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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 > Corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Corporate

Index of tables

  1. Corporate
  2. Corporate and shareholder disputes
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Andreas Austmann - Hengeler Mueller
    • Hans Diekmann - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Jochem Reichert - SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG
    • Maximilian Schiessl - Hengeler Mueller
    • Christoph Seibt - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Hans-Ulrich Wilsing - Linklaters
    • Ralph Wollburg - Linklaters

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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In early May 2018, Matthias-Gabriel Kremer took over the practice lead of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s 39-partner strong coporate practice from Wessel Heukamp. Christoph Seibt assisted Continental with the potential reorganisation of the group, while Thomas Bücker led advice to Delivery Hero on its conversion into an AG, the cross-border merger of a Dutch subsidiary and finally its conversion into an SE. The group also assisted Evotec, home24 and Xing with SE conversions. The breadth of practice becomes clear when looking at other instructions: it assisted an accounting firm with its restructuring; advised Axel Springer on the international roll-out of internal compliance guidelines; and, in cooperation with the conflict resolution team, handled several compliance investigations and court disputes resulting from transactions. Changes in the team include the partner appointments of Nicholas Günther and Markus Benzing in May 2018.

Hengeler Mueller’s 40-strong corporate law team is not only one of the largest and most stable in the market, but is also regarded as the ‘clear market leader’. A highlight was advising Metro on a group split including a carve-out. In other work, the group assisted numerous family-owned businesses with the ​​change of legal form and advised the parent company of a global technology group, which converted into a KGaA. Other areas of focus, in addition to advising on corporate structures, is assisting with annual general meetings for clients including innogy, Osram Licht, Porsche, United Internet and Linde. The group advised Linde on the question of whether the merger of equals agreement between Linde and Praxair should have been submitted to the general meeting for approval. This instruction was handled by Jochen Vetter, who works alongside the ‘highly esteemed’ and ‘very dedicated and exceptionally intelligent’ Simon Patrick Link in Munich. Daniela Favoccia is based in Frankfurt; Thomas Meurer, Maximilian Schiessl (one of the leading lawyers for board level and supervisory law consulting) and Andreas Austmann, who provides ‘practical and useful advice’, are key names in Dusseldorf.

Linklaters’ corporate group includes well over 120 lawyers, and acts for DAX 30 companies such as Bayer, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, Fresenius and Siemens. In addition to assisting large corporations, the group also regularly advises executives and supervisory boards. Tim Johannsen-Roth took over the practice group lead from Ralph Wollburg, who now co-heads the global group, in May 2018. The latter advises Volkswagen and Porsche on all matters relating to the diesel emissions scandal, board level reorganisation and the performance of the annual general meeting. Hans-Ulrich Wilsing assists with Daimler conversion issues and Staffan Illert is advising Deutsche Börse on its corporate restructuring. Stephan Oppenhoff and Kristina Klaaßen-Kaiser are also recommended. Rüdiger Thiele retired and Wilhelm Haarmann left in January 2019 to join McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP.

Allen & Overy LLP is increasingly active in advising board and supervisory board members, and has many years of experience in handling shareholders’ meetings. In the latter area, it most recently worked for Axel Springer, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik Industries, Uniper and SAP. Other outstanding mandates include advising Volkswagen Financial Services on its reorganisation in eleven jurisdictions, and assisting Rheinmetall with issues relating to executive board remuneration and corporate governance. Hans Schoneweg heads the team of nearly 80 lawyers, which includes names such as Michiel Huizinga, Sven Prüfer and counsel Katharina Stüber. Hans Diekmann and Christian Eichner are particularly noted for advising listed companies on assessing breaches of duty and on disputes with board members. Hans-Christoph Ihrig left the group in August 2017 to co-found Mannheim-based boutique firm Ihrig & Anderson Rechtsanwälte.

Clifford Chance’s 14 corporate partners focus on pre- and post-transaction advice. In addition to handling numerous large financings and M&A transactions, the team also advises on company structures. In recent work, the group advised Grohe Beteiligungs on the complete takeover of Grohe AG by squeezing out the minority shareholders. The practice also assisted the Technical University of Munich with concluding an agreement with the non-profit Dieter Schwarz Stiftung for the foundation of 20 new professorships in economics with complete equipment and infrastructure. In Frankfurt, the group has particular expertise advising banks, with Thomas Krecek particularly noted in this area; he has ‘an almost limitless knowledge’ in the space and is ‘always available’. Markus Stephanblome joined the Frankfurt team in December 2017 from White & Case LLP. Frank Scholderer, who is also based in Frankfurt, is also noted. Dusseldorf-based Anselm Raddatz leads the group together with Krecek.

CMS’ clients receive ‘service-oriented’ advice on corporate law. The strategic expansion of the client portfolio, which formerly included mostly medium-sized companies, has resulted in a number of panel appointments, including that of E.ON. Numerous listed companies rely on the group and in recent work the group handled a compliance matter for a large company, one of many that the group is increasingly involved in. In addition to group law and supporting shareholders’ meetings, advice on company design is another core strength, with a recent focus on conversion matters. For example, the group advised VTB Bank on the formation of an SE by merging an Austrian AG with a German AG and a newly founded French company. Hilke Herchen, Maximilian Grub and Ernst-Markus Schuberth lead the team, which has members in all eight German offices. Renewable energy expert Carolin Armbruster, Igor Stenzel, who advises several Polish companies, and Tilman Weichert, who is frequently commissioned by listed companies, were promoted to the partnership at the start of 2018. Malte Bruhns has ‘a high economic understanding’, and is recommended alongside Martin Kuhn.

Retaining Gleiss Lutz for corporate law advice ‘eliminates the need for content checks and controls, as the client can rely one hundred percent on the team’s correctness and expediency’. The team composition is ‘excellent, especially in comparison to the other side, which often employs much larger teams’, and the advice is ‘clear and comprehensible’. Christian Cascante and Peter Steffen Carl jointly head the practice, which advises major international corporations, board members and supervisory boards (such as those of Volkswagen and Audi on diesel scandal issues) as well as owner-managed companies. For example, it assisted Ergo Gruppe with the restructuring of the group structure, and advised Kommunale Energie Beteiligungsgesellschaft Thüringen on the annual general meeting. Michael Arnold represents TUI in a landmark case discussing the compatibility of the German Codetermination Act with EU law. Fred Wendt, Gabriele Roßkopf and Martin Schockenhoff are also noted. Dirk Wasmann is ‘a brilliant, pragmatic and solution-oriented corporate lawyer’; Cornelius Götze has ‘excellent expertise’ and is ‘extremely reliable and thorough’. Urszula Nartowska left for Hogan Lovells International LLP and {Tobias Harzenetter 16111} made partner in 2019.

