Firm Profile > White & Case LLP > Frankfurt, Germany
White & Case LLP Offices
BOCKENHEIMER LANDSTRASSE 20
60323 FRANKFURT AM MAIN
White & Case LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Energy Tier 1
White & Case LLP’s eight-partner strong energy law team is noted for its ‘outstanding industry expertise’, ‘quick response times’ and for the ‘significant number of lawyers with strong in-house experience’. Under the lead of Peter Rosin and Thomas Burmeister, the team handles M&A transactions, restructurings and complex regulatory matters. Clients, including EnBW, Gasunie and Vattenfall Europe Business Services, also benefit from the close collaboration with the corporate practice around Jörg Kraffel, the project finance team led by Florian Degenhardt and the capital markets expertise provided by Karsten Wöckener’s practice. Recent highlights include advising Steag on the sale of a 49% share in Steag Fernwärme to Meag; assisting a banking syndicate as arrangers with the refinancing of the acquisition of shares of E.ON Westfalen Weser; and representing several operators of regulated energy supply networks in landmark proceedings concerning the determination of the equity yield rate at the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf. In the renewable energy space, the firm advised Steag on a strategic partnership with Allianz Global Investors concnering the sale of shares in a French wind farm portfolio. The team was strengthened by Stefan Bressler’s arrival from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Sabine Schulte-Beckhausen is now with WTS and Guido Hermeier joined Amprion.
Insolvency Tier 1
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.
PPP Tier 1
White & Case LLP has a broad PPP offering and is regularly involved in major national and international projects. It is particularly visible in the transport sector, where it regularly advises on the financing aspects of PPP projects. Highlights included representing PPF Group in the public bidding process for the acquisition of shares in Toll Collect and assisting the client with the operation of the truck tolling system. The group also advised the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure on the award of PPP projects. The team is led by Berlin-based Henning Berger and the highly respected Norbert Wimmer; Florian Degenhardt is the central contact in Hamburg. Veit Sahlfeld joined Norton Rose Fulbright in April 2018.
Commercial litigation Tier 2
Clients value White & Case LLP’s ‘fast and flexible processing times’ and ‘absolute reliability’; the group has strong expertise in insolvency, energy and automotive litigation, often in cases that require interdisciplinary cooperation and good international networking. Thomas Burmeister acted for a group of network operators in proceedings against the German Federal Network Agency regarding interest rate fixing by the regulatory authority, and Markus Burianski represented a company from the automotive industry in a number of disputes. In another highlight, Christian Wirth, who is esteemed for his ‘solution-oriented approach’, defended a network service provider in court proceedings. Matthias Stupp left for Noerr in May 2017. Alexandra Diehl joined from Clifford Chance as local partner in February 2018.
Compliance Tier 2
White & Case LLP has great expertise in assisting with strategic and contentious matters in the areas of compliance and internal investigations, and acts for a wide range of national and international clients. Karl-Jörg Xylander, the ‘commemded’ practice head, is experienced in advising on criminal law as well as corporate and tax law; recently, he assisted an automotive supplier with the revision of corporate and global compliance guidelines. He also advised a steel industry company on the introduction of a money laundering compliance programme in view of the revised money laundering act. Nils Clemm, who is experienced in white-collar criminal law, advises a number of financial institutions. Constantin Lauterwein recently assisted a bank with sanctions compliance issues and trained employees on conducting business with Iran. Camill Carl Sander left the firm to work as legal counsel at Volkswagen.
Corporate Tier 2
White & Case LLP’s ‘highly experienced’ team covers the full range of corporate law. It recently handled several extraordinary general meetings, such as that of 1&1 Drillisch in connection with the gradual acquisition of 1&1 Telecommunication from United Internet, at which no legal challenge was filed. In other work, it is advising market research institute GfK on take private and squeeze-out proceedings following the entry of financial investor KKR. Practice head Lutz Krämer is recommended for directors’ and officers’ liability cases. Other well-known names include Alexander Kiefner, Markus Hauptmann, Robert Weber and Roger Kiem. Markus Stephanblome left the firm in December 2017 to join Clifford Chance.
