Investment funds in Germany

Clifford Chance

Due to its combined investment, regulatory and tax capabilities,a similarly broad client base instructs Clifford Chance to advise on matters across the entire fund cycle. This includes investment companies, financial institutions, asset managers and insurance companies, which the group assists with fund structuring and implementation as well as with investments and portfolio transactions. Advice covers all asset classes; most recently however, the team was particularly active in the PE and VC sphere as well as in the infrastructure, energy, real estate and technology sectors. Key lawyers Josef Brinkhaus and Marco Simonis cover the field comprehensively.

Testimonials

‘Close integration of supervisory and tax law expertise.’

‘Marco Simonis is extremely competent and well connected.’

‘Holistic view and know-how in fund structuring as well as excellent knowledge of the interests of German investors.’

‘Marco Simonis and team: Unique knowledge of tax law, investment law and the regulations specific to German investors from a single source. Absolute planning security with regard to adherence to deadlines and billing transparency. Very strong in solution orientation and with regards to what is feasible.’

Linklaters

With Alexander Vogt and Markus Wollenhaupt at the helm of Linklaters, the practice focuses on alternative asset classes such as private equity and real estate.

Dechert LLP

Acting across the entire value chain, Dechert LLPComparative Guides promotional icon covers the whole spectrum of matters relevant to investment funds, fund managers and initiators as well as institutional investors. With a focus on alternative investments such as real estate, private equity and debt, the group advises on the structuring, launch and documentation of such funds – including numerous Luxembourg-based vehicles – as well as on participations in various closed and open-ended forms of investment. Related corporate, supervisory and tax law issues are just as much a part of its case load as are compliance, ESG and Brexit issues. Angelo Lercara, who specializes in the structuring and marketing of financial products and alternative investment funds, and tax structuring expert Hans Stamm jointly lead the practice. Joachim Kayser joined Goodwin in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Angelo Lercara; Hans Stamm

Other key lawyers:

Arne Bolch

Testimonials

‘Fast, competent, pragmatic. That’s what you want from a firm.’

‘Excellent team structure and interaction between London, Germany and Luxembourg; pragmatic and quick solutions.’

‘Angelo Lercara is quick-witted.’

‘Always solution-oriented and pragmatic compared to the competition.’

‘I value Dechert as a leading firm with a truly global and integrated wealth management practice.’

‘I have been working with Mr. Angelo Lercara for more than five years in the funds sphere and wealth management  in general. He always combines an extremely high level of technical knowledge with strong business acumen. He is particularly responsive when it comes to day-to-day business and visionary when it comes to more strategic issues. He also demonstrates a strong ability to effectively assess risk.’

Key clients

Swiss Capital Alternative Investments AG / Stepstone

Altarius Asset Management Ltd. / Malta Fund Manager/AIFM

Aukera Real Estate

Northwood Investors

Work highlights

  • Advice to Altarius Asset Management Ltd. / Malta Fund Manager/AIFM on the launch of several VC funds.
  • Advising Aukera Real Estate on the structuring and launch of a Luxembourg-based fund that invests in real estate loans and is distributed to German investors who are subject to the requirements of German insurance supervisory law.
  • Advising Swiss Capital Alternative Investments AG/ Stepstone, among other things, on the launch of a globally investing fund platform for German institutional investors with investments via special funds. The investment volume exceeds €1bn.

Hengeler Mueller

In the funds arena, Hengeler Mueller stands out for its regulatory experience, but is also active in transactional matters, where the team regularly cooperates with colleagues from its M&A practice. Regulatory advice also includes matters at the interface between asset management and insurance supervisory law, resulting in the group's regular assistance to fund sponsors with the design of VAG/AnlV-compliant fund products and with the preparation of relevant reports for investors. Christian Schmies is a proven expert on blockchain topics and crypto assets, which is a topic that is becoming increasingly important for investment funds in pursuit of technology-based investment strategies.

Testimonials

‘Extremely strong expertise; always friendly tone; laypersons can also explain the facts and legal consequences.’

‘Dr. Carl-Philipp Eberlein: Customer-oriented, easily accessible, short response times, technically competent.’

‘Very quick way of working, customer-friendly and extremely competent.’

King & Spalding LLP

In the funds sector, King & Spalding LLP has a clear focus on real estate investment funds and advises German and, in particular, international investment fund managers, asset managers, institutional investors and banks. Its advice portfolio ranges from fund launch, structuring and management to transactions and fund liquidation while also including the whole array of related regulatory, tax and compliance issues. Managing partner and founder of the Frankfurt office Mario Leißner heads the practice and comprehensively covers real estate-related investment law issues. He is regularly supported by Alexandra Weis, who combines investment law expertise with regulatory know-how.

