CMS' VC team has a 'strong entrepreneurial approach paired with a very high level of legal understanding'. The sizeable team covers the whole array of relevant products and is particularly active in financing rounds and exits as well as increasingly in venture debt mandates, ICOs and structured deals. It acts for investors and CVCs as well as for startups, which are often from the life sciences and technology sectors. Jörg Zätzsch and Stefan-Ulrich Müller jointly lead team, which also includes Malte Bruhns (focus on technology and media) and Tobias Schneider (industry experience in the life sciences, transport and logistics sectors).
Venture capital in Germany
Other key lawyers:
‘Very professional, great process competence, excellent content quality.’
‘Jörg Zätzsch from the Berlin office has a lot of experience and was always available when there was a need.’
‘Very strong entrepreneurial approach coupled with a very high level of legal understanding in the PE/VC area. In addition, very fast and binding.’
‘Dr. For me, Malte Bruhns is one of the best PE/VC lawyers in Germany.’
‘Excellent advice on corporate law/ financing rounds/ M&A for SMEs, especially start-ups, with venture capital and private equity requirements. Highest quality and commitment, very reasonable and straightforward in negotiation situations. Outstanding value for money.’
‘Jörg Zätsch: Perfect corporate law all-rounder for start-ups through all growth, financing and sales phases.’
Cadence Growth Capital
Agora Innovation (iVE.ONE)
- Advising the founders of the software start-up Signavio on the sale to SAP SE.
- Advising Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH on the merger with SPAC Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp.
- Advising Infarm GmbH on a $170 million Series C financing round.
Noerr demonstrates special expertise in assisting with growth capital matters, financing and financing rounds as well as buyouts and exits; these instructions usually come from national and international growth capital companies and investors, including corporate VCs. The practice has know-how in the digitisation, healthcare and technology sectors and oversees both mid- and large-cap transactions. Felix Blobel is an experienced contact for investors, growth companies and founders. Georg Christoph Schneider and Christian Pleister jointly head the combined VC and PE practice. Ariane Neubauer (VC and Corporate) joined Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek in February 2021.
- Advice to Deposit Solutions GmbH on venture debt financing.
- Advising Deutsche Börse AG on the implementation of a venture regarding the development of the leading digital marketplace for the financial industry.
- Advised PPRO Holding GmbH on a financing round of over $180 million and an expansion bringing the total financing to $270 million.
Osborne Clarke offers 'comprehensive and high-quality legal advice and support across all areas of venture capital financing'. The team is particularly often instructed by investors, CVCs and startups to assist with later-state financing rounds and exit strategy-related direct M&A deals. The group also cooperates closely across practice groups and locations in order to create added value for clients. Practice head Nicolas Gabrysch is well versed in digital business models. Robin Eyben is another key contact with a focus on advising technology and transformation-driven investors, founders and companies.
‘You are looked after by a team of experts and can therefore always fall back on specific expert knowledge. If an employee reaches the limits of his or her specialist area, he or a colleague from the respective specialist area will be added. This guarantees the best possible advice for us.’
‘Robin Eyben clearly stands out as a partner thanks to his extensive experience in venture capital – both in Europe and in the USA – and his approachable and friendly manner. The work results are always excellent, the advice is always at eye level and the cooperation is very friendly.’
‘Proximity to innovative companies, experience on both sides.’
‘The Osborne Clarke team around partner Robin Eyben impresses with comprehensive and high-quality legal advice and support in all areas of venture capital financing. Her skills range from classic deal preparation and execution to support in all areas of labor law, data protection and IP. As a fast-growing company, the international orientation of the law firm and the team is also of crucial importance – both when planning international financing rounds and when expanding into other regions.’
