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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 > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Tax
  2. Criminal tax law
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • David Beutel - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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Flick Gocke Schaumburg’s sizeable team is broadly positioned in group, inheritance and corporate tax law, as well as in national and international tax advice. Recent highlights include the tax advice provided by the renowned Thomas Rödder on transactions and restructuring in the energy sector and pharmaceutical industry, as well as Matthias Rogall assistance with the sale of the Wirtgen Group, which operates in the construction machinery industry, to mechanical engineering company John Deere with a total value of €4.4bn. The group, which is led by Karsten Randt and Jörg Schauf, has excellent criminal tax law expertise with regards to accusations of tax evasion pertaining to workers’ council payments, executive board defence and in the preventative area of tax compliance. In addition to eight equity partner appointments, the firm welcomed Michael Puls from Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH; he has headed the newly opened Düsseldorf office since January 2018. Eight associated partners also joined. Jens Schönfeld is also particularly well regarded.

Besides tax succession planning, the ‘leading’ twelve-partner tax practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer also focuses on assistance with transactions, including tax advice on company acquisitions and sales, and general tax structuring. The client base comprises listed private companies, financial institutions and public stakeholders. The firm advises Hochtief on tax law matters involved in the planned acquisition of Spain’s Abertis Infrastructuras and assists Merck with the sale of a business division in the area of Consumer Health Care. Furthermore, the tax team advises the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia on the potential realignment of the Building and Infrastructure Service NRW, as well as Norges Bank on the acquisition of properties for the Norwegian state fund. The practice is headed by Norbert Schneider and Christian Sistermann, who was appointed co-director in May 2018. Stephan Eilers also plays a prominent role: he is currently working on the foundation of a joint venture with a total volume in the double-digit billion range. David Beutel is another well-known figure.

The core activities of Linklaters’ eight-partner practice include tax advice on M&A transactions as well as tax compliance. In particular, clients value the ‘exceptionally good communication’ and ‘excellent and clear results’. Instructions often come from the automotive industry, including advising Audi on tax law matters related to the planned sale of the Ducati Group, as well as representing Opel in successful fiscal court proceedings for tax abuse issues regarding a conflation of profit- and loss-making companies. The highly regarded Jens Blumenberg advises large financial institutions on all issues and internal investigations of cum-ex transactions, as well as with regard to the VAT issues arising from the so-called CO2 Carousel, while the equally well thought of practice head Andreas Schaflitzl assisted the Linde Group with a planned merger with Praxair and the resulting spin-offs. Sebastian Benz, the ‘excellent’ Oliver Rosenberg and Rainer Stadler are also recommended for their ‘outstanding expertise’. Michael Ehret left for Allen & Overy LLP in May 2018.

The nine-strong partner team at Clifford Chance stands out for its ‘professional work’ in tax law matters, which comprises tax assistance with M&A deals, asset management and ‘commendable’ tax advice in the property sector in addition to legal disputes. The firm benefited from its broad experience when advising a commercial property company on the tax law aspects of a merger with another commercial property company. The group, which is led by practice head Felix Mühlhäuser, assisted with a company acquisition in the pharmaceutical industry and advised Volkswagen on the tax law aspects relating to the placement of bonds in the amount of C$1.5bn. Jan Grabbe advised private equity company Montana Capital Partners on the tax law aspects of the closure of a fund in the amount of €800m. Uwe Schimmelschmidt left the legal profession in January 2018 and is now behind the online platform Zasta.de along with another investor. Counsel Marie-Theres Rämer joined DLA Piper* in May 2018.

