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Latham & Watkins LLP


Germany

Antitrust
Antitrust - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

From three offices in Germany Latham & Watkins LLP advises on all areas of antitrust law with a particular focus on merger control, abuse and damage claim proceedings. Clients note and appreciate the synergies between the domestic and international offices; together with the San Francisco practice the team continues to advise Facebook in abuse proceedings at the Federal Cartel Office. It also defends Singapore Airlines and Singapore Airlines Cargo against follow-on damage claims proceedings at the Regional Court of Cologne in connection with the air freight cartel. Another highlight was the representation of Lufthansa in a phase I approval procedure at the Federal Cartel Office regarding the acquisition of a third of the Air Berlin fleet. The broad client base also includes Siemens, Daimler and Nestlé; Volkswagen and Deutsche Bank are new clients. Georg Weidenbach and Michael Esser, who arrived from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in May 2016, are recommended. Marco Núñez Müller left for Chatham Partners LLP.

Leading individuals

Michael Esser - Latham & Watkins LLP

Next generation lawyers

Georg Weidenbach - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Compliance
Compliance - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is best known for representing clients in money laundering and corruption proceedings, although it suffered a significant loss with Finn Zeidler’s move to Gibson Dunn in May 2017. Also well versed in covering preventative compliance advisory work, the practice frequently handles due diligence, M&A, capital markets, finance, data protection and antitrust-related issues which included an instruction by CVC Capital Partners; the team advised the private equity company on compliance matters arising from the acquisition of a majority stake in the Tipico Group. In the data protection space, counsel Ulrich Wuermeling acted for Schufa, Deutsche Bank and IMS Health, while Michael Esser is the central point of contact for antitrust issues. Christoph Engeler is dedicated to compliance work in the health sector.

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Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s steadily growing team puts significant focus on assisting pharmaceutical industry players with restructuring matters, while also advising and representing executives and managing directors. Other key areas of expertise include company pension provision issues and providing transaction-related advice. Recently, the team advised Astellas Pharma on employment law issues arising from its reorganisation following the acquisition of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, and routinely provides Dow Chemical with general employment law advice. Airbus is another long-term client, who frequently instructs the team with cross-border issues. Stefan Lunk and the ‘solution-orientedClaudia Heins are recommended.

Leading individuals

Stefan Lunk - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Private equity
Private equity - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP advises a high-calibre client base, which predominantly includes active funds such as CVC, HgCapital and Triton in the large-cap arena, as well as private equity firms such as Chequers Capital, Silverfleet, H.I.G. and Quadriga who concentrate on mid-sized transactions. The practice also consistently expanded its portfolio, for instance with Permira, and is appointed to new panels such as Partners Group’s panel. Oliver Felsenstein in particular had a successful year: he advised HgCapital, among others, on the €835m sale of P&I Personal & Informatik to Permira and also took the lead for CVC during the €1.5bn acquisition of a majority stake in Tipico, which was particularly challenging due to the highly regulated sports betting market and a concluded Warranty & Indemnity insurance policy. Rainer Traugott and Burc Hesse in Munich are highly recommended, as are Henning Schneider and Christian Edye in Hamburg. Nils Röver made partner in January 2017 and Leif Schrader in March 2017, however, when Dirk Oberbracht relocated to the new Frankfurt location of Gibson Dunn in July 2016 after ten years at the firm, a highly respected consultant was lost.

Leading individuals

Oliver Felsenstein - Latham & Watkins LLP

Rainer Traugott - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice has transaction-related tax law at its core, which includes other related matters such as restructurings, fund structurings and financings, and which leads to regular instructions from private equity firms alongside financial and credit institutions. In co-operation with the corporate team, practice head Stefan Süß advised Triton on the sale of Compo Consumer to the listed company Kingenta Ecological, a leading Chinese fertiliser manufacturer, and on financing the acquisition of 80% of Voith Industrial Services from the technology company Voith. Other highlights included assisting CVC Capital Partners with the acquisition of a majority stake in Tipico Group and advising the Tengelmann Group on the sale of its supermarket subsidiary Kaiser’s Tengelmann alongside Tengelmann e-stores to EDEKA. Thomas Fox is recommended.