‘Dana Alpar is extremely reliable, conscientious and always sharp-witted even in stressful situations. The deal execution and the communication with all stakeholders always went smoothly.’
build a rocket
Cargo one GmbH
Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners
Electric Mobility Concepts GmbH (Emmy)
Fidelity Strategic Ventures Limited
Redalpine Capital S.C.S. SICAR
Sanity Group GmbH
Trade Republic Bank GmbH
Vehiculum mobility solutions GmbH
VR Ventures und Force Over Mass
VYTAL Global GmbH
- Advised the Berlin air freight start-up cargo.one on a €16 million Series A financing round and a $42 million Series B financing round.
- Advising the Berlin cannabis start-up on a financing round of almost €4 million.
- Advising Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners on the sale of their stake in Signavio to SAP.
Vogel Heerma Waitz
Vogel Heerma Waitz has a 'very high density of excellent partners and lawyers' who are particularly experienced in the media and technology sectors and therefore closely cooperate with the firm's IP specialists. The assistance with growth capital rounds, including those involving PE funds, represents the team's core competence, while also increasingly advising on M&A transactions as part of buy-and-build strategies. The client base includes startups and founders as well as VC investors. Frank Vogel (growth and venture capital as well as corporate acquisitions and sales) and Clemens Waitz (financing of technology companies and corporate law) are other key contacts.
‘No matter who I speak to about v14 (not always the same due to holidays and changes in the workforce), I am always amazed and enthusiastic about the expertise, the clear explanations and the reliability of the respective person.’
‘Frank Vogel thinks of everything, very experienced, very honest, very high level of expertise, high level of reliability.’
‘Super practice-oriented advice – knowing what’s going on in the market – and accordingly not working in nirvana. ‘
‘Extremely high competence in the VC area at very, very fair prices. Very close to the client and you can tell that the colleagues not only do their job, but also want to achieve the best possible results together with their clients. This is unique in my previous experience. Very high empathy and availability, go the extra mile and benefit from the knowledge of the entire law firm.’
‘V14 combines different perspectives: both those of the investors (VC) and those of the founders.’
‘Clemens Waitz is an excellent lawyer who manages to explain complex issues in a simple way. He also thinks far ahead and anticipates future potential for conflict very early on.’
‘Very entrepreneurial; close to clients/ customers; pleasant and calm; pragmatic in accounting.’
‘Samuel Aebi is 100% focused. loves his work. Strong negotiator. Good bad cop (if you want to be a good cop yourself). Very strong knowledge in the VC area.’
Global Savings Group GmbH
Gorillas Technologies GmbH
Sunshine Smile GmbH
Good Hood GmbH
ZeoSys Medical GmbH
ABX advanced biochemical compounds GmbH
Cherry Ventures Fund III GmbH & Co. KG
Habyt GmbH (vorm. PROJECTS Co-living)
Perkins Coie LLP
vitagroup corporate service GmbH
Omeicos Therapeutics GmbH
MILES Mobility GmbH
- Advising Gorillas Technologies on several financing rounds.
- Advised Sequoia/Visionaries Club on their investment in Xentral.
- Advising the Global Savings Group on the acquisition of the French cashback company IGraal.
YPOG impresses with broad expertise in the technology sector, where it regularly advises on matters related to software, digitisation and fintech. The team has established itself as a popular address for national and international VC investors, which the group assists with financing rounds, fund structuring and co-investments with private equity investors. In addition, the group is also adept at the interfaces to IP and IT law. Stephan Bank covers VC and M&A transactions and jointly heads the practice with Jörn Wöbke and Benjamin Ullrich, who also advises on corporate compliance. Senior associate Adrian Haase is another key contact for growth-oriented companies.
‘ You can always rely on the law firm and the team, even with very time-critical projects. Things are always implemented quickly, with reasonable effort and with very good quality. ‘
‘ The expertise of the team is unique. In addition, the team is characterized by a very pleasant interaction – the contact with them is always a great pleasure. All in all we are extremely satisfied. ‘
‘ The individuals are characterized by excellent expertise, which is always target-oriented. Things are enforced efficiently and not with unnecessary additional effort. The people are on top of their tasks and always have a very good overall view of the projects. The entire team deserves a special mention, including: Stephan Bank, Benjamin Ullrich, Frederik Gärtner and Adrian Haase. ‘
‘ Solution orientation and willingness to compromise, negotiating skills, pleasant demeanor, excellent experience in venture capital, responsiveness, process management. ‘
‘ YPOG is very customer oriented and the lawyers have been exceptionally responsive and helpful. They took the lead in reviewing documents and formulating recommendations, and their experience was invaluable in understanding the norms in European VC investing and under German law. They made everything easy for us and I would definitely recommend them .’