Data protection Tier 2
A recent focus for White & Case LLP is GDPR-related work and the firm advises prominent domestic and international companies on implementation projects, as well as providing advice at the intersection with data security and cyber security. It frequently handles matters with cross-border elements and the team has strengthened its cooperation with the firm’s US offices. International data transfers and internal investigations are other areas of focus. The firm provided data protection advice to Controlexpert, an innovative technology service provider for the insurance and automotive industries and a European InsurTech company, in the context of its strategic partnership with General Atlantic. It also submitted an amicus curiae letter for a non-profit association in US v. Microsoft regarding the US authorities’ access to data saved in Ireland. Detlev Gabel ‘does a great job’ and local partner Sylvia Lorenz is also particularly active.
Debt capital markets Tier 2
The ‘very committed, pragmatic and solution-oriented’ DCM team at White & Case LLP is ‘very responsive’ and ‘even handles short-term enquiries quickly’, while clients also benefit from its ‘good market knowledge’. This is frequently drawn upon when handling issuance programmes and standalone bonds as well as high-yield bonds, equity-linked transactions, hybrid products and regulatory matters. The ‘very reliable’ Rebecca Emory, who is ‘always available, handling every matter with outstanding quality and high speed and is highly skilled at guiding clients through transactions’, and Gernot Wagner are the main contacts for high-yield bond work. Recently, Emory and Wagner advised a banking syndicate led by BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan and UniCredit on the €275m high-yield bond issuance by Nordex. The ‘very experienced and reliable’ Jochen Artzinger-Bolten, who is also ‘pleasant to work with’, assisted Citigroup with the promissory note by Sherwin-Williams amounting to €245m, while Karsten Wöckener advised real estate developer Consus Real Estate on the issuance of its first promissory note worth €200m. Clients praise Wöckener for his ‘commercial understanding’ and ‘pragmatic and practical solutions’, while his ‘extensive experience enables him to understand both sides of a transaction very well, giving him a mediating effect without losing credibility’. Cristina Freudenberger made local partner in January 2018 and Andreas Lischka joined as local partner from Hengeler Mueller in November 2018.
The ‘very quick, pragmatic and reliable’ team at White & Case LLP is considered a good contact for various regulatory matters pertaining to the Banking Union, the ECB, Brexit and other EU-wide issues, leading to regular instructions from national and international banks and banking associations. Berlin-based Henning Berger is the main contact for Brexit and ECB-related work and also represents clients before German and European courts. Recently, he acted for Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and VR-Bank Rhein-Sieg in two pilot procedures each; all cases were presented before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and concerned the new European bank levy imposed by the European Single Resolution Board (SRB) in 2016 and 2017. In other work, the team also advises on deposit guarantee schemes and issues concerning the technological transformation of the banking sector, while also assisting financial institutions and its shareholders with regulatory issues arising from M&A transactions and internal restructurings. In the technology space, the practice advises several German and European banks on regulatory matters concerning the procurement of IT cloud solutions; recently, it advised various German credit institutions on IT examinations by the ECB and BaFin. Another German credit institution received assistance with the implementation of the Benchmark Regulation. Berlin-based Martin Weber was made local partner in December 2017. Andreas Wieland moved to KPMG Law Germany in October 2018.
Internal investigations Tier 2
White & Case LLP’s team has strong expertise in both national and international investigations, often acting for automotive and financial companies. In addition, it benefits from a close cooperation with the labour, antitrust and corporate practices. Practice head Karl-Jörg Xylander is well versed advising on strategic and contentious matters, and representing clients in compliance and white-collar crime issues; he is conducting a number of internal investigations at various car companies, most recently in relation to alleged bribery. Nils Clemm acts for a financial institution in an internal investigation into alleged tax evasion, including representation before authorities. Tine Schauenburg and Constantin Lauterwein are other names to note.
Lending and borrowing Tier 2
White & Case LLP specialises in advising banks, sponsors and companies on leveraged finance alongside corporate, real estate, project and asset finance, while the Hamburg office is best known for its expertise in structured finance and refinance work in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Assisting with banking supervisory law and restructuring-related matters constitutes another key element. Vanessa Schürmann advised an arranger on the repricing and increase of the existing term loan B for Apcoa Parking to €380m, and assisted a banking consortium with the financing of One Equity Partners’ acquisition of SGB-SMIT Group from BC Partners. A different banking syndicate received advice on the refinancing of the German transport and logistics company Hapag-Lloyd by way of increasing a revolving syndicated loan of $125m to $145m, while, together with capital markets expert Rebecca Emory, Schürmann assisted a banking syndicate led by Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan with the €1.35bn refinancing of the Senvion Group, which included a €400m high-yield bond, a secured multi-currency revolving facility valued at €125m and a €825m secured multi-currency letter of guarantee facility. The team also increased its bench strength by adding several associates alongside local partner Sebastian Schrag, who joined in June 2017 from now dissolved firm Heymann & Partner. Mattias von Buttlar joined the firm in January 2018 from Clifford Chance but left again in June of the same year. Local partner Veit Sahlfeld joined Norton Rose Fulbright as of counsel in April 2018, while Andreas Lischka joined the firm as local partner from Hengeler Mueller in November 2018.