Practice head(s):

Mario Leißner

Other key lawyers:

Alexandra Weis; Andreas Böhme

Testimonials

‘We experience the cooperation with King & Spalding LLP as very competent and efficient. Requests are fulfilled within the promised timeframe and are of high quality. Suggestions and comments are solution- and practice-oriented. That’s why we like to be “repeat offenders”.’

‘The cooperation is very goal-oriented, good solutions are worked out that constantly improve the quality of our contracts and legal sales documents. In the course of the projects, we have developed many common themes. It is a very pleasant cooperation, both professionally and personally.’

‘Team with a very clear profile in the investment fund space. Incredibly deep industry knowledge with a high level of practical relevance. Very creative when it comes to meeting demanding regulatory requirements.’

‘Mario Leißner, Alexandra Weis: Both have been in the industry for a long time with a wealth of experience, are willing to look for unusual solutions and implement them in a resilient way.’

‘Above-average knowledge of investment, banking, finance and regulatory law. Focused, efficient and solution-oriented way of working in the interests of the customer.’

‘Alexandra Weis has many years of experience and excellent professional competence. Quality at the highest level.’

Key clients

Hannover Leasing

AEW Invest GmbH

AXA Investment Managers

Tishman Speyer

HansaInvest Hanseatische Investment GmbH

Commerz Real Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH

BEOS AG

2IP Institutional Investment Partners

BMO Real Estate Partners

Savills Fund Management GmbH

DWS Alternatives GmbH

RAM Invest

Patrizia Frankfurt Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (ehemals TRIUVA)

Barings Real Estate Advisers

Principal Real Estate Investors (ehemals Internos Global Investors)

RFR Management GmbH

LaSalle Investment Management

La Francçaise

Wertgrund

Colliers

Prudential Financial Inc.

CBRE Global Investors

Doric Investment

Allianz Global Investors

Union Investment

Universal Investment

Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate

bsi Bundesverband Sachwerte und Investmentvermögen

Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe

Atlantic Partners (USA)

Bouwfonds Real Estate Investment Managers

Clarion Partners (USA)

Galleon Capital

GRR Real Estate

HIH Global Invest

Hypoport AG

JAMESTOWN US-Immobilien

Oakland Capital

McCafferty Asset Management

KGAL

Work highlights

  • Advising AEW Invest GmbH on a €1.3bn fund launch and sale of a residential real estate portfolio with 2,500 residential units to GWH Immobilien Holding.
  • Regulatory advice to AXA Investment Managers in connection with non-German real estate transactions, particularly in Scandinavia.
  • Advising a fully licensed AIF capital management company on the launch of its first open-end mutual fund with five different share classes for real estate investments in Germany; advice on the preparation of the entire fund documentation as well as approval and distribution permit process at BaFin.

POELLATH

Based on a close integration of its fund structuring, supervisory and tax capabilities, POELLATH offers full-service advice in the funds sector. Practice heads Andreas Rodin and Amos Veith both focus their advice on these intersections and jointly head a team that predominantly assists initiators and investors in the private equity sector, while also advising on matters in other asset classes such as real estate and VC. Advice primarily relates to the structuring of funds and other investment vehicles as well as to global fund investments. A heavy workload is further ensured by instructions pertaining to fund closings, asset management and secondary transactions. In August 2021, a five-strong group of counsels and associates left to form fund law boutique Orbit.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Rodin; Amos Veith

Testimonials

‘High level of competence, comprehensive industry knowledge, strong legal personalities.’

Excellent specialist knowledge, experts recognized throughout Germany, very fast and competent processing, very high accessibility and availability, very good and close support, exact adherence to deadlines.’

The outstanding care provided by Dr. Rodin must be mentioned.’

‘Philip Schwarz van Berk: Comprehensive and proactive advice, very pragmatic and solution-oriented negotiation.’

Key clients

DPE Deutsche Private Equity

SwanCap Partners

Astorius Consult Partners

ECE Real Estate Partners

EIB Europäische Investitionsbank

EIF European Investmentfund

KfW Capital

Earlybird VC Management GmbH

Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners

Werte-Stiftung / Land Hessen

Beyond Black VC

Cavalry Ventures

Ampega Asset Mgm.

Heal Capital

BPE Beteiligungsmanagement

Uniqa Insurance Group

Caplantic GmbH

Castik Capital S.à.r.l.

