Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Real estate finance

Real estate companies such as SIGNA, federal state banks and real estate investments companies instruct McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP to advise on acquisition and project finance across various asset classes.

Real estate finance in Germany

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP recently experienced a growth in instructions from alternative lenders, but also routinely advises German and international banks and, increasingly, borrowers; the team is particularly attractive to such a broad client base not least due to its interdisciplinary advice offering which includes regulatory matters as well as restructuring issues, and its cross-border capacities. Proof of the latter was recently demonstrated in the financing of an office complex in the Netherlands, which was managed from Germany and led by practice head Olaf Meisen. He is regularly supported by counsel Stefan Kuhm, who, like Meisen, comprehensively covers national and international real estate financing and restructuring. The group's advice covers various asset classes with special expertise in the area of special and operator properties such as logistics, hotels and micro-apartments.

Practice head(s):

Olaf Meisen

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Kuhm; John Coburn


‘As a client of AO, you benefit from the team’s extensive experience. In particular, through its activity both on behalf of banks and customers, the client receives balanced, deal-oriented advice.’

‘Dr. Olaf Meisen: Very committed, experienced and deal-oriented partner. Dr. Meisen has mastered the art of fighting courageously for the interests of the client, but also of giving advice in the right places when it is opportune to make concessions to the other side. The sociable manner and the very good accessibility make the cooperation extremely pleasant.

Key clients

Aareal Bank

Banco Santander



ECE Real Estate Partners

Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (Helaba)

Morgan Stanley

NatWest Markets

Royal Bank of Canada


Work highlights

  • Advising a leading asset manager and alternative lender as lender in the approximately €100m financing of RFR’s acquisition of 12 Karstadt properties in Germany.
  • Advising a leading asset manager and alternative lender as a borrower on a€454m acquisition financing of 16 Karstadt properties in Germany.
  • Advised Banco Santander as lender on a €195m financing of the Tripoli-Burgerweeshuispad office complex in Amsterdam.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance provides its client base, made up of borrowers and lenders, with a full service offering that is based on cross-practice and cross-locational cooperation, resulting in regular instructions on German and cross-border real estate financing, structured financing and refinancing as well as securitisation; matters cover all asset classes such as logistics, offices and shopping centres. In addition to practice head Beda Wortmann, Tobias Schulten is one of the key contacts; both assist with the entire range of structured finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Beda Wortmann

Other key lawyers:

Tobias Schulten

Key clients

DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale

Europa Capital

Amundi Real Estate

moderne stadt – Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Städtebaues und der Gemeindeentwicklung mbH

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advice to DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale one the financing of a multi-jurisdictional logistics center portfolio.
  • Advising a large US hedge fund on a high-volume acquisition and development of a property in Berlin.
  • Advised Europa Capital in connection with the financing of the €280m acquisition of a European real estate portfolio for Europa Capital ‘s open-ended vehicle, the Europa Diversified Income Fund (EDIF).

DLA Piper

DLA Piper mainly acts on the lender side where it assists German real estate financiers and asset managers, mortgage bond banks, insurance companies and funds on senior loan and mezzanine loan level. In addition, the team also continues to expand its advice to debt funds. This diverse client base relies on the team's extensive financing and refinancing expertise, which it most recently applied in financings of logistics and residential portfolios, project developments as well as in connection to real estate acquisition financing of office complexes. Torsten Pokropp, who jointly heads the practice with Frank Schwem, further focuses on the financing of hotels and shopping centres, while Schwem also handles construction project financing.

Practice head(s):

Torsten Pokropp; Frank Schwem


‘Solution-oriented action, goal-oriented and commercial thinking. Very good specialist knowledge, also with regard to bond issues.’

‘Torsten Pokropp: professional, pleasant contact, very experienced.’

Key clients

Allianz Real Estate

Aareal Bank AG

Aukera Real Estate Debt Lux. S.C.A., SICAV-RAIF

Berlin Hyp AG

CAERUS Debt Investments AG

Collineo Asset Management GmbH

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG (pbb)

Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen


Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW)


Work highlights

  • Advising Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (Helaba) on the acquisition financing of landmark high-rise Silberturm in Frankfurt am Main. It was acquired by a joint venture between IMFARR Beteiligungs GmbH and SN Beteiligungen Holding AG by way of a €700m share deal.
  • Advising Allianz Real Estate on the granting of a financing by several Allianz Group companies to an institutional investor involving Arminius Group, an independent transaction and fund manager, for the acquisition financing of the Grand Campus in Frankfurt.
  • Advising ING, pbb and Berlin Hyp AG on the refinancing of a €580 million pan-European logistics portfolio owned by AEW. The portfolio includes 42 properties and developments in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and the Netherlands.

