Firm Profile > CMS > Cologne, Germany

50678 KÖLN

Corporate and M&A > Corporate Tier 1

CMS' corporate team advises listed companies, corporations and family businesses on all aspects of corporate law, including restructurings, joint ventures and annual general meetings. The group also increasingly assists with distressed M&A matters and places a strong focus on corporate disputes; the corporate litigation group is led by Thomas Lennarz and Nicolas Wiegand. Synergies with the compliance and white-collar crime practices contribute to a steady workload. Dispute resolution expert Dorothee Ruckteschler left in the summer of 2020. Maximilian Grub, Ernst-Markus Schuberth and Richard Mitterhuber jointly head the practice.

Germany > Employment Tier 1

CMS is a respected player in the market, handling the full spectrum of individual and collective employment law including related social security issues. Co-heads Martina Hidalgo and Daniel Ludwig cover an equally broad array of matters, resulting in regular instructions from national and international companies to advise on employment law matters arising from transactions, reorganisations and restructurings. In this context, the team routinely advises on company demergers and transfers of undertakings alongside associated negotiations with works councils and trade unions pertaining to reconciliations of interests, social plans and transitional agreements. Hidalgo and Ludwig receive regular support from, among others, Björn Gaul, who, like Ludwig, routinely assists with the implementation and use of IT systems as well as the redesign of remuneration systems while also handling compliance and whistleblower system projects, and collective employment law expert Gerlind Wisskirchen. At the end of 2020, the practice lost Matthias Kappus, who is experienced in both contentious and non-contentious employment law, to michels.pmks Rechtsanwälte; in January 2021 counsel Jan Peter Schiller joined the same firm as partner at its new Düsseldorf office.

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Industry focus > Energy Tier 1

With Rolf Hempel in Stuttgart and Friedrich von Burchard in Düsseldorf heading the practice, CMS specialises in antitrust law work as well as regulatory matters. Besides its renewable energy offering, the team also advises on projects in the oil and gas sectors, on energy contract law issues, including PPAs, and on transactions. Handling onshore and offshore wind park mandates constitutes a key portion of its workload but the team has also been expanding its work in the hydrogen energy sector, including LNG terminals, and in electromobility. With counsel Cosima von Rechteren, also based in Stuttgart, the team also has an experienced litigator. Hamburg-based administrative lawyer Fritz von Hammerstein has many years of experience in handling energy project-related disputes.

Industry focus > Telecoms Tier 1

CMS fields a versatile team, which, in addition to providing transactional telecommunications law support, also has experience in regulatory proceedings and disputes as well as in-depth knowledge of contract drafting issues and other non-contentious mandates, for example on legislative changes. Practice head Jens Neitzel in Munich is the key contact. His expertise includes tariff regulation, number regulation law, local loops matters and the expansion of high-speed digital networks.

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Information technology > Information technology and digitalisation Tier 1

In the IT space, CMS fields a sizeable team spread across six German offices. Even across borders, the firm is strongly represented via its international Technology, Media, Communications network; in contrast to this network, which is organised in legal practice areas, the German lawyer team specialises in different industry sectors. Of particular note are the real estate and life sciences industries where the group is assisting with several highlight matters. The Munich team around Markus Häuser, for instance, was instructed by a joint venture between a digitalisation company and real estate corporation to advise on blockchain and tokenization issues. Beyond digitalisation and blockchain matters, the team is also considered a market leader in assisting digital platforms with issues such as data handling, data sovereignty and competition. Sebastian Cording heads the Hamburg office that also includes key figure and software copyright lawyer Malte Grützmacher.

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Information technology > IT transactions and outsourcing Tier 1

CMS' leading outsourcing practice is one of the top addresses for technology joint ventures, business process outsourcing and the development and application of blockchain technologies, for example in the context of tokenization projects and smart contracts. Sebastian Cording and Markus Häuser head the IT team. Cording frequently advises on the implementation of ERP systems, contracts and litigation and acts both on buyer as well as on provider side. Digital business models and technology transactions as well as IT projects and development cooperations are part of Häuser's expertise.