‘ Stephan Bank was exceptionally responsive, patient and helpful from start to finish. He explained the problems clearly and concisely and offered us well thought-out options. He took responsibility for the legal documents and contract negotiations in a way that made it easier for the VC team to focus on the business terms and maintain a positive relationship with the start-up. He quickly became a trusted partner and we would choose him again for VC investments in Germany in a heartbeat. ‘
‘ Very fast and pragmatic and at the same time very thorough, even in complex situations.‘
‘ Empathetic and able to explain and represent complex issues in a founder-friendly manner.‘
The Stryze Group
- Advising the innovation and venture division of Bayer AG (Leaps by Bayer) on the Series B financing round of Ada Health GmbH with a volume of around €75 million.
- Support of Trade Republic’s Series B financing round for the investors Project A and Creandum.
- Advising Dawn Capital on the Series B investment in BRYTER.
Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s venture capital practice is experienced in advising venture capital funds, corporate venture companies and individual startups. The team is fully integrated into the firm’s network and thus offers holistic support across all phases. This includes advice on internationalisation, buy-and-build strategies and asset-based lending financing. Volker Geyrhalter has know-how in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors, while Nikolas Zirngibl also covers the automotive and real estate industries. Matthias Jaletzke heads the practice and Jörg Herwig is known for his combined VC and PE advice. Christoph Naumann (M&A, PE and VC) joined from Watson Farley & Williams LLP in December 2021.
‘Very fast and pragmatic and at the same time very thorough, even in complex situations.’
HV Holtzbrinck Ventures
The Mobility House
Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank
Würth Leasing GmbH
- Advising the shareholders of Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH on the sale to the Danish biotechnology company Chr. Hansen.
- Advising Tengelmann Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds and Bayern Kapital as well as various business angels on the sale of their majority stake in the Munich software start-up Metoda by way of a secondary transaction.
- Advising The Mobility House on a €15 million loan from the European Investment Bank and on their Series C1 financing round with SP Group as a new investor and existing shareholders.
Venture capital companies, funds, institutional and strategic investors, business angels and growth companies routinely turn to POELLATH for VC issues and related questions on tax planning and strategy. The team is particularly well versed in advising clients from the e-commerce, fintech, mobility, health and medtech, internet and telecommunications sectors. Christian Tönies, a key contact for startups, jointly heads the practice with Michael Inhester, who has transactional experience. Counsel Sebastian Gerlinger assists with VC equity financing and venture debt financing. In January 2022, Katja Weberpals (focus on startup financing and exits) joined from HYAZINTH LLP as an associated partner.
‘Pragmatic approaches, high quality, high speed.’
HPE Growth Capital
ABN AMRO Ventures
Hubert Burda Media
- Advising solarisBank on a €60 million financing round.
- Advising DEDIQ GmbH on the establishment of a joint venture company (SAP Fioneer) with SAP for the financial services sector.
- Advising Commerzbank AG on the strategic partnership with FinTech 360X and Deutsche Börse to set up and operate new marketplaces for digital asset classes.
Raue assists startups with founding and financing, convertible loans and restructuring as well as with the sale of investments and exits. The team is led by Andreas Nelle and has particular experience in the media, telecommunications, financial services and energy industries. Jörg Jaecks and counsel Michael Gläsner also cover the subject area comprehensively and are part of the core team.
‘Entrepreneurial approach. Understand where you want to go, but also draw attention to legal pitfalls.’
‘Michael Gläsner has an eye for the whole, but also for details.’
