Advice to insurers in Germany

Allen & Overy LLP

Clients rate Allen & Overy LLP’s insurance team for its ‘high-quality and reliable work’ alongside its ‘industry knowledge’. The five-strong team, which is led by Jan Schröder, who stands out for his ‘deep practical expertise in the insurance business’ as well as his ‘knowledge in insurance supervisory and corporate law’, acts for an extensive roster of insurance companies including Ergo Group, Gothaer Group, Swiss Life Group and Zurich Group. Recent highlights include advising Allianz on its joint venture with Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, and assisting Markel International with the foundation of a property insurance company in Germany as a result of Brexit. In the transactional space, the team frequently acts for Frankfurter Leben, including advising on the acquisition of a majority stake in Arag Lebensversicherung, and on the acquisition of Pro bAV Pensionskasse from AXA. Schröder and counsel Anne Fischer led assistance to ELI Global with the acquisition of the InsurTech company finanzen.de.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Handling corporate and transactional insurance work constitutes a key area of expertise for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer but the team also has substantial knowledge in insurance supervisory and contractual matters. A highlight in the run-off insurance space was practice head Wessel Heukamp’s advice to Catalina on the acquisition of Zurich’s German medical malpractice portfolio. Clients also benefit from the team’s banking and finance expertise: Frank Laudenklos led advice to AXA Investment Managers on the financing of the acquisition of a €180m nursing home portfolio from Blackstone. Regulatory expertise is another key strength of the practice; it is handling several long-term instructions from various German insurers of the Zurich Group on the implementation of Solvency II alongside mandates from insurance companies, including AIG and Lloyds, on the development of Brexit strategies. Other clients include Allianz, Equitable Life, Frankfurter Leben and Generali.

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller’s multi-faceted offering includes assistance with regulatory, corporate and insurance supervisory law matters but the team also covers transactions, which are frequently handled in co-operation with its antitrust team in Brussels. Daniel Wilm led the team’s advice to AXA on the reorganisation of Roland Rechtsschutzversicherung’s shareholder structure, acted for Assicurazioni Generali in proceedings following the squeeze-out of Generali Deutschland, and advised a German insurance group on the sale of a life insurance company in the course of a bidding process. Highlights on the corporate side included Jochen Vetter assisting with the restructuring of a German insurance company to facilitate the expansion of its offering to include non-insurance services, while, in Brexit-related work, the practice advised an English life insurance provider on the transfer of its German branch’s business to an Irish company under a Part VII Transfer. Hannover Rück, Swiss Life and Talanx, including the majority shareholder and parent company HDI, are other key clients.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s strength lies in handling transactional matters for insurance and reinsurance companies as well as financial institutions. In recent work, team head Thomas Krecek advised Bremer Kreditbank on the acquisition of approximately 90.2% of Allianz Deutschland’s share capital in Oldenburgische Landesbank, while, in other significant work, he advised BNP Paribas on the acquisition of ABN Amro’s wealth management and insurance operations in Luxembourg. Advising insurance companies on Brexit-related matters is another key area of expertise, as showcased by the team’s assistance to an English insurance group with the establishment of a German insurance company and the portfolio transfer. Clients, including Allianz Real Estate, also benefit from the team’s real estate expertise, leading to instructions on matters pertaining to the acquisition of various office blocks, which are routinely handled by Christian Keilich.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper stands out for its ‘substantial expertise, quick response times and a good understanding of economic interrelations’. As well as its corporate and insurance supervisory law expertise, the team is also well versed in handling pension and life insurance matters alongside product design work, and has recently expanded its compliance offering. The ‘solution-oriented’ Jan Eltzschig assisted Basler Versicherungen with the sale of its stake in Deutsche Ring Bausparkasse to Bawag Group and Gunne Bähr, who is noted for his ‘extensive industry knowledge’, provides regular advice to Aviva on life insurance matters. Ludger Giesberts heads the team, which also includes Volker Lemmer, who was appointed counsel.