In addition to traditional tax law, the ‘world-class expertise’ of Milbank’s team largely encompasses tax assistance with international company transactions, in which the four-strong partner team provides ‘an excellent service and has plenty of experience’ as well as ‘a deep understanding of economic mechanisms’. Recent instructions in the transactional tax space included the sale of the Alloheim nursing home group by private equity investor The Carlyle Group along with the associated tax structuring, which was overseen by highy regarded managing partner Rolf Füger, and the ‘outstanding’ Thomas Kleinheisterkamp assisting ProSiebenSat.1 with the foundation of a joint venture between international media companies and with the sale of all shares in Etraveli Holding AB to finance investor CVC. Matthias Schell, who is ‘goal oriented, competent and reliable’, provided tax law advice to equity holder Themis Beteiligung-AG on the initial public offering of Dermapharm Holding. Jörg Schrade, previously an associate, joined CMS as partner in October 2018.

Transaction and corporate tax planning along with tax compliance are among the core strengths of Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘outstanding specialist’ tax practice. For example, the firm assisted Tui with the tax law aspects of the acquisition of the Destination Management division of the Hotelbeds Group with a transaction volume of €110m, and provided EG Group with advice on tax law matters concerning the acquisition of the German Esso petrol station network, which holds more than 1,000 stations. The firm’s expertise in the private equity sector was evident in its advice to investment fund manager Cerberus Capital Management on the acquisition – worth €1bn – of HSH Nordbank by independent investors. In cooperation with the Federal Central Tax Office, it also advises large banks on cum-ex investigations. Michael Ehret joined the firm from Linklaters in May 2018. Practice head Gottfried Breuninger is highly regarded.

In addition to providing tax assistance with M&A transactions, Baker McKenzie’s nine-strong tax law team headed by Nicole Looks and Christoph Becker handles a range of traditional tax and criminal tax law concerns and provides ‘a very high level of service’. The group’s ‘very good advice’ on customs and VAT law in addition to its representation of companies in compliance issues and tax arrears payments is particularly noteworthy, and clients value the ‘short turnaround times’. Highlights included assisting automotive supplier LKQ Corporation with tax law matters related to the €1.5bn acquisition of automotive parts retailer Stahlgruber and advising an international industrial group on tax and transfer price planning, as well as contractual and economic modelling for the purposes of restructuring intellectual property. Norbert Mückl is ‘excellent’ and Thomas Schänzle joined from PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) in April 2018.

Hogan Lovells International LLP primarily assists large companies with tax law matters related to international M&A transactions and joint ventures. For example, it advised chemical group BASF on tax law matters involved in the merging of the paper and water chemicals business with special chemicals manufacturer Solenis, and it oversaw the tax aspects of the foundation of a joint venture between Daimler and BMW aimed at pooling international mobility services. Oil group ExxonMobil instructed Michael Dettmeier to provide tax law advice on the sale of the entire German Esso petrol station network. The firm also handles matters concerning the financial and shareholding sectors. Practice head Heiko Gemmel advised Mercedes-Benz Bank on tax law matters related to the securitisation of a portfolio of auto loans in the amount of €1.1bn and assisted restaurant chain Vapiano with tax law matters related to its initial public offering.

Outstanding’ boutique küffner maunz langer zugmaier continues to lead the way in VAT law. Advice and legal proceedings on tax compliance, customs law and VAT reduction play a key role for the practice. The client portfolio consists of leading companies from the logistics, heavy industry, media sector, telecoms and electronics sectors. Oliver Zugmaier and Thomas Küffner are key names. Esteemed name partner Stefan Maunz left the firm in July 2018 and is taking a break from legal counselling.

At Latham & Watkins LLP, tax law advice in connection with restructuring and fund structuring projects as well as property and company transactions are among the core competences of the practice. The firm regularly advises private equity funds and banks. Practice head Stefan Süß assisted a bank consortium with tax matters related to the restructuring of satellite manufacturer Kathrein. In a transaction in the amount of €40bn, Thomas Fox advises Siemens on tax law matters related to the merging of the transport division of Siemens Mobility with rail transport group Alstom. In the area of property transactions, highlights included Tobias Klass advising Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI) on the tax aspects of its purchase of the Rhein-Ruhr-Zentrum in Mühlheim an der Ruhr and assisting Corpus Sireo Real Estate with the tax aspects of the sale of the Berlin headquarters of the alliance. Counsel Ulf Kieker, who was previously with Kirkland & Ellis International LLP joined the Munich office.

