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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 > M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A: M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Barbara Keil - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Thomas Meyding - CMS
    • Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain - Hengeler Mueller

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer continues to rank among the market leaders handling international M&A transactions. Across industries, but with particular expertise in the healthcare, financial and technology sectors, mid-sized transactions can be staffed with large teams as needed. Especially in the shipping sector, the group was particularly active; for example, Marius Berenbrok advised Hapag-Lloyd on the acquisition of United Arab Shipping Company and assisted Mærsk Line with the acquisition of all partnership shares held in the shipping company Hamburg Süd from the Oetker group. In another highlight transaction, the group advised Vossloh – which had already been a client when the company entered the rail business – on the $117m acquisition of track sleeper manufacturer Rocla Concrete Tie from Altus Capital Partners. The practice is also active in countries where the firm doesn’t have its own offices as the assistance of Klöckner Pentaplast with the €41m acquisition of Turkish packaging manufacturer Farmamak shows. Matthias-Gabriel Kremer heads the group from Frankfurt, where Christoph Seibt is also recommended. In Munich, Kai Hasselbach, Ludwig Leyendecker and Barbara Keil are stand-out practitioners; Stephan Waldhausen is a respected advisor in Düsseldorf.

With a very high dealflow, Hengeler Mueller once again secures a leading position. The German firm has a strong network of international law firms, with whom it cooperates as needed; for example, it advised Konecranes on the €230m sale of Stahl CraneSystems to Columbus McKinnon, which involved a total of ten countries. Another seller-side instruction was the assistance rendered to SGL Group concerning the €350m sale of the graphite electrodes business to Showa Denko, while the firm acted for the seller, the Chinese Dare group, in the €139m acquisition of automotive supplier Carcoustics from AlpInvest Partners. An example for a merger is advising Epigenomics, which accepted a voluntary public tender offer made by Summit Hero Holding for all outstanding shares. While a large number of partners are involved in M&A transactions, Daniela Favoccia, Andreas Hoger and Peter Weyland are particularly recommended in the Frankfurt office. In Munich, Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain is a ‘skilled negotiator’ and Georg Frowein regularly acts on share deals in the energy, raw materials and real estate sectors. Annika Clauss and Martin Ulbrich made partner in early 2017.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘outstanding international network’ ensures a steady flow of instructions in the mid-cap sector. A complex mixed share and asset deal with carve-out in various countries was handled by the pumps, seals and valve manufacturer Flowserve on the €186m sale of the Gestra Group to Spirax Sarco. Other highlight instructions included advising Grünenthal on the acquisition of Adhesys Medical, Allegion on the acquisition of all of its shares in Trelock, and Dassault Systèmes on the €220m acquisition of all CST - Computer Simulation Technology shares. Alba Group and HOCHTIEF also retained the group, which is led by Nikolaus Reinhuber and Andreas Lohner and also includes the recommended Heiko Gotsche. In 2016, the group saw the addition of Thomas Dörmer and Tim Heitling from Taylor Wessing and the departure of Sönke Becker for Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP. In addition, Christian Atzler and the ‘down-to-earthIngo Strauss, who is ‘flexible in terms of times and a teamplayer’, made partner in July 2016.

DLA Piper was able to defend its excellent position in the German market again with its ‘client-focused advice’. Recently, the group advised Columbus McKinnon on the acquisition of STAHL CraneSystems from Konecranes and IGM Resins on the acquisition of BASF's global photoinitiator business from BASF. Different country desks ensure a steady flow of instructions from abroad. For example, Nils Krause and Florian Hirschmann are responsible for the China business and Benjamin Parameswaran for the India business, while the Africa desk is gaining more and more attention. The group saw three departures in January 2017 and and three additions in May 2017: Kirsten Girnth left for Bryan Cave LLP, Michael Burg for PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) and Jan Schinköth for Sidley Austin LLP; while Mathias Schulze-Steinen, Andreas Füchsel and Claudius Paul joined from K&L Gates LLP.