Greenberg Traurig Germany

Greenberg Traurig Germany's financing advice includes acquisition financings (including share and forward deal structures as well as mortgage bond financings), complex development financings and financial restructurings, and also covers various related topics as well as cross-border issues that are handled in regular cooperation across practices and locations. Despite covering the entire range of asset classes, the group most recently assisted both lenders and borrowers with an increasing number of matters in the residential real estate sector; notably, the team has particularly extensive expertise in advising on loan funds. Practice head Claudia Hard is experienced in acquisition financing and refinancing as well as restructuring and boasts deep expertise in bond financing; she is supported by Anika Mitzkait who advises domestic and foreign banks, credit funds as well as private and institutional investors and project developers on the financing of real estate across all asset classes.

Practice head(s):

Claudia Hard

Other key lawyers:

Anika Mitzkait; Kati Beckmann

Key clients


pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank


Berlin Hyp

Tristan Capital Partners

Benson Elliot

Linus Digital Finance

Hanse Merkur


Work highlights

  • Advice to Tristan on the acquisition refinancing of a majority stake in INHAG.
  • Advising Heimstaden, a Scandinavian family office, on the €140m acquisition financing of a residential portfolio in Berlin with pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank.
  • Advising Linus Digital Finance on the technologization of their refinancing channels, in particular via IT-based co-investor platforms, including the first use of blockchain technology.


Noerr continues to primarily advise national and international banks as well as alternative lenders; acquisition, real estate and project finance expert Dorian Legel, who made associated partner in January 2021, is also dedicated to this client segment, while also consistently expanding his advice to borrowers. Practice head Andreas Naujoks and Doreen Pape, who made counsel in January 2021, also assist both types of clients. Recently, the team assisted with various large-scale project and district developments – many of them in Berlin – particularly in the commercial and residential sphere, but also advised on financing across other asset classes including special properties (such as listed properties). The group's advice includes forward financing and refinancing as well as acquisition financing for national and cross-border real estate portfolios. Most recently, they were also active in DCM-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Naujoks

Key clients

Bayern LB

Bayerische Versorgungskammer

Commerzbank AG

Deutsche Hypothekenbank

Sparkasse Berlin

Deutsche Postbank


DZ Hyp

Prime Capital

Lenwood Capital

ODDO BHF Aktiengesellschaft

Kommunaler Versorgungsverband Baden-Württemberg


Work highlights

  • Advising a banking consortium led by Deutsche Hypothekenbank on the €296m financing of the four construction phases of Heidestrasse district.
  • Advising a banking consortium led by Berliner Sparkasse on the €565m project financing of the Berlin Fürst site.
  • Advising the financial advisor, acting for two managed funds, on the €60m mezzanine financing of a real estate portfolio acquisition by x+bricks SA from TLG AG.

Ashurst LLP

In close cooperation with its real estate practice, Ashurst LLP's real estate financing group advises lenders and borrowers on the financing and refinancing of real estate portfolios and individual properties as well as project developments across all asset classes. The group focuses on residential, logistics and offices, with the former category also including nursing and care properties as well as student residences. Managing partner Derk Opitz heads the team and, alongside his expertise in traditional financing instruments, is also experienced in structured financing; notably, the team is increasingly assisting with green finance issues.

Practice head(s):

Derk Opitz

Other key lawyers:

Filip Kurkowski


Direct completion of tasks – good accessibility.’

Pleasant work.’


CMS‘ versatile client base – consisting of funds, insurance companies, project developers, asset managers and banks – is proof of the team’s broad expertise in real estate financing and refinancing. In addition to advice on traditional acquisition and development financing and existing properties refurbishment, the team is well versed in large-volume syndications of corresponding loans. Marc Seibold, who is based in Stuttgart, regularly leads here and jointly heads the practice with the Hamburg-based Kerstin Block. The group recently predominantly focused on the logistics and residential sectors, but generally assists with matters across all asset classes.

Practice head(s):

Kerstin Block; Marc Seibold


‘Very experienced team.’