‘Andreas Nelle at Raue takes his role as Legal Counsel seriously and not only supports us with his team in legal matters, but also gives us valuable advice as a young start-up.’
‘Raue and Partners is an excellent law firm for start-ups and technology companies with a focus on international financing rounds.’
‘Andreas Nelle and Michael Gläsner: Both true experts when it comes to Series A, convertible bonds and ESOP.’
‘Legal expertise (corporate law, IP, nonprofit, tax, etc.) and fast implementation times when required.’
‘Very pragmatic and extremely good mediators.’
Taylor Wessing is regularly involved in large-volume VC financing rounds, but oversees the entire spectrum of relevant matters, ranging from early stages to exit. The group mainly acts for venture capital funds and in the field of corporate ventures and has particular expertise in the technology sector, especially in the areas of digital health, fintech and cleantech; the team's cross-border skills are also notable. In addition to both practice heads Jens Wolf and Klaus Grossmann, Norman Röchert (co-head of the industry group technology, media and communication) and transaction specialist Hassan Sohbi are also among the key contacts.
‘The team is excellently positioned. I would like to explicitly mention Peter Hellich. We trust Taylor Wessing with all relevant topics (M&A, HR, etc.). Compared to other law firms, I would like to emphasize the flexibility and the broad service portfolio.’
‘Norman Röchert is good and has a lot of relevant experience.’
‘The Taylor Wessing team represents both VC investors and start-ups. They therefore probably have the best overview of the current market. While other law firms have only followed suit with their own venture capital teams in recent years, Jens Wolf’s team has been on the market for many years.’
‘ The lawyers are excellently networked in the market – with other lawyers, venture capital firms and start-ups. We can wholeheartedly recommend Taylor Wessing, from seed round to unicorn funding.’
‘Jens Wolf is probably one of the most experienced lawyers in Germany in the field of venture capital. What sets him apart from other lawyers is his outstanding economic understanding. He is always able to translate economically and financially sensible solutions into legal clauses. When negotiating contracts, he finds suitable compromises, even for large transactions involving many parties.’
‘Dr. Jens Wolf: Clear and focused analyzes and feedback on specific issues. Active and timely support with drafting contracts and detailed questions.’
Engie New Ventures
Flink Lebensmittel GmbH
Intel Capital / Intel Deutschland
Visionaries Club Seed Fund und Visionaries Club Growth Fund
- Advised sennder on a $160 million Series D financing round.
- Advising Index Ventures as lead investor and Accel and Lightspeed Venture Partners as existing investors on a $125 million financing round in the HR start-up Personio.
- Advising Intel Capital and Intel Germany on the €200 million Series D financing round of Volocopter, the German urban air mobility company.
Clients appreciate BMH BRÄUTIGAM's ability to be 'very transparent, patient and pragmatic in financing rounds'. The team is best known for its strong presence in the startup and founding scene – with this client base being regularly supported until the exit phase– but was recently also increasingly active for venture capital funds. Patrick Auerbach further covers notarial VC matters. He jointly leads the practice group with Alexander Wulff and Bastian Reinschmidt, who also assists with disputes.
‘They are very detailed and draw attention to many things that could possibly be detrimental. They are very agile and fast. You can be reached very easily through various channels without time limits.’
‘Alexander Wulff: Very precise, very experienced and good explanation if certain points in the legal language are not clear.’
‘BMH is a somewhat smaller law firm, but is becoming increasingly visible in the VC area. The colleagues are extremely professional and at the same time not arrogant. The law firm is very efficient and is very transparent, patient and pragmatic, especially when it comes to financing rounds. The colleagues at BMH differ from other lawyers precisely because they work in a solution-oriented manner and are therefore really helpful.’
‘Experts with a wealth of experience. Responsive, fluent in English and flexible in setup and payment terms.’
‘Patrick Auerbach-Hohl is a solution-oriented subject matter expert. Fast answers and also dealing with tight deadlines.’