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Germany: Banking and finance

Financial services: regulatory
Banking and finance: financial services: regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Due to its ‘very high service levelLatham & Watkins LLP’s clients have ‘no complaints’; the ‘partners are experts and very client-oriented’. The ‘strong’ regulatory team is particularly recommended ‘for special matters’: A focus lies on cross-border advice, especially in collaboration with the practices in London, the US and Hong Kong, and a strength also lies in the FinTech area. Together with the strong cyber security, technology and data protection practice the tech-savvy team also handles regulatory issues surrounding the digitalisation in the banking sector for banks. A recent transactional highlight was advising Berenberg Bank and Bankhaus Lampe on the sale of its shares in the capital management company Universal-Investment-Gesellschaft. Ongoing regulatory advice to various German financial institutions includes regulatory matters in connection with the European passport, the implementation of MiFID II and additional capital requirements at a European group level. A longstanding client is the Federal Association of German Banks (Bundesverband Deutscher Banken). With a focus on M&A transactions Markus Krüger has also ‘gained a good reputation in regulatory law’ and Axel Schiemann was promoted to partner at the start of 2017.

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Lending and borrowing
Banking and finance: Lending and borrowing - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Cutting-edge and market leading’, Latham & Watkins LLP’s finance practice ‘enjoys a very good reputation’ and ‘belongs to the preferred firms, particularly for transactions with bond aspects and for mid-sized German LBOs’. The team is ‘recommended by financial institutions and clients (private equity, corporate) and is equally strong on both sides and always professional and performance-oriented’. Thanks to close links with the firm’s practices in London and the US, a strength lies in cross-border matters. Besides acquisition finance, bank-bond financing and LBO transactions the team also advises on restructurings and real estate financings. Clients include US sponsors (Advent International, Carlyle and Hellman & Friedman), European private equity firms (Equistone, Nordic Capital and Orlando), banks (Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan) and German key players (UniCredit, pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and LBBW). Recently the firm advised BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, J. P. Morgan and Rabobank on the granting of a €60m loan to HelloFresh, and the banking syndicate on the financing of the planned public takeover of Stada. Other highlights included advising Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking on the financing of the voluntary public takeover offer of Vonovia to the shareholders of the Austrian conwert Immobilien Invest, and Pfleiderer on the refinancing of its existing loans and operating line of credit. The ‘very experienced lawyer’ Alexandra Hagelüken is considered ‘one of the best lawyers in credit law in Germany’. The ‘extremely solution-oriented’, ‘sociable and commercialAndreas Diem and the ‘pragmaticChristian Jahn are also recommended; all are noted for their ‘negotiation strength, decisiveness and concentration on what is essential and doable’. The team was also strengthened with the addition of counsel Sibylle Münch from White & Case LLP.

Leading individuals

Alexandra Hagelüken - Latham & Watkins LLP

Andreas Diem - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Germany: Capital markets

Debt capital markets
Capital markets: Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

High-yield - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is particularly known for its profound experience with high-yield transactions and the development of high-yield products in the European market and ‘promptly accommodates clients’ needs and requests’. In the area of investment grade bonds the firm focuses primarily on Yankee bonds and Pfandbriefe in close collaboration with the teams in London and the US and additional expertise also lies in hybrid bonds, particularly on the issuer side. With over 14 years’ experience the ‘dynamic, intelligent and innovative’ Rüdiger Malaun is ‘a pro in high-yield bond matters’ and is ‘very well connected in the banking sector’; ‘his solutions are always commercially-oriented’. Together with Alexander Lentz, who was promoted to partner at the start of 2017, he recently advised DEMIRE on the debut issue of senior notes according to 144A/Reg S at a total volume of €270m. Another highlight was assisting the issuing banks led by Deutsche Bank and Citigroup with the bond placement of IHO Holding at a value of €3.6bn. Marcus Funke acted for the joint bookrunners in the issue of bonds worth over $4bn through BMW, the debut issue of bonds of BMW according to Rule 144A/Regulation S.

Leading individuals

Rüdiger Malaun - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Equity capital markets
Capital markets: Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Particularly after the prominent arrival of Oliver Seiler from Allen & Overy LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP’s equity capital markets team is considered ‘very strong – absolute experts in the field and pragmatic but thorough’; the firm gives ‘very entrepreneurial advice’ with ‘short response times’. Expertise lies both in domestic and cross-border transactions, including IPOs in Germany, Europe and the US. At the international level Marcus Funke, who is recommended for his ‘particularly close cooperation and willingness to find solutions’, advised Galenica Santé on its subsidiary IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange, and assisted trivago with its IPO and primary listing on the NASDAQ. Within Germany the team advised VARTA on the planned but cancelled IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The ‘renowned expert in capital markets lawRoland Maass recently acted once again for the managers of Scout24 regarding the sale of a share packet of online trade platform Scout24; in total 10.3m shares were placed with institutional investors in an accelerated bookbuilding procedure. The firm also advises on capital increases and in the context of public takeovers; clients include companies (CHORUS Clean Energy), private equity houses (Hellman & Friedman) and banks (Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank).