P+P Pöllath + Partners is well known for its ‘excellent’ advice on tax law matters in the areas of company transactions, succession planning and taxation of private equity funds. The tax law practice consisting of 18 equity partners and led by Michael Best was recently considerably strengthened by the addition of associate partner Martin Liebernickel and 13 associates. Thomas Töben, formerly of counsel with the firm joined Schnittker Möllmann Partners as a partner. Shortly before the editorial deadline, Alexander Pupeter joined the newly founded Munich-based boutique firm BLOMBERG along with an associate. Recent fund structuring instructions include providing tax advice to entrepreneurial family Merz on restructuring the joint management of shareholdings in mutual funds. The firm also assisted a large international family-run group in Germany and the US with the tax restructuring and succession planning of their assets, which consists of three company groups with a total value of more than €1bn. Peter Bujotzek and Andreas Rodin are also noted.

The tax law practice of CMS is a popular choice for property acquisitions, tax audits, tax structuring and transactions. It also has expertise in estate planning and advising family businesses. The firm records a high level of instructions, particularly in the energy sector. A number of these instructions are managed by practice head Heino Büsching. He assists with the sale of the Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm and advises energy groups on tax matters related to the restructuring of subsidiaries and the tax structuring of projects. Thomas Gerdel is involved in tax compliance auditing of various large corporations. Thomas Link is also recommended. Jörg Schrade, previously an associate at Milbank, joined the Munich office as a partner in October 2018.

The six-strong partner team in Dentons’ tax practice provide ‘a very high level of service’ for tax law advice in the area of insurance and transactions as well as in auditing and tax planning. Recent clients include several insurance providers, for which the team handled tax risk assessments of transaction-related W&I and special tax insurance policies. It also advised the Deutsche Post DHL Group on tax matters related to the sale of the services subsidiary Williams Lea Tag to private equity investor Ardent International. The group also assisted digital payment service provider Blue Code International with tax law matters related to its entry into the German market. The practice is managed by the ‘creative’, ‘conceptually strong’ and ‘innovative’ Stephan Busch and the ‘excellent’ Michael Graf. Michael Helm is regarded as ‘very client oriented, pragmatic’ and ‘helpful’. The appointment of the ‘knowledgeable’ Thomas Voss as partner in January 2018 follows the retirement of Detlef Olufs. Stefan Lorenz joined the group as of counsel in September 2018 from CMS.

Hengeler Mueller provides advice on tax compliance and contentious tax requirements, tax matters related to financial products and assistance with tax law matters involved in M&A transactions. It acts for banks, asset management companies and financial service providers. Recent work includes assisting the Bank of America with the acquisition of a Europe-wide office property portfolio and Deutsche Asset Management with the transfer of an international property portfolio – led by Martin Klein – from the previous portfolio manager PGIM Real Estate to a new investment fund managed by Deutsche Asset Management. Several financial institutions and companies also contacted the firm with regard to criminal proceedings, tax inquiries and defending financial management claims. Transactional tax highlights include Matthias Scheifele advising on the spin-off of various business segments of Robert Bosch, as well as other acquisitions in the energy sector.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek PartGmbB’s tax law advice includes assistance with fiscal court proceedings, acting for families with several residences on succession planning and advising on property and M&A transactions. It advised Superior Industries on tax law matters related to the acquisition of wheel rim manufacturer Uniwheels by way of a public acquisition in the amount of €660m. The tax law practice is headed by Marion Sangen-Emden, who is assisting a shareholder of a listed company with fiscal optimisation running into the billions, and by Marc Scheunemann, who noted for his expertise in property taxes. Equity partner Uwe Hartmann was a new arrival in January 2018 from FPS and salary partner Gunter Mühlhaus joined from Ernst & Young Law in November 2017. Nils Henrik Plassmeier made salary partner.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP’s tax law practice primarily develops foundation solutions for family businesses and provides assistance with transactions. The team, which is led by the well-known Dirk Pohl, is instructed by stock companies and creditors from the finance sector, as well as individual partners including shareholders in management positions. Kian Tauser and Nina Siewert advise the chairperson of tutoring service provider Schülerhilfe on tax law matters pertaining to re-investment in the group of companies; Carsten Böhm assisted the shareholders of AAT Antriebstechnik with tax law matters concerning the sale of shares to rehabilitation and technology company Reac; and Joseph Marx acted for Baader Bank on the tax aspects of the capital increase of Heidelberg Pharma. In March 2018, Nikolaj Kubik joined GGV Partnerschaft mbB Rechtsanwälte Wirtschaftsprüfer Steuerberater.