Outsourcing Tier 2
White & Case LLP’s work in this area includes the outsourcing of IT infrastructure, application management, BPO and facility management. The team has expertise handling complex, often multinational deals and has a particular focus on complex cloud projects in the industrial and financial services sectors and projects concerning the conversion of the core banking system. Various DAX-listed companies sought out the firm’s advice on the sourcing of cloud services, while in the outsourcing space clients predominantly stem from the finance industry; recent clients include a large bank, a cooperative bank, a commercial bank and a stock exchange operator. Jost Kotthoff is noted.
Project finance Tier 2
The project finance team at White & Case LLP advises banks, financial investors and sponsors on the financing of national and international energy and infrastructure projects and benefits from its close co-operation with the firm’s Düsseldorf-based energy team and its Berlin-based public law and regulated markets department. Team head Florian Degenhardt advised Meag Munich Ergo Asset Management on the refinancing of a motorway section by way of project shares and bank loans, and assisted Bayerische Landesbank and UniCredit Bank with the financing of Bavaria’s first forest wind farm portfolio by means of commercial loans. A consortium of two banks instructed the team to act as mandated lead arranger and security agent on the structured financing of a wind farm in Scandinavia.
Restructuring Tier 2
A team of eleven ‘high-class’ equity partners at White & Case LLP advises creditors as well as investors and also undertakes operational restructurings; in this area, it is able to draw on the firm’s insolvency administration unit. Practice heads Riaz Janjuah, Tom Oliver Schorling and the well-known Sven-Holger Undritz jointly advised HSH Nordbank on the ongoing restructuring of shipping company Rickmers Holding. The ‘experienced and extremely well-connected’ Biner Bähr, who has a focus on keeping companies in business, advised a retail group on its restructuring. Another recent highlight was assisting an international furniture group in crisis. Felix Höpker, Béla Knof and Sven Hentschel were promoted to local partner. Sylwia Maria Bea joined from Wellensiek Rechtsanwälte - Partnerschaftsgesellschaft as local partner in April 2018.
White & Case LLP focuses on providing banks and insurance companies with advice on structured financing and funding solutions, including NPL and capital relief transactions, as well as securitisation and banking supervisory matters. ‘Very experienced’ team head Dennis Heuer and local partner Daniel Baierlein advised Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale on a loan portfolio transaction in respect of a €10.1bn reference portfolio; the reference portfolio consisted of approximately 4,300 loans comprising, among others, renewable energy finance, aviation finance, infrastructure and German mid-cap loans. Acting as transaction counsel, the team assisted Santander Consumer Bank with an ABS securitisation of consumer loans, and, in other work, advised Cerberus Capital Management on the acquisition of several large-scale distressed loan portfolios from HSH Nordbank as part of the bank’s privatisation. Together with its London office, the team also advised Trafigura, a commodities trading and logistics company, on the establishment of a true-sale commodity securitisation programme.
Advice to companies Tier 3
White & Case LLP’s white-collar criminal law practice works in close conjunction with its compliance team and frequently handles automotive, financial and media sector-related mandates, including those in a cross-border setting. Key figure Karl-Jörg Xylander is experienced in defending individuals and companies and has extensive knowledge of banking, corporate and tax law. In recent work, he defended a company accused of cartel agreements, and acted for a bank in matters pertaining to fraud allegations. Nils Clemm recently represented a bank in a fine proceeding.
White & Case LLP is valued by clients for its ‘full reliability’ and is specialised in liability, energy and post-M&A litigation. ‘Enormously experienced’ practice head Markus Burianski acts for an Asian solar cell manufacturer in arbitration proceedings concerning long-term supply contracts with a value in dispute of more than $130m. In other work, the representation of Indian investors in arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Yemen was extended by a second instruction, which was terminated at the end of 2017 in favour of the clients. Alexandra Diehl, who is experienced in IP and investment arbitration, joined as local partner from Clifford Chance in February 2018.