When advising DAX-listed companies and mid-sized companies, Gleiss Lutz is ‘excellent, not just from a legal but also from the economic perspective’. Clients also value the ‘great experience working with Japanese clients’ on inbound transactions, while the group also regularly acts for companies from other European countries. The group is particularly experienced handling insolvency-related instructions, as evidenced by advising Oakley Capital on the bidding process for the insolvent Unister group. In a merger and the public takeover offer, the group acted for SinnerSchrader, which was valued at around €100m and merged with Accenture. Other instructions included advising Rickmers on the sale of Rickmers-Line to Zeaborn and assisting eBay with the sale of ViA-Online to Nexec. The partner duo Christian Cascante and Ralf Morshäuser leads the 23 transaction partner-strong group, in which Martin Viciano Gofferje made partner in early 2017. Michael Burian finds ‘commercially viable and feasible solutions’ and is recommended along with Gerhard Wegen and Alexander Schwarz. Former counsel Roland Sterr left to become general counsel at HeidelbergCement in October 2017.

According to clients, Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘unconditionally recommendable for transactions with an international component’; this can be attributed, among other things, to the good relations with international offices of the firm, especially in the US and Great Britain. For example, when advising Astellas Pharma on the €422m acquisition of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, the group cooperated with offices in Houston and Washington; and when assisting Mobivia with the acquisition of A.T.U Auto-Teile-Unger with the Paris office. In addition, the group has been involved in a number of healthcare and energy sector transactions. Martin Neuhaus and Henning Schneider co-lead the 18 partner-strong practice, which is spread over four locations. Recommended are Rainer Traugott in Munich and Harald Selzner in Düsseldorf; Nikolaos Paschos joined the latter office from Linklaters in October 2017. In addition, the group saw the internal partner promotions of Leif Schrader in Frankfurt and Nils Röver in Hamburg.

In addition to handling major transactions, Linklaters also focuses on advising German companies on outbound transactions in the mid-cap sector. For example, the group advised ZF Friedrichshafen on the bidding process for the complete takeover of Swedish brake manufacturer Haldex and assisted Baywa with the complete takeover of Agrimec/Abamec. Another highlight was advising BP Europa on the split of the Ruhr Oel joint venture with Rosneft. Often when foreign offices lead advice, such as the London office in advising Deutsche Post on the acquisition of UK Mail, the German team is involved in an essential manner. The practice includes 26 partners at five locations and is jointly led by Ralph Wollburg and Hans-Ulrich Wilsing. Both work from the Düsseldorf office, in which Achim Kirchfeld and Tim Johannsen-Roth are also recommended. In 2017, Nikolaos Paschos left the firm for Latham & Watkins LLP, while Dirk Horcher made partner.

The ‘very diligent’ team at White & Case LLP is frequently involved in German-Chinese transactions. Current instructions related to other countries include advising the French Groupe Legris Industries on the acquisition of Schiederwerk; assisting software developer Luxoft with the acquisition of the Swedish software company Pelagicore; and supporting DZ Bank with its merger with WGZ Bank. At the beginning of 2017, Frankfurt-based Hendrik Röhricht and Markus Stephanblome joined the partnership. Also recommended are Tim Arndt, Tobias Heinrich and Andreas Stilcken. The practice, led by Jörg Kraffel in Berlin, saw three departures: Axel Pajunk founded LEXAdvice in late 2016, Patrick Narr joined Norton Rose Fulbright in early 2017 and Volker Land left for Noerr in April 2017.

Since opening an office in Tehran, CMS has increasingly been advising domestic companies on entering the Iranian market. Generally, the group assists both German companies with acquisitions abroad and international companies with inbound transactions; recently, some Chinese companies retained the group for acquisitions in Germany. Maximilian Grub, Hilke Herchen and Ernst-Markus Schuberth lead the 65-strong team, which is spread over eight locations and has five new partners: Thomas Sonnenberg joined in August 2016 from an in-house position at Triton and Tobias Grau, Christoph Lächler, Jochen Lux and Michael Wangemann made partner in early 2017. In addition, Oliver Wolfgramm and Thomas Meyding are recommended.