Leading individuals

Oliver Seiler - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Germany: Corporate and M&A

Corporate
Corporate and M&A: Corporate - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Appreciated by clients for providing ‘comprehensive advice’, Latham & Watkins LLP is particularly appreciated for corporate work with an international element. It covers a broad range of topics and has specific expertise in the areas of trade, energy and health. A current automotive sector highlight was advising Daimler on a joint venture investment in Toll Collect. The group also assisted specialty chemicals company H&R with changing its legal form from a public limited company (AG) to a partnership limited by shares (KGaA) and advised ArcelorMittal on the restructuring of its steel production and processing business. Another highlight was acting for the family shareholders of ARAG Lebensversicherung concerning the carve-out of significant assets to ARAG SE. This matter was led by Martin Neuhaus, who co-leads the group together with Henning Schneider. It also includes Harald Selzner, Rainer Wilke and newly appointed partner Nils Röver. Wilhelm Reinhardt and some other partners from different practices left the group in July 2016 to open Gibson Dunn’s Frankfurt office.

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M&A: Large domestic deals (€500m+)
Corporate and M&A: M&A: Large domestic deals (€500m+) - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

At Latham & Watkins LLP, a group of 17 partners regularly acts on cross-border and domestic high-end transactions. An example is assisting Osram with the spin-off of its lamp business Osram Licht to Ledvance for over €400m plus royalty payments for the use of trademark rights. In another instruction, the family shareholders of ARAG Lebensversicherung retained the group for the sale of the company to Heidelberger Leben. In Düsseldorf, Harald Selzner, Rainer Wilke and Martin Neuhaus are recommended, in Munich Rainer Traugott. Nikolaos Paschos joined the Düsseldorf office from Linklaters in October 2017. In Hamburg, Henning Schneider, who leads the practice together with Neuhaus, is recommended. Nils Röver made partner in January 2017 and Leif Schrader in March 2017.

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M&A: Large international deals (€500m+)
Corporate and M&A: M&A: Large international deals (€500m+) - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Equipped with ‘competitive industry knowledge’, Latham & Watkins LLP is clearly one of the leading firms for large-cap international transactions, as illustrated by current instructions: The group assisted Henkel with the mandatory takeover offer for the $1.05bn acquisition of Darex Packaging Technologies from GCP Applied Technologies, and advised Siemens on the $4.5bn acquisition of Mentor Graphics. The sale of Kaiser’s Tengelmann and Tengelmann E-Stores – the firm’s clients – to EDEKA attracted plenty of media attention. With the addition of Nikolaos Paschos, who formerly worked at Linklaters, in October 2017, the group gained another highly regarded partner. In the previous year, Rainer Traugott, who has a ‘high level of expertise and integrity’, had already joined the group. Now, Martin Neuhaus and Henning Schneider lead an 18-partner strong group, which also includes Harald Selzner and Christoph Engeler.

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M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m)
Corporate and M&A: M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m) - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

According to clients, Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘unconditionally recommendable for transactions with an international component’; this can be attributed, among other things, to the good relations with international offices of the firm, especially in the US and Great Britain. For example, when advising Astellas Pharma on the €422m acquisition of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, the group cooperated with offices in Houston and Washington; and when assisting Mobivia with the acquisition of A.T.U Auto-Teile-Unger with the Paris office. In addition, the group has been involved in a number of healthcare and energy sector transactions. Martin Neuhaus and Henning Schneider co-lead the 18 partner-strong practice, which is spread over four locations. Recommended are Rainer Traugott in Munich and Harald Selzner in Düsseldorf; Nikolaos Paschos joined the latter office from Linklaters in October 2017. In addition, the group saw the internal partner promotions of Leif Schrader in Frankfurt and Nils Röver in Hamburg.

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Germany: Dispute resolution

Arbitration (including international arbitration)
Dispute resolution: arbitration (including international arbitration) - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP focuses on party representation mandates and demonstrates particular expertise in large-scale cross-border arbitration proceedings. Recent work includes representing Daimler Financial Services in a dispute with the Federal Republic of Germany on matters pertaining to the introduction of a toll system for trucks, and acting for a German technology company in a post-M&A arbitration against a market leader in the automotive supply sector. An Asian pharmaceutical company instructed the team to act in two DIS arbitrations based on a shareholder dispute. Equally noteworthy, Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert represented the transnational steel group ArcelorMittal in an ICSID investment arbitration against Egypt. Other key individuals include Markus Rieder and the recommended Christoph Baus.