The corporate law group at Hogan Lovells International LLPresponds personally to the concerns of its clients’ and offers ‘partnership-like cooperation at a high professional level’ as well as ‘continuous availability and responsive feedback’. Current mandates include advising Adva Optical Networking on the integration of MRV Communications, including various mergers and intra-group transfers, as well as on the restructuring of the Generali Group. The firm regularly advises on the establishment of joint ventures such as Daimler in the context of the bundling of on-demand mobility services. Michael Rose provides ‘practical answers, a pragmatic approach and pleasant cooperation’, and is recommended alongside Matthias Hirschmann and Peter Huber. Lutz Angerer heads the German practice, while Volker Geyrhalter took over responsibility for the Continental European group from Christoph Louven at the end of 2017. Hanns Jörg Herwig made partner at the beginning of 2018, while Michael Leistikow retired. Urszula Nartowska joined from Gleiss Lutz. Daniel Dehghanian and Alexander Koch made partner in 2019. Associate Philipp Weber joined FPS as associate partner.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s corporate law team frequently works with other practice groups such as tax, restructuring and white-collar crime. In recent work it is advising the executive board of Stada Arzneimittel on an internal investigation into possible violations of executive board duties by the previous management. Siemens, now also a major client in Europe, instructed the group with structural issues in the run-up to the IPO of its healthcare unit. It also advised Klöckner & Co on the performance of the annual general meeting; other clients include BayWa, Daimler, the DuMont Media Group and Tengelmann. Harald Selzner leads the group. Rainer Wilke and Martin Neuhaus are other key names and Natalie Daghles made partner at the beginning of 2018. Tobias Larisch joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Nikolaos Paschos from Linklaters. Björn-Axel Dißars moved to Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

Noerr’s corporate law team ‘combines legal excellence with a pragmatic and solution-oriented approach’. It provides ‘advice at short notice and always at a high-quality level’ and the ‘often very short-term requirements for deadlines are always met, usually even undercut’. As an established regular adviser to German corporations, the group is increasingly active in advising DAX 30 companies, and it has notable expertise in the creation of corporate governance and compliance structures. A highlight was assisting the Dieter Schwarz foundation with the financing of professorships and new infrastructure for the expansion of the Technical University of Munich to Heilbronn. The group also advised Kieser Training on the establishment of a joint venture with project developer Euro Sino Invest to enter the Chinese market. On the contentious side, it was involved in arbitration proceedings concerning post-M&A disputes, and represented a family foundation in a shareholder dispute. Christian Pleister ‘not only has very high expertise, but is also very committed’, Florian Becker is ‘a good negotiator’ and Ingo Theusinger provides ‘advice of the highest quality’. Alexander Hirsch, Volker Land and Marlies Raschke (who was promoted to the partnership at the beginning of 2018) are also recommended. Maurice Séché was made up to partner in early 2019.

The corporate lawyers at SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AGnot only have excellent expertise, but are also goal and solution oriented’. The group has been assisting clients such as Daimler, Renolit and Südzucker for many years, primarily with complex issues such as restructuring and litigation. Highlights included advising the supervisory board of Deutsche Bahn on the Stuttgart 21 railway and urban development project. Other work examples include assisting with the annual general meetings of CropEnergies, euromicron and Fuchs Petrolub, and advising energy utility group EWR on its restructuring. Practice head Jochem Reichert is ‘a helpful sparring partner’, ‘very experienced’ and ‘steadying’; Thomas Liebscher is ‘assertive’; and Marc Löbbe is another key name. Stephan Harbarth is now vice president of the Federal Constitutional Court.

White & Case LLP’s ‘highly experienced’ team covers the full range of corporate law. It recently handled several extraordinary general meetings, such as that of 1&1 Drillisch in connection with the gradual acquisition of 1&1 Telecommunication from United Internet, at which no legal challenge was filed. In other work, it is advising market research institute GfK on take private and squeeze-out proceedings following the entry of financial investor KKR. Practice head Lutz Krämer is recommended for directors’ and officers’ liability cases. Other well-known names include Alexander Kiefner, Markus Hauptmann, Robert Weber and Roger Kiem. Markus Stephanblome left the firm in December 2017 to join Clifford Chance.

Baker McKenzie recently acted on numerous cross-border mergers, increasingly counts listed companies as clients, and is setting standards in compliance advice. A highlight was assisting Uniwheels with the conclusion of a domination and profit transfer agreement with the main shareholder Superior Industries International, including the preparation and execution of the extraordinary general meeting, and the delisting of the company. Other highlights include advising McDonald’s on its day-to-day business; assisting Karl Storz, a manufacturer of endoscopes, medical instruments and equipment, with its conversion into an SE & Co. KG; and acting for Daimler on the establishment of a European on-demand ride-sharing joint venture with start-up Via. Since Nikolaus Reinhuber took over the management of the global IT practice in July 2017, Christian Atzler now jointly heads the German corporate law group together with Andreas Lohner, who has been co-head of the practice group for many years. Björn Simon made partner in July 2018 and Christian Vocke is also an up-and-coming young partner.

DLA Piperhandles mandates in the agreed timeframe, provides transparent invoices’ and is able to draw on its large international network. The group has a strategic focus on expanding its client portfolio in the DAX/MDAX segment and in the area of large medium-sized companies; clients include BASF, Lufthansa, Siemens, Syngenta and Rolls-Royce Power Systems. The group advised on men’s fashion manufacturer Ahlers on its annual general meeting, where the conversion of the previous preference shares into ordinary shares was approved by a preference shareholders’ resolution. Practice head Nils Krause is responsible for China-related matters, while co-managing partner Benjamin Parameswaran maintains good relations with Indian companies. The firm recently reinforced its capital markets group. Kerstin Schnabel and Mathias Schulze-Steinen are noted; Carlos Robles y Zepf joined the partnership in May 2018.

Dusseldorf-based antitrust and corporate law boutique Glade Michel Wirtz - Corporate & Competition provides a service that is ‘unbeatable in terms of quality’, according to one client. Day-to-day work for the 16 lawyers includes advice on corporate structures, annual general meetings and on the establishment of joint ventures for clients such as Bose, Klöckner & Co, L’Oréal and ZF Friedrichshafen. The group advised Haniel on the formation of a joint venture between CWS-Boco and Rentokil Initial. On the contentious side, the team handled a shareholder dispute. In addition to name partners Achim Glade and Arndt Michel, Marco Sustmann and Andreas Merkner are also regarded as excellent advisers.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek covers the market nationally: Anne de Boer and Peter Ladwig provide ‘top consulting’ in Stuttgart, the ‘very good’ Karsten Kühne is based in Berlin and ‘strong lawyer’ Marc Scheunemann works from Dusseldorf. In Munich, Helge-Torsten Wöhlert is noted and in Hamburg, practice head Stefan Duhnkrack is a stand-out practitioner. Also in Hanburg, Tim Petermann made partner, while the Cologne office was strengthened by the addition of Andreas Lenz and a team from his own, now dissolved, law firm Corso. The group primarily advises medium-sized companies, for example it is assisting a family holding company with corporate governance issues. It assisted the De Raj Group with the corporate structuring under a new German holding company. Another core focus is representation in litigation proceedings, with a recent example being the composition of a listed company’s supervisory board.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is ‘excellent in every way: fast, precise and covers a broad range of matters’. This includes advice on corporate structuring (handled for Themis Beteiligungs-AG) and on the performance of shareholders’ meetings (for example the first ordinary shareholders’ meeting of Ceconomy after the spin-off of the company). Another highlight was advising H.I.G. Capital, as the main shareholder of IT systems and consulting firm Conet, on the squeeze-out of minority shareholders. Ulrike Friese-Dormann played a leading role here, and is recommended alongside Norbert Rieger and Christoph Rothenfußer. Steffen Oppenländer, who, in addition to handling transactions, assists family businesses with succession issues, joined the Munich team in September 2017 from Hengeler Mueller’s London office. The majority of the group’s 14 lawyers are based in Munich, while Arndt Stengel heads the Frankfurt practice.

In addition to handling corporate structurings, Taylor Wessing’s ‘proactive’ corporate group was particularly in demand for handling public takeovers. It increasingly acts for listed companies such as Panasonic, which it advised on the division of the European business into separate automotive and industrial divisions. Dirk Lorenz and Klaus Grossmann are on in-house counsels’ radars. Lars-Gerrit Lüßmann, who is well known for advising board members and supervisory boards, is ‘fast, competent, and masters complex’ matters. Michael Sinhart joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP in September 2017.