Clifford Chance has excellent relationships with China and Japan: This is illustrated, for example, by advising the Japanese family business Musashi Seimitsu Industry on the acquisition of 100% of the shares in the automotive supplier Hay Group of The Gores Group. Another highlight from 2016 is assisting Acino International and Acino Pharma with the €250m sale of the transdermal patches and implant technology divisions to Luye Pharma. The 15 partner-strong practice, jointly led by the ‘excellent advisers’ Thomas Krecek and Anselm Raddatz, also includes product groups industrial enterprise M&A, financial institution M&A and private equity. Particularly recommended is ‘outstanding negotiator’ Christof-Ulrich Goldschmidt, who is able to ‘explain complex issues to non-lawyers’. Team changes in May 2017 include the departure of Christopher Kellett to Linklaters and the partner appointments of Frederik Mühl and Gunnar Sachs. Thomas Stohlmeier retired.

From Frankfurt and Munich, and often in collaboration with London and US colleagues, Dechert’s M&A practice, which is led by Federico Pappalardo, advises ‘very swiftly and extremely professionally’. With the participation of 12 international offices of the firm, assisting Shanghai Shenda with the arrangement of a joint venture with the automotive supplier International Automotive Components was a particularly international instruction. Other highlights included advising Lazada on the acquisition of RedMart, the largest online food retailer in Singapore, and assisting AKKA Technologies with the acquisition of the German, Swiss and Austrian Gigatronik groups. In Munich, Giovanni Russo made partner and Carina Klaes-Staudt national partner in early 2017. In Frankfurt, ‘tough and very good negotiatorSven Schulte-Hillen is recommended, who ‘acts like a businessman’ and ‘thinks about the financial impacts of decisions’.

Eversheds Sutherland’s M&A practice is gaining visibility due to its involvement in numerous cross-border transactions. Recently, the group handled transactions related to China, France, the United Kingdom, Iran, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. For example, Christof Lamberts advised Starbucks on the sale of all shares in Starbucks Coffee Deutschland to AmRest and was also involved in advising IT infrastructure provider Globalways on its acquisition by Star Capital Partners. The ‘very thorough, dedicated and persistentSven Schweneke led advice to automotive supplier Horizon Global on the €167m acquisition of Westfalia-Automotive and Terwa from DPE Deutsche Private Equity and other co-investors. He also led assistance to automotive supplier Autoliv with founding, together with Volvo Cars, the joint venture Zenuity for the development of software for autonomous driving and driver assistance systems. Practice head Matthias Heisse and Christian Mense, who joined the partnership in May 2016, are also renowned lawyers.

Particularly German small and medium-sized companies continue to retain Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s broadly based M&A practice, which is headed by the Suttgart-based Thomas Kuhnle. It advised Knorr-Bremse on the acquisition of the British GT Group and, in a separate transaction, Eneco on the acquisition of energy supply company LichtBlick. Philipp Dietz, Michael Krömker and Thomas Weidlich frequently handle Asia-related transactions, with inbound transactions from China accounting for a significant portion. Christian Rodorff joined from King & Wood Mallesons in February 2017 and Christian Horn from K&L Gates LLP in June 2017.