Clients value the ‘sound industry expertise’, ‘pragmatism and creativity’ of Noerr’s tax law practice, which is headed by Georg Edelmann and Carsten Heinz, who is singled out for his ‘intelligence and ability to make complex tax issues understandable’. Key clients include private equity funds, banks, stock partners and capital management companies in the property sector. The firm advises a US private equity fund on tax law matters pertaining to a change of form and assisted the shareholders of Instone with its initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It also advised several investors on tax matters relating to the acquisition of properties, with each running into the hundreds of millions.

The eleven-partner criminal tax law boutique Streck Mack Schwedhelm is one of the leading destinations for litigious instructions, preventative advice as well as audits, voluntary declarations and objection proceedings. It represents companies, associations and individuals before fiscal courts and advises other law firms and tax consultancy services on their daily operations. Rainer Spatscheck left the firm in April 2018 and now works for renamed firm Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner as name partner.

With ‘a very high level of service’ and ‘first-class specialist expertise’, Gleiss Lutz provides ‘excellent’ advice on succession and tax matters pertaining to restructuring projects and company transactions, company restructuring, as well as on the sale of properties and judicial disputes. Clients include household name companies including Robert Bosch, various public law bodies, as well as several healthcare and health insurance companies. The group advises Rickmers Holding and investment group Porterhouse on tax law matters related to restructuring. Practice head Achim Dannecker stands out for his ‘high level of competence and clear view for what is feasible and sensible’, grasping ‘complex issues in a short period of time’. Alexander Werder ‘operates at the highest level’. Hendrik Marchal made counsel.

Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner was renamed in April 2018 when the renowned criminal tax law specialist Rainer Spatscheck joined from Streck Mack Schwedhelm. In addition to its well-established expertise in criminal tax law, the seven-strong partner group, which is led by Gerhard Widmayer, also undertakes group restructuring regarding tax law and advises on transactions as well as on tax-saving foundations and the dissolution of joint ventures. Other work includes matters related to inheritance tax. The client base ranges from private persons, trading companies and industrial groups to companies from the property sector, as well as airports. The practice’s instructions in criminal tax law matters include cum-ex and cum-cum transactions, tax evasion and illegal exports.

The tax law practice at Oppenhoff & Partner led by Axel Bödefeld is handles succession and inheritance matters, transactions including M&A and property transactions, transfer pricing, investment-related tax matters, audits and tax disputes. Gunnar Knorr advises an investment fund management company on tax law matters related to the international acceptance of investors in a foreign investment fund. In addition, the group assists SQS Software Quality Systems with tax law matters related to a friendly takeover offer for all stock options at a value of €320m by an affiliate of associated private equity company Ardian and acts for a confectionary manufacturer in an international tax dispute related to licence fees. The group acts for a number of long-term clients, which frequently includes large international companies such as Ford, Johnson & Johnson and McDonald’s, as well as high-profile indviduals including Sebastian Vettel.