Goodwin was recently particularly active in advising banks and investors on mid- and large-cap financings for single property and real estate portfolios in the logistics, offices, life sciences and mixed-use real estate sectors. Under the leadership of Stephan Kock, the group not only focuses on classic acquisition financing, but also on development financing, refinancing and financial restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Stephan Kock


Dr Stephan Kock has an excellent understanding of how to translate complex issues into a language that is appropriate for the addressee and thus integrate everyone involved in the processes with an eye on the goal.’

In addition, meaningful key topics are established and addressed within individual specialist groups for answering/processing. This way, often tight time frames are adhered to as best as possible.’

Key clients

777 Capital Partners AG

Castlelake LLP

Slate Asset Management L.P

Work highlights

  • Advising 777 Capital Partners AG on the company’s first two project developments in Berlin-Mitte and in the greater Nuremberg area. The total volume amounts to €100m.
  • Advising Castlelake LP on financing issues relating to the sale of a Franco-German logistics real estate portfolio jointly held with Melcombe as part of a bidding process in which Blackstone was awarded the contract.
  • Advising Slate Asset Management LP on the acquisition and financing of two real estate portfolios in Germany for the Slate European Real Estate Fund III.

Taylor Wessing

In close cooperation with its real estate practice, Taylor Wessing covers a wide range of financing issues mainly for banks, but also increasingly for sponsors and borrowers. Hence, the group is experienced in acquisition and development finance, sale-and-lease-back transactions, senior, mezzanine, CMBS and RMBS finance and restructuring. Matters involve individual properties as well as portfolios and span various asset classes; most recently, the team was especially active in the commercial, office and residential sectors. The team, which was strengthened by the arrival of salary partner and real estate financing specialist Jennifer Maiworm (previously principal associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) in November 2020, is headed by Clemens Niedner, who is experienced in restructuring as well as financing.

Practice head(s):

Clemens Niedner

Key clients


Hamburg Commercial Bank AG

Covivio Immobilien SE

Helaba – Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale

NATIXIS Pfandbriefbank AG


HYPO NOE Landesbank für Niederösterreich und Wien AG

Bayerische Landesbank

Investec Bank Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Tishman Speyer on financing the Gruner + Jahr headquarters in Hamburg.
  • Advising Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale – Helaba on the financing of multi-billion dollar project “Quartiere am Blüherpark”.
  • Advising a banking consortium led by HCOB on the refinancing of the Office Campus Stuttgart.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is well equipped to cover various interdisciplinary issues through cooperation with its real estate and capital market practices, which regularly contribute to its real estate financing and refinancing advice. The group assists across various asset classes – recently in particular commercial, residential (including student residences), office and mixed-use properties – as well as with matters pertaining to individual properties and portfolio transactions. It acts for both borrowers and lenders, although lender-advice was recently particularly sought after; here, Thomas Flatten is a key contact for national and international banks and financial institutions. Sébastien Seele, who made partner in January 2021, regularly advises credit funds, sponsors as well as banks.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Flatten

Key clients

J.P. Morgan

Deutsche Bank

x+bricks S.A.

ADLER Group S.A.

Goldman Sachs

Brookfield / International Campus

Summit Group

Aggregate Holdings S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising Luxembourg real estate company ADLER Group SA, formerly ADO Properties SA, on several financings with a total volume of over €4bn.
  • Advising x+bricks group on the €500m acquisition financing of 120 grocery properties from TLG Immobilien AG and its subsidiaries.
  • Advising Summit Group on the sale of a large part of its German commercial portfolio to Tristan Capital Partners for an initial purchase price of €1bn.

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz assists with real estate financing on both the bank and borrower side and acts in regular cooperation with its real estate practice. While the practice recently saw a particular increase in instructions in the healthcare sector, such as the financing of nursing home portfolios, the team also continues to advise on financing and refinancing in the office, commercial, residential and logistics asset classes. Project and real estate financing expert Burkhard Jäkel, who also focuses on insolvency law, as well as banking, finance and capital market law specialist Helge Kortz are among the key contacts.

Other key lawyers:

Burkhard Jäkel; Helge Kortz

Key clients

Alcentra Ltd

Apax Partners Beteiligungsberatung GmbH

Bausch & Lomb

Deutsche Beteiligungs AG

Flughafen Köln/Bonn

Flughafen Düsseldorf

Lindsay Goldberg

LEONI Kabel GmbH


Robus Capital / Whitebox

SCP Retail Investments S.A.

