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Fintech in Germany

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP provides cross-practice advice to national and international technology and payment services companies as well as to start-ups and companies from other sectors. This broad client base receives regular assistance with financing rounds, the structuring of global payment systems and the establishment of German subsidiaries alongside crypto issues, such as licensing requirements for crypto depository services, and investments in crypto assets. The team's regulatory spectrum also includes matters pertaining to electronic wallets, web-based platforms and payment apps. Markus Krüger, who regularly takes the lead in regulatory and transactional mandates, and Axel Schiemann, who advises on regulatory matters pertaining to fintech innovations and ICOs, are the key contacts. Capital markets and corporate lawyer Marcus Funke left the firm in February 2020 to join the start-up RightNow as chief legal & strategy officer.

Practice head(s):

Markus Krüger; Axel Schiemann

Testimonials

' Really excellent! '

' Markus Krüger: Well done and an excellent job. '

Key clients

Dwins GmbH

eToro Group Limited

Hedosophia Group

Tencent Holding

Toscafund Asset Management LLP

DXC Technology Group

Work highlights

  • Dwins GmbH (Finanzguru App): Advising on a Series A financing round.

Annerton Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Founded at the beginning of 2020 and specialising in regulatory law, Annerton Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH opened a further office in Frankfurt in June of the same year, with banking regulatory and investment law expert Anna Izzo-Wagner, previously at Taylor Wessing, being recruited to head it. She is supported by Alireza Siadat, who joined from Simmons & Simmons in June 2020 as partner, boosting the team's crypto practice in particular. In close cooperation with the offices in Munich, Berlin and Luxembourg, the firm specialises in providing banks, payment service providers, digital marketplaces and fintechs with advice on payment transactions alongside regulatory and money laundering issues as well as on the development of new banking products. Regular instructions in this space include the structuring and development of payment solutions, voucher systems, STOs, cryptocurrency issues and licence applications. The core team includes the former head of PayPal's legal department Susanne Grohé in Berlin as well as Frank Müller, Peter Frey, Christian Walz and Matthäus Schindele in Munich, all of whom provide wide-ranging advice on payment services regulatory law, banking supervisory law and money laundering law.

Testimonials

' Always get quick and competent answers to my questions as well as a corresponding analysis of the facts. '

' Christian Walz looks after our association and supports us in all legal matters. Annerton law firm's work is always precise and knowledgeable. Special competence of the law firm in questions of payment services. '

'' Very high professional competence and industry knowledge; very high reliability; rehearsed team; Heart blood; Thinking outside the box and taking different perspectives. '

' Frank Müller: very extensive banking and FinTech and technology expertise; targeted approach; straightforward. '

'' Nasim Jenkouk: very extensive banking and FinTech and data protection expertise; Reliability and commitment. '

Key clients

PAYONE GmbH

Penta FinTech GmbH

Prepaid Verband Deutschland e.V.

solarisBank AG

Business Service Solution GmbH

LAVEGO AG

Work highlights

  • PAYONE GmbH: Ongoing advice on various civil and regulatory issues.
  • Penta FinTech GmbH: Advice on (banking) supervisory law, payments law and money laundering law as well as support in the development of innovative banking products.
  • Business Service Solution GmbH: Ongoing advice on (banking) supervisory law, payment law and money laundering law. Assistance with the application for a permit according to § 10 ZAG.

Hengeler Mueller

The interplay of various practice areas enables Hengeler Mueller to cover the gamut of fintech sector matters and thus advise banks, online service providers and start-ups. With Christian Schmies, whose advice combines investment, banking supervisory, payment services and capital market law, as the key contact, the practice is particularly well placed to handle banking supervisory law work, including matters in the cryptocurrency space. Consequently, typical instructions include the establishment of institutions and associated licensing issues as well as operational and transactional matters. In other work, the team regularly assists with financing rounds in cooperation with its venture capital colleagues.