Arqis Rechtsanwälte provides ‘competent and practical advice’, with the group’s ‘wealth of experience and entrepreneurial understanding extending far beyond pure legal matters’. The corporate practice is particularly good at advising board members and supervisory boards, and at handling matters related to labour law; for example, it was particularly busy advising Volkswagen’s supervisory board on the restructuring of the board of management and supervisory board. The Japan Desk, which acts for numerous Japanese companies concerning their activities in Germany, also accounts for a significant proportion of the work. In addition to advising clients including Alloheim Senioren-Residenzen, Johnson Controls and Katjes International on an ongoing basis, the team assisted medical technology manufacturer Dynamify with setting up its subsidiary terraplasma medical. The ‘very service-oriented and pragmatic’ Mirjam Boche frequently represents insurance companies in D&O cases. Also recommended are Christoph von Einem, Andreas Dietl and Christof Schneider. Daniel Wied left for BDO Legal at the beginning of 2018. Former general counsel of Vonovia Thomas Görgemanns joined as of counsel at the beginning of 2019.

Ashurst LLP’s six-partner corporate group regularly advises on structural measures, shareholders’ meetings and matters at the interface of stock corporation and group law. In recent work, it assisted Biotest with board of directors and supervisory board matters as well as its annual general meeting, and advised DNick Holding on the change of legal form. Other clients include Babcock International, eyewear manufacturer Eschenbach and Stada. Reinhard Eyring and Thomas Sacher are recommended.

From Munich, six Dissmann Orth partners support small and medium-sized companies in all corporate law matters. The group is particularly experienced in handling annual general meetings, restructurings and litigation. A recent highlight was assisting a relatively new company with setting up a US subsidiary. Thomas Wieland, Armin Hergeth and Jochen Ettinger are particularly recommended.

Eversheds Sutherlandspeaks the language of the client’: the corporate law team ‘not only has extensive knowledge of the market and industry, but also knowledge of internal processes, mechanisms and particularities on the client side’. Highlights included advising Rockwell Collins on its reorganisation, and assisting Nordakademie with setting up a foundation. Sven Schweneke is ‘extremely pragmatic, very results oriented, and respects time constraints and resources’. Other names to note include Matthias Heisse, Christian Mense and Holger Holle, who was appointed partner in May 2018. In October 2018, Maximilian Findeisen joined the team from Mütze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

Clients appreciate Greenfort’s ‘individual’ and ‘personal’ corporate law advice. Some – such as outplacement and staff reduction company v. Rundstedt & Partner, which retains the group when setting up joint ventures – benefitted from the ‘direct line to the partners’. The practice provides ongoing commercial advice on stock corporation, GmbH, partnership and group law to clients including CSL Behring, myphotobook and Skrill. For Andreas von Oppen and Daniel Röder, who is ‘always friendly and easy to reach’, ‘every client is the most important’. Carsten Angersbach ‘delivers excellent strategic proposals’, ‘does not get lost in details’ and ‘provides solution-oriented advice’. Gunther Weiss is the fourth partner in the team.

As advisoe to German family businesses, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH has ‘good contacts with law firms in other countries’. The group advised AVW Immobilien, Deutsche Real Estate, IFA Hotel und Touristik and wind turbine manufacturer Nordex on annual general meetings; the Digital Business Group instructed it for its restructuring including contribution, non-cash capital increase, qualified share exchange and merger; and Konzept Gruppe, which manages energy framework agreements, retained the team for a change of legal form into a GmbH. Klaus Schaffner, Jörgen Tielmann and Thomas Weidlich are recommended. In July 2018, Guido Wenzel made partner and Michael Bormann joined from Simmons & Simmons.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s corporate law team is ‘easy to reach’ and provides ‘a very good service’. It distinguishes itself from other practices by providing ongoing commercial advice to numerous banks, financial institutions and fintech companies. Klaus Bader and Frank Regelin jointly head the team, in which Klaus von Gierke is also recommended. Benedikt Gillessen, who handles stock corporation law in addition to capital markets transactions, joined White & Case LLP in October.

In SERNETZ • SCHÄFER’s seven-partner strong group, ‘small teams and direct partner involvement provide for a smooth operational process and a good price performance ratio’. It is particularly recommended for providing advice on corporate matters with a banking supervisory law angle and for representing clients in litigation proceedings, particularly in relation to the liability of directors and officers. For example, it represented Sparta in a stock corporation law proceeding as well as in an appraisal proceeding to increase the compensation fixed for the squeeze-out under conversion law with regard to its participation in Strabag. In Dusseldorf, Frank Schäfer is a key name; in Munich, Andreas Höder and Fabian Dietz-Vellmer stand out. ‘Very good analyst’ Andreas Gätsch left to join FPS in January 2019.

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, six partners in the firm’s Munich and Frankfurt offices handle corporate law matters with a focus on post-transaction issues. Equally important is the advice provided to members of the board of management and managing directors. The group assists Daimler’s management board with corporate governance issues concerning the Diesel scandal. The Chinese-Austrian aircraft component manufacturer Facc also entrusted the team with corporate governance issues. Bernd Mayer heads the practice.

avocado rechtsanwälte’s ‘proposed solutions are pragmatic, easy to implement and easy to understand even for laypersons’; moreover, the ‘billing of services is very transparent’. Recently, the corporate practice advised on numerous changes of legal forms and on mergers. In one example, it assisted Ansys Germany, a provider of technical simulation solutions for product development, with the change of shareholders and subsequent merger of two subsidiaries into the German parent company. Ongoing corporate law advice is provided for Adyton Real Estate, Gleason Corporation and SMC, which manufactures pneumatic and electrical automation technology. The client portfolio also includes numerous owner-managed companies, which are advised by lawyers including Udo Zietsch and ‘very good adviser’ Christian Berger.

Bird & Bird is particularly recognised in the technology and media sector, with recent instructions including assisting Fujifilm Europe with internal reorganisation projects. However, the group is also working to develop other areas such as energy, life sciences and the automotive sector. Other work includes its advice to F.W. Hempel & Co. Erze und Metalle on its planned restructuring. Practice heads Peter Veranneman and Stefan Gottgetreu are based in Dusseldorf, while the team also has corporate law expertise in Frankfurt and Munich.

Buse Heberer Fromm advises numerous supply industry, trade, and mechanical and plant engineering companies on all corporate law issues. While it has a strong following among German SMEs, international companies such as Lineas and Subway International are also part of the client portfolio. Hamburg-based Jossip Hesse heads the practice, which also includes Wolfgang Großmann and Christian Quack in Dusseldorf and Peter Fissenewert in Berlin.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPrequires little input to understand the client’s objectives’. The group is best known for providing post-transaction corporate advice, but is also experienced in handling changes of legal form and contentious cases. In the joint venture space, it advised Media-Saturn-Holding on the provision of an online service to retrieve current information on stock currently held at local retail outlets. Other clients include ArcelorMittal, Kohler and Mercer International. Michael Ulmer is ‘detail oriented’ and provides ‘practical advice’; Oliver Schröder and Gabriele Apfelbacher (who also handles capital market law) are other names to note. Hanno Sperlich has not worked as a lawyer since July 2017.

Flick Gocke Schaumburg frequently acts for long-term clients - often family businesses. Burgbad, EWE, Fränkische Rohrwerke Gebr. Kirchner and Vattenfall, for example, are long-standing clients. A significant part of the work is handling restructurings, where it has handled recent work for Gelsenwasser and VNG - Verbundnetz Gas. Michael Erkens and Stephan Göckeler jointly head the team. Finn Lubberich made partner at the beginning of 2018 and Christoph Schulte is another name to note.

Clients of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner appreciate the corporate group’s ‘fast turnaround times, comprehensive business acumen and very good industry knowledge’. Recent work includes providing extensive commercial advice to Verlag Herder, and assisting LeaseRad with revising its partnership agreement and with establishing a holding and a leasing company. On the contentious side, it represented Endress+Hauser in a case against 58 claimants of Analytik Jena concerning their squeeze-out. Managing partner Barbara Mayer is ‘pragmatic and goal oriented’ and Arnt Göppert is ‘a good negotiator’. Other key names in the team are Gerhard Manz, Albert Schröder and Tobias Lenz.

Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB’s range of advisory services includes directors’ liability disputes, structural measures, changes of legal form, joint ventures and general meetings. In recent highlights, it advised on general meetings for music service provider SendR and biotechnology company MorphoSys. A major part of the work consists of advising clients such as Ingersoll Rand, Medigene and sensor technology provider First Sensor on day-to-day matters. Dusseldorf-based Michael Dolfen and Alexander Kessler are recommended.

At GSK Stockmann, ‘the service is always worth its price’, the advice is ‘pleasantly uncomplicated’ and the cooperation between different departments is ‘remarkable’: ‘the work of different practice groups is presented as a cohesive team service’. In addition to assisting with annual general meetings and cross-border mergers, the group advises software company IVU Traffic Technologies on its corporate governance code, and is assisting real estate investment provider Real I.S. with the restructuring of group companies. Max Wilmanns’ team also includes Michael Stobbe and ‘creative, client-oriented and good negotiator’ Katy Ritzmann.

Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP works ‘with great initiative and anticipation’ on contentious and non-contentious corporate law issues. The group often acts on cross-border matters, for example it assisted Vonovia with its cross-border merger with Gagfah. Another highlight was advising Rewe Group on the merger of its business activities with Rewe Dortmund, the last legally independent regional cooperative of the group. Dusseldorf-based Sönke Becker has ‘foresight and sees the bigger picture’ with his strengths ‘fully utilised at an international level’. In Frankfurt, Nico Abel, managing partner since July 2018, and Markus Lauer are recommended.

Based in Dusseldorf, Hoffmann Liebs Fritsch & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB provides ‘fast and well-founded initial consultation’ as well as ‘a very high level of expertise and rapid familiarisation with new topics’. Family-run, medium-sized companies make up the majority of the client portfolio, which includes names such as Agora Invest and DocCheck. The group advised technology and service company Technotrans on the change of legal form from an AG to an SE. Other instructions include restructurings, GmbH and group law issues as well as succession planning for family-run companies. Raoul Mosel and Norbert Bröcker are highly regarded.

K&L Gates LLP’s corporate law group has ‘a very good understanding of business matters’ and a particular strong suit in issues regarding both stock corporation and capital markets law. The group is currently expanding its offering for annual general meetings, an area in which Koenig & Bauer is a long-term client. Other clients include Bundesdruckerei and EDF Énergies Nouvelles. Thomas Lappe heads the team in which Martina Ortner made partner in March 2018. Boris Kläsener and Klaus Banke are also recommended.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP has ‘a very well-coordinated team’ which, in addition to advising on transactions, also regularly handles changes in legal form and mergers. It recently advised the entire European portfolio of aircraft supplier TransDigm Group in this area. In other work, it handled various structural matters for CardProcess, a provider of cashless payment systems, and IT service provider Fiducia & GAD. Clemens Just, Michael Cziesla and Christian von Sydow, who has ‘a very good network locally and abroad’, are key names. Philipp Grenzebach made partner in January 2018. Wilhelm Haarmann joined the group in January 2019 from Linklaters.

The service level at Oppenhoff & Partner is ‘absolutely outstanding’. The corporate group has particular experience in the areas of corporate governance, board liability, general meetings and disputes between shareholders. In the joint venture space, it advised HDI Vertriebs AG on a project in the InsureTech area. The team assisted KSB, a manufacturer of pumps and valves, with the conversion of the AG into an SE & Co. KGaA. Since the opening of the Hamburg office in February 2018, the firm offers corporate law expertise in Northern Germany, in addition to Frankfurt and Cologne. The ‘client-oriented’ Harald Gesell and the ‘helpful, open-minded and experienced’ Axel Wenzel are recommended alongside Stephan König and Myriam Schilling.

The Stuttgart-based team of Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte shows ‘strong initiative’. The client base, which largely comprises medium-sized companies, appreciates the fact that the ‘teams are rather small in order not to let the costs get out of hand, but can be increased if necessary’. One highlight was assisting Azkoyen Vending with the exclusion of Primion Technology’s minority shareholders. The ‘experienced, committed and assertive’ Rolf Leinekugel is ‘a brilliant mind that you would want on your side rather than on the other’. He is recommended for shareholder disputes, while Thomas Trölitzsch usually advises board members and managing directors, and Felix Born ‘has a good overview’ of stock corporation law matters.

‘Competent and fast’, the eleven-lawyer team at Orth Kluth Rechtsanwälte advises on corporate law issues including reorganisations and directors’ liability proceedings. In recent work, the group advised Demag Cranes & Components on its day-to-day business, handled an internal group restructuring for baked goods manufacturer Lieken and assisted mechanical engineering company Meyer Burger with a squeeze-out. Robert Orth, Kai-Michael König and Marc Henze are particularly active.

Wolfgang Grobecker and Eva Nase are the key figures in P+P Pöllath + Partners’ corporate practice, which, in addition to providing transaction support, is particularly recommended for advice on commercial matters relating to tax law. Clients include numerous family-run companies and funds such as HeidelbergCapital, which it defended in a case in which former minority shareholders of nextevolution have sought to have the cash compensation from a squeeze-out under stock corporation law reviewed. In the non-contentious area, the team advises on corporate and group law for Data Modul, Nemetschek (a provider of software for architects, engineers and the construction industry) and Giesecke+Devrient.

Based in Hamburg, Raschke | von Knobelsdorff | Heiser advises German family businesses as well as foreign and international companies on corporate law issues, while representation in contentious cases is another core focus. In the non-contentious area, it advised SkyFuel on the long-term cooperation with power plant developer Aalborg CSP, and assisted moebel.de with preparing the annual general meeting. Gilbert Tassilo von Knobelsdorff and Dominik Ziegenhahn are highly recommended.


M&A: large deals (€500m+)

Index of tables

  1. M&A: large deals (€500m+)
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Hans Diekmann - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Andreas Fabritius - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Thomas Meyding - CMS
    • Ansgar Rempp - Jones Day
    • Maximilian Schiessl - Hengeler Mueller
    • Ralph Wollburg - Linklaters
    • Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain - Hengeler Mueller

Who Represents Who

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Advising on large-cap deals, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer can take full advantage of its ‘excellent’ consulting experience. It provides ‘very cost-effective advice despite its high hourly rates’ on high-profile transactions. In recent work, it advised on the sale of various assets and subsidiaries of Air Berlin and Niki Luftfahrt to multiple companies in bidding procedures following the insolvency of both companies. The group assisted BASF with concluding a declaration of intent to establish the joint venture Wintershall DEA with LetterOne for the merger of the oil and gas subsidiaries. As part of an international team, the group handled a public takeover in the infrastructure sector, namely Hochtief’s €33.5bn acquisition (cash payment and share swap) of Abertis Infraestructuras. The practice also assisted Vonoiva with a voluntary public takeover offer made to the shareholders of the Buwog Group. Matthias-Gabriel Kremer heads the group, which comprises 32 partners since the appointment of Nicholas Günther in May 2018. Other key names include Andreas Fabritius, Arend von Riegen, Rick van Aerssen and Gregor von Bonin. Christoph Seibt provides ‘very fast and good advice’ and Stephan Waldhausen is ‘an outstanding M&A expert’.

Outstanding legal competence, business acumen and unambiguous binding statements, especially in crucial, critical situations’ lead clients of major German law firm Hengeler Mueller to have ‘the greatest confidence in its advice’. The transactions handled often have an international component, as advising Vitol on the €1.37bn acquisition of Petrol Ofisi shows. Another highlight was assisting innogy with the merger of npower, innogy’s UK distribution business, with SSE’s end customer and EnergiePlus business to create an energy distribution company in the UK. Maximilian Schiessl, Martin Ulbrich, Nicolas Böhm and Daniela Favoccia are noted. Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain has ‘excellent business acumen’ and Matthias Hentzen stands out for his ‘ingenuity and negotiation skills’. Daniel Möritz and Sebastian Schneider made partner at the beginning of 2018. Steffen Oppenländer joined Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in August 2017.

