Insolvency in Germany
Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB’s approximately 80 lawyers continued to be involved in large insolvency and property administration cases. The well-respected Martin Stockhausen and Jörg Nerlich lead the firm’s insolvency law practice. The latter is the insolvency administrator of the fashion company Strenesse. Jörg Bornheimer ensured that the retailer Butlers with 1,000 employees could continue to stay in business and Gerrit Hölzle is managing the self-administration of Volkswagen car dealership chain Max Moritz. Carsten Oliver Müller-Seils regularly acts for various creditor groups. Other clients include a building group and a company from the chemical industry. On the contentious side, the group is involved in a major litigation case involving the Arcandor trading group: in January 2018, the renowned Hans-Gerd Jauch succeeded in court with demanding the repayment of part of the millions paid in consulting fees to KPMG Germany shortly before the group’s insolvency.
White & Case LLP’s insolvency team of nine equity partners is particularly active in the automotive, energy and maritime industries. For example, administrator Bettina Schmudde handled the restructuring of automotive supplier Trompetter Guss Chemnitz and insolvency administrator Philipp Hackländer sercured the power supply for the insolvent Innowatio. Renowned practice head Sven-Holger Undritz is the administrator of erotic company Beate Uhse, for which an insolvency plan and a purchase contract were drawn up. In addition, the Christoph Schulte-Kaubrügger, who stands out for his commitment to keeping companies in business, acted as insolvency administrator for franchisees of the restaurant chain Dunkin’ Donuts. Biner Bähr is ‘an outstanding insolvency administrator with a very entrepreneurial approach and a high sense of responsibility’ and Jan-Philipp Hoos is ‘very creative and technically first class’; the latter served as provisional insolvency administrator for the fish wholesaler Product Trade Centre Germany (PTC), which generated €150m in sales and has since been sold. Felix Höpker, Béla Knof and Sven Hentschel were promoted to local partner.
Dr Beck & Partner GbR Rechtsanwälte
The efficiency of the insolvency administration and administrative management of Dr Beck & Partner GbR Rechtsanwälte is based on the interdisciplinary cooperation of business economists, labour lawyers and corporate lawyers who support the work of the ‘experienced, assertive, communicative and goal-oriented’ insolvency administrators. The renowned Joachim Exner advised automotive supplier BOA, a company with 1200 employees which has been insolvent since February 2018, on the sale to Ring International Holding in August 2018. He also acted as administrator during the insolvency of automotive supplier Schäfer-Oesterle, which has approximately 500 employees. Hubert Ampferl is also well-respected; he assisted with the search for investors for Bavaria Yachtbau, which has been insolvent since April 2018. He also acted as trustee of the fashion company René Lezard, which was successfully restructured by the start of 2018 due to the involvement of an external investor and a creditor participation. Name partner Siegfried Beck is also recommended.
Brinkmann & Partner
Brinkmann & Partner acts on matters touching upon restructuring, transactions, real estate and tax law, with these competencies incorporated into the firm’s insolvency administration activities. A recent highlight was advising automotive supplier Peine Umformtechnik, with Manuel Sack appointed as administrator from July 2018. He was also authorised as administrator of the mail order pharmacy Juvalis.de. In September 2017, in the case of the insolvent P+S Werften Stralsund, insolvency administrator Berthold Brinkmann pursued litigation against KPMG Germany as the parent company of the pre-insolvency management consultancy in a claim totalling €300m. Respected insolvency administrator Jan Markus Plathner ensures the continued operation of W-tec, a public limited company active in the IT sector and insolvent since April 2018. The group also acted for automotive supplier Küpper, with 600 jobs, which was transferred to the PCS Machine Group in April 2018 in a distressed M&A process.
Flöther & Wissing
Flöther & Wissing has strengths in self-administration, insolvency administration and administration of assets, while it also carries out liquidations of group insolvencies. Renowned name partner and practice head Lucas Flöther held a particularly high-profile role as insolvency administrator of the airline Air Berlin; in this case, around 6,000 employees and one million creditors are affected. He also advised Fly Niki until the case was transferred to Austria as a result of a court decision and a purchase agreement with an investor, which had been negotiated by the firm, became null and void. In other work, he acted as provisional administrator for HMW Möbel and as provisional insolvency administrator for Pflegeverband DRK Kreisverband Schönbeck and solar company Calyxo. Insolvency administrator Andreas Wissing and name partner Andreas Wissing are other key figures.
HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm
In addition to restructuring work, HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm also has a high level of expertise in insolvency and self-administration proceedings. The respected team includes name partners Ottmar Hermann and Rüdiger Wienberg, and Rainer Bähr. Wienberg acted as insolvency administrator of the battery component manufacturer Litarion, which had to cease operations in May 2018. Insolvency administrator Henning Schorisch was involved in the sale of Bäckerei und Konditorei Brezel-Weber to an investor, thereby continuing its business. Christian Otto was appointed insolvency administrator for the insolvency proceedings of Air Berlin’s bonus programme Topbonus. Thorsten Konrad joined Römermann in February 2018, while Norman Häring joined MSL Dr. Silcher Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater as salary partner in January 2018.
Jaffé Rechtsanwälte Insolvenzverwalter
The eight insolvency administrators at Jaffé Rechtsanwälte Insolvenzverwalter are active in the areas of self-administration, protection proceedings, restructuring and classic insolvency proceedings. Renowned name partner Michael Jaffé acted as insolvency administrator for the direct investment provider and container broker P&R, for which he sent prefilled claims forms with a waiver clause to investors in August 2018 in order to settle the claims. Insolvent solar company Phoenix Solar is also part of his client portfolio. As insolvency administrator for the insolvent Qimonda, he is also asserting claims against technology group Infineon Technologies amounting to billions of euros in proceedings, which has been underway since 2009. Insolvency administrator Max Liebig, who joined the practice with his entire law firm Dr. Max Liebig in January 2018, assisted expedition supplier Lauche & Maas.
PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH
In terms of the number of insolvency cases, PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH is one of the largest administrative law firms; its competencies range from administrations in protective shield and self-administration proceedings, classical insolvency administrations and business continuations in insolvency, to restructuring-related services such as the enforcement of rescission and liability claims, as well as the preparation of insolvency plans. Managing director Stephan Thiemann was appointed insolvency administrator of the tourism service provider JT Touristik and is also active in the insolvency administration of Glückskäfer Reisen, which has attracted media attention due to the claims made by travel customers. As provisional insolvency administrator for insolvent elevator component manufacturer SLC Sautter, Matthias Lehr was able to ensure continued operations and to secure new orders. On the orders of the Bielefeld local court, Stefan Meyer, as provisional insolvency administrator, has been continuing the business operations of the 100-employee personnel service provider HKF Personalprojekte since August 2018. Name partner Michael Pluta is renowned and Ruth Rigol joined the firm in July 2018 from now-defunct law firm DR. RINGSTMEIER & KOLLEGEN.
Schultze & Braun
In the first half of 2018, Schultze & Braun had by far the largest number of insolvency instructions in Germany with 178 insolvency proceedings. In recent work, Dirk Pehl serves as the insolvency administrator for the M&O furniture store and Dietmar Haffa is managing the Geno building cooperative, which has receivables of around €18m. Insolvency administrator Rüdiger Bauch is active in investment company Alphapool’s insolvency case: he filed liability claims against investors in July 2018 for possible sham profit distributions from a pyramid selling scheme. In February 2018, Holger Leichtle became provisional insolvency administrator of automotive supplier Süddeutsche Aluminium Manufaktur. Markus Lohmeier, who specialises in criminal insolvency law, joined the team from Ernst & Young Law in July 2017.
SGP Schneider Geiwitz & Partner
SGP Schneider Geiwitz & Partner has expertise in insolvency administration, property administration, claims for damages and non-performing transactions, among others. Respected name partner Arndt Geiwitz acts as insolvency administrator for drugstore chain Schlecker and initiated a claim for damages in the amount of more than €212m against several large groups for possible price agreements in their role as suppliers. In addition, he initially assumed the role of administrator, then as insolvency administrator for sand casting company MWS Friedrichshafen, selling the business to the investor Oakals Hill Advisors, thus securing a guarantee of employment for the 285 employees from September 2018. In addition to acting as insolvency administrator and restructurer, he advised Lufthansa on insolvency law concerning the insolvency of Fly Niki. Insolvency administrators Petra Heidenfelder, Christian Plail and Patrick Wahren are also visible in the market.