Work highlights

  • Advising DPE Deutsche Private Equity on the launch of the mid-market buyout fund with a volume exceeding €1bn.
  • Advice to KfW Capital and the European Investment Fund (EIF) in cooperation with public institutions on the design of the CMF aid program and the model CFTA.
  • Advice to Beyond Black on its first closing of Beyond Black Pledge Fund I.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons' comprehensively advises a client base that includes asset managers and investors on fund structuring and funds investments including various related tax and regulatory issues, thereby covering all asset classes such as private equity, real estate and infrastructure. The practice is headed by Benedikt Weiser, Harald Glander and Jochen Kindermann, whose respective specialisations complement each other: Weiser focuses on the structuring and design of investment funds, Glander oversees the establishment and sale of open and closed funds, Master-KAG structures and ETFs und Kindermann focuses on regulatory issues including compliance. Thanks to its cooperation with the office in Luxembourg, the team is also well equipped to assist with Luxembourg fund structures.

Other key lawyers:

Bernulph von Crailsheim

Testimonials

‘Even for complex projects, technically and economically appropriate resource solutions are offered. The quality of communication between consultant and client is excellent.’

‘Dr. Benedikt Weiser: VAG regulatory and investment law expertise; economic acumen.’

‘Dr. Bernulph von Crailsheim: International tax expertise.’

‘S&S can offer a combination of local expertise and international integration and can therefore advise on both German and international projects.’

‘The team has a lot of experience and is able and willing to show pragmatic solutions that can also be implemented in an international company.’

‘In contrast to other similar law firms, S&S appears to have more know-how locally and also covers relevant areas internationally (UK, Lux, etc.). Proactive on projects and good internal cooperation with the tax department.’

‘Benedikt Weiser has broad knowledge and a great deal of experience and now knows our needs. He is pragmatic, but still “to the point” and also clear when something is not recommended. Good international network and can provide assessments of reactions from regulators (namely BaFin). Good availability and open to other approaches and “challenges”, which he gladly accepts and integrates into his considerations/opinions.’

‘Very good visibility; very high quality seminars with red hot topics; powerful team with clear competencies/responsibilities; Customer orientation is very important.’

Key clients

AEW

Baillie Gifford

Cambridge Associates

First Sentier (Ireland) Ltd

FIL Fondsbank

Harris Associates

Houlihan Lokey

Jupiter

Macquarie Bank Limited

Millenium Capital

Schonfeld LLC

Schroder Real Estate Investment Management Ltd.

Select Equity Group, Inc

Stockbridge

Work highlights

  • Advising a global investment manager on ESG requirements according to SFDR, both at group level and for individual real estate funds. This included updating internal policies and revising numerous fund documentation and marketing materials.
  • Advising Baillie Gifford on their entire European business, including the creation of a distribution network with offices in different EU countries.
  • Advising various German and Swiss pension schemes, pension funds and insurance companies on investing in private equity, real estate, infrastructure and debt funds. Between €30m and €80m each.

CMS

CMS' advice essentially foots on three pillars: fund structuring, investor advice and fund-related transactions, with the latter also drawing on the firm's tax and regulatory capacities. This focus also mirrors the expertise of practice head Daniel Voigt, who is regularly instructed to assist with the structuring, launch and documentation of open and closed funds and with investments. Structuring advice covers the entire spectrum of asset classes, most recently particularly real estate, renewable energies, venture capital and private equity.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Voigt

Other key lawyers:

Tillman Kempf; Andrea München

Testimonials

‘Led by partners, CMS provides a high quality, multi-jurisdictional technical support that I have not found at other law firms. In essence, CMS appears well-equipped to quickly and efficiently address the complex technical tax issues faced by multinational corporations.’

‘Tillman Kempf has provided outstanding technical support on several international transactions.’

‘I consider Tillman Kempf to be a trusted advisor who is always willing to discuss a difficult technical issue with me at short notice and will always put me in touch with another competent partner at CMS if it is outside his personal area of expertise.

‘Dr. Daniel Voigt: Very responsive/accessible; good technical knowledge; recognized in the market; calm, communicative manner even in stressful/conflict situations.

‘The team is basically one of the strongest law firms in supervisory law.’