Linklaters has ‘a very good understanding of the commercial aspects of a transaction’. It acts for DAX 30 companies and major German corporations such as Continental, Siemens and thyssenkrupp. The group advised E.ON on the sale of its stake in Uniper and handled Fortum’s public takeover offer to Uniper shareholders. In other work, it advised Deere & Company on the €4.4bn takeover of the German Wirtgen group and assisted with the €15bn merger of thyssenkrupp’s European steel business with Tata. Ralph Wollburg and Stephan Oppenhoff are recommended, the latter particularly for public takeovers. Tim Johannsen-Roth was appointed practice head in May 2018.

Clients can expect ‘consistently clear advice’ from Clifford Chance. Thomas Krecek, who is the ‘absolute benchmark for M&A lawyers in Germany’, leads the practice together with Anselm Raddatz. It has particular expertise in advising banks and financial institutions on transactions, for example it handled BNP Paribas’ takeover of ABN Amro’s asset management and insurance activities. Another highlight was assisting Fresenius Kabi with the €670m acquisition of Merck’s biosimilar business. The team grew with the addition of Markus Stephanblome, who joined from White & Case LLP in December 2017.

Latham & Watkins LLP is commended for its work in transactions with an international component, particularly due to its good network with its US and UK offices. As part of a cross-office team, the group advised Siemens on the merger of its mobility business with Alstom. Other highlights include assisting Henkel with the $1.05bn acquisition of the Darex Packaging Technologies business from GCP Applied Technologies, and advising Israel Chemicals on the $1bn sale of its fire protection and oil additives businesses to SK Capital Partners. Harald Selzner leads the group, which also includes Martin Neuhaus, Rainer Traugott and Henning Schneider. In early 2018, Natalie Daghles made partner and in March 2018 Tobias Larisch, who is particularly experienced handling energy sector transactions, joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Noerrimpresses with its expert knowledge and foresight’, and ‘always sets up teams – interdisciplinary if needed – appropriate to a deal’s size and complexity’. It regularly acts for large German companies and financial investors on large-cap transactions in the e-commerce sector and increasingly in the regulated industries. Highlights included assisting Bayer with the €1.7bn sale of its crop science businesses to BASF; advising Johnson Controls on the $2bn sale of its subsidiary Scott Safety to US group 3M; and acting for Chiltern during its $1.2bn sale to LabCorp. The M&A practice is headed by Alexander Hirsch and Florian Becker, who ‘knows what the client needs, what the market standard is, and can bring both into line’. Marlies Raschke made partner at the beginning of 2018. Other key names are Michael Brellochs, Tibor Fedke (‘technically excellent and always responsive’) and Volker Land (‘a strategic thinker’ who advises ‘quickly, wisely and with a high level of economic understanding’).

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s Frankfurt office has extensive experience of large-cap transactions. Most recently, the group acted on a number of high-profile mergers: in addition to assisting Bayer with its merger with Monsanto, it handled Praxair’s merger of equals with Linde, which created the largest global industrial gases company with a combined market value of over $67bn. In other work, the team assisted Drillisch with its merger with United Internet. Another highlight was advising Marsella Holdings on the $1.2bn acquisition of Braas Monier Building Group. Carsten Berrar and York Schnorbus are other names to note in managing partner Wolfgang Feuring’s team.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s M&A group is ‘characterised by professional expertise and intercultural competence’. With ‘a will to complete a transaction successfully’, it often acts for banks and financial institutions such as Citi, which acted as financial adviser to RWE concerning the sale of innogy’s stake in E.ON. In 2017, the group assisted General Motors with the €2.2bn sale of Opel-Vauxhall to PSA, and advised 3M on the $900m sale of the communications markets business to Corning. Michael Ulmer is ‘a great help in keeping a demanding team on the other side in check’ and counsel Michael Brems ‘has a strong sense of a client’s structures, decision making approach and communication culture’. Gabriele Apfelbacher and Oliver Schröder are also recommended.

Several clients are impressed by the ‘pragmatic advice’ provided by Gleiss Lutz. In addition to acting for German clients, the M&A group also receives regular instructions from companies from other European countries on large-cap transactions. Recently, it advised the shareholder of the automotive supplier ZKW on its €1.1bn sale to LG Corporation and LG Electronics. All six German offices offer M&A expertise, with Christian Cascante and Jochen Tyrolt recommended in Stuttgart, Ralf Morshäuser and Rainer Loges key names in Munich, Thomas Menke the contact in Düsseldorf and Fred Wendt active in Hamburg. Jörn Wöbke joined Schnittker Möllmann Partners in early 2019. Andreas Löhdefink was a new arrival from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLP delivers ‘solutions that work the first time around and keep the effort for clients low’. The team also successfully cooperates with ‘equally qualified and readily available lawyers in other jurisdictions’, which is an advantage for clients involved in large international transactions. Highlights in this space included advising Woodward on the acquisition of engineering firm L’Orange for a value of €700m according to media reports; assisting BASF with the merger of its paper and water chemicals business with US specialty chemicals manufacturer Solenis; and acting for Daimler on the formation of a joint venture with BMW to bundle global mobility services. Lutz Angerer leads the German team, while Volker Geyrhalter heads the Continental European practice. Nikolas Zirngibl is also noted and Hanns Jörg Herwig made partner at the beginning of 2018.

Jones Day fields M&A lawyers in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich, which frequently cooperate with US colleagues on large-cap deals. For example, the group assisted Cardinal Health with the $6.1bn acquisition of some of Medtronic’s businesses, and advised Procter & Gamble on the €3.4bn acquisition of Merck’s global consumer health business, both of which were led by a US team. The German group coordinated advice for Hilti on its acquisition of the Norwegian company Oglaend System. Practice heads Ansgar Rempp and Martin Schulz are noted, and Christian Krebs and Markus Weber made partners in January 2018.

Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘solution-oriented’ team frequently advises US clients on M&A transactions with a focus on Germany. In one example it is assisting Superior Industries with the $715m public tender offer for Uniwheels; Hartmut Krause, who is recommended by clients for his ‘exceptional experience’ in public takeovers, led the advice on the German side of the transaction. Hans Diekmann is ‘risk aware, proactive and diligent’; he advised Allianz on the £1bn retail insurance joint venture with Liverpool Victoria. Practice heads Hans Schoneweg and Michiel Huizinga are also recommended. Hans-Christoph Ihrig left the firm in August 2017 to co-found Mannheim-based boutique Ihrig & Anderson Rechtsanwälte and Murad Daghles left for White & Case LLP in January 2019.

In addition to German SMEs, CMS also acts for large, often international companies; it recently advised HP on the $1.05bn acquisition of Samsung Electronics’ global printing division. Another highlight was advising IVG on the sale of its stake in Triuva Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft to Patrizia Immobilien. Maximilian Grub, Hilke Herchen and Ernst-Markus Schuberth lead the 65-partner group, which saw the promotion of three new partners in January 2018: Carolin Armbruster, Igor Stenzel and Tilman Weichert. Malte Bruhns has ‘a high advisory competence and business understanding’, and is recommended alongside Thomas Meyding and Christian Lenthe.

DLA Piper’s ‘down-to-earth’ team is also increasingly involved in large-cap transactions. It assisted Rolls-Royce Power Systems with the sale of L’Orange to Woodward, and advised Syngenta on the €1.4bn acquisition of Nidera Seeds. A particular highlight was acting for BASF on the €1.6bn acquisition of Solvay’s polyamide business. The ‘outstanding’ Benjamin Parameswaran, who stands out for his ‘negotiating skills’, led all transactions.