Steinhoff Europe AG


Wieland Werke AG

GSK Stockmann

In addition to acquisition financing – most recently particularly in relation to the retail, residential and office sectors – GSK Stockmann routinely handles project financing, which also mirrors the specialisation of practice heads Alma Franke and Stefan Koser. Asset managers, capital management companies and real estate investment companies form the backbone of its client base alongside financial institutions and developers, who also benefit from the group's expertise in investment law-related matters as well as from its close cooperation with the Luxembourg office.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Koser; Alma Franke

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments AG


FREO Germany GmbH


Groß & Partner Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH

LaSalle Investment Management Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH

Nuveen Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to FREO Germany GmbH in connection with the financing of a project development of KORYFEUM office campus in Unterschleißheim.
  • Ongoing advice to Groß & Partner Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH in connection with the financing of the FOUR project in Frankfurt am Main.
  • Advising HANSAINVEST Hanseatische Investment-GmbH and GPEP GmbH on the acquisition financing of the SUPERFOOD portfolio, consisting of 68 retail properties.

Hengeler Mueller

Embedded within its real estate management and financing practices, Hengeler Mueller's real estate financing team advises lenders and borrowers on financing aspects of various acquisition and sale transactions. Martin Geiger, who splits his time between Frankfurt and London, is particularly well known for his expertise in structured finance and securitisations.

Other key lawyers:

Martin Geiger; Heinrich Knepper

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Since an internal reorganization in July 2020, real estate financing is handled by Hogan Lovells International LLP's corporate and finance group; the real estate financing practice is headed by Frankfurt-based banking and finance lawyer Katlen Blöcker  and real estate law expert Roland Bomhard in Düsseldorf. The client base primarily consists of investment managers, asset managers and banks, who rely on the team's expertise in financing and refinancing of residential and commercial properties, office properties and project developments and who also benefit from the cross-practice and cross-location cooperation with, for example, the green real estate finance practice's ESG group and the Luxembourg office.

Other key lawyers:

Christian Herweg


‘Well-rehearsed, dynamic team with extensive transaction experience, also in the international area, always goal-oriented approach to problems.’

‘Christian Herweg: Very high commitment and transaction know-how, excellent team leader.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas REIM

Lenwood Capital und Prime Capital

Commerzbank AG


Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG

Real I.S.

HR Group


Work highlights

  • Advising BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) Germany GmbH on the acquisition of an almost 3,700m² office property in Berlin-Schoeneberg.
  • Advising Lenwood Capital and Prime Capital on mezzanine financing for project developments in Berlin and Frankfurt.
  • Advising Commerzbank AG on the refinancing of a residential and commercial property in Berlin-Mitte.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP's strong transactional expertise also reflects on its real estate practice which is routinely consulted for real estate transactions. This interrelationship is also mirrored on management level, with financing expert Torsten Volkholz  and real estate transaction specialist Otto von Gruben heading the group, which also closely cooperates with other practices such as the firm's tax department. Banks, PE investors and funds in particular seek advice on acquisition financing and refinancing of individual properties, real estate portfolios and project developments across various asset classes.


‘The team responds specifically to the wishes and needs of the client and tries to implement the client’s requirements, taking into account the current legal situation.’

‘The collaboration is fabulous. This law firm is outstanding, not only from a technical point of view, but especially in terms of project management.’

‘We work very successfully with Torsten Volkholz and his team and can only recommend them.’

Key clients

Airbus Bank

Bank of America

Bank of Ireland

BNP Paribas

Catella Real Estate

Christie B.V.

Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (RREEF)


HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG

Institutional Investment Partners GmbH (2IP)

Madison International Realty

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund (MSREF)

redos real estate

TOTAL Deutschland GmbH

pbb – Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG

Union Investment

Work highlights

  • Advising pbb – Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG  in connection with the financing of a real estate acquisition in order to prepare a project development by way of an asset deal.
  • Advising Bank of America in connection with the financing of a real estate acquisition/ financing of a share deal for the acquisition of a trade fair site on which a vaccination center was being built at the same time.
  • Advising TOTAL Deutschland GmbH on the sale of their shares in joint venture Großtanklager-Ölhafen Rostock GmbH to EUROPORTS Terminals GmbH.