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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 > Banking and finance > Project finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: Project finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Not comparable to any other firms’ in project finance matters according to clients, Clifford Chance provides ‘top-level advice throughout’ and is ‘worth every penny’. The ‘very competent and successful advice’ includes German and international business and financings in the infrastructure and energy sector from highways and pipelines to power stations, including in the offshore wind segment. The team advises VINCI Concessions Deutschland and Meridiam Investments on the financing of the extension of the A7 federal highway by means of a PPP and also the lenders (including OPIC, IFC, FMO and KfW) regarding the financing of the Redstone Solar Power project in South Africa. Other recent highlights include assisting transmission system operator bayernets with the planning and financing of the MONACO pipeline and the banking syndicate with the €1.2bn financing of Merkur offshore wind farm. The ‘magnificent’ team ‘understands which conflicts need to be resolved’: The frequently recommended Beda Wortmann ‘optimally combines character, professional ethos and professionalism and thereby ensures expedient negotiations and results’; Florian Mahler is ‘quick and solution-oriented, also in complex and politically difficult situations’; Christof Häfner was promoted to partner in May 2017 and besides project finance also has expertise in asset financings in the aircraft and rail sectors.

Allen & Overy LLP continues to advise on project financings in the energy and infrastructure sectors both in Germany and abroad. It is currently assisting banks with the financings of wind farms in Canada, France and Finland and solar parks in Spain and the Netherlands. Within Germany recent highlights include advising DEME on the acquisition, the construction and financing of Merkur offshore wind farm and acting for Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale in the refinancing of the Finsterwalde II and III solar parks, which together have a capacity of 40 MWp. In the conventional energy sector the firm advises Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale as leading bank in connection with the €75m financing of the Mainz-Wiesbaden power plants, and in the infrastructure sector a client is European Investment Bank regarding the financing of the A7/II highway. Norbert Wiederholt and Peter Stenz are particularly active.

CMS is known in particular for its activity in the renewable energy sector and is here highly active in the financing of wind farm projects, both in Germany and abroad. Recent highlights include advising Luxara on the acquisition and financing of onshore wind project Egersund in South Norway from the Norwegian project developer Norsk Vind Energi and assisting WIRCON with the financing of the largest solar park in the Netherlands. For Partners Group and InfraRed Capital Partners the team handled the acquisition of the majority share in the corporation, which holds the project rights for Merkur offshore wind farm and the parallel project financing of the offshore wind park. Other clients include DEG and John Laing Group. The key figure is the frequently recommended Marc Riede in Hamburg, where Kerstin Block was promoted to partner at the start of 2017.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s Frankfurt and Hamburg-based and ‘absolutely recommendable’ infrastructure, energy, resources and projects group advises on the entire life cycle of projects, including project finance. The team is ‘very well organised’, ‘always available and delivers good solutions’; it advises within Germany but also on projects abroad, frequently under foreign law, such as assisting a consortium of strategic and financial investors with a $2bn waste water project in Kuwait, including the project finance and advice on Kuwaiti law. A highlight was advising Merkur Offshore on the €1.6bn project finance, including the debt capital and €500m equity financing. ‘Extremely pragmatic’ counsel Carla Luh, who is recommended for her ‘deep financing know-how’ and was promoted to partner at the start of 2018, also acted for NRW.BANK regarding the refinancing of the Trianel Windpark Borkum offshore wind farm. The firm furthermore continues to advise in the infrastructure sector, including on the financing of highway projects. Christian Knütel ‘gives the right advice’.

Linklaters’ ‘very good’ project finance practice is well regarded due to its ‘very high service level, solution-oriented negotiation methods, pragmatic approach, high understanding of economic correlations, partner involvement, timely advice and experienced transactional lawyers’. With expertise in the energy and infrastructure sectors the team advises banks and sponsors on project finance in Germany and abroad. It acted for the project corporation in the refinancing of the loans for the construction and operation of Butendiek offshore wind farm; advises the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the financing of a coastal power plant in Kiel; and also assisted the lenders on the refinancing of solar parks in Spain. A longstanding client is Macquarie. Counsel Judit Körmöczi is particularly active, ‘focuses on what’s essential’ and ‘maintains a steady overview’. Michal Hlásek is also recommended and advises on English law. Julian Zaich, however, left the firm in June 2017 and in September 2017 joined Gütt Olk Feldhaus.

Norton Rose Fulbright continues its ‘strong’ project finance practice and primarily acts on the lenders’ side in projects in the infrastructure and energy sectors. A highlight was advising an international banking syndicate with the participation of EIB and KfW on the €950m refinancing of the 288 MW Butendiek offshore wind project under the lead of Dirk Trautmann. He also assisted the financing banks with the A7 II highway PPP project in Lower Saxony and continues to act for KfW IPEX-Bank and an international banking syndicate regarding the financing of Nordergründe offshore wind farm. Timo Noftz is also recommended.

With recognised sector expertise in the energy industry Watson Farley & Williams LLP frequently advises on onshore and offshore wind farm projects, solar park projects and projects concerning conventional energy, and here primarily acts on the lenders’ side. Besides its activity in the German market, the firm also acts for German banks and investors in France and handles projects in Scandinavia, Great Britain and Ireland. Recently it assisted an international banking syndicate with the financing of the €1.3bn Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm project. A key client is HSH Nordbank for which the team handles a multitude of projects, including advice on the financing of the 12.5 MW Mont d’Erny wind farm and the Jeppo-Haukineva wind farm in Finland which has a total capacity of 13.8 MW. It also advises the client on solar energy matters, such as the financing of one of the largest solar parks in Denmark, Vandel 2, and additionally acts for BayernLB in connection with the financing of 12 solar PV plants with up to 5MW respectively at seven locations in England and Wales. Thomas Hollenhorst in Hamburg heads the practice.

White & Case LLP’s ‘strong’ project finance practice mainly handles highway and renewable energy projects on the lenders’ side. A recent highlight was advising a consortium of banks and institutional investors on the refinancing of a highway project implemented in the form of a PPP for the A8 highway, including project loans, bank loans and a novel form of support by the EIB with a total volume of €440m. The team furthermore advised a banking syndicate on the structured financing of the Monaco 1 gas pipeline and other infrastructure projects by bayernets. It also handles projects abroad, such as for the banks regarding the financing of the expansion of a bauxite mine in Guinea; for NordLB concerning the financing of the Oppido wind farm in Italy; and for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and an international banking syndicate in connection with the $3.8bn project financing of the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex in Oman. Florian Degenhardt is the key figure.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has expertise in advising on project finance in Germany and at an international level both in the infrastructure and the energy sector, including highways and wind park projects. Daniel Reichert-Facilides is considered ‘one of the strongest lawyers in Germany in the area of project finance’. He advises a consortium consisting of DIF Infrastructure IV, HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions and JOHANN BUNTE Bauunternehmung on the new construction of a section of the A6 highway in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Another client was the concession company PANSUEVIA regarding the refinancing of the A-model (PPP) A8, together with HOCHTIEF and STRABAG, which hold 50% in PANSUEVIA respectively.

Gleiss Lutz advises on project finance both in the infrastructure and energy sectors. Recently the firm acted for the EIB in the PPP project financing for the extension of the A6 between Wiesloch/Rauenberg and the Weinsberg junction and advised Blackstone on the sale of the Meerwind offshore wind farm to China Three Gorges. Helge Kortz and the well-known Eva Reudelhuber also assisted a banking syndicate consisting of seven banks under the lead of Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale with the restructured financing at a volume of €2.5bn for the construction of the Berlin Brandenburg International Airport.

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