Mayer Brown LLP’s private equity practice expansion at the beginning of 2016 made for a high workload in this area in 2017. Examples from non-PE transactions include advising Generac Power Systems on the acquisition of the Motortech Holding and assisting Knorr-Bremse with acquiring tedrive Steering Systems. In particular, advice on Asia-related transactions increased recently; for example, the Chinese Spearhead group retained the firm for its $148m acquisition of the German smartphone advertisement agency Smaato from over 30 US, Asian and European sellers, with some of the firm’s US lawyers also involved. Klaus Riehmer leads the group, which includes nine partners and seven counsel in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. Carsten Flaßhoff, Julian Lemor and Marco Wilhelm are recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright provides ‘client and service-oriented’ advice with a focus on energy and infrastructure, insurance, agribusiness and capital market transactions, and more recently in the technology sector and financial institutions. Sandvik retained the group for the sale of its mining systems operations business in a bidding procedure which involved more than 15 jurisdictions. An example for a merger is acting on behalf of machine tool manufacturer Rofin-Sinar Technologies concerning the merger with laser manufacturer Coherent. Klaus Bader, Frank Regelin and Klaus von Gierke co-lead the group. Sascha Grimm left to work in-house at Veritas in May 2016, while Alexander von Bergwelt, Michael Malterer and Igsaan Varachia left for Dentons two months later. However, the group also saw the arrival of Patrick Narr from White & Case LLP and three internal partner promotions: Katrin Stieß and Peter Holst in May 2016 and Heiko Bertelmann in May 2017.

Paul Hastings LLP is a popular choice for both foreign and domestic clients, and thanks to an active China desk, the group often acts for Chinese investors. Intra-European transactions are another focus; for example, the group advised the manufacturer of blood pressure monitors Dexcom on the acquisition of the Nintamed group in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Other transactions came from the real estate industry, where the group is particularly active in the mid-cap transactions. Regina Engelstädter and Christopher Wolff are recommended within the five partner-strong Frankfurt-based practice.

SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG primarily advises German and European companies on transnational acquisitions, sales and joint ventures. Its clients include names such as Uniwheels and Südzucker, as well as numerous high-net-worth individuals. One of the current highlights is advising a British private equity firm on the acquisition of a Deutsche Post subsidiary. One of the advisors on this instruction was the ‘reliable and always available’ Mannheim-based Stephan Harbarth, who is recommended along with the Frankfurt-based Stephan Brandes. The group includes 13 partners since Stefan Zeyher was promoted in January 2017 and Peter Bauschatz joined from McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP in July 2016.

With ‘fast turnaround times’ and ‘appropriate team strengths’, Taylor Wessing offers German and international clients an excellent base for cross-border transaction advice. Recently, the representative US offices were further expanded and, in addition to many years of expertise in the Asian market, the firm has its own desks for Spain and Brazil. A recent example is advising the founding family on the sale of Pfeiffer Intercontec, a specialist for hybrid connectors and quick lock systems, to TE Connectivity. In 2016, the group assisted DaVita with a total of 18 acquisitions of outpatient and inpatient dialysis units in order to establish a Germany-wide network of medical care centres. Peter Hellich led advice to Albany Molecular Research on the acquisition of Euticals GmbH, SpA and SAS. The group saw some departures with Thomas Dörmer’s and Tim Heitling’s departure to Baker McKenzie in July 2016 and Heinrich Stallknecht’s retirement in late 2016. However, with 29 partners, including the recommended Klaus Grossmann and Dirk Lorenz, the group has a broad base.

Allen & Overy LLP is particularly active handling inbound transactions, as evidenced by advising Colfax on the €195m acquisition of all shares held in Siemens Turbomachinery Equipment and its international operations in Italy, the US and Denmark from Siemens. Other highlights included assisting HP with the acquisition of 3D scan technology companies David Vision Systems and David 3D Solutions as well as advising Bilfinger on the sale of Bilfinger Marine & Offshore Systems to Van Oord. In 2016, Michael Bernhardt left for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and Michael Ulmer for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, while Michiel Huizinga joined from King & Wood Mallesons in early 2017. Within the group, which is led by Hans Schoneweg, the ‘excellent negotiator’ Nicolaus Ascherfeld, the ‘extremely pleasant’ Matthias Horn and newly made-up partner Murad Daghles are recommended.