Other key lawyers:

Christian Schmies; Jens Wenzel

Hogan Lovells International LLP

With a focus on payments law, Hogan Lovells International LLP assists clients such as financial institutions and investors, technology companies and fintech start-ups with various regulatory and compliance issues as well as with licence procedures before the BaFin and Deutsche Bundesbank. Other regular work includes the assistance with investments in and cooperation agreements with start-ups. This approach is based on a close cooperation of various practice groups such as IP, data protection, VC and M&A as well as with various other offices within and outside Germany. Practice head Richard Reimer covers the full range of institutional and product-specific banking supervisory law.

Practice head(s):

Richard Reimer

Key clients

B2Mobility GmbH

Cflox GmbH

First Data / Fiserv

MoneyGram International

Santander InnoVentures

VR Payments

Finanzierungsagentur für Social Entrepreneurship GmbH

avesco Financial Services AG

auxmoney GmbH

Mobile Business Engine GmbH

Authada GmbH

Cash Payment Solution GmbH

Cluno GmbH

Bundesverband der Zahlungs- und E-Geld-Institute e.V., BVZI

Concardis / Nets

Zimmermann Investment GmbH & Co. KG

Work highlights

  • Cflox GmbH: Advice on successfully applying for a permit under the ZAG as well as on other questions relating to the regulation and refinancing of financial services.
  • Santander InnoVentures: Advising the lead investor on a financing round for the German FinTech company CrossLend.
  • Auxmoney GmbH: Advising the German consumer credit platform on regulatory and contractual aspects of the platform.

Jones Day

Handling finance-related work constitutes a significant element of Jones Day's fintech practice, which results in particular capacities advising on investments, transactions and blockchain. This expertise is regularly called upon by large financial institutions, investors, fintechs and start-ups. Nick Wittek, who jointly heads the practice with transactions expert Ivo Posluschny, is particularly well versed handling matters at the intersection between structured finance, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain. This leads to regular instructions on various products such as token-based bonds, derivatives and ABS transactions.

Practice head(s):

Nick Wittek; Ivo Poslsuchny

Other key lawyers:

Kerstin Henrich

Key clients

Deutsche Böse AG (2 Mandate)

Celonis

Eurazeo Growth / Sofina SA

Exporo AG

Alliance Ventures

Millicom International Cellular S.A.

Orange S.A.

Strategic Investor

Hi Inov Dentressangle

btov Partners

ebase

Edge Case Research, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Deutsche Börse AG: Advice in connection with the blockchain-based processing of a securities transaction with Commerzbank AG as the seller and MEAG, the asset manager of Munich Re, as the buyer.
  • Celonis SE: Advising the Munich and New York-based software company on a $ 290 million Series C financing round.
  • Exporo AG: Advising the German FinTech company, specializing in crowdfunding and blockchain-based real estate (re) financing, in connection with the initial issue of token-based bonds on the Ethereum blockchain as well as business expansion to Austria, the Netherlands and France.

Osborne Clarke

On the one hand, Osborne Clarke's clients benefit from the team's regulatory expertise and, on the other hand, from its close cooperation with the firm's IT, data protection and VC teams. Its work reflects these synergies and, as a result, includes finance rounds, BaFin approval proceedings for mobile payment solutions, payment services compliance issues and the regulatory structuring and review of new business models. Tanja Aschenbeck, head of the financial services sector group, is the key contact for the regulatory segment. Together with her team, which was strengthened with the arrival of of counsel and former general counsel at N26, Robert Kilian, in July 2020, she acts for payment service providers, start-ups and sponsors.

Practice head(s):

Tanja Aschenbeck

Other key lawyers:

Robert Kilian; Daniel Walter

Key clients

N26 GmbH

Trade Republic

Token.io Ltd.

Liberis Group

Highland Capital Partners

Silicon Valley Bank

Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners

Redalpine Venture Partners AG

Capnamic Ventures

Work highlights

  • N26: Advising Berlin-based FinTech on the second expansion of the Series D financing round over $ 100 million.
  • Token.io Ltd.: Supervision of BaFin licensing procedures for payment initiation services and account information services. In addition, advice on compliance with payment service regulatory requirements.
  • free Group: Advice on the question of the requirement for a license under German supervisory law and support in the process with BaFin to obtain a factoring license.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP's multidisciplinary and international approach enables the team to advise German and international financial institutions alongside fintechs on a wide range of matters relevant in this segment. During the reporting report, the practice provided assistance with financing rounds, cooperation agreements, payment and banking regulatory matters as well as IP, IT and data protection issues. Capital market law expert Karsten Wöckener is the key contact and primarily advises on financing rounds and the introduction of digital platforms, including distributed ledger technology matters.

