressed cross-border M&A transcations. The client portfolio includes banking syndicates, companies, financial investors and insolvency administrators. In one of the most recent highlights Daniel Weiß advised US financial investor Blackstone as sponsor in connection with the restructuring of the Jack Wolfskin group. He also assisted an international automotive supplier with the corporate restructuring and sale of its assets. The team has additional expertise in the restructuring of non-performing loans; it advised a banking syndicate on the restructuring of a syndicated loan. Nikolaus Vieten and Johannes Tieves are two other key figures.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek is ‘a highly qualified, imaginative, assertive and goal-oriented firm’, which is experienced in giving advice on restructurings outside of insolvency, distressed M&A transactions and contentious cases. The broad team is comprised of over 20 partners and is known in particular for its litigation expertise. It predominantly advises investors and insolvency administrators. Peter Ladwig and Hermann Ali Hinderer assisted Portuguese Sodecia with the acquisition of the automotive supplier Kemmerich out of insolvency. In another highlight practice head Georg Streit advised VfR Aalen on the restructuring preparations and the negotiations with lenders and guarantors. The ‘very competent and eloquent’ Johan Schneider, who is noted for his ‘steady hand in complex situations’, has particular expertise in the maritime sector. Marcus Tischler and David Loszynski are also recommended. The practice saw the departure of Benjamin Kurzberg to Dentons in December 2016; Stephan Degen, however, was promoted to counsel in January 2017.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s restructuring practice is closely linked to the firm’s expertise in financing matters. The six partner-team is well versed in restructurings, refinancings, distressed M&A transactions and insolvency-related issues and also experienced in litigation, particularly in insolvency rescission matters. It advises banks, insolvency administrators, debtors and companies in diverse sectors; it saw an increased work load particularly in the fashion, electronics, retail and automotive industries. Heiko Tschauner advised furniture manufacturer Röhr-Bush on the by now successfully completed insolvency plan procedure and assisted shoe retailer Leiser with the restructuring of the group companies via protective shield proceedings. Julian Fischer and Christian Herweg provided transactional advice to Norddeutsche Landesbank regarding the sale of a ship financing portfolio. Detlef Hass is recommended for his expertise in contentious matters.

Noerr’s ten-partner strong practice is ‘goal-oriented and works in the interest of its clients’ and regularly handles pre-insolvency and restructuring-related matters. Since April 2017 the firm has strengthened its presence in Hamburg with a new office and expanding restructuring practice in the shipping sector. The team is also increasingly active on the banking side and in the bond segment; Thomas Hoffmann recently advised the bondholders of AEG Power Solutions on the restructuring via protective shield procedings. In another highlight Christian Pleister assisted A.T.U with the restructuring and sale to Mobivia. Marlies Raschke and Ingo Theusinger ‘work extremely well on liability matters’; Martin Kleinschmitt is another key figure. Patrick Mückl and Nikolei Warneke were promoted to partner in January 2017.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s Frankfurt-based restructuring team is comprised of four partners and is especially active in restructurings out of court. In contentious matters the practice usually acts on defenders’ side. The client portfolio predominantly consists of shareholders and investors and due to the close collaboration with the London office the team regularly handles large international matters; in a particular highlight practice head Gerhard Schmidt acted for Centerbridge Partners, Goldman Sachs, Caspian and other financial investors in salvaging the insolvent company A.T.U. In another cross-border matter Britta Grauke advised Charterhouse Capital on the restructuring of the shares in BARTEC. Other clients include Strategic Value Partners and Avenue Capital. Uwe Hartmann and Ingo Scholz are also part of the core team.

Besides traditional insolvency administration and trusteeship Wellensiek Rechtsanwälte - Partnerschaftsgesellschaft increasingly provides pre-insolvency advice with a focus on crisis-related issues. It prepares and implements insolvency plans and also handles distressed M&A transactions, mostly on buyer side. The often recommended Sebastian Rudow advised the crisis-ridden seed producer Strube on the restructuring via protective shield proceedings. In another highlight Glencore sought the firm’s advice on the financing of the German Recyclex Group. Alfred Hagebusch and Richard Scholz are other key figures, but the team again saw recent departures: Michael Flitsch joined anchor Rechtsanwälte in June 2017 and litigator Gerrit Heublein left to establish the firm Heublein Müller Rechtsanwalt Wirtschaftsprüfer Steuerberater mbB in January 2017. Patric Naumann was promoted to partner.

BBL Bernsau Brockdorff & Partner Rechtsanwälte was able to strengthen its restructuring practice at the beginning of 2017 with the arrivals of Florian Linkert, André Binder and Markus Birkmann with their team from the now closed firm LB Rechtsanwälte. Besides insolvency administration the 15-strong practice covers restructuring advice, the preparation of insolvency plans and, increasingly, matters around non-performing loans. Georg Bernsau and Carl-Christian Kramer advised HETA Asset Resolution on the operation of the formerly Alpe-Adria Leasing’s German assets. Kramer also heads the insolvency litigation practice, which in particular handles crisis-related manager liability. Clients include not only executives, companies and management boards but also public authorities. Christian Graf Brockdorff is ‘a strong negotiator, persuasive and always has a continuation strategy’ and Mona Helmi is recommended for her ‘balanced opportunity/risk and cost/benefit deliberations’. Lars Hinkel joined anchor Rechtsanwälte in February 2017.

