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Real estate finance in Germany

Allen & Overy LLP

Thanks to its international network and cross-practice cooperation, Allen & Overy LLP is an attractive partner for cross-border mandates that require a broad set of expertise. This approach enables the practice to cover not only real estate finance but also, among other matters, trade, syndication and secondary trading alongside related restructuring projects. The last-mentioned segment includes insolvency-related financings, while the practice also receives regular instructions involving acquisition, senior and mezzanine financings as well as portfolio refinancing and Pfandbrief financing. Often, these matters concern special-purpose and operator-run properties such as logistics and hotels but the team's work also covers various other asset classes. Lenders are the main clients but the team is also expanding its borrower client base. Team head Olaf Meisen advises on all aspects of real estate finance and is supported by counsel Stefan Kuhm, who covers both traditional and innovative financing instruments.

Practice head(s):

Olaf Meisen

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Kuhm; John Coburn

Testimonials

' Very easy to reach, very competent and always solution-oriented. '

' A&O remains our go-to team for German real estate financing transactions. They are economically oriented and legally thorough, and working together is fun. The team is always available and the gold standard for German real estate finance lawyers. '

' Olaf Meisen: Very friendly, very experienced, good negotiators. '

' Olaf Meisen offers excellent support at partner level. '

' Stefan Kuhm is one of our main contacts and you can rely on him for quick answers and thorough handling of legal questions. '

Key clients

Aurelis Asset GmbH

Banco Santander

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale

ECE Real Estate Partners

HSBC

M&G

Morgan Stanley

Natixis Pfandbriefbank AG

NW Wohnen GmbH

Société Générale

The Royal Bank of Canada

Vonovia

Work highlights

  • HSBC: Advice on the refinancing and development facility for the Treptowers office building in Berlin.
  • Santander Bank: Advice on the refinancing of the Steigenberger Hotel in Berlin.
  • Two groups of global lenders: Advising on the provision of acquisition finance to a global alternative investment firm to fund the acquisition of the Dream portfolio held by Dream Global, a Canadian public real estate fund, in a public-to-private transaction.

Clifford Chance

Clients value Clifford Chance's full-service offering based on the combined expertise of its network and the cooperation with various other practice groups, and which covers all aspects of real estate investments. Thus, its workload includes German and cross-border real estate finance, structured finance and refinance as well as securitisation and related regulatory issues; matters that are entrusted to the practice by investors, project developers and private equity firms. Recently, the team has been increasingly active for Asian investors in the logistics space, while it also handles various other asset classes, most notably retail, residential, office and data centres. Tobias Schulten and practice head Beda Wortmann both have a focus on structured finance. In February 2020, the team was strengthened with the arrival of counsel Andreas Ruthemeyer from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; he covers a broad spectrum but has recently been particularly active for alternative investors.

Practice head(s):

Beda Wortmann

Testimonials

' An effective team that confidently masters cross-border and multilingual financing of all sizes. Carefully and quickly. The team is friendly and available and also open to joke. So it's fun. '

' Beda Wortmann: Confident converter, deep knowledge of the market, confident and objective persuasion work towards the other side. '

Greenberg Traurig Germany

Greenberg Traurig Germany stands out for its all-female partner team, and provides borrowers and lenders, including an increasing number of debt funds, with wide-ranging advice on financing transactions across all asset classes. This broad offering is not least based on the close cooperation with the firm's real estate team. During the reporting period, the team has been particularly active handling mezzanine financing, project developments (often integrated into forward deals) and multi-tiered financing structures of senior and mezzanine loans. Other regular work includes share deals, while the team has also seen an uptick in restructuring and insolvency-related mandates. Distressed financing is a particular area of expertise for practice head Claudia Hard, while Anika Mitzkait is a key contact for refinancing and financial restructuring alongside various other project stages of real estate financing.