Rödl & Partner advises on group restructuring, inheritance tax and tax law issues concerning M&A transactions and examines tax matters in labour and customs legislation. Christian Marthol is involved in the restructuring of a municipal undertaking, while Dirk Halm provided the FEV Group with tax advice on the acquisition of EVA Fahrzeugtechnik. Managing partner Hans Weggenmann is assisting a food producer with group sales revenue amounting to a few billion as part of an anticipated succession. The criminal tax law team, which is led by Ulrike Grube and senior associate Susana Campos Nave, represents companies and individuals in matters concerning violation of the Foreign Trade Act, fictitious self-employment, breach of trust, subsidy fraud, minimum wage provisions, letter-box companies, as well as in cases of VAT and income tax evasion.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s tax law practice, headed by Tobias Geerling and Ingo Kleutgens, predominantly operates in the areas of M&A transactions, criminal tax law, company rearrangement and inheritance tax law. A recent highlight was tax structuring within the scope of advising financial investor Novalpina Capital on the takeover bid for Odyssey Europe. It also advised EQT Expansion Capital II on tax law matters concerning the sale of the Roeser Medical Group and assisted a portfolio company with tax law matters pertaining to the spin-off of companies. On the tax exemption side, the group also acted for an automotive supplier and a mechanical engineering company. Other work includes handling several auditing instructions.

White & Case LLP has a focus on transactional tax law, group tax law and tax disputes, and impresses with ‘short response times, comprehensive and well-thought-out analyses and management proposals’, and its ‘close cooperation’ with other practice groups. Also noteworthy is its ‘combination of contract drafting and tax advice’. Recent highlights in the transactional tax law space include advising a private equity fund on an acquisition in the healthcare sector worth several billion. In litigation, the group is acting for a steel trading company in matter concerning transfer pricing arrangements for audits; ‘fast-acting and very organised’ practice head Andreas Knebel leads on this. Bodo Bender, who is another key name, is working alongside the restructuring team in advising HSH Nordbank on restructuring gains and alternative tax structures.

In addition to its tax consultancy branch, WTS is also active in tax law. The group primarily focuses on legal advice on tax compliance matters and tax restructuring. The team took over a comprehensive compliance review for an insurance group and provides several DAX-listed groups with advice pertaining to the restructuring of international investments of their pension funds due to a change in tax legislation. The team is also instructed by a large bank on tax law matters concerning its relocation from London to Frankfurt am Main in the wake of Brexit. Another large company consults the practice with regards to the structuring of exchangeable bonds. Martin Loibl and Bernd Keller made partner. Energy industry and tax law specialist Sabine Schulte-Beckhausen joined from White & Case LLP in November 2017, and Christian Behlert, Philipp Alexander Besson and Florian Schnabel joined from the Allianz tax department in autumn 2017.

Clients of BEITEN BURKHARDT are ‘in good hands’ thanks to its ‘well-established specialist expertise’ in tax law, ‘professionalism’ and ‘high level of service’. The team provides comprehensive project advice, including tax structuring and asset optimisation, and also has expertise in property tax law, compliance with tax law regulations and matters concerning transfer pricing. It advises a foreign steel group on tax law matters related to its entry into the EU market, private equity companies on tax law issues related to property portfolios and burger chain Five Guys on the taxation of income from a long-term incentive plan. Volker Szpak joined from HauckSchuchardt in May 2017 and Teresa Werner made salary partner. Practice heads Birgit Faßbender and Helmut König stand out for their ‘extensive expertise’.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is instructed in group tax law matters including the tax organisation of company structures and in transactional tax law. Key figure Daniel Weyde advises on the tax aspects of Alstrom’s merger with the mobility division of Siemens in the railway sector. Other work includes assisting General Motors with the restructuring of Opel and its subsidiary Vauxhall with group tax law and the subsequent sale to PSA. Senior lawyer Jens Hafemann advised a strategic investor who was interested in acquiring the Esso petrol station network of ExxonMobil.