M&A: mid-sized deals (sub-€500m)

Index of tables

  1. M&A: mid-sized deals (sub-€500m)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Barbara Keil - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Thomas Meyding - CMS
    • Klaus Riehmer - Mayer Brown LLP
    • Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain - Hengeler Mueller

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which M&A: mid-sized deals (sub-€500m) clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has ‘in-depth knowledge and experience’, and regularly staffs deals with cross-practice teams. In one example, the corporate team worked with the firm’s employment, tax, antitrust and public law experts in advising Patrizia Immobilien on the purchase of Triuva Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft from IVG Immobilien. The group also works at a cross-office level nationally and internationally and acted for Ceconomy on the €452m acquisition of a minority stake in Groupe Fnac Darty from Artémis in a matter involving the Paris, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf offices. Another highlight was assisting biotechnology company Evotec with the $300m acquisition of Aptuit from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Matthias-Gabriel Kremer leads the team. Nicholas Günther made partner in May 2018; Stephan Waldhausen is ‘an excellent lawyer’; Barbara Keil has ‘an outstanding wealth of experience’; and Wessel Heukamp is noted for his ‘good cooperation’ skills.

At Hengeler Mueller, 32 partners, who ‘are in an absolutely unique position in terms of quality, cost awareness and cooperation’, provide transactional advice. The firm regularly acts as lead counsel in international transactions with a German target, but has also recently built up its outbound portfolio. Highlights included assisting Carl Zeiss with the €25m acquisition of Optec and advising Siemens on the sale of Siemens Convergence Creators, a provider of digital transformation solutions, to Atos. Key partners include Daniela Favoccia, Georg Frowein, Jochen Vetter and Peter Weyland. Sebastian Schneider provides ‘an excellent and comprehensive service’, and has ‘the whole transaction in mind’; he and Daniel Möritz were promoted to the partnership in early 2018. Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain has ‘excellent business acumen’ and Matthias Hentzen is noted for his ‘acumen and negotiation skills’. Andreas Hoger is recommended as a next generation lawyer, Steffen Oppenländer joined Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in August 2017.

The M&A advice provided by Baker McKenzie is ‘to the point’, and ‘previously agreed fee agreements are adhered to’. The practice has a strong network internationally and the majority of its deals have a cross-border component. Highlights included advising Corestate Capital Holding on the acquisition of HFS Helvetic Financial Services; Creos Deutschland on the acquisition of all shares in Steag Netz in a bidding process; and Winkler+Dünnebier on the acquisition of Bicma Hygiene Technologie. Nikolaus Reinhuber, Christian Atzler and Heiko Gotsche are also noted alongside ‘excellent negotiator’ Thomas Gilles.

Clifford Chance has a strong new generation of arbitrators and represents a wide range of companies in such cases. The practice group’s long-standing clients include Volkswagen, Metro and the European Central Bank. Post-M&A disputes accounted for a large part of its recent work: for example, practice head Michael Kremer is representing an automotive supplier in challenging a transaction. The ‘commended’ Tim Schreiber is another central figure; he was involved in a high-volume ICC arbitration in connection with the termination of oil and gas contracts and allegations of expropriation. Moritz Keller, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in August 2018, has further bolstered the team.

Gleiss Lutz impresses large German-listed and family-run corporations with ‘fast turnaround times’ and ‘consistently high quality’ transactional advice. The group advised Wieland-Werke on the acquisition of the flat-rolled products division of copper producer and recycler Aurubis. Another highlight was assisting Linde with the sale of Tega - Technische Gase und Gasetechnik to DCC. Christian Cascante and Ralf Morshäuser lead the team, which also includes Michael Burian, Alexander Schwarz, Hoimar von Ditfurth and Thomas Menke. Martin Viciano Gofferje is recognised as a next generation lawyer. Jörn Wöbke joined Schnittker Möllmann Partners. Andreas Löhdefink was a new arrival from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s M&A team in Germany regularly advises on international mid-cap transactions. For example, it acted for Boston Scientific on the $435m acquisition of Symetis, a company specialising in minimally invasive cardiac surgery; advised congatec, a company specialising in the development and sale of embedded computer boards and modules, on the acquisition of Real-Time System; and assisted medical technology company Novanta with the acquisition of W.O.M. World of Medicine. At a national level, advising Autogrill Germany on the acquisition of Le Crobag was a highlight. Martin Neuhaus, Rainer Traugott and Christoph Engeler are key names within Henning Schneider’s team. Personnel changes include the promotion of Natalie Daghles to the partnership at the beginning of 2018 and Tobias Larisch’s arrival from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in March 2018.

Linklaters provides ‘an excellent service’ when advising on mid-cap M&A transactions. The German group is often involved in international deals. An example is assisting the chemical company AECI with the acquisition of Imperial Logistics’ contract manufacturing business, which includes chemical service provider Schirm. Other highlights include assisting Deutsche Postbank with the sale of VÖB-ZVD Processing’s girocard network operation to SIX Payment Services, and advising Siemens Healthineers on the purchase of Fast Track Diagnostics. The Dusseldorf office, in which Ralph Wollburg, Achim Kirchfeld and Tim Johannsen-Roth are based, is particularly active.

Clifford Chance has ‘a deep understanding of economic circumstances coupled with deep market penetration’. The strong cooperation with offices abroad results in a regular flow of inbound transaction mandates. For example, it advised Brazilian supplier of refractory products, systems and services, Magnesita Refratários, on the sale of the production area for magnesia carbon bricks in Oberhausen to Intocast. In another international highlight it assisted Fujifilm Belgium with the sale of its coatings and pressroom chemicals business in the EMEA region to Heidelberger Druckmaschinen; at a national level, notable instructions include its advice to Lanxess on the acquisition of IMD Natural Solutions and handling Software AG’s acquisition of Cumulocity. Thomas Krecek has ‘unlimited knowledge, extraordinary negotiation skills, and is available anywhere and anytime’. He leads the practice group together with Anselm Raddatz. The ‘pragmatic’ Christoph Holstein and Nicole Englisch are also recommended. Markus Stephanblome joined the group from White & Case LLP in December 2017.

CMS advises both German companies on acquisitions abroad and international clients on inbound transactions, with a particularly good network in Southeastern Europe. In recent work it is assisting Sunrise Communications with the CHF500m sale of Swiss Towers; August Storck with the acquisition of a wafer producer; and Nanogate with the acquisition of HTI High Tech Industries’ plastics division. The group also advised new client Xing on the acquisitions of InterNations and application management system operator Prescreen. Maximilian Grub, Hilke Herchen and Ernst-Markus Schuberth lead the team, which also includes Karsten Heider, Henrik Drinkuth, Oliver Wolfgramm and Thomas Meyding. Carolin Armbruster, Igor Stenzel and Tilman Weichert were promoted to the partnership at the beginning of 2018.

DLA Piper has seen a number of personnel changes recently: it strengthened the Frankfurt office with several lateral hires and promoted Carlos Robles y Zepf to the partnership at the beginning of 2018; following this, Florian Hirschmann joined the Munich office in April 2018. Fifteen partners, including Nils Krause and Benjamin Parameswaran, provide advice on mid-cap transactions. The group assisted IT consulting firm Wipro Limited with the $405m sale of Hosted Data Centre Services to Ensono and advised Stillfront Group on the acquisition of the German Goodgame Studios.

Eversheds Sutherland ‘speaks the client’s language’ and offers ‘pragmatic advice’. It regularly advises German, foreign and international clients on acquisitions. For example, the group advised US data centre operator CyrusOne on the $442m acquisition of Zenium Data Centers; assisted Shell with the €340m acquisition of energy supplier and cable network operator First Utility; and acted for Finnish engine and power plant group Wärtsilä on the €210m acquisition of navigation specialist Transas. Within Christof Lamberts’ team, Christophe Samson and Sven Schweneke, who ‘adheres to time and resource constraints’, are noted. Holger Holle made partner in May 2018 and Maximilian Findeisen joined from Mütze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in October 2018.