Practice head(s):

Claudia Hard

Other key lawyers:

Anika Mitzkait;  Kati Beckmann

Key clients

pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

BF.direkt

Berlin Hyp

Tristan Capital Partners

Benson Elliot

Linus Capital

Edge Technologies

FAP

Hanse Merkur

ASG Activum

Swiss Life/Beos

Work highlights

  • Aermont Capital LLP: Advice on the financing of the acquisition and phase 1 development costs amounting to approx. € 600 million for the Tacheles area in Berlin and the further development by a bank consortium.
  • PMM Group / Phoenix Spree Germany: Advice on the financing of a large residential portfolio in Berlin in the amount of approx. € 240 million.
  • Linus Capital: Advice on the financing of a hotel and residential tower development in the Stuttgart metropolitan area by the CG Group.

Ashurst LLP

Working in close conjunction with the firm's real estate practice, Ashurst LLP handles a wide range of financing and refinancing transactions involving individual properties, real estate portfolios and project developments across various asset classes. Recently, the focus has been on the office, retail, residential, logistics, hotel and care sectors. In this space, the team is experienced in both traditional financing instruments, such as loan and mortgage financing, as well as structured financing methods including securitisations; this broad skill set is also reflected in managing partner Derk Opitz's expertise and is routinely called upon by international investors, financial institutions, project developers and asset management companies.

Practice head(s):

Derk Opitz

Other key lawyers:

Filip Kurkowski

CMS

CMS advises lenders and borrowers and has seen an increase in mandates from alterative lenders. Many clients from the alternative lending sector call upon André Frischemeier's expertise, who made partner at the beginning of 2020, while the team has also been increasingly active for real estate funds. Its offering includes assistance with the financing and refinancing of individual properties, which regularly have cross-border elements and are at the interface with corporate law. These transactions typically take place in the retail, office, logistics and residential space. Markus Pfaff, who also handles NPL transactions, and Marc Seibold, who acts at the intersection between finance, corporate law and M&A, are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Markus Pfaff; Marc Seibold

DLA Piper

DLA Piper focuses on work for lenders but the team also takes on occasional mandates from borrowers. This focus was further strengthened during the reporting period through the expansion of existing client relationships, most notably alternative lenders including debt funds. Due to its cross-border expertise, the team is well placed to handle multijurisdictional transactions across all asset classes. Most recently, the practice advised on senior and mezzanine financing, share and asset deals, project developments and portfolio transactions. With Frank Schwem, the team also has experience in the refinancing and restructuring sector. Torsten Pokropp regularly assists with the financing of hotel, office and logistics portfolios as well as shopping centres.

Practice head(s):

Torsten Pokropp; Frank Schwem

Testimonials

'' Communication at eye level, personable / human, thinking economically, good network; Ability to document complex issues in the customer's interest. '

' Extremely customer and practice-oriented with great willingness to help at all times. '

' We work with DLA Piper primarily on cross-border real estate financing; We particularly appreciate advice in a wide variety of jurisdictions from a single source. '

' With different characters, the team is very well equipped for any eventuality and complements each other perfectly. Great atmosphere! '

' Top team – very competent and very fast. '

' Torsten Pokropp knows how to achieve a mutually acceptable result and to avoid conflicts, even in highly complex situations. We particularly appreciate his calm and objective manner, his commercial and always objective thinking. '

' Torsten Pokropp: Always friendly, very close to business, with excellent legal expertise. '

' Torsten Pokropp is extremely service-oriented with the highest level of legal expertise! '

' Frank Schwem delivered a very high quality of documentation as well as specific topics. In the context of Corona, unexpected legal questions arose during the closing process. These were processed pragmatically and factually and good solutions were mapped out. '

' Frank Schwem: Warm, extremely assertive and highly regarded. '

' Torsten Pokropp and Frank Schwem: team players, practical and solution-oriented, stable opinion and willingness to compromise at the same time. '