‘Smooth handover from one colleague to another in the event of a longer absence -> very good documentation and cooperation; high experience and knowledge potential of the whole team; good professional exchange and complement each other.’
‘Ability to think abstractly, to develop new solutions. Continue to work in a targeted and motivated manner, even when requirements change significantly; Creativity, but also good technical knowledge in order to quickly come to a legally tenable statement/assessment; strong flexibility in workload/time.’
SellerX (MXP Prime Platform)
Swiss Founders Fund
Temple of Good Taste
The Collective Ace Group
Audience Serv Group
- Advising Earlybird on the $160 million Series D funding round of their portfolio company sennder.
- Advised Earlybird on the €24 million Series B financing round of Munich-based e-commerce and mobility company Instamotion.
- Support for the Berlin logistics start-up Forto in the Series B1 financing round of around $50 million.
The team at LUTZ | ABEL RECHTSANWALTS PARTG MBB has expertise in transactions and financing as well as in ongoing day-to-day legal issues. The team is increasingly involved in large and international deals and acts for investors and startups, often in close cooperation with the firm's corporate practice. Marco Eickmann is well versed in financing rounds and Björn Weidehaas is a popular contact for family offices.
‘ Very high competence, very high commitment, very pragmatic way of working and dealing. ‘
‘ Bernhard Noreisch is very committed, very friendly, very competent and reliable, quick response times. ‘
‘ Extensive transaction experience, in-depth professional knowledge, pleasant to deal with, solution-oriented, also very respected by the other side, extensive experience in venture capital and private equity. ‘
‘ Bernhard Noreisch is a full professional and practical, absolute solution orientation, deep VC and PE know-how, in addition to legal knowledge and understanding of the economic context and VC/PE logics, recognized and excellent reputation in the broad VC scene . ‘
‘ Lutz Abel is a highly professional and at the same time small/agile law firm that works entrepreneurially on an equal footing with its clients. ‘
‘ Marco Eickmann is an always accessible, empathetic lawyer who is excellent at navigating between abstract constructs and operational details and can also convey difficult issues to the target group. ‘
‘ Very high professional competence, very reactive, very pragmatic approach, great cost awareness, flat hierarchy, very good market overview. ‘
‘ Really excellent team looking after us. Get virtually all areas of law covered from a single source. ‘
Austar Lifesciences Limited, Hong Kong
B.S. Holding GmbH
BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH
Delicious Data GmbH
eCAPITAL, Caixa Capital Risc
EIT Health e.V.
Felix Capital Partners LLP
FL Fintech E GmbH / Clark
Good Harvest Ventures Management S.à.r.l
heal.capital I GmbH & Co.KG
Hirschvogel Ventures GmbH
Hope Tree International GmbH
- Advising Vitafy GmbH on the financing round and the associated acquisition of a majority stake.
- Advising Samsung Oak Holdings on the €75 million Series B financing round of Ada Health GmbH.
- Assisting EIT Health in setting up and providing ongoing advice to several accelerator programs.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP assists VCs, corporates and startups, including numerous US clients, across the entire VC spectrum, covering venture debt, convertible and other financings, US flips, add-on acquisitions and exits, including IPOs. Jörg Ritter, who is experienced in the software and life sciences sectors, jointly heads the practice with Sven Greulich, who comprehensively supports technology companies and investors across all growth phases.
‘Lots of expertise in new venture deals.’
‘What is unique is how solution-oriented and practical the work is. Orrick brings a lot of initiative.’
‘Sven Greulich brings a great service-oriented attitude.’
‘We are very happy to have chosen Orrick. They are highly professional; fast response times and draw on an incredibly deep network of legal expertise across all industries and borders (especially USA / Europe). If you don’t have the know-how in-house (which is rare) they have a trusted partner they can activate within hours.’
‘ Despite the large network, senior partners are not only used for pitching, but they remain practically on the case and are available in record time. It is evident that the senior partners are working hand in hand with the rest of the team to optimize time and costs.’