Gleiss Lutz

The ‘very good’ insurance practice at Gleiss Lutz provides ‘a very good and quick service at fair prices and also has excellent industry knowledge’, leading to regular instructions from national and international insurance companies such as Allianz Deutschland and Munich Re, which are frequently handled in co-operation with its corporate, regulatory and antitrust teams. Most notably, this cross-practice co-operation comes into play when dealing with complex transactions. Acting for statutory health insurers, including Bayern and AOK Baden-Württemberg, constitutes another key area of expertise. Team head Ingo Brinker, Hansjörg Scheel and Maximilian von Rom are the key contacts.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Insurance companies including Allianz, AXA, Ergo and Munich Re routinely draw on Hogan Lovells International LLP’s corporate and regulatory expertise. The seven-strong team, which is led by Christoph Küppers, is particularly well versed in handling restructuring work, which regularly includes cross-border elements. Birgit Reese assisted a major international reinsurance company with global restructuring matters, and advises Generali Group on its restructuring in Germany including the establishment of a new property insurance company and the transfer of the brokerage business to the newly set up entity. In a transactional highlight, the team assisted Talanx with the acquisition of FVB Gesellschaft für Finanz- und Versorgungsberatung.

Linklaters

Linklaters routinely works in conjunction with its corporate, M&A and financial regulation practices when assisting national and international insurance companies with corporate and insurance supervisory matters as well as transactions. Highlights included advising AXA on the sale of Pro bAV Pensionskasse to Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe as well as acting for Athora on the acquisition of Aegon Ireland. Wolfgang Krauel heads the team, which also includes Frederik Winter and managing associate Thomas Broichhausen.

BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR

Covering a broad range of insurance work, Bach Langheid Dallmayr is well versed in handling corporate issues, advising insurance companies, banks and other financial services providers on mergers, portfolio transfers and product development issues. Highlights included Joachim Grote and Martin Schaaf, who has a specialism in regulatory work, advising a German insurer on a portfolio transfer, and assisting a pension fund with insurance supervisory, contractual, distribution and company pension matters. Tobias Britz, who has particular expertise in occupational retirement provisions, was also involved in the latter. Carsten Hösker, Oliver Tammer and Ulrich Ruchatz were promoted to the partnership in January 2018 and Holger Schacht was made-up to partner in January 2019. Friederike de Biasi, Dominique von Kölln, Jan Kordes and Stefan Schriever were appointed counsel.

CMS

CMS has a focus on insurance supervisory and transactional work, acting for national and international insurance companies and insurance brokers, but the team also receives regular instructions on product design matters. Team head Winfried Schnepp assisted FinanceApp with the development of a combined personal liability and household contents insurance to be distributed via digital channels. The team regularly assists Octium Life and Lombard International Assurance with the design of insurance products, which frequently includes tax law issues, and advised lbatros Versicherungsdienste on insurance contract and insurance brokerage law issues.

Noerr

Noerr has corporate and insurance supervisory law work at its core and predominately advises D&O and E&O insurers, while also having expertise in liability and product design matters. The ‘highly solution-oriented and pragmatic’ team, which is jointly led by Oliver Sieg and Thomas Heitzer, recently assisted a German financial services provider with the set-up of a D&O insurance, and advised an international insurer on contractual and insurance supervisory law matters pertaining to the terms and conditions for a liability insurance product designed for the German market. Kai-Michael Hingst, who was previously at White & Case LLP, joined the team in April 2017.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Advising clients on transactions and insurance supervisory law matters alongside insurance distribution and brokerage issues are the central pillars of Norton Rose Fulbright’s practice, which also has notable experience in the warranty and indemnity insurance segment. Sven Förster, Eva-Maria Barbosa and Andreas Börner, who specialises in cross-border transactions, are the key names.

Oppenhoff & Partner

As well as advising on corporate and insurance supervisory law issues, the team at Oppenhoff & Partner also provides insurance product and investment-related assistance. Its client portfolio consists of numerous renowned German and international insurance companies including Generali Deutschland, Hannover Rück and Prudential International Assurance. Transaction experts Peter Etzbach and Rolf Koerfer alongside Hanno Goltz, who specialises in insurance supervisory law, are the key contacts.

Taylor Wessing

The ten-strong team at Taylor Wessingmakes the time to allow for thorough and extensive advice’ and delivers ‘very good results’. Having particular expertise in distribution and insurance supervisory law matters alongside insurance agent and compliance issues, it acts for a broad client portfolio, including various insurers such as Ergo, Chubb and Provinzial Rheinland Versicherung. Team head Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn advised HUK-Coburg Haftpflicht-Unterstützungs-Kasse kraftfahrender Beamter Deutschlands on the implementation of new IDD requirements, and assisted AXA with the run-off of its reinsurance portfolio. Jan Andresen was made partner. Tessa Schoof left the firm