Key clients

Allianz Real Estate GmbH

Ärzteversogung Westfalen-Lippe

Berlin Hyp

Caerus Debt Investments AG

Collineo Asset Management GmbH

Debt Fonds

Helaba

LBBW

Work highlights

  • Allianz Real Estate GmbH: Advising on the financing of the purchase of Bishop's Square in Dublin through an investment vehicle managed by GLL Real Estate Partners.
  • Helaba: Advising as the lead bank of a consortium, consisting of Helaba and, among others, IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG, Taunus Sparkasse, Nassauische Sparkasse, Sparkasse Mainfranken-Würzburg, Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf and Kreissparkasse Esslingen-Nürtingen, on senior financing for the office tower T1 of the FOUR high-rise quarter in downtown Frankfurt as well as Helaba in its role as cooperation leader with regard to the common base of the four towers.
  • An investment vehicle managed by Collineo Asset Management GmbH: Advice on the mezzanine financing of a new office complex in Vienna.

Goodwin

Goodwin's recent work was focused on office finance and refinance, while the team also handles logistics and residential instructions. In this space, the team advises borrowers, including a number of Pfandbrief banks, investors and debt funds as well as an increasing number of lenders on various loan types, such as green financing, senior, mezzanine and subordinated loans, and on the syndication and tranching of equity investments. This range of topics is reflected in the expertise of team head Stephan Kock. Counsel Andreas Mallin left the firm at the end of 2020 and joined Fieldfisher as equity partner in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Stephan Kock

Key clients

Castlelake

Corestate

Godewind Immobilien AG

BentallGreenOak Real Estate

LBBW

NATIXIS Pfandbriefbank

PGIM

Work highlights

  • Landesbank Baden-Württemberg: Advice on the financing of the construction of the Track building complex in the immediate vicinity of Berlin Central Station with a volume of around € 400 million.
  • NATIXIS Pfandbriefbank AG: Advice on a planned green loan financing for 99 West Tower GmbH.
  • PGIM: Advice on the provision of mezzanine financing in connection with the acquisition of the so-called Arrow portfolio.

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller's clients include banks, asset management companies and funds, who instruct the team to assist with the financing of individual properties and real estate portfolio transactions alongside development financing and refinancing. The team regularly cooperates with colleagues from the M&A and real estate practices and has recently been particularly active in the office, hotel and logistics sectors. Real estate finance and refinancing expert Martin Geiger, who divides his time between Frankfurt and London, and Heinrich Knepper, whose financing expertise includes distressed financing, are among the key contacts.

Noerr

Noerr pursues an interdisciplinary approach based on the close integration of the two segments real estate transactions and real estate finance, which is particularly attractive to national and international banks alongside alternative lenders but the team also acts for borrowers. Torsten Wehrhahn, who made partner in January 2020, is a key contact for both lenders and borrowers. The practice handles an equally broad range of matters, including individual assets, real estate portfolios and project developments, most notably, but not exclusively, in the office, logistics, residential and retail sectors. In April 2020, the banking and finance team led by Andreas Naujoks lost finance law specialist Tom Beckerhoff to Berenberg Bank. Frequently recommended senior associate Doreen Pape assists with national and international finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Naujoks

