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Leading individuals

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Flick Gocke Schaumburg’s ‘market-leading’ practice has a strong client base of large, family-run companies, but also attracts a regular workflow from DAX and MDAX companies, as well as from high-net-worth individuals. Thomas Rödder heads the practice, which advised Metro Group on its restructuring and represented a real estate company in fiscal proceedings. Dispute resolution, including criminal tax law, has been an area of growth. The latter is a key area for Jörg Schauf. Ingo Stangl is also recommended; Jörg Stalleiken has been promoted to partner and of counsel Hans-Henning Bernhardt joined from WTS.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has a focus on cross-border transactions, including recently advising CVC Capital Partners on its buyout of Douglas. Advising on tax aspects of restructuring is another area of strength, as exemplified by the team’s advice to ADAC. The practice frequently advises family-owned companies and high-net-worth individuals on succession planning and structuring matters; compliance is a growth area. Norbert Schneider heads the practice, which includes recently promoted partner David Beutel.

Linklaters’ ‘well-attuned’ team has ‘a good grasp of what is needed’. Financial services industry compliance, finance-related taxation, restructuring, transactional advice as well as company and investment taxation law are key areas. In addition, the team is well versed in handling tax disputes and internal investigations. It advised Bayer on dual track procedures for the spin-off and IPO of its plastics division Bayer MaterialScience. Oliver Rosenberg, who ‘delivers outstanding results’, is recommended along with Sebastian Benz, Jens Blumenberg and recently promoted partner Jann Jetter, who is also a qualified tax adviser.

Allen & Overy LLP focuses on risk management and compliance advice. The firm hired tax adviser Daniela Trötscher from Ernst & Young, with Marcus Helios and former judge at the Federal Fiscal Court Joachim Moritz moving in the opposite direction. The practice regularly handles external audits and tax return proceedings; tax advice during business transformations or cross-border M&A forms another cornerstone of the practice, which is headed by Gottfried Breuninger. The team advised Saudi Aramco on setting up a joint venture for synthetic rubber. National Bank of Canada and Patrizia Alternative Investments are also clients.

Clifford Chance has particular expertise in the real estate and financial services sectors. The team, headed by Uwe Schimmelschmidt, assisted DZ Bank with land transfer tax matters in relation to its merger with WGZ Bank; other work included acting for Global Infrastructure Partners on tax aspects of the financing and acquisition of a 50% stake in an offshore wind farm. Stefan Behrens is also recommended.

Baker McKenziemeets the highest expectations’ and is ‘a very good choice for international tax law matters’. Other key areas include tax advice on profits and VAT; the latter is a key area for the ‘very experiencedNicole Looks. The practice represented a German group against the customs authority in a case regarding customs valuations and VAT corrections; non-contentious work included acting for an entertainment company regarding the restructuring of its German electronics and music division. Christoph Becker is ‘very committed and quickly finds solutions’, and Stephan Behnes is ‘goal-oriented and reassuring’. Christian Port and Juliane Sassmann have both been promoted to partner.

Hengeler Mueller’s ‘very good’ team focuses on international tax matters, compliance and the tax aspects of transactions and hybrid bonds. It assisted Deutsche Bank during its squeeze-out of Deutsche Postbank’s minority shareholders, and advised a family-run business on adjusting its investment activities in the wake of new tax legislation. Stefanie Beinert and Martin Klein are recommended along with the ‘very competent and reliable’ Ernst-Thomas Kraft and ‘experienced’ counsel Mathias Link.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has ‘remarkable specialist knowledge’, is well regarded for its ‘excellent level of service’ and has a particular focus on transactions and tax law for groups of companies. Practice head Rolf Füger, who ‘has a strong willingness to meet client requirements’, regularly advises clients on reorganisations, audits and contentious matters. The firm advised H.C. Starck on the group’s refinancing and reorganisation. Matthias Schell has ‘a wealth of knowledge in international tax law’.

Noerr swiftly delivers ‘very high-quality advice’. The team focuses on tax aspects of transactions or financings and tax compliance; it also handles contentious matters. ‘Pragmatic, practical and knowledgeable’ practice head Carsten Heinz advised ActivumSG on the tax aspects of its acquisition of residential development company GRK-Holding. Meritor received advice on company pension scheme reorganisation matters. Lars Kutzner is an expert in criminal tax law and recent arrival Martin Haisch, who joined from Dechert in March 2017, has tax expertise in regulated finance products.

The ‘reliable, competent and proactive’ team at P+P Pöllath + Partners displays ‘commercial acumen’. Transactional tax advice is an area of focus, where it often advises on matters involving a private equity or real estate element. The practice advised Deutsche Wohnen on a portfolio acquisition from Patrizia Immobilien and acted for EMERAN Capital Partners on the acquisition of six digital and e-commerce service providers. Hardy Fischer has ‘a great ability to deal with sensitive issues during negotiations’; Michael Bestmanages to build rapport with auditors’; and Peter Bujotzek is now a partner.

Tax transactions are a key strength of CMS, reflected by the partner promotion of Tobias Schneider, who is an expert in the area. Indirect tax, compliance and transfer pricing are also areas of expertise. The team advised Acciona on acquiring a stake in Nordex and acted for EADS (now trading as Airbus) on tax aspects of its joint venture with Safran. Heino Büsching and Thomas Link are recommended.