Greenberg Traurig Germany’s Berlin-based restructuring practice focuses on financial and operative restructurings. The three-partner team assists crisis-ridden companies with preparations for and implementations of restructurings; besides companies the client base also includes creditors and investors and the firm is particularly active in the technology and start-up sectors. Benefitting from the collaboration with the US offices the team regularly handles international matters; in a cross-border highlight it advised a US media company in the context of the insolvency of a supplier. Christian Köhler-Ma acts for a printing group restructuring in self-administration and Viola Bensinger recently advised an online payment service on the insolvency protection of large customer risks. Gordon Geiser is another key figure.

Grub Brugger is particularly visible in southern Germany and especially active advising on crisis management, restructuring advice and self-administration. The close interaction between the restructuring practice and the white collar crime and compliance practices distinguishes the firm from others. The team advises insolvency administrators and mostly mid-sized companies in various industries. In a high-profile matter it acted for Christopher Freiherr von Oppenheim in the comprehensive settlement agreement with the different parties, including banks, co-shareholders and the German shareholder Madeleine Schickedanz, in the legal dispute surrounding advice on investments in the by now insolvent Arcandor corporation. Hendrik Wolfer, who was promoted to equity partner in January 2017, advised the German management board of an international energy service provider on financing negotations with a banking syndicate and the German companies’ obligation to file an insolvency application. Manon Hotz, formerly at Schiefer & Schmid, strengthened the Stuttgart office in September 2016 with her employment expertise at the intersection with insolvency law and Michael Jilek was also promoted to partner in January 2017.

HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm’s ‘strong team benefits from having insolvency administrators and management consultants under one roof’. While insolvency administration and trusteeship remains at the heart of the practice, the team is committed to positioning itself in the restructuring market. The client portfolio includes corporations, creditors and investors and advice ranges from predominantly pre-insolvency issues and matters outside of insolvency to the preparation of insolvency plans, restructuring opinions and the defence against claims for rescission, such as recently representing an executive in the defence against manager liability and rescission claims. In another highlight the team advised a German high-tech corporation on the optimisation of the group structure outside of insolvency. Burkhard Jung is ‘very approachable and pragmatic’ and Stefan Weniger is also recommended. Daniel Fritz, however, left for Dentons in September 2017.

The eight-partner restructuring team at Jones Day not only provides restructuring advice but also covers the enforcement of and defence against claims. The firm predominantly acts for executives and companies in the automotive, construction, retail and fashion industries. With a strong global and particularly pan-European orientation, it regularly handles cross-border matters; the German team around Olaf Benning advised American Apparel on the restructuring and assessment of insolvency risks and the coordination of worldwide insolvency applications, including the insolvency application of the subsidiary American Apparel Germany. Restructuring expert Sandra-Christiane Kamper assisted a well known automotive manufacturer in financial distress due a fine with restructuring matters. Maximilian Krause was promoted to partner in January 2017.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP’s ‘service and solution-oriented’ restructuring team ‘stands out for its professional and structured working methods’. Its out-of-court restructuring and refinancing advice is complemented by the firm’s litigation practice; the team often advises both insolvency administrators and executives on liability claims. It demonstrated its expertise in distressed M&A transactions in the representation of SIGNA Retail regarding the acquisition of the insolvent dress-for-less. In another highlight ‘strong negotiator and well connected’ Uwe Goetker assisted the insolvency administrator of Unister with the sale of its entire travel business division. Matthias Kampshoff advised the Kemmerich regarding an attempted out-of-court restructuring and subsequently handled the sale of the business operation to Sodecia. Besides insolvency administrators and companies the client portfolio also includes executives and investors.

With more than 30 insolvency administrators Schultze & Braun is well known across Germany for its strong insolvency administration and trusteeship practice, but also provides advice on pre-insolvency restructurings and restructurings outside of insolvency. Across 40 offices in and around Germany the firm mainly advises lenders, banks and companies in crisis situations with a focus on the mid-sized sector. The team surrounding name partner Eberhard Braun is internationally well connected and advises at the intersection with employment and business law and regarding two-way trusteeships. Other pillars of the practice lie in the restructuring management for crisis-ridden companies, advice on distressed M&A transactions and to international banking groups. Stefanie Beck, Joachim Zobel and Detlef Specovius are recommended.