Equity capital markets Tier 3
White & Case LLP is particularly experienced in advising issuers and underwriting banks on capital increases, equity-linked transactions, private placements and block trades. Gernot Wagner and Rebecca Emory advised Hapag-Lloyd on the preparation of a BaFin approved prospectus for the admission of circa 42.75 million new shares totalling approximately €1.4bn. The new shares were made available for trading on the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the sub-segment of the regulated market with additional post-admission obligations as well as for trading on the Hamburg Stock Exchange. The same client also received assistance with a €352m rights issue, agreed upon the merger of Hapag-Lloyd with the United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), while Credit Suisse received advice on shares issued by GAM, a global asset manager based in Switzerland; this transaction included 4.73 million new shares, which were placed with institutional investors by way of an accelerated bookbuilding procedure. Karsten Wöckener and Lutz Krämer are other key members of the team, which added local partner Thilo Diehl from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in November 2017.
White & Case LLP has comprehensive expertise in representing banks, financial institutions and insurance companies in various legal disputes as well as in insolvency law disputes, and makes use of good cross-practice synergies. The group represented a major bank in several proceedings brought by insurance companies. The ‘flexible and fast’ Christian Wirth successfully acted for a credit rating agency in connection with the enforcement of a remuneration claim. Markus Langen, who is particularly experienced in liability issues and defence in class actions, represented a German bank in various proceedings. The client portfolio also includes Credit Suisse, Nord/LB and UniCredit.
White & Case LLP focuses in particular on digitalisation and handles connectivity issues in various industries from the automotive to the financial services sectors with expertise in autonomous driving and fintech matters. The team continues to see a high volume of work relating to cloud projects, and deploys its comprehensive IT experience in the banking sector in projects surrounding the conversion of the core banking system. In addition to its expertise in IT contracts, the firm is also able to draw on its regulatory strength. Its workloads includes domestic projects and transactions as well as cross-border matters. Jost Kotthoff heads the team and Martin Munz is another key figure.
White & Case LLP’s 19-partner M&A team ‘thinks with an entrepreneurial and client-oriented mind’. It is often involved in cross-border transactions, with inbound mandates from China playing a particularly important role. Highlights included advising Asklepios Kliniken on the acquisition of the Paracelsus Group; assisting Conzzeta with the acquisition of Otto Bock Group’s plastics division; and acting for automotive supplier Faurecia on the acquisition of Hug Engineering. Tobias Heinrich is ‘a strong project manager’ and has ‘extensive technical experience’. Roger Kiem, Markus Hauptmann and practice head Jörg Kraffel are also recommended. Matthias Kiesewetter made partner in the Hamburg office in January 2018.
Planning and environment Tier 3
Product-related environmental law and assistance with large infrastructure and road construction projects continue to be the focal areas of White & Case LLP’s eight-strong environment and planning practice. Norbert Wimmer leads the team, which is also increasingly active in the automotive industry – an area in which it provides comprehensive advice on regulatory issues relating to the consumption and emission performance of vehicles. In another highlight, it represented the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Ministry of Economics against information requests made by RWE concerning the nuclear phase-out. Henning Berger, whose expertise includes not only environment and planning law but also financial sector regulation, is another key contact; Martin Weber made local partner in January 2018.
Real estate Tier 3
With transactional work at its core and particular knowledge in the office, retail and hotel asset classes, White & Case LLP provides ‘very practical and solution-oriented’ advice based on its ‘excellent industry knowledge’. Holger Wolf and local partner Andreas van den Eikel recently assisted new client Edge Technologies Deutschland with the sale of an office building development in Berlin by way of a forward share deal. In equally important work, Thomas Flatten advised Cerberus Capital Management on the acquisition of a portfolio of performing and non-performing real estate-backed loans as part of the acquisition of HSH Nordbank. Bombardier and Nestlé Deutschland are also clients. After losing several team members to Norton Rose Fulbright in early 2017, two of counsels followed their former colleagues at the end of the same year, while Michael Rützel moved to Deutsche Bank. Endrik Lettau is the main contact.