‘Sven Greulich: Hands-on, committed, gets straight to the point; efficient, makes it very easy to see and understand the nuances of legal matters, strong negotiation skills, deep start-up / VC knowledge, very responsive, makes relevant connections on the fly, approachable and not to forget – it’s fun, to work with him!’
‘Johannes Rüberg: Extremely conscientious, fast response time, exceptional availability, reliable, knowledgeable, very patient with changes, great teamwork, focus on start-up / VC funding, very supportive and a pleasure to work with!’
BMW i Ventures
Gruppe Deutsche Börse
Headline (vormals e.ventures)
INKEF Capital B.V.
M12 (vormals Microsoft Ventures)
RSBG SE (RAG-Stiftung Beteiligungsgesellschaft)
- Advising Lilium on its $3.3 billion SPAC merger with Qell Acquisition Corp. (including $450 million PIPE financing), a transaction that brings Lilium to the NASDAQ.
- Advising Coatue Management on their investment in the $290 million Series B financing round of the Berlin start-up Gorillas.
- Advice to auxmoney on a €150m financing round which resulted in Centerbridge becoming the majority owner of auxmoney.
Hengeler Mueller's team is sought after by venture capital investors seeking advice on higher-volume financing rounds and exits and demonstrates special know-how in regulated industries, and here especially in the fintech, biotech, cleantech and healthcare sectors. Christian Schwandtner is experienced in IPOs and part of the core team alongside Jens Wenzel, who regularly advises companies and investors on corporate and financing issues.
At Lambsdorff Rechtsanwälte clients can 'rely on fast and highly efficient advice and optimal work results'. Subsequently, the group is instructed by German and foreign technology companies as well as venture capital investors, and here particularly by VC units of energy companies. Under the leadership of Pablo Rüdiger de Erice, the team handles issues across the entire VC lifecycle, ranging from foundation over ongoing financing to exits.
‘Pablo is clearly very smart and I enjoy working with him. He was quick to spot and understand problems in contract negotiations and legal paperwork, whether he was working for me or for other parties.’
‘Pablo Rüdiger is a very good negotiator who has always got the best out of us as founders, finds solutions for everything and has a very pleasant personality.’
‘Small but fine PE practice.’
‘The team works excellently and is always available. You can rely on the fast and highly efficient processing of mandates as well as optimal work results. ‘
‘Mr. Rüdiger is self-confident in the VC business at the highest level. He is particularly distinguished by his diplomatic and professional conduct of negotiations, which has the client’s interests firmly under control.’
‘A relaxed team that takes the success of its clients all the more seriously.’
‘Pablo Rüdiger convinces with unconventional ideas and is not afraid to name the problems.’
‘Louis Meyer: High motivation and willingness to perform; very good discussion and project atmosphere; very good stakeholder management.’
Blinks Labs GmbH
Instana Inc. USA
Earlybird Venture Capital
E.ON Future Energy Ventures
EWE AG / Venture Capital
Asana Rebel GmbH
Thilo von Selchow
Datadog Inc. USA
- Advising Babbel on rounds of financing, structuring under company law, and drafting and negotiating a wide variety of contracts.
- Advice to Blinkist on rounds of financing, corporate law structuring and the drafting and negotiation of contracts of all kinds.
- Advice to SimScale on rounds of financing, structuring under company law and on the drafting and negotiation of contracts of all kinds.
At Reed Smith, startups and investors are not only advised within the classic venture capital sphere, but also on corporate and trademark law as well as data protection. Under the leadership of Justus Binder, the group is particularly active in assisting with matters in the technology, IT and health tech sectors, while also frequently advising on US, UK and Asia-related transactions in close cooperation with the firm's network. In Germany, counsel Silvio McMiken is a key contact for Chinese clients. Florian Hirschmann is another key contact and well versed in the venture debt space.
‘Reed Smith has extensive private equity experience and works very closely in partnership with start-ups.’
‘A lot of experience with start-ups, equity and investments.’