anchor Rechtsanwälte is active in insolvency administration and self-administration, while also active in management consulting. Instructions therefore also include reorganisation and restructuring matters. Martin Hörmann was appointed as insolvency administrator in the current insolvency proceedings of kitchen manufacturer Alno, which employs 2000 people, together with the companies Alno AG, Pino Küchen GmbH and Gustav Wellmann GmbH. He also acted as trustee of metal processing group SHW Casting Technologies. In addition, Robert Hänel is the chief insolvency administrator in Lutz Gruppe’s insolvency; the company is active in the slaughter and meat trade. Work on the administrative side includes advice to mechanical engineering company Banss Schlacht- und Fördertechnik, which is led by Silvio Höfer. Christoph Herbst and Christof Schiller are also noted.
Grub Brugger’s expertise includes not only insolvency administration but also insolvency employment law, liquidations, as well as administrator activities and protection proceedings. Since August 2018, Martin Mucha has acted as the provisional administrator of the Heer media group, which comprises 550 employees and generates sales of €120m; the proceedings are subject to updated guidelines from group insolvency law. In June 2018, acting as trustee, he was also able to sell envelope manufacturer Mayer-Kuvert, which generates €220m in turnover and employs 1600 people, to the Schwarz family of entrepreneurs in the Heilbronn area. Another recent case was the insolvency of tool manufacturer SHW in May 2018, for which the practice group obtained an instruction as provisional insolvency administrator.
Kebekus et Zimmermann
Kebekus et Zimmermann is well versed in insolvency administration and administrative management, carries out distressed M&A processes, prepares restructuring measures and, under certain circumstances, orders company liquidations. The respected Frank Kebekus acted as insolvency administrator of Oschatz Anlagenbau, a company with 1,200 employees and a presence in the energy sector. In May 2018, he concluded the eight-year insolvency proceedings of automotive supplier Honsel with a payout of €70m to more than 3,800 creditors. One of his administrative mandates was the management of CD manufacturer Cinram, which employs around 1,000 people and has been operating as Avos Logistics with more than 400 employees since October 2017. In addition, he is increasingly active as a restructurer, for example as general representative of Air Berlin.
Leonhardt Rattunde, with five partners in the field of insolvency administration and property management, is particularly visible in the greater Berlin area and also acts as an insolvency consultant’s office. Name partner Rolf Rattunde administered the insolvency of the railway company Locomore, which became illiquid in May 2017. In addition, Torsten Martini, who is one of the managing insolvency administrators alongside Toralf Maatz, took on this role for Euverge, parent company of Eulenspiegel Verlag, in February 2018, having already acted as provisional insolvency administrator from November 2017. Other cases he has handled include the insolvency of camera manufacturer Panono in July 2017 and the online cut flower retailer Bloomy Days in October 2017. He was also appointed as trustee of KTG Energie in October 2017.
Müller-Heydenreich Bierbach & Kollegen
Clients of Bavarian law firm Müller-Heydenreich Bierbach & Kollegen are mostly from the automotive, telecoms and logistics industries. In August 2018, respected name partner Axel Bierbach, as insolvency administrator of now-defunct real estate fund Deutsche Fonds Management, succeeded in selling the 56,000 square metre former Post Technical Central Office in Darmstadt to Ferox Immobiliengruppe to cover the creditors’ claims. In addition, since June 2018 Stefan Debus has been acting as provisional insolvency administrator for the insolvent Thurn und Taxis retirement home, while Oliver Schartl was appointed provisional insolvency administrator for the associated insolvent operating company Eustra Services. The latter also acted as provisional insolvency administrator of football club SC Fürstenfeldbruck and was able to prevent the liquidation of the club in this capacity in May 2018.