Key clients

Airbus Bank

ABN Amro Bank

Bayern LB

Bayerische Versorgungskammer

Berliner Hypo

Catella Project Management

Commerzbank AG

Deutsche Hypothekenbank

Deutsche Postbank

DZ Hyp

Ergo Versicherung

ING Bank NV

Lenwood Capital

Prime Capital

UniCredit

Work highlights

  • Bank consortium T2 (Deutsche Hypothekenbank and Commerzbank AG): Advice on the financing of the FOUR high-rise district in Frankfurt’s banking district. Under the leadership of Deutsche Hypothekenbank, a total of six banks and a mezzanine investor are financing the 173-meter-high residential tower T2, one of the four high-rise buildings in the quarter in downtown Frankfurt.
  • Banking consortium: Advice on the financing of the existing Ludwig property in Munich, BCG office for € 175 million.
  • Bavarian Supply Chamber (BVK): Advice on the financing of Leipziger Platz in Berlin, the so-called Mall of Berlin, the largest shopping center in Germany.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP advises lenders and borrowers on national and cross-border financing and refinancing across various asset classes. During the reporting period, the team has been particularly active in residential developments, commercial and office real estate alongside hotel portfolio financing. Clients benefit from the close cooperation with various other practice groups, most notably finance, real estate and M&A. The team led by banking and financing expert Thomas Flatten demonstrates particular expertise in sale-and-lease-back structures, syndicated loans and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), a characteristic of the team's capabilities handling matters at the intersection with capital market law.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Flatten

Other key lawyers:

Florian Degenhardt

Testimonials

' My W&C contacts are 100% customer-oriented. I don't know of any law firm that works so close to customers. '

Key clients

Tishman Speyer

Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (Helaba)

ACCENTRO Real Estate AG

Consus Real Estate AG

Aroundtown S.A.

Grand City Properties S.A.

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

Work highlights

  • Banking consortium: Advising on the € 236 million financing of the acquisition of a hotel portfolio from Principal Real Estate Europe by Axa Investment Managers. The portfolio comprises a total of nine hotels in five European countries.
  • ACCENTRO Real Estate AG: Advising on the issue of an unsecured corporate bond with a total volume of € 250 million.
  • A Goldman Sachs vehicle: Advice in connection with the financing of a major property acquisition.

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz regularly cooperates with colleagues from the M&A and real estate practices when advising financial services providers, but the team also acts for investors and borrowers. Financing and refinancing mandates cover various asset classes, such as data centres alongside logistics, office and commercial properties, and include national and pan-European portfolios as well as individual properties and project developments. Project and real estate financing expert Burkhard Jäkel and banking and finance lawyer Helge Kortz are the key contacts.

GSK Stockmann

With a firm-wide focus on real estate, GSK Stockmann is well placed to provide financing advice for project developments and the acquisition of real estate; most recently, this has concerned the office and hotel sectors in particular. This broad approach results in a similarly diversified client base consisting of project developers, real estate investment companies and banks. Alma Franke and Stefan Koser jointly head the practice and assist clients with national and international financing.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Koser; Alma Franke

Key clients

Groß & Partner Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH

Art-Invest Real Estate Funds GmbH

DZ HYP AG

Westbrook Partners

Real I.S.

Aberdeen Standard Investments Deutschland AG

LaSalle Investment Management

Barings Real Estate Advisers

Toga Group / Adina

Work highlights

  • Groß & Partner: Advising the project developer on the financing of more than € 1 billion for the FOUR project development in Frankfurt am Main.
  • Art-Invest Real Estate: Advice on the financing of the acquisition of the Gleko portfolio, which comprises two office buildings and a parking lot.
  • Westbrook Partners: Comprehensive advice to the real estate investment company on the purchase and financing of a property in Leipziger Strasse (Berlin-Mitte). The seller is a group of private investors.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP's real estate finance practice is an integral part of the firm's German teams for banking and finance on one hand and real estate on the other, and is therefore jointly headed by Frankfurt-based banking and finance lawyer Katlen Blöcker and Düsseldorf-based real estate expert Roland Bomhard. This integration as well as the strong cooperation with other practice groups makes the practice an attractive choice for the national and international real estate financing and refinancing of individual properties and portfolios alongside real estate developments. Clients, including real estate investors and project developers as borrowers and an increasing number of non-bank lenders, such as insurers and debt funds, benefit from the expansion of the firm's Luxembourg office, which is regularly called upon in this space. With Marc Werner and Sabrina Handke, who was elevated to the partnership in January 2020, the team has two proven experts for hotel finance.