The ‘competent and very friendly lawyers’ at Ashurst LLP regularly handle cross-border transactions and recently handled some corporate venture capital instructions. Of particular note are advising SAP on the acquisition of all shares in Fedem Technology and assisting the Nilit group with the sale of its global nylon compounding business, Nilit Plastics, to Celanese. In addition, it advised Babcock Mission Critical Services on the acquisition of Heli Aviation, including two Chinese subsidiaries, and its participation in the joint venture Northern HeliCopter by a shareholder of the Ohnhäuser group. The ‘experienced’ Munich-based Thomas Sacher, and the Frankfurt-based Reinhard Eyring and Benedikt von Schorlemer are recommended. Holger Ebersberger joined the Munich office from Linklaters in June 2016, bringing the number of partners in the team to six.

Bird & Bird is particularly successful handling cross-practice and cross-border instructions. For example, the group advised the Japanese wholesaler Sojitz on the acquisition of Solvadis, a marketing and distribution service provider of basic and specialty chemicals, together with other practice groups and offices. Another 2016 highlight was advising SpeedCast, a provider of satellite communications and network services, on the acquisition of the Maltese company Wins from Eutelsat and Techinvest. The group also advised PostNL on several transactions in Germany and cooperated with other offices when assisting with acquisitions of German subsidiaries. Within the seven partner-strong group, Peter Veranneman, Alexander Schröder-Frerkes and Stefan Münch are recommended, while Kai Kerger joined the partnership in May 2017.

Greenberg Traurig Germany is particularly well known for its many years of expertise in real estate transactions, as well as its expertise in the technology, media and telecoms sectors. On the German side, Josef Hofschroer advised Rentokil Initial on the establishment of a joint venture with the Haniel group to create a company for workwear as well as clean room and hygiene services. Peter Schorlingleads transactions with great caution and always has the target clearly in sight’ and Henrik Armah is ‘very responsive’. Within the Berlin team, Nicolai Lagoni made partner in the beginning of 2017.

In addition to the active national transaction business, Oppenhoff & Partner also acts on a large number of international takeovers, acquisitions and sales. For example, the ‘excellent’ Myriam Schilling assisted Deutsche Post with numerous transactions such as with the sale of Optivo to the Californian provider of marketing solutions Episerver. Next to the European market, Latin America is also a focus. From Cologne, Stephan König leads the group, in which Peter Etzbach is also recommended. Ronald Meißner, who is part of the much smaller Frankfurt-based team, is ‘always available’. Oliver Kessler left the firm in July 2016 to work at the University of Karlsruhe.

The ‘business-minded’ seven partner-strong group at Simmons & Simmons LLP is well positioned with locations in Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. Boris Schilmar is head of the China Desk and frequently acts for Chinese investors on acquisitions in Germany; for example, he advised China Automobile Industry Engineering Corporation on the acquisition of the owner-managed automotive supplier Finoba. Practice head Michael Bormann assisted BALT International with acquiring two German companies of the AB Medica group, which distributes medical devices in Germany. Stephan Ulrich is ‘very solution-oriented and competent’ and ‘represents the interests of his clients very well and effectively’. Robert Heym joined from CMS in September 2017.

Beiten Burkhardt frequently advises small and medium-sized German companies from the industrial sector and is gaining recognition in venture capital exit transactions. For example, it assisted Tianjin Keyvia Electric with acquiring two German subsidiaries of the British Balfour Beatty group. Another highlight was advising automotive supplier Megatech Industries on the acquisition of Boshoku Automotive Europe’s interiors division and of several subsidiaries of the Toyota group. Axel Goetz, Knut Schulte and Christian von Wistinghausen are recommended along with the ‘client-oriented, efficient, swift and precise’ Detlef Koch. Moritz Brocker left for

BDO Legal in April 2017.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner is particularly well connected with German SMEs and has an ‘intercultural understanding, especially with regard to French companies’. It advised the Knauf group on the sale of the foam insulation business, including shares in the French SAS and assets in the UK and Italy in a bidding process; and assisted the Swedish Getinge group with the acquisition of a hospital software development company. From Freiburg, Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer co-lead the group, in which Jan Henning Martens made partner in January 2017. Also recommended in this office is Hendrik Thies, who is described as a ‘brilliant lawyer’ and has ‘very strong social skills, which is particularly important in the difficult stages of an M&A process’. Arnt Göppert leads the Cologne office.