Piepenburg - Gerling Rechtsanwälte
The eight insolvency administrators and trustees of Piepenburg - Gerling Rechtsanwälte have a clear objective of achieving restructurings, competitive repositioning in the market, and the preservation of jobs. Renowned name partner Horst Piepenburg was appointed insolvency administrator in the insolvency of Solarworld in May 2017, which was sold to former company founder Frank Asbeck in August 2017. In the course of the insolvency of the hammersmith IPP van Triel, in January 2018, he, as provisional insolvency administrator, sought the return of machines as assets from a managing director who had been transferred abroad; in July 2018, he secured the sale to an investor as part of a distressed M&A process. Another key contact is name partner Klaus Gerling.
With nine insolvency administrators, Reimer Rechtsanwälte specialises in insolvency and commercial law. In December 2017, insolvency administrator Peter-Alexander Borchardt achieved a stop payment of €100m to investors as proceeds from the sale of sea containers in the case of Magellan, a container company insolvent since May 2016. He was also appointed as provisional insolvency administrator in February 2018 in the case of the 120-employee window and door manufacturer Baltic and was able to restructure the company in August 2018 and secure 80 jobs as part of a distressed M&A process. Since April 2018, Thomas Rittmeister has been acting as provisional insolvency administrator of the first league football club Samsung Frankfurt Universe; he had joined from Kübler with his team in October 2017.
Schmidt-Jortzig Petersen Penzlin
Schmidt-Jortzig Petersen Penzlin is both an insolvency administration and a restructuring firm, often advising on matters touching upon distressed M&A transactions, regulatory law and insolvency law. The ‘excellent’ practice group is regarded as ‘highly qualified’, handles ‘surprisingly large instructions excellently’ and offers ‘very good value for money’. Leading insolvency administrator Dietmar Penzlin acted as an administrator in the context of the insolvency of the wind farm operator Prokon; the insolvency of maritime company Denmar Chartering & Trading; as an expert for an association for the avoidance of insolvency proceedings; and as an insolvency administrator of private individuals in the context of challenged insolvencies. He is ‘a professionally superior, valued network partner’, who is ‘tough in negotiations and pleasant to work with’. Senior associate Christian Mikolajczak is ‘flexible, competent and responsive’.
AndresPartner’s seven partners act as insolvency administrators, experts and trustees in the areas of consumer insolvencies, corporate and group insolvencies, as well as in the administration of property. However, the group is also regularly appointed as general representative for restructuring reports, insolvency plan proceedings and creditor advice in the case of restructuring instructions. Dirk Andres is, among other things, active as insolvency administrator of technology and service company Wollschläger, which is active in metallurgy, and management consultancy GibConsult. As insolvency administrator, Martin Schmidt sold assets of the insolvent Ruhe Textilreinigung to the newly founded Reinigung Ruhe. In July 2018, the plastics company Durocas with 100 employees also filed for insolvency, following which Claus-Peter Kruth was appointed as provisional insolvency administrator in the insolvency proceedings.
BBL Bernsau Brockdorff & Partner Rechtsanwälte
BBL Bernsau Brockdorff & Partner Rechtsanwälte accepts both insolvency administrator and trustee instructions and, if necessary, makes operational business decisions. Justus von Buchwaldt was appointed provisional insolvency administrator of the transport company Steckhan & Peters by the Flensburg local court, and insolvency administrator Christian Heintze succeeded in achieving the continued operation of the insolvent PVR Pro Vinyl Recycling, which was taken over by the Wesling Group in March 2018. Name partner Christian Graf Brockdorff was also involved as insolvency administrator in the case of the insolvent control technology company CMS Ingenium. Since June 2018, men’s clothing company Friedrich Klotz, which has more than 120 employees, has been under the insolvency administration of Marcus Winkler.
BRL BOEGE ROHDE LUEBBEHUESEN
The practice group at BRL Boege Rohde Luebbehuesen acts as both insolvency administrators and trustees. Stefan Denkhaus is, among other things, insolvency administrator of agricultural group KTG Agrar; in this role, he demanded €189m for the creditors in August 2018 in the context of a claim for damages against the executive board for alleged delay in insolvency. Dorothee Madsen was appointed insolvency administrator of security company Samson & Krysztofiak in December 2017. In September 2017, insolvency proceedings were also instituted against investment consulting company and insurance and building society contract broker PS Haus- und Grundbesitzmarketing; Friedemann Schade acts as the insolvency administrator. Another key figure is Friedrich Kraft von Kaltenborn-Stachau.