DLA Piper focuses on tax law assistance with M&A transactions. The practice’s main areas of activity include transfer pricing and advice on indirect taxes. The team advised Rolls-Royce Power Systems on tax law matters concerning the sale of automotive supplier L’Orange to Woodward, which had a transaction value of €700m. Practice head Konrad Rohde is involved in the fiscal implementation of a company spin-off in the medical technology industry and also assisted holding company Active Ownership Capital with the purchase of industrial brake manufacturer Pintsch Bubenzer. Claus Jochimsen-von Gfug joined Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in December 2017 Marie-Theres Rämer was a new arrival from Clifford Chance in May 2018 and counsel Sebastian Kost joined from Morrison & Foerster LLP in 2017.

Under the leadership of Rainer Schmitt and Karsten Seidel, K&L Gates LLP provides transaction and property tax law advice and is instructed in tax law matters pertaining to a number of finance products. Tax disputes are a significant part of the firm’s work. Recent instructions include the tax law advice provided to property fund Art Invest Real Estate Funds on the acquisition of the SZ Tower in Munich by way of a share deal and assisting a client with the tax aspects relating to its market entry in Germany. In other work, the team set up a reverse factoring system for an automotive group. The firm also provides advice on cum-ex transactions.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH advises on group tax law issues pertaining to transfer price systems and transaction tax, balance sheet tax and VAT concerns. The five-partner group, which is led by practice head Elisabeth Lepique, is also known for handling tax structuring related to capital markets. Recent highlights concerned property transactions, including the tax law advice provided to the medical care associations of several federal states on the acquisition of a Hamburg property by a joint project company for around €400m. Gernot-Rüdiger Engel advises on the tax restructuring of two chemical companies for the purposes of minimising the levy arising from the law on the development of renewable energy. The firm also provides an external tax audit service to several private higher education institutions and clients in the healthcare sector.

Norton Rose Fulbright assists with a number of group reorganisations and M&A transactions, and advises on transport taxes such as VAT, insurance and energy tax. The practice’s key industries include finance and insurance as well as the transport sector. Tino Duttiné and Uwe Eppler are key names.

Simmons & Simmons LLP’s clients in this space include large banks, asset management companies and industrial undertakings with tax law concerns pertaining to fund structuring. Bernulph von Crailsheim advised a toy manufacturer on tax law matters relating to the implementation of a special fund structure with a total value running into the hundreds of millions. It also advised Macquarie Bank on tax law matters related to the purchase and sale of infrastructure funds. Practice head Heiko Stoll focuses on tax law advice related to the establishment of international fund structures.

The ‘excellent’ and ‘highly professional’ tax law practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, which is led by the ‘experienced and competent’ Johannes Frey, has strength in the area of transactions. The ‘practically oriented’ group stands out for its ‘clear, target-oriented responses’, ‘international experience’ and ‘short turnaround times’. In a recent highlight, it advised automotive supplier Key Safety Systems on the acquisition of an operative business of supplier Takata, notably in terms of transactional tax and VAT. The firm also assisted welding machine manufacturer Colfax Corporation with tax law matters pertaining to the sale of the fluid technology business to Circor International, which amounted to $860m.

The key focus areas of the two-partner tax law team at Graf von Westphalen include the reorganisation of company divisions, audits and tax assistance with M&A deals, in addition to inheritance tax advice. Practice head Frank Tschesche advises artificial turf manufacturer CoCreation Grass Corporation on tax law matters pertaining to the foundation of its first distribution subsidiary outside of Asia and assists with the tax structuring of companies in the renewable energy, chemical and technology sectors. Alongside Claus Landry, he is also representing a company in the food industry in ongoing judicial proceedings with the aim of obtaining tax approval for a valuation allowance of foreign currency receivables.