Telecoms Tier 3
The core of White & Case LLP’s practice centres on two areas: advising cable providers Telecolumbus and Unitymedia and providing project-based assistance. It is representing Unitymedia in its dispute with public service broadcasters in order to resolve the future shaping of transmission contracts before the civil and administrative courts and the Federal Cartel Office. Other highlights include advising on the regulation of connected car products, OTT services and data use. The key contacts are practice head Norbert Wimmer and Martin Munz. Sylvia Lorenz was promoted to local partner in January 2018.
Transactions Tier 3
White & Case LLP’s private equity group advises its clients primarily on mid-cap transactions, while also handling large-cap deals and bidding procedures. Stefan Koch advised Nordic Capital on the acquisition of the Ober Scharrer group from tprivate equity firm Palamon Capital Partner, and assisted private equity firm Duke Street with the acquisition of A-Rosa Flussschiff from independent private equity investment company Waterland. Together with colleagues from New York, Gernot Wagner acted for Triton on the acquisition of WernerCo, a Swiss-based manufacturer and distributor of ladders, storage systems and construction equipment. The portfolio company was subsequently advised by Wagner and Hendrik Röhricht on the acquisition of the Zarges group, which previously belonged to a consortium of financial investors. Matthias Kiesewetter joined the partnership in January 2018.
Insurance litigation Tier 4
With a specialism in financial sector work and substantial corporate expertise, the team at White & Case LLP regularly handles D&O liability and coverage matters, which frequently include cross-border elements, while also having experience in dealing with cyber risk matters. In a significant matter, the team is defending a Berlin-based private bank against damage claims amounting to millions pertaining to a co-operation agreement in the life insurance sector with a large French insurance company; this was jointly led by the ‘solution-oriented and responsive’ Christian Wirth and counsel Ulrich Carlhoff. Sara Vanetta was made local partner.
Investment funds Tier 4
White & Case LLP has a focus on investment law matters pertaining to M&A and outsourcing transactions, most notably in the private equity and real estate sectors, but clients, many of which approach the team via the firm’s global network, also receive regulatory advice on the admissibility of various fund products for sale in Germany alongside admissibility checks for investments made by foreign investment companies. The team advised several investment companies on the sale of foreign funds including various tax law issues, and assisted an international investor with regulatory matters pertaining to the intended creation of an investment pooling vehicle for certain crypto assets. A consortium of international investors instructed the team to advise on the creation of an investment vehicle for the acquisition of a German financial institute alongside navigating investment permit requirements. Former team head Andreas Wieland moved to KPMG Law Germany in October 2018.
Employment Tier 5
White & Case LLP is best known for its expertise in handling employment law work at the interface with restructuring and insolvency law. In evidence of this, Hendrik Röger advised Asklepios on its attempt to acquire the insolvent Paracelsus clinic group, while Deutsche Telekom instructed Frank-Karl Heuchemer’s team with matters pertaining to the global restructuring of its senior management including overseas assignments. In other work, the team acted for a leading transport system operator in disputes with a former managing director.
Entertainment Tier 5
White & Case LLP’s media law practice is particularly active advising on social media and cable network matters. The team handles trade mark, antitrust, telecoms and state aid matters and increasingly represents domestic and international companies in the IT and social media sectors in proceedings. The firm’s range of services also includes freedom of speech, digitalisation and digital media matters. Norbert Wimmers’ expertise ranges from media and telecoms law to infrastructure and traffic and Martin Munz advises on copyright, trade mark, data protection, internet and competition law. Hamburg-based Sylvia Lorenz was promoted to local partner in January 2018.
Tax Tier 5
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.
White & Case LLP’s IP team is noted for its ‘quick response rates’ and ‘pragmatic approach’. Practice head Markus Mette has deep experience in representing technology companies in disputes and was able to expand the firm’s activity in the area via the acquisition of several new clients. Overall the practice acts for a broad client base, which also includes clients from the consumer goods, automotive and energy sectors. The group advises Anschutz Entertainment Group on the use of the trade mark Eisbären Berlin on merchandising products. The team benefits from the firm’s network for a flow of regular cross-border work.
White & Case LLP > Firm Profile
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Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Commercial litigation
- Data protection
- Debt capital markets
- Financial services: regulatory
- Internal investigations
- Lending and borrowing
- Project finance
- Structured finance and securitisation
- Advice to companies
- Arbitration (including international arbitration)
- Equity capital markets
- Financial services: litigation
- Information technology (including contracts)
- M&A: mid-sized deals (sub-€500m)
- Planning and environment
- Real estate
- Insurance litigation
- Investment funds
- Trade marks and unfair competition