The Frankfurt-based Greenfort is ‘excellent in terms of value for money, availability and client services’; a lack of international transaction capacities is compensated by cooperating with foreign law firms. For example, when advising a Swedish infomedia and printing company Elanders on the acquisition of the LGI Logistics Group, the group cooperated with a local law firm; and when advising US chemical company Celanese on the acquisition of the NILIT group, it cooperated with a US-based firm. CST Computer Simulation Technology retains the group for various acquisitions in Italy, Spain and the US. Within the four partner-strong practice, Gunther Weiss and the ‘swift and friendly’ Andreas von Oppen are recommended.

The ‘efficient team’ at Heymann & Partner Rechtsanwälte, which is particularly strong in the technology sector, is often retained for advice when the target company’s value depends on the technology asset. Three partners, including name partner Thomas Heymann and Henning Bloss, regularly handle corporate acquisitions, sales, mergers, public takeovers and joint ventures. For example, the group advised Securelink on the acquisition of iT-CUBE SYSTEMS against a payment with its own shares. In another transaction, the group assisted the management with the sale of the technology leader in high-precision miniature ball bearings development and production, GRW Bearing, to the US company Kaman Aerospace.

Hoffmann Liebs Fritsch & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB has an exceptionally strong focus on China, which means it regularly acts on inbound transactions for Chinese clients. In particular, Claus Eßers is a ‘specialist in the China business with great negotiating skills’ and an ‘absolutely professional lawyer with deep legal expertise and a high level of technical understanding’. In 2016, the group advised online marketing group Ströer Digital on the acquisition of Stayfriends with companies in Germany, Switzerland France and Sweden. In this matter, Daniel-Sebastian Kaiser, who is ‘business-oriented and has a high level of expertise’, was lead adviser. In August 2016, Andreas Hecker came from Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in April 2017 and Julian Hoff made partner.

K&L Gates LLP is particularly well known for its excellent expertise advising on US-related transactions, but is also gaining a strong profile in Europe. For example, the group advised the Swedish provider of cloud-based communications services CLX Communications on the acquisition of Xura Secure Communications. The ‘extremely accurate’ Klaus Banke assisted Luye Pharma with the €250m acquisition of Acino Pharma’s transdermal patches and implant technology business. Thomas Lappe is the sole practice head since the departure of Mathias Schulze-Steinen; the latter and Andreas Füchsel and Claudius Paul moved to DLA Piper in April 2017, while Thomas Derlin had already left for GSK Stockmann in June 2016. New joiners are Thilo Winkeler, who came from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP in October 2016; Alexander Kollmorgen, who joined from WilmerHale in November 2016; and Franz Schaefer, who worked at King & Wood Mallesons until December 2016.

Jörg Kirchner leads Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s M&A practice, which is particularly renowned for its private equity expertise; in this area, clients such as Bain Capital, Blackstone and Silverfleet Capital recently retained the group. A prominent real estate sector transaction was advising the major shareholders of IVG Immobilien on the sale of Office First to Blackstone. The group also assisted WL Ross with the intended acquisition of carbon products manufacturer SGL Carbon’s performance products business. Recent additions to the team are Benjamin Leyendecker, who joined from Hengeler Mueller in April 2016, Volkmar Bruckner, who came from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in May 2017, and Attila Oldag who left Gütt Olk Feldhaus in September 2017; in addition, Bernhard Guthy made partner in October 2016. However, a large team including the former managing partner Volker Kullmann as well as Christian Zuleger, Marcus Klie and Nicole Schlatter left the group to join Sidley Austin LLP in February 2017.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP establishes long-term relationships with national and international clients by advising with ‘excellent expertise, long-term experience, responsiveness and swift processing times’. The group advised Instrumentation Laboratory, which is part of WerfenLife, on the acquisition of medical technology company Tem Gruppe, which included the integration of companies in England, France, Canada, Switzerland and the US. On behalf of Affinitas, the group handled a merger, with Spark Networks, for the establishment of a global leader in online dating. Steffen Oppenländer joined the Munich team from Hengeler Mueller’s London office, where Martin Erhardt and Norbert Rieger, who offers ‘expert knowledge and targeted advice’ in tax matters, are also recommended. The Frankfurt team continues to stand out for its private equity expertise following the arrival of Michael Bernhardt from Allen & Overy LLP at the end of 2016 and the departure of Peter Memminger, who left to found Memminger LLP in early 2017.