Practice head(s):

Karsten Wöckener

Key clients

SoftBank Vision Fund

Klarna Bank AB

Goldman Sachs

Deutsche Bank

Facebook

N26

Thinksurance

Arabesque Asset Management Holding Ltd.

Finledger

Work highlights

  • SoftBank Vision Fund: Advising on an $ 800 million investment in Greensill.
  • Four banks: Advice on, among other things, regulatory, corporate law, civil law IT and data protection issues in connection with the introduction of a platform for issuing borrower's note loans using distributed ledger technology (DLT).
  • Klarna Bank AB: Advice on regulatory and compliance issues, particularly in connection with the reorganization of business in Germany and the establishment of a German branch.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP's fintech sector work is based on a close cooperation with the firm's banking law and IT experts, who, together with team head Michael Jünemann, are particularly well equipped to handle matters at the intersection between the regulatory space and digitisation. This leads to regular instructions from national and international investors, banks, established companies and fintechs on money laundering record keeping requirements, licence requirements for entering the German market and BaFin application procedures as well as on the issuance of blockchain-based products.

Practice head(s):

Michael Jünemann

Key clients

Idnow

niiio finance group

Finanzguru GmbH

Mediarex group

Work highlights

  • IDnow: Advice on an expert opinion on the retention obligations under anti-money laundering law, the KYC treatment of account information services and payment initiation services.
  • Mediarex Group: Advice on the issuance of a blockchain-based fan token in Germany.
  • niiio finance group: Advice on your application process at BaFin including the presentation of your business model as a video identification KYC application and the corresponding fulfillment of the prescribed regulatory and anti-money laundering requirements as an obligated party.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance provides fintech sector advice in conjunction with various other practices such as M&A, data protection and financial market regulation, which results in wide-ranging capabilities attractive to banks and financial services companies as well as corporates and start-ups. Marc Benzler is the key contact for regulatory issues; Gregor Evenkamp advises on the tokenisation of assets and ITOs as well as on transactional and regulatory issues; and Oliver Kronat focuses on structured finance transactions.

Key clients

RTX21

Postera Capital

SSW Trading

Work highlights

  • RTX21: Advising the PropTech company on setting up and launching an innovative investment platform for real estate.
  • Real Estate Investmentplattform: Advice on questions of regulation and structured financing in the development of the platform.
  • A German bank (owned by private equity): Advising on the intended takeover of a German FinTech bank (including an IT subsidiary).

GSK Stockmann

Its interdisciplinary set-up enables the fintech and digital financial services practice at GSK Stockmann to handle matters at the intersection between banking supervisory law, IT and corporate. Practice head Timo Bernau as well as Volker Baas, who joined the team in January 2020 from Taylor Wessing, are key contacts for matters with a banking supervisory law angle. As a result of this, the team is well placed to advise banks, large established companies and fintechs on blockchain-based payments and e-money issues as well as on the structuring and implementation of digital business models and financing platforms, including associated approval procedures and cooperation agreements.

Practice head(s):

Timo Bernau

Key clients

aescuvest GmbH / aescuvest international GmbH

Bankhaus von der Heydt

Commerzbank AG, Siemens AG, Continental AG

Companisto GmbH / Companisto Holding GmbH

CrowdDesk GmbH

GLS Bank (Plattform GLS Crowd)

Lufthansa AG

SolarisBank AG

Wiwin GmbH

Work highlights

  • Commerzbank AG, Continental AG and Siemens AG: Advising on the issue and trading of dematerialized European commercial paper (ECP) under Luxembourg law as smart contracts on a German blockchain, including blockchain-based payments and e-money.
  • aescuvest GmbH / aescuvest international GmbH: Advising on the structuring and implementation of the first pan-European scalable digital financing platform for start-up financing in the health sector.
  • solarisBank: Advice on various new collaborations with other regulated and non-regulated players from the credit and payment transaction sector as well as from the issue, brokerage and management of crypto assets.