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Benefiting from its international network, the ‘outstanding’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘always available’ and ‘capable of putting itself in the client’s position’. The team has substantial expertise in corporate and banking litigation, while its antitrust capabilities were strengthened by the arrival of Michael Esser from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. ‘Excellent and strategically clever litigatorChristoph Baus represented Achim Ahrendt, liquidator of the two funds Deutsche S&K Sachwerte Nr. 2 and S&K Real Estate Value Added Fondsgesellschaft, in asserting claims against 3,700 individual investors and the S&K funds initiators. In co-operation with the corporate department, the team also acted for Hamburger Hochbahn in appeal proceedings pertaining to a holding company’s financing responsibilities. Markus Rieder represented a major European bank in several legal challenges and appeals filed in Germany and Austria following a company merger and related restructuring. Carsten Witzke, the ‘strategic and prudentSebastian Seelmann-Eggebert and the ‘strategically thinking’ Volker Schäfer are recommended. Finn Zeidler moved to Gibson Dunn.

Next generation lawyers

Christine Gärtner - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Financial services litigation
Dispute resolution: financial services litigation - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Frequently acting on the defence side, Latham & Watkins LLP represents a broad client base, including banks, investors, shareholders and insurance companies. Highlights included Christoph Baus’ representation of Clerical Medical Investment Group, a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group, in a number of lawsuits alleging miscounselling, and Markus Rieder’s representation of a major European bank in several appeal and appraisal proceedings filed in Germany and Austria following a merger and related restructuring. In co-operation with the firm’s New York office, he has also been assisting Deutsche Bank with investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice. Volker Schäfer and Christine Gärtner are recommended.

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Germany: IT and outsourcing

Data protection
IT and outsourcing: data protection - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s data protection practice is tightly integrated in the European structure of the firm and enjoys an excellent reputation in Germany, particularly for its strong dispute resolution expertise in contentious data protection matters, although the firm also handles the entire spectrum of preventative data protection advice, especially for industry giants in the healthcare, finance and automotive sectors. It assists SCHUFA with data protection compliance and in data protection proceedings at higher courts; provides regular advice to IMS Health on data protection matters related to information services in the healthcare sector; and advises the German Dialog Marketing Association (Deutschen Dialogmarketing Verband, DDV) on data protection issues in connection with advertisement. The client portfolio also includes DZ Bank, Deutsche Bank and Tata Communications. Other expertise lies in cybercrime. Counsel Ulrich Wuermeling, who divides his time between Frankfurt and London, is considered ‘one of the best lawyers for data protection law’ particularly due to his ‘decade-long experience and good networks’.

Leading individuals

Ulrich Wuermeling - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Information technology (including contracts)
IT and outsourcing: information technology (including contracts) - ranked: tier 5

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s IT practice ‘can also handle larger projects well’ and is particularly well versed in technology transactions, system implementations and software and development contracts. Recently the team surrounding counsel Thies Deike and Christian Engelhardt advised CVC Capital Partners on IT law aspects in connection with the acquisition of a majority share in sports betting supplier Tipico. The client portfolio also includes Siemens, Daimler Financial Services and Rockaway Capital.

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Outsourcing
IT and outsourcing: outsourcing - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘team comprised of experts’ is also considered the ‘right partner for complex outsourcing projects’ and advises on the entire spectrum of cross-border BPOs, ITOs, transitional service agreements, cloud structures and data protection issues during outsourcings. The firm assisted EURO Risk Holding with the closing of a strategic partnership with the British Hyperion Insurance Group, including the signing of service agreements, and continues to advise Siemens on the legal separation of its global healthcare business. Another key client is Deutsche Bank, whose outsourcing mandates provide a steady flow of work. Thies Deike is a ‘reliable expert for IT outsourcings’.

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Germany: Industry focus

Healthcare and life sciences
Industry focus: healthcare and life sciences - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s strength lies mainly in transactions, with practice heads Henning Schneider and Christoph Engeler forming the core team. Schneider advised Novo A/S on its anchor investment in active-substance research and development company Evotec, while Engeler led assistance to Astellas Pharma with the acquisition of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals worth €422m. The latter also continued advising Siemens on splitting off its healthcare business unit. Regulatory advice is another area of expertise, as evidenced by assisting heart disease therapy developer Thoratec with clinical trials in Germany and Austria and by advising medical product manufacturer Mercator MedSystems on interventional and non-interventional clinical studies. Both Allena Pharmaceuticals and Momenta Pharmaceuticals retained the group for their entry in the European market and the setup of sales structures.

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Germany: Real estate and construction

Real estate
Real estate and construction: Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

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.

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Germany: Restructuring and insolvency

Restructuring
Restructuring and insolvency: Restructuring - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

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.

Leading individuals

Frank Grell - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Germany

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Legal Developments in Germany

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