The spectrum of services of the ‘very profound restructuring practice’ at Taylor Wessing ranges from restructurings and refinancings to insolvency-related matters and distressed M&A transactions, where the firm predominantly advises on the investors’ side. The client portfolio furthermore includes insolvency administrators, creditors and companies. The Düsseldorf office is particularly strong in the assessment and enforcement of claims, which constitutes a main pillar of the firm across all its locations. Recent highlights include advising Tönnies on the insolvency and acquisition of the former joint venture partner KTG Agrar; the ‘very competent’ Hendrik Boss took the lead. Michael Malitz ‘works pragmatically and is solution-oriented’ and Bernhard Kloft is also recommended. Martin Heidrich, formerly at White & Case LLP, joined the Hamburg office in April 2017; Daniel Kunz and Christian Saueressig were promoted to partner in October 2016.

Besides giving restructuring advice Aderhold Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is also well versed in self-administration proceedings and the acquisition and sale of distressed companies. Practice head Thorsten Prigge advises companies on restructurings, further funding and all issues around self-administration. Till Vosberg assisted the insolvency administrator of textile cleaning company MTR with the sale of its business operation to laundry group Elis. Michael Löser and Sven Degenhardt are also part of the core team.

Beiten Burkhardt’s restructuring practice is particularly active advising at the intersection between corporate law, M&A and tax law; in the Frankfurt office it primarily handles financial restructurings. Across all of its offices the firm also covers rescission proceedings and damage claims. The team around Guido Krüger and Heinrich Meyer advises insolvency administrators, mid-sized and family businesses and is primarily active at the domestic level. In a highlight it represented Adidas in the insolvency proceedings of the Lüneburg-based company terrathree, which was handling the product marketing of the sports goods manufacturer.

DLA Piper increasingly provides transactional advice to distressed portfolio companies. It also covers restructurings, refinancings and the representation of insolvency administrators in contentious matters. Practice head Dietmar Schulz recently advised the lenders of frozen fish products producer Pickenpack’s insolvent shareholders regarding the refinancing of the insolvency administrator and the satisfaction of creditors. In another highlight he assisted Lone Star Funds with the acquisition of the Dutch bad bank Propertize. Besides banks and investors, clients also include creditors and companies. Another key figure is Mike Danielewsky.

Besides providing restructuring advice Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH also has experience in litigation, transactions and the preparation of insolvency plans. In contentious matters the firm primarily acts for insolvency administrators regarding the enforcement of claims. Recent highlights include advising a European federal railway in connection with the insolvency of a stratefically important supplier. The practice also saw much activity in the shipping and medical care sectors and advised an increasing number of hospitals, shipping companies and their insolvency administrators. Reinhard Willemsen and Marcus Backes head the team.

Mayer Brown LLP’s international practice advises on restructurings and refinancings but also increasingly on the sale and acquisition of distressed companies, usually on the seller side. It has additional expertise in trust models and is well versed in litigation; here it focuses on the defence against actions for rescission. The client portfolio includes insolvency administrators, investors, banking syndicates and companies in the real estate, automotive and finance sectors. In a highlight practice head Marco Wilhelm assisted US-based company MacLean-Fogg with the sale of automotive components manufacturer Pressewerks Krefeld, which was sold to HANNOVER Finanz in the context of a distressed M&A transaction.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s restructuring practice often handles mandates with a cross-border element due to its collaboration with the London and US offices, but the team has also gained a good reputation for advising on matters in the domestic market. Besides restructuring advice it covers distressed transactions, particularly in the real estate sector. It also has relevant expertise at the intersection with its finance practice; Winfried Carli and counsel Matthias Weissinger advised a European holding company on the comprehensive restructuring of the financial liabilities and assisted the client with the financial restructuring of a portfolio company. Esther Jansen is another key figure.

Frankfurt-based firm AC Tischendorf Rechtsanwälte focuses particularly on distressed M&A transactions and operative restructurings and positions itself at the intersection with commercial and business advice. A recent highlight was the advice to a German employment services company concerning the preparations for protective shield proceedings; practice head Sven Tischendorf and Matthias Müller took the lead. The firm also assisted Lomotex with the acquisition of large parts of the insolvent Steilmann group. The team primarily advises mid-sized and private equity companies and was strengthened with the arrival of counsel Marcus Grubusch from SVP Global in October 2016.

Due to its strong ties with the London office Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP predominantly handles cross-border matters. The team not only advises on restructurings but is also well versed in distressed transactions. Practice head Christian Halàsz and Axel Vogelmann advised the bondholders of 3W Power on restructuring matters, including the restructuring of the German subsidiary AEG Power Solutions. Clients mainly include foreign investors and hedge funds; the practice recently saw much activity in the offshore, oil and gas sectors. Counsel Stefan Gehrlein is another key figure.

Ashurst LLP’s Munich office advises investors on the acquisition of companies out of insolvency and also handles contentious matters and advice on restructurings and refinancings outside of insolvency. It assisted a management consulting company with the restructuring outside of insolvency and advised a banking syndicate in connection with the restructuring of an automotive supplier. Clients mainly include creditors, insolvency administrators, mid-sized companies, hedge funds and investors and the team is almost exclusively active in cross-border mandates. Alexander Ballmann is also part of the core team, which recently saw the departure of Sebastian Schoon to Gibson Dunn.


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