Providing ‘short processing times’ and ‘good value for money’, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is a good choice for clients looking for advice on mid-cap deals. The group regularly advises larger medium-sized companies, including several automotive suppliers. A recent example is assisting the International Consolidated Airlines Group with the acquisition of Air Berlin subsidiary Niki. On the sale side, it acted for TÜV Rheinland on the sale of its Food Labs business units in China and Taiwan in a bidding process. Philipp Dietz, Michael Krömker and Thomas Weidlich regularly advise on transactions related to Asia. Christian Horn, who joined from K&L Gates LLP in June 2017, has ‘a good understanding of business’. Thomas Kuhnle leads the team, which was strengthened by the addition of Denis Bacina from PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) in September 2018.

Noerrcombines legal excellence with a pragmatic and solution-oriented approach’. Even when handling cross-border instructions, the group ‘advises from a single source with internationally integrated teams’. The firm’s international network is becoming increasingly important. For example, the group advised electronics manufacturer AVX Corporation on the acquisition of a business division of TT Electronics and on the takeover of Kumatec. Other highlights include assisting Condor and parent company Thomas Cook with the takeover of the insolvent Air Berlin Aviation, and advising Lendico on the takeover by ING Deutschland. ‘Good negotiator’ Florian Becker and Alexander Hirsch lead the practice group which saw Marlies Raschke’s promotion to partner at the beginning of 2018. Other names to note are Gerald Reger, Christoph Spiering and Christian Pleister, who is ‘unbeatable in negotiations’ and ‘provides comprehensive advice’.

With 27 partners, Taylor Wessing is no longer exclusively focused on transactions in the IT and IP industry. In addition to US and Asia cross-border transactions, the Spanish and Brazilian desks also ensure a strong deal flow. The group has numerous long-standing clients, including Evonic Industries, which it recently advised on the acquisition of 3M’s compounding business with highly concentrated additives and on the acquisition of cosmetics company Dr. Straetmans. It assisted Imperial Logistics with the €128.4m sale of chemical services provider Schirm to chemicals group Aeci. The team includes Klaus Grossmann, Peter Hellich and Dirk Lorenz. Ernst-Albrecht von Beauvais ‘fully comprehends economic topics’, is ‘very structured’ and ‘holds all the threads together during a transaction’. Hassan Sohbi has ‘a sure instinct and significant transaction experience’.

White & Case LLP’s 19-partner M&A team ‘thinks with an entrepreneurial and client-oriented mind’. It is often involved in cross-border transactions, with inbound mandates from China playing a particularly important role. Highlights included advising Asklepios Kliniken on the acquisition of the Paracelsus Group; assisting Conzzeta with the acquisition of Otto Bock Group’s plastics division; and acting for automotive supplier Faurecia on the acquisition of Hug Engineering. Tobias Heinrich is ‘a strong project manager’ and has ‘extensive technical experience’. Roger Kiem, Markus Hauptmann and practice head Jörg Kraffel are also recommended. Matthias Kiesewetter made partner in the Hamburg office in January 2018.

Allen & Overy LLP’s M&A group provides advice that is ‘fast and always to the point’. Recently, it assisted several US clients with acquisitions in Germany, for example Eli Global with the acquisition of finanzen.de; and learning platform Chegg with the acquisition of Cogeon. Hans Schoneweg leads the M&A team, which comprises 19 partners including Michiel Huizinga and Helge Schäfer. Hans Diekmann has ‘a diligent approach as well as immense experience’. Hans-Christoph Ihrig left the practice in August 2017 to co-found Mannheim-based boutique Ihrig & Anderson Rechtsanwälte.

Ashurst LLP provides ‘a very good service’ on M&A transactions and clients value the ‘communication with one or two contacts who consult with lawyers from other practice areas’. Holger Ebersberger is ‘fast, efficient and creative, and always ready to go the extra mile’. He advised H + H International on the acquisition of the German and Swiss sand-lime brick business of HeidelbergCement. Reinhard Eyring assisted Nilit with the sale of its global nylon compounding business Nilit Plastics to Celanese. Thomas Sacher and Benedikt von Schorlemer are also recommended.

Dechert LLP’s M&A group in Frankfurt and Munich is ‘always available even when facing high workloads’. It frequently cooperates with the firm’s London and US offices when advising on joint ventures and acquisitions, acting for clients such as American Express Global Business Travel and Lazada. Managing partner Federico Pappalardo has ‘a business-oriented mindset and acts in the interest of the client’. Giovanni Russo has ‘excellent knowledge of transaction structures and related legal details’, and is ‘an excellent help in contract negotiations’. Armin Fary joined SNP Schlawien Partnerschaft MBB in September 2018.

Hogan Lovells International LLP considers its clients’ concerns in ‘a very individual and personal manner’. Practice head Lutz Angerer advised medical technology firm Ambu on the €225m acquisition of invendo medical, while Birgit Reese assisted Talanx with the acquisition of financial and supply consulting group FVB. Tim Brandi acted for NordLB on the planned sale of Deutsche Hypo as part of a bidding process. Matthias Jaletzke, Andreas Meyer and Christoph Louven also stand out among the 18 partners who provide M&A advice.

Mayer Brown LLP always has ‘the economically feasible in mind’ when advising on mid-cap transactions. In recent work, it assisted Benteler with the sale of shares in SGL Technologies Composites, with parent company SGL Carbon becoming sole owner of the former joint venture. Practice head Klaus Riehmer and Carsten Flaßhoff are recommended. Ulrike Binder ‘creates enormous trust’ by ‘keeping an eye on all points’ and ‘being extremely strong in her field’. Counsel Christoph Broich is ‘a very pleasant negotiator who remains calm even in difficult situations’.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP impresses with ‘fast responses and processing times’ handling mid-cap transactions. The group advised H.C. Starck on the €450m sale of the Tantalum and Niobium business to a subsidiary of JX Nippon Mining & Metals and on the €150m sale of the Surface Technology and Ceramic Powders business to Höganäs. On the merger side, it assisted Affinitas with joining forces with Spark Networks under a new German holding company. In Munich, Martin Erhardt, ‘dealmaker’ Peter Nussbaum and the ‘excellent’ Norbert Rieger are recommended. The Frankfurt office is particularly known for its private equity expertise.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s M&A team stands out for its ‘fast processing and broad knowledge’. It has specialist expertise in energy and infrastructure, insurance, agribusiness and technology as well as in capital markets transactions. Newly promoted partner Marco Niehaus ‘keeps a close eye on related fields thanks to his extensive experience in complex deals’ and Katrin Stieß is ‘reactive, unbureaucratic’ and ‘confines herself to the essentials’. Klaus Bader and Klaus von Gierke are also recommended.

Oppenhoff & Partner stands out for its ‘high willingness to innovate’ and ‘reliability’. It advises numerous international companies on investments in Germany. On the sale side, it assisted Siemens Healthineers with the disposal of the immunodiagnostics business to DiaSorin, and advised Saint-Gobain Rigips on the sale of the insulating materials business to Hirsch Servo. Both transactions were led by Ronald Meißner from Frankfurt. The office saw the addition of Markus Rasner and Till Liebau from Graf von Westphalen in July 2017. Myriam Schilling, Stephan König and Peter Etzbach are based in Cologne.

Paul Hastings LLP’s Frankfurt-based M&A team is particularly active in the life sciences, energy and TMT sectors. It frequently advises foreign investors (mostly from the US and Asia) on investments in Germany. A highlight was assisting Merck with the €464m acquisition of Rigontec. It also handled various joint ventures for Crane Payment Innovation. Regina Engelstädter and Christopher Wolff are particularly recommended.