Gleiss Lutz’s strengths lie in transactional tax structures as well as reorganisations, restructuring and pre-insolvency matters. It assisted investor Atlantik, as well as insolvent entity Pfleiderer, which was acquired by the client in 2012, on setting up its new company structure. Deutsche Telekom received advice on the carve-out and subsequent sale of its online platform t-online.de. The team also regularly handles compliance, succession planning and VAT matters. Stefan Mayer and Johann Wagner are recommended.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek has a focus on company taxation law, transactions and restructurings. Highlights were advising AL-KO Kober on merging its AL-KO Fahrzeugtechnik division with US-based manufacturer Dexter Axle. Dieter Bohnert assisted a number of family foundations and high-net-worth individuals with voluntary declarations in relation to succession and inheritance tax matters. Marc Scheunemann is well regarded for his expertise in transactions. Marion Sangen-Emden heads the practice. Falko Keller joined from KPMG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

Hogan Lovells International LLP stands out for its regulated industries tax expertise and attracted a number of cross-border structuring and M&A mandates. It handled tax aspects of 3M’s $1bn buyout of Polypore’s Separations Media business unit, as well as Cimpress’ acquisition of WIRmachenDRUCK. Ingmar Dörr focuses on compliance and tax litigation. Michael Dettmeier heads the practice.

küffner maunz langer zugmaier has ‘remarkable subject matter knowledge’ in VAT, customs and criminal tax law. It represented Dover in VAT proceedings and advised a trading group in negotiations with the tax authorities. The practice acted for Alt und Jung during fiscal court proceedings, the result of which led to legislative change. Stefan Maunz is well regarded for his ‘knowledge and vast network’. Thomas Küffner is also recommended.

Latham & Watkins LLP is known for its strong transactional tax expertise, with a focus on private equity and venture capital, as well as restructuring. Antin Infrastructure Partner received advice on taking a majority stake in Amedes; the team also advised Riverstone on the tax and supervisory law restructuring of Riverstone Fonds. Stefan Süß is recommended.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP is ‘very well regarded for its assistance during audits’; Dirk Pohl and Gero Burwitz have a good reputation for representing companies in criminal tax proceedings. The team regularly advises on transactions, reorganisations and restructurings. High-net-worth individuals, family-owned companies and foundations receive advice on succession planning and disputes.

Oppenhoff & Partner focuses on company acquisitions and restructurings, but also handles tax compliance, succession planning, audits and tax litigation. The team advised a wealthy family on structuring a trust abroad and acted for a US company on Germany’s VAT reimbursement procedures. Marc Krischer is recommended along with transfer pricing expert Axel Bödefeld.

Streck Mack Schwedhelm is ‘excellent for criminal tax law matters’. The team acts for companies, associations and individuals in contentious matters, as well as assisting with audits, tax structuring and tax assessment opposition proceedings. It represented Kraus-Maffei Wegmann’s former manager in proceedings concerning the facilitation of tax evasion. Rainer Spatscheck is recommended.

Beiten Burkhardt focuses on corporate taxation and audits, succession planning and tax in the non-profit sector. It assisted Fair Friend with its acquisition of MAG. Helmut König heads the team; Marcus Mische has been promoted to partner.

Dentons regularly handles transactions, restructurings and pre-insolvency restructurings. Recent work includes assisting Berliner Wasserbetriebe with repurchasing its €1.3bn silent participation in Berlinwasser, as well as advising Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband on acquiring participations in Euro Kartensysteme from state banks and regional savings bank associations. The firm opened a Munich office in July 2016 with a focus on M&A and tax law through the arrival of partners from Norton Rose Fulbright, including tax expert Igsaan Varachia. Counsel Marcus Seiboth joined from tax advisory service provider MAZARS Tax. Stephan Busch and head of tax compliance Michael Helm are also recommended. Michael Graf is co-head of the firm’s European tax practice alongside Paris-based Sandra Hazan.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH focuses on transactions and regularly handles due diligence projects and tax structuring. Jens Röhrbein advised the city of Frankfurt am Main on merging Frankfurt Höchst’s clinic with clinics in the Main-Taunus-Kreis region.

One-stop-shopRödl & Partner is ‘experienced in advising mid-cap clients on doing business overseas’. The team focuses on succession planning, restructuring and tax structuring, as well as transactions, audits and representation in fiscal proceedings. The practice continues to advise a large real estate investor on land transfer tax and taxation on profits. Tax adviser Hans Weggenmann heads the team.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP covers transactions, tax structuring and tax litigation. Tobias Geerling heads the practice, which regularly advises family-owned businesses on succession and inheritance tax matters. It represented DekaBank in fiscal proceedings regarding share sales close to the dividend record date. The firm hired Mayer Brown LLP’s former tax practice head, Ingo Kleutgens.

White & Case LLP’s strength lies in cross-border transactions and private equity mandates. It assisted payment services provider Equens in its merger with payment and processing service provider Worldline. Dirk Eisolt and insolvency administrator Christoph Schulte-Kaubrügger advised ATELCO on optimising its sale to K&M Computer. Bodo Bender heads the practice, which also regularly handles audits and contentious tax matters.

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Legal Developments in Germany for Tax

Legal Developments in Germany

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

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