Key clients

HR-Group

Art-Invest Real Estate

Vienna House Hotelmanagement GmbH

Hines Luxembourg S.à.r.l.

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

Quilvest

Work highlights

  • HR Group: Advice on the sale of a hotel portfolio consisting of seven hotel properties in Stuttgart, Eschborn, Kelsterbach, Neuperlach, Bad Neuenahr, Sulzbach and Schweinfurt to the Swedish company Pandox AB.
  • Hines Luxembourg S.á.rl: Advice on various financings and refinancing in connection with the HECF (Hines Pan-European Core Fund), including in particular advice on the purchase financing of the shipyard in Frankfurt as part of a share deal.
  • Art-Invest Real Estate: Advice on the acquisition of the GHOTEL Group from the AURELIUS investment group.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP benefits from its robust corporate and M&A practices as well as from the firm's deep footprint in the private equity space, which translates into a steady flow of national and cross-border real estate transactions. The team assists private equity investors, asset managers, funds and banks with the acquisition financing and refinancing of individual properties, real estate portfolios and project developments across various asset classes. Torsten Volkholz heads the team from Hamburg and, in addition to his financing expertise, has many years of experience in the restructuring of real estate investments.

Practice head(s):

Torsten Volkholz

Testimonials

' The team is characterized by a very high level of service, reliability and excellent specialist knowledge in this very small but complex area of law. '

Key clients

Angelo, Gordon & Co.

AGC Equity Partners

Airbus Bank

Bank of Ireland

BNP Paribas

Catella Real Estate AG

Christie B.V.

HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG

Helaba – Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investment (MSREI)

pbb – Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG

Primevest Capital Partners Nederland BV

Redos Real Estate GmbH

Seedvest Capital GmbH

Union Investment

Work highlights

  • AGC Equity Partners: Advising on a comprehensive acquisition financing and subsequent refinancing of The Squaire and The Squaire Parking at Frankfurt Airport.
  • Angelo Gordon: Advice on financing the Ring Center project.
  • Primevest Capital Partners Nederland BV: Advice on the financing of two car parks in Dublin.

Taylor Wessing

Working in close conjunction with colleagues from the real estate practice, Taylor Wessing advises lenders and borrowers on real estate financing across all asset classes. The team's offering includes assistance with acquisition and real estate development financing, sale-and-leaseback transactions, senior, mezzanine, CMBS and RMBS financing alongside the restructuring of such financings. Banking and finance team head Peter Seemann is the key contact in this space and, besides real estate financing, has another focus on project financing.

Practice head(s):

Peter Seemann

Testimonials

' The team has extensive, highly specialized experience in the area of commercial real estate financing, developed over decades, in advising banks, in particular mortgage bond banks, investors, insurance companies and funds. The team provides very personal advice with constant and highly committed commitment from the partners. Individual client requirements that deviate from standardized models or processes are implemented. '

' Peter Seemann knows how to keep an eye on the various interests in highly complex financing structures at all times and to implement them appropriately and efficiently in the contractual documentation. He brings in his decades of experience in advising various stakeholders on commercial real estate finance in a way that promotes transactions with a purely technical focus and is results-oriented. '

Key clients

DZ Hyp AG

Hamburg Commercial Bank

Covivio Immobilien SE

Helaba – Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale

NATIXIS Pfandbriefbank AG

PGIM

HYPO NOE Landesbank für Niederösterreich und Wien AG

Bayerische Landesbank

Investec Bank Plc

Work highlights

  • Banking consortium consisting of DZ HYP, Berliner Sparkasse, Deutsche Hypo, NordLB and Investitionsbank Berlin: Advice on the financing of the Tacheles quarter in Berlin.
  • Hamburg Commercial Bank AG: Advice on the financing of a property purchase of two commercial properties in the Kölnisch Quartier.
  • Hamburg Commercial Bank AG: Advice on long-term refinancing of real estate for the Luxembourg-based Greenman OPEN fund.