CMS’ areas of activity in relation to insolvency administration cases include regular insolvency proceedings, special insolvencies, but also forced administrations. The work portfolio includes the regular insolvency proceeding of the insolvent Maple Bank and Maple Financial Europe, led by Michael Frege, Joachim Kühne and Charlotte Louise Schildt; in the latter case, secondary proceedings took place at the Toronto branch, with cross-border liquidation in Canada and the USA. In addition, Niklas Lütcke was appointed insolvency administrator of video technology company Clipkit. In addition to insolvency administration, the firm also has expertise in property administration cases. Alexandra Schluck-Amend heads the restructuring and insolvency practice.
Hoefer Schmidt-Thieme - Rechtsanwälte und Insolvenzverwalter
Hoefer Schmidt-Thieme - Rechtsanwälte und Insolvenzverwalter is active in both insolvency administration and administrative management, but has been able to expand its advisory services by drawing up insolvency plans and taking over trusteeships. Highlights included the appointment of name partner Tobias Hoefer as trustee of Remag, which is active in the metal trade and has around 500 employees; all seven operative parts of the company were successfully sold to several investors in April 2018. In July 2018, the firm announced the arrival of partner Sarah Schmelzer from Nehrig, Braun & Sozien, whose Freiburg and Offenburg teams also joined the firm.
In addition to insolvency administration, Kübler also has outstanding expertise in the area of criminal insolvencies. The three equity partners include Sebastian Laboga and renowned founding partner Bruno Kübler; the firm has an additional 24 salary partners. New insolvency proceedings led by the firm include the insolvency of Erdmännchens Landschafts- Tief- und Straßenbau and of Jalou Media Germany. The group also handles the insolvency procedure of the complex company network around the Infinus group and the Future Business group (Fubus) in the largest German investor scandal in post-war history. Franz Ludwig Danko and Dominik Montag departed for Römermann in autumn 2017; Rainer Fröhlich and Christoph Nüsser joined AHW Steuerberater Wirtschaftsprüfer Rechtsanwälte in January 2018; and Thomas Rittmeister left for Reimer Rechtsanwälte in October 2017.
LAMBRECHT Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB
The two-partner team at LAMBRECHT Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB undertakes insolvency administration and administrative management, and is experienced in protection, self-administration and regular insolvency proceedings in insolvency-related cases. The firm is also active in restructuring consulting. It has notable expertise appearing before courts in Düsseldorf, Mönchengladbach and Wuppertal. Name partner Martin Lambrecht was appointed as mechanical engineer Emde’s provisional administrator in November 2017 as a result of its insolvency filing. In January 2018, he also succeeded in selling the precision tube manufacturer Duisburg Tubes Production, which has 90 employees and operates in the nuclear industry, to the Yantai Taihai Group. In addition to her work as a restructuring consultant, Annamia Beyer also acts as a trustee or insolvency administrator.
LECON Insolvenzverwaltung handles insolvency administration and property administration instructions, and is primarily present before twelve insolvency courts in Bavaria. Restructuring work, such as the restructuring of the insolvent automotive services provider TVS, is also increasingly becoming part of its workload. Michael George and Thomas Klöckner were appointed provisional insolvency administrators following the insolvency of construction companies Strasser Bauunternehmung GmbH and Strasser Bau-Personal GmbH in October 2017. Gunther Neef is the firm’s third partner; he also acts on insolvency administration as well as on the restructuring and reorganisation of companies.
Wellensiek Rechtsanwälte - Partnerschaftsgesellschaft
The traditional core area of Wellensiek Rechtsanwälte - Partnerschaftsgesellschaft lies in insolvency administration, while the administration of assets increasingly plays a central role. The well-known and respected Christopher Seagon was appointed insolvency administrator of the wind power company Carbon Rotec; the company was closed down in the course of the insolvency and the production site was acquired by the Gustaf Zech Foundation in July 2018. Daniel Herper acted on the self-administration process of the seed marketer Strube, which was sold to Deleplanque & Cie and Suet Saat- und Erntetechnik in April 2018. Since conclusion of the research, the firm added three partners from the now-defunct Jost Roth Collegen and Silke Wehdeking was a further new arrival from Leonhardt Rattunde.