Noerr sets high standards in advising large German companies as well as assisting financial investors with cross-border transactions with ‘high competence and good industry knowledge’. A core client is Daimler, for example. A joint venture was established on behalf of Kieser Training, which teamed up with the project developer ESI Euro Sino Invest in order to enter the Chinese market. The ‘very efficient and pragmatic’ Florian Becker advised Shanghai Electroc on the €174m acquisition of the Broetje Automation Group from Deutsche Beteiligungs AG and other co-investors. He and Alexander Hirsch co-lead the M&A group, which grew with the additions of Martin Haisch from Dechert in March 2017 and of Volker Land from White & Case LLP in April 2017. Also recommended are Christian Pleister and Christoph Spiering; Katrin Andrä and Sebastian Schürer made partner in early 2017.

Thomas Schmid leads Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s ten partner-strong practice, whose client base includes both German and international companies, often from the technology or life sciences sectors. A recent example is advising the Swedish AB Fagerhult on the acquisition of WE-EF, a specialist for outdoor lighting, with seven affiliates in Australia, France, Great Britain, Switzerland, Thailand and the US. Stefan Schultes-Schnitzlein was one of the lawyers involved in this transaction; he and Sven Greulich made partner at the beginning of 2017. Christoph Brenner and his team joined from King & Wood Mallesons in January 2017, while Kerstin Henrich left for Jones Day in June 2016.

P+P Pöllath + Partners stands out for its expertise in management participation programmes in the context of the sale of companies; in this area, Benedikt Hohaus is particularly renowned. Tax planning is another strength of the practice, while it is broad enough to handle all aspects of a transaction. For example, it advised Middle Peak Medical on its acquisition by medical technology company Symetis and assisted CUS Affiliate with selling KJ Tech Services to inspection, testing and certification company Intertek, after which the founders remained active as directors. Frank Thiäner and Jens Hörmann took over the lead of the 13-strong group from Georg Greitemann and Otto Haberstock in March 2017.

Combining expertise and dynamism’, Reed Smith LLP advises numerous German, US and Chinese companies on cross-border transactions. For example, Constantin Conrads assisted Brunswick Corporation and its subsidiary Life Fitness with acquiring the Indoor Cycling Group. Also based in Munich is Justus Binder, while Andreas Jürgens and Rolf Hünermann are recommended partners in Frankfurt. Following the entry of an antitrust team in early 2017, the group is now able to cover transactions in a broader manner, including with regard to merger control and foreign trade law.

Shearman & Sterling LLP provides an ‘excellent service’ when advising large and medium-sized international corporations on acquisitions, sales and joint ventures. For example, Andreas Löhdefink led advice to Xperion Aerospace on the sale of a built-to-print composite production to Airbus. The firm is also known for advising Allianz, General Electric and Dow Chemical. Other recommended partners within the Frankfurt team are Alfred Kossmann and Thomas König.

Managing partner Gerhard Schmidt leads Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s M&A group, which frequently cooperates with colleagues in London, Paris, and New York as well as Asia. For example, when advising British specialty chemicals company Elementis on the $360m acquisition of SummitReheis from One Rock Capital Partners, the group collaborated with colleagues from London and New York. Another highlight was assisting Professional Datasolutions (PDI) with the acquisition of Lomosoft, provider of planning software and mobile computing for the oil and gas industry’s distribution chain. Following Volkmar Bruckner’s departure to Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, the group now includes three partners in Frankfurt and one partner in Munich.

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