The 13-partner strong team at SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG, which is based across the firm’s Frankfurt and Mannheim offices, is ‘goal and solution oriented’, and the ‘teamwork between the different practices leads to optimal results’. In 2017, it advised Hoffmann Group, a manufacturer of quality tools and operating equipment, on the acquisition of Contorion. Stephan Brandes is ‘versatile’ and has ‘a good memory’, and Jochem Reichert is ‘a very successful negotiator’. Stephan Harbarth is now vice president of the Federal Constitutional Court.

Bird & Bird’s corporate group often cooperates with other practices such as antitrust, IP and employment. Together with the IP and employment groups, the team advised Precision Medicine Group on the acquisition of all shares in Epiontis. Another highlight was assisting EWV Energie- und Wasser-Versorgung in merger talks with Stawag Stadtwerke Aachen. Peter Veranneman and Stefan Münch are recommended.

The ‘objective, goal-oriented and cooperative’ M&A lawyers at Greenberg Traurig Germany have ‘a hands-on approach that is highly effective at achieving optimal results’. The group assisted Tecnoquímicas with the acquisition of Bayer’s generics business in a combined share and asset deal; Henrik Armah, who is ‘very prudent’ and ‘always remains calm, even in demanding situtations’, led the advice. ‘Astute’ practice head Peter Schorling ‘conducts even the most complicated negotiations very well’ and ‘knows very well what is enforceable’. Wencke Bäsler, who made partner in March 2018, works ‘quickly and precisely’ and is recommended alongside Josef Hofschroer.

K&L Gates LLP is a popular choice in the mid-cap segment thanks to its ‘good economic understanding’ and ‘fast response times’. Highlights included advising VTG on the acquisition of CIT Rail Holdings and the Nacco Group; ‘very good transaction lawyer’ Thomas Lappe, who heads the Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich-based group, led the advice on the German side. In March 2018, Martina Ortner joined the partnership.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is particularly known for private equity transactions. The team’s strong integration with the firm’s international offices ensures a constant flow of instructions. For example, it worked with the London office in advising vehicle component manufacturer Accuride on the takeover of Mefro Wheels. Jörg Kirchner, Benjamin Leyendecker and Volkmar Bruckner are recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has a focus on the technology and life sciences sector but impresses M&A clients from all sectors with its ‘active partner involvement’ and ‘close cooperation’. It acted for Deutsche Telekom on the establishment of joint venture Tooz Technologies with Zeiss Group for the development of smart glasses. It has also acted for various Chinese clients on acquisitions in Germany. The practice is headed by Thomas Schmid and also includes ‘outstanding negotiator’ Oliver Duys. In early 2018, Christoph Rödter and Nikita Tkatchenko were made up to local partners.

P+P Pöllath + Partners regularly advises management teams on participation programmes, and routinely covers tax structuring in transactions. In addition to handling numerous private equity transactions, it also assisted Cewe Stiftung with the acquisition of Stardust Media And Communication and online printing company Laserline. Otto Haberstock led advice on this matter; he is based in Munich alongside Eva Nase, Frank Thiäner, Jens Hörmann and the ‘pragmatic and solution-oriented’ Christian Tönies. Georg Greitemann is the name to note in Frankfurt.

Clients of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP appreciate the ‘flexibility’ of the M&A teams in Frankfurt and Munich, which frequently cooperate with colleagues in New York, London and Paris. Examples of recent cross-border transactions include assisting Alibaba with the acquisition of Pakistani e-commerce platform Daraz from Rocket Internet, and advising Doncasters Group on the sale of Nelson Fastener Systems to Stanley Black & Decker. Gerhard Schmidt leads the team in which Christian Tappeiner is known for his ‘excellent negotiation skills’.

Beiten Burkhardt’s ‘decisive team’ provides ‘a high level of professional competence at competitive prices’ and is a popular choice for German medium-sized companies in particular. It advised the family owner of SieMatic on the sale of a majority stake in the company to the Nison Group. The group is increasingly involved in venture capital exit transactions including advising ING-DiBa on the purchase of online credit marketplace Lendico. Axel Goetz is ‘very client oriented’, has ‘good market knowledge’ and is recommended alongside Christian von Wistinghausen, Detlef Koch and Hans-Josef Vogel. Sebastian Weller was a new arrival in early 2019 from FPS.

Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH provides ‘a lean team structure’, ‘manoeuvres the client towards core issues’ and has ‘access to experts in other areas as needed’. The group worked with the firm’s labour and antitrust departments in advising Grupo Ferrer Internacional on the sale of Trommsdorff to Dermapharm. In another highlight, it assisted Kyocera with the acquisition of software provider Alos. Michael von Rüden, who is ‘competent’ and ‘responsive’, and ‘thinks like an entrepreneur’, led advice on this matter. Harald Stang ‘keeps an eye on all the components of a transaction’ and Julia Petersen ‘takes all areas into account and is a good negotiator’. Markus Schackmann is also recommended.

Flick Gocke Schaumburg is a popular choice for medium-sized (family-run) companies. In recent work, it advised Schindler on the acquisition of Dralle Aufzüge, and assisted film production company Brainpool with the acquisition of MTS. Stephan Göckeler and Michael Erkens are recommended in the Bonn office, one of six German locations. In Frankfurt, Finn Lubberich joined the partnership in January 2018.

The ‘highly regarded’ M&A team at Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner advises German medium-sized companies as well as foreign clients including a medical technology company. The group advised Knauf on the takeover of Opitz Holzbau and on the sale of the foam insulation division. Barbara Mayer is ‘pragmatic and goal oriented’, and manages the practice together with Gerhard Manz. The ‘exceptionally good’ Stefan Lammel has a good ‘overview’ into matters and Hendrik Thies has ‘a very high social competence’. Arnt Göppert heads the Cologne office. Unless stated otherwise, named individuals are based in Freiburg.

Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB has a good deal flow in the mid-market segment. A team led by Frank Evers assisted Veolia with the acquisition of Eurologistik Group, and Michael Dolfen and Wolfgang König advised Zeitfracht Luftfahrt Holding on the acquisition of Leisure Cargo from Air Berlin. Evers and Oliver von Rosenberg lead the M&A team, which was strengthened in September 2018 with the addition of Tobias Fenck and a team from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

At Frankfurt-based firm Greenfort, five partners are responsible for M&A transactions and provide ‘a consistently high level of quality’. Clients include ProSiebenSat.1 Media and RTL Group, which the team advised on various acquisitions. The group assisted medical equipment producer Cantel Medical counted with the acquisition of the BHT Group. The practice is headed by the ‘very client-oriented’ Andreas von Oppen, who is ‘responsive, accurate and always friendly’. Gunther Weiss ‘keeps an eye on the big picture’ and Carsten Angersbach is ‘extraordinarily reliable’, ‘always available’, and provides ‘strategic suggestions’ and ‘prompt feedback’.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s M&A lawyers are ‘directly accessible’, which is well received by the medium-sized companies that comprise its client base. The team advised Datagroup on the acquisition of HanseCom, a joint venture between Siemens and Hamburger Hochbahn. In another highlight, it assisted TP Group Service with implementing its buy-and-build strategy, for example through the acquisition of Weiderer Personaldienste and of Mach Professionals. In Stefan Duhnkrack’s team, Boris Dürr, Mathias Schröder and Peter Ladwig are noted. In the Hamburg office Tim Petermann made partner in January 2018, in Cologne Andreas Lenz joined from the now-dissolved Kanzlei Corso.

At Shearman & Sterling LLP, Frankfurt-based Alfred Kossmann and ‘very good’ adviser Thomas König are involved in handling transactions. The latter leads the practice group, which is mainly active in cross-border transactions. At a national level, the group assisted Allianz with the sale of its 90% majority stake in Oldenburgische Landesbank to Bremer Kreditbank. Andreas Löhdefink joined Gleiss Lutz.


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