GSK Stockmann handles a variety of group tax law analyses and provides tax law advice on group and fund structuring. Co-practice head Petra Eckl is regularly instructed by fund managers and assists clients with the establishment of tax-efficient holding structures. ‘Pleasant’ co-director Dirk Koch provides ‘time-efficient and high-quality analyses and recommendations for action’ and understands the importance of ‘communicating these comprehensibly’. He is developing a tax law financing concept for university studies for the university-affiliated rights holder Chancen eG. Dominik Berka made counsel in January 2018.

The advisory services of tax law practice Honert + Partner include company tax restructuring operations such as M&A transactions and succession planning, in addition to corporate, commercial and value-added tax concerns. Jochen Neumayer assisted the management of online fashion retailer About You with the tax law aspects of the acquisition by holding company Heartland, which is part of clothing company Bestseller. In addition, the firm advised the shareholders of sports nutrition company Well Plus Trade on tax law matters involved in the sale of the company to holding company HQ Equita. Sven Fritsche was involved in the drafting of a shareholder agreement pertaining to the issuance of shares worth €230m for biotechnology company Biontech, which is involved in cancer research. Ralph Obser left the firm in June 2017 and became a founding member of BIRKENMAIER & OBSER Rechtsanwälte in Munich.

With ‘a high level of dedicationJones Day focuses on M&A-related tax law assistance and is primarily instructed by the finance industry and property sector. It frequently also advises on securitisation programmes. Practice head Klaus Herkenroth, whose specialist and industry expertise is considered ‘excellent’, advises Volkswagen Bank, among others, on tax law advice pertaining to Driver Master, the securitisation platform for car loans worth a total €10bn. The firm also provided tax law assistance to an investment bank with regards to financing the acquisition of a property portfolio by an investment company worth several billion, and advises a group on a review of transfer prices as well as on issues concerning insuring goods against potential damages. Florian Lechner joined from Linklaters at the beginning of 2019.

Munich-based criminal tax law boutique Leisner Steckel Engler Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft, which is led by name partners Jan Olaf Leisner, Christopher Steckel and Sebastian Engler, advises on voluntary declarations, tax investigations, disputed taxation procedures and represents its clients in tax law proceedings. Clients include individuals, companies and associations. Highlights included representing the German Football Association (DFB) in a matter concerning a retrospective tax payment in an amount up to €27m, which was prompted by the non-disclosed repayment of a loan in the amount of €6.7m to former Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus. It also acting for a client in what is known as the Goldfinger incident surrounding an allegedly unlawful tax-saving model used by companies in the gold trade. The team also acts for professionals including lawyers, auditors and tax consultants. It represented tax consultant Gerald Toifl in judicial proceedings concerning the facilitation of tax evasion regarding the embezzlement of €44m by the Chief Risk Officer of BayernLB, Gerhard Gribkowsky.

The three-partner tax law group at SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte primarily handles instructions concerning succession and often advises on asset restructuring measures prior to assets being inherited. Clients include foundations, individuals and family businesses from the property, software, furniture and construction industry. It frequently advises on the prevention of double taxation, foundation solutions and anticipated succession issues. Clients’ assets include sums ranging from hundreds of millions to several billions. Heiko Wunderlich leads the practice. In January 2019, Stefan Skulesch joined from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

Munich-based boutique Wannemacher & Partner has expertise in tax disputes, criminal economic law and criminal tax law issues. Leonard Walischewski represented the daughter of company founder Anton Schlecker, Meike Schlecker, in proceedings against bankrupt company Schlecker. In addition to allegations of delaying insolvency proceedings, she and her brother, Lars Schlecker, were faced with additional back taxes amounting to €17m. Jan Andrejtschitsch, Andreas Grötsch, Kurt Kürzinger and Johann Seipl represented a tax consultancy before a criminal court in a case connected to what is known as the Goldfinger incident surrounding a suspected unlawful tax-saving model in the gold trade.

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