GSK Stockmann

GSK Stockmann is traditionally known for its expertise in advising funds investing in real estate. Due to its close cooperation with private equity and venture capital colleagues within the firm however, these two fields are among the rising areas of interest while the team recently also expanded its activity in other asset classes. These include, for example, debt funds, which the group advises in cooperation with the Luxembourg team on matters related to investment and tax law. Petra Eckl is the key contact for tax-optimised fund structuring; she jointly heads the practice with Robert Kramer, who assists with investment and regulatory aspects of fund structuring and launch and also regularly takes the lead in transactions. As part of its regulatory advice offering, the group also increasingly assists with sustainable finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Petra Eckl; Robert Kramer

Testimonials

‘The team has enormous technical expertise and a very good market overview in practice. The advice is always pragmatic, bespoke and tailored to the individual needs of the client in a specific situation.’

Excellent understanding of industry issues and problems and the ability to solve them in a practical way. In addition, very good interaction between tax, supervisory and corporate law as well as real estate law. Furthermore, very pleasant contact and a deal and goal-oriented way of working.’

Mr. Zentis is an excellent all-purpose weapon in the field of RE & AIFM.’

Key clients

AACHENER GRUNDVERMÖGEN Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH

BVT Unternehmensgruppe, derigo GmbH & Co. KG

Competo Capital Partners GmbH

DF Deutsche Finance Investment GmbH

Hannover Leasing Investment GmbH

IntReal International Real Estate Kapitalverwaltungs-gesellschaft mbH

Real I.S. AG Gesellschaft für Immobilien Assetmanagement GmbH

Team Europe

VALUES. Institutional Invest GmbH

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive advice to AACHENER GRUNDVERMÖGEN Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH on the implementation of the requirements of the EU Disclosure Regulation on the subject of sustainable finance.
  • Advising BVT group, derigo GmbH & Co. KG at company and product level on the implementation of legal requirements set out by the EU Disclosure Regulation on Sustainable Finance.
  • Advising Competo Capital Partners GmbH on the establishment and structuring of a capital management company for the issue of closed special AIF as a debt fund to finance real estate project developments and on the issue of a debt fund.

YPOG

With YPOG's recent appointment of two associated partners as well as the recruitment of various young professionals, the firm is clearly on its way to grow. The group continues to centre its attention on integrated tax, corporate and regulatory advice with a focus on venture capital and private equity. Helder Schnittker routinely assists private equity companies with the structuring and operation of funds and jointly heads the practice with Stephan Bank, who, in addition to collective asset management, also advises sponsors and investors on secondary transactions, as well as with Jens Kretzschmann, who, among other things, advises investors on investments in open and closed funds.

Other key lawyers:

Lennart Lorenz; Fabian Euhus

Testimonials

‘You can always rely on the firm and its team, even with very time-critical projects. Things are always implemented quickly, with reasonable effort and with very good quality. The expertise of the team is unique. In addition, the team is characterized by a very pleasant interaction – the contact with them is always a great pleasure. All in all we are extremely satisfied.’

‘The individuals are characterized by excellent expertise, which is always effective. Things are enforced efficiently and not with unnecessary additional effort. The people are on top of their tasks and always have a very good overall view of the projects.

‘Very client-oriented, high commitment, even complex issues solved; hot topics and situations well managed.’

‘Jens Kretzschmann is a great sparring partner and demonstrates a high degree of professionalism.’

‘Lennart Lorenz is very solution-oriented, quick and professional; a high willingness to deliver.’

‘Very dedicated and tax knowledgeable; very well networked, also with tax authorities; very fast turnaround of binding information.’

Quick to respond and responsive over holidays/weekends during critical periods; creative tax structuring with individual risk assessment.’

‘The clear head of the team is Helder Schnittker. He is very competent in terms of content, experienced and creative as well as a very good contact for all complicated topics, in which he always finds very good and clever solutions. Stephan Bank is also worth mentioning as a partner. Very thorough, thoughtful and always available.’

Key clients

468 Capital

Armira

Atlantic Food Labs

Bitkraft

DTCP/DIV

ECBF Management

La Famiglia

Project A

Revent

Vorwerk Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advice to DTCP/ DIV on the launch of an infrastructure fund and on an anchor investment in the Netherlands.
  • Advice to Armira on the establishment of the Armira II Active Invest structure.
  • Advised 468 Capital on the launch of a €170 fund for deep tech start-ups.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's fund practice is in close contact with its colleagues in Luxembourg, Hong Kong, London, New York and Washington DC, resulting in an integrated approach that also mirrors practice head Patricia Volhard's activity: Volhard acts from the firm's London and Luxembourg offices as well as from Frankfurt, where she focuses on German and Luxembourg fund structures as well as on the whole array of regulatory and ESG issues. With a focus on the private equity, private debt and infrastructure spheres, the group primarily advises fund managers, but also investors.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Volhard

Other key lawyers:

Jin-Hyuk Jang

Testimonials

‘The combination of Debevoise’s extremely strong practice in Frankfurt and access to a broader network of private equity fund lawyers in London, Hong Kong and New York makes Debevoise unique. Debevoise is able to deliver commercially oriented advice based on the experience of working for so many other clients.