Lindenpartners

Lindenpartners demonstrates particular expertise in handling matters at the intersection between capital market law, supervisory law and digitisation, translating into regular instructions from start-ups on licence applications and the digitalisation of business models, most notably in the crypto space. In other work, the team advises on token-based investment products in the asset management arena. Key contacts include blockchain, crypt asset and ICO expert Eric Romba and Robert Oppenheim; who made partner in June 2019. He advises fintechs on crowdfunding, robo advice and payment solutions. Associate Anika Patz is recommended for blockchain matters, DLT and ICOs.

Other key lawyers:

Eric Romba; Robert Oppenheim; Anika Patz

Key clients

Solarisbank AG

BoerseStuttgart GmbH

Kapilendo AG

Tokn GmbH

Bankhaus von der Heydt GmbH & Co. KG

PalmTrip GmbH

Bloxxter AG

Bitwala GmbH

Work highlights

  • Bitwala GmbH: Advice on a decentralized crypto savings model.
  • PalmTrip GmbH: Advice on a digital security with an EU growth prospectus approved by Bafin.
  • Tokn GmbH: Advice on the permit application for a KWG permit for the safekeeping of crypto values.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH advises banks, financial services institutions and payment service providers on various regulatory issues pertaining to the development and implementation of new payment services, including crypto issues, with Rolf Kobabe as the key contact in this space. The technology segment received a boost with the partner appointment of Stefanie Hellmich in July 2019; she handles IT and data protection issues pertaining to distribution and cooperation agreements alongside business models as well as the use of new technologies.

Other key lawyers:

Rolf Kobabe; Stefanie Hellmich

Key clients

Wirecard AG

Leondra GmbH

GOCARDLESS Ltd

Black Manta Capital Partners GmbH

Zinsbaustein GmbH

Volkswagen Bank GmbH

Cargonexx GmbH

N26 GmbH

Work highlights

  • Black Manta Capital Partners GmbH: Support in an approval procedure for investment and contract brokerage in connection with security token offerings.
  • Volkswagen Bank GmbH: Advice on the participation in Credi2 GmbH, which among other things offers an open banking business model (cashpresso) in Germany.
  • GOCARDLESS LTD: Advice on adapting the terms and conditions to German law, taking into account the requirements of German payment transaction law (ZAG and BGB).

GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB

With Matthias TerlauGÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB has a proven fintech specialist, who advises companies in the financial services industry, including fintechs, on various banking and payment products alongside associated licensing obligations, cooperation agreements and general banking supervisory issues.

Practice head(s):

Matthias Terlau

Linklaters

Linklaters' fintech team is led by managing associate Florian Reul, who is particularly experienced in cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based e-money payment methods and advises financial services providers on related regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Florian Reul

Other key lawyers:

Andreas Dehio

YPOG

YPOG puts one focus on advising fintechs and investors on financing rounds, for which associated partner Frederik Gärtner is a key contact, while handling licensing procedures alongside crypto tokens and blockchain-based business models are other key elements. Lennart Lorenz, who made partner in January 2020 and heads the regulatory practice, is the key contact for licensing work and digital asset expert and associated partner Daniel Resas for crypto asset-related matters. Related transactional issues are typically handled by Tim Schlösser and in cooperation with the corporate team respectively. Besides start-ups, the team’s client base also includes banks and established companies.

Practice head(s):

Tim Schlösser

Key clients

Exporo

Coya

Trade Republic Bank

Bittrex

CrossLend

Monadic

Raisin

Stablecoin Integration Services Denmark IVS (MakerDAO)

Moonfare

FinCompare

Work highlights

  • Trade Republic, Investors Project A and Creandum: Support of the Series B financing round of Trade Republic for the investors Project A and Creandum as well as for the start-up.
  • Taxfix: Advising the Berlin company on the Series C financing round with a total volume of € 59 million.
  • Exporo: Advice on the cooperation with Zinsland and on the latest financing round with a total volume of € 43 million.