‘Patricia Volhard is one of the pre-eminent private investment fund lawyers in Germany (if not Europe). Patricia knows how to apply the law, contemplate tricky situations and offers commercial, pragmatic advice.’

‘Jin-Hyuk Jang is very user-friendly and always available.

‘Patricia’s practice is one of the few in the private equity market that can address global regulatory issues with a partner-led, solution-oriented approach .’

‘Patricia Volhard and Jin Hyuk-Jang are the key contacts for regulatory advice for private investment funds. They are pragmatic and smart and serve on all industry bodies, keeping them up to date in the private equity sector.

‘As a large international law firm, Debevoise naturally has a great network, but the relationship with the local contact person always feels personal and like in a boutique. That’s very pleasant and not always the case with large law firms.’

‘Patricia Volhard and her team have been among the top teams in financial regulatory issues in Germany and Europe for many years. In my opinion, the combination of technical expertise, the relationships and the sovereign handling of stakeholders (supervision, etc.) and the extremely pleasant, unpretentious human contact are unique.’

Key clients

Adams Street Partners

Apera Capital

The Carlyle Group

Coller Capital

Deutsche Beteiligungs AG

Finance in Motion

Hannover Finanz

Morgan Stanley

Novum Capital

Neuberger Berman

SVB Capital

SwanCap Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising Novum Capital Partners on the launch of Novum Fund II, a €150m German private equity fund.
  • Advising Navis Capital Partners on the launch of a Luxembourg PE fund.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek predominantly advises capital management companies on the structuring of AIFs and special AIFs across various asset classes and, as a second mainstay, also covers the entire range of regulatory issues including those arising from the takeover of fund portfolios. Michael Dröge leads the team from Hamburg and is particularly well versed in the real estate sector.

Practice head(s):

Michael Dröge

Testimonials

‘The team is characterized by extensive expertise in real estate, structuring and taxation.’

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH advice portfolio is made up of three pillars: asset managers and fund initiators rely on the team for the structuring, administration and sale of alternative investment funds in Germany and Luxembourg, while institutional investors draw on the group’s expertise in alternative investment products and in the structuring of own investment platforms. Regulatory advice represents the practice’s third mainstay. The arrival of Bela Jansen in April 2021, previously at Ernst & Young, strengthened the investment tax arm of the practice. Achim Pütz heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Achim Pütz

Testimonials

‘Outstanding expertise in regulatory and investment law issues both in the national and international environment. Particular expertise also in the Luxembourg market. High practical relevance with easily applicable legal assessments.’

‘Martin Hüwel is characterized by a high level of expertise, commitment and flexibility in advising on complex investment products (Luxembourg/Germany) and regulatory issues. Mr. Hüwel is always looking for practical solutions in the interest of the client and does not raise any unnecessary problems.’

‘The team is uncomplicated and creates solutions quickly!’

‘Martin Hüwel has excellent specialist knowledge and consistently delivers very good work results.’

‘We really appreciate the cooperation with Mr. Martin Hüwel. In addition to a high level of professional competence, he is particularly characterized by a pragmatic, solution-oriented and efficient way of working. This regularly leads to a very good exchange and successful results.’

‘Proactive and customer-oriented action. Assertive and opinionated legal advisor in the field of private equity funds.’

‘Dr Wilbert and Dr Pütz are proven partners in asserting their own commercial and regulatory interests. Above all, the interests of German pension funds and insurance companies in relation to target fund managers/GPs is the major asset of these two partners.’

‘For us, the Luther team is a guarantee of quality in the investment fund area when it comes to fund audits in real estate and alternative asset classes. The team has good technical expertise and is very solution-oriented.’

Key clients

Quadoro Investment GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising German and international asset managers on the structuring and launch of alternative investment funds, questions of distribution law and investments by German insurance companies/pension schemes and other regulated investors in alternative investment funds.
  • Advising pension funds on structuring and setting up Luxembourg investment platforms as well as advice on their target investments in international fund structures and direct investments.
  • Advising Quadoro Investment GmbH on regulatory compliance and the financing of the acquisition of two office properties in Tampere (Finland) for the open-ended real estate fund Quadoro Sustainable Real Estate Europe Private.