Intellectual property > Trade marks Tier 1

CMS fields a strong trade mark and design portfolio practice that, alongside strategic advice on portfolio development and management, also includes the representation in counterfeiting, border seizure, parallel import and other infringement procedures. The practice's sector focus lies in the life sciences and consumer goods industries where the group also utilises its cross-practice competence in competition and pharmaceutical-advertising law. The team predominantly advises on cross-border matters and frequently on instructions that concern several foreign jurisdictions, for which the firm is particularly well equipped due to its broad geographical presence in Europe and beyond. The practice is led by Thomas Manderla in Düsseldorf (in and out-of-court representation in IP matters) and Jörn Witt in Hamburg (focus on life sciences). The renowned Gordian Hasselblatt in Cologne is a key figure and considered a main contact for trade mark clearance as well as strategic advice on large trade mark and design portfolios. Ilse Rohr retired in January 2020.

Intellectual property > Unfair competition Tier 1

In the competition law space, CMS is particularly active for life sciences and consumer goods companies which the team primarily advises on marketing and advertising issues. The team around practice heads Thomas Manderla, who is well versed in in- and out-of-court representation, and life sciences specialist Jörn Witt assists numerous large international companies which also benefit from the team's longstanding experience in cross-border matters. The insurance sector is another focus for the group, not least because of its in-house insurance experts and the wealth of experience in trade secret protection matters. For the latter area, the firm developed the three-tiered advice tool CMS PROTECT which is used for the development of protection concepts. The team's key contacts include Heike Blank in Cologne whose special areas of expertise are trade secret violations and product launches. Ilse Rohr retired in January 2020.

Media > Entertainment Tier 1

CMS' strong media practice is leading in its advice to online platforms, content producers and media companies. Its specialisation in contractual and copyright law is at the heart of its advice portfolio and partly rests on the expertise and visibility of lawyers such as Pietro Graf FringuelliOle Jani and practice head Sebastian Cording. The latter has a particular focus on sports law and advises the German football league, UEFA (along the firm network) as well as the World E-Sports Association among others; clients can also rely on his IT knowledge. Regulatory issues, litigation and media transactions are other central pillars of the practice. Patrick Ehinger  is one of the rising stars with regards to design of digital business models as well as acquisition and use of rights and licences for media usage.

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Private equity > Venture capital Tier 1

CMS impresses with a broad practice that acts for all market participants and a presence across numerous German and international offices. The team advises on investment rounds, sales, IPOs, venture debt and EIB financing among other matters. Munich-based Stefan-Ulrich Müller is adept in assisting technology clients and is locally supported by Tilman Weichert and counsel Jessica Mohaupt-Schneider. Other key contacts are Jörg Zätzsch and senior associate Friedrich von Spee. Particularly notable is CMS equIP, a programme that supports startups.

Public sector > Planning and environment Tier 1

CMS' environmental and planning law team is one of the biggest in the market. The group has particular expertise in assisting with complex approval and planning approval procedures for large, environmentally relevant projects, especially in the energy, infrastructure and transport sectors. The practice is strengthened by the close, internal interplay between public law and energy law expertise and various possibilities of cross-practice cooperation. The team is also sought after for compliance matters, particularly in relation to permits for chemical corporations, for instance with regards to immission control, transactions and contaminated sites matters. The firm remains on the pulse of time, thus advising on compensation matters related to the coal phase-out as well as on specific issues pertaining to water law. Christian Scherer-Leydecker and Ursula Steinkemper head the team and Fritz Von Hammerstein is a key contact specifically for advice on coal phase-out.

Public sector > Public procurement Tier 1

Jakob Steiff in Frankfurt and Christian Scherer-Leydecker in Cologne head the broad procurement practice at CMS that focuses on the IT, telecoms, defence, healthcare and infrastructure sectors among others. Particularly with regards to transport and constructions projects, the group occasionally handles large and high-volume ones. The practice can draw on longstanding cooperation with cities and municipalities, such as with the city of Frankfurt, but also advises large industrial corporations that instruct the team with procurement and review proceedings among other matters. The lawyers of the 21-strong team also exhibit their know-how in various procurement law publications.

Real estate and construction > Construction (including construction litigation) Tier 1

CMS' strongly international, eleven-partner construction practice acts with an explicit focus on plant engineering, dispute resolution and project development. While notable national and international corporations from the chemical, oil and gas as well as renewable energy industries frequently instruct practice head Martin Krause's team with contractual and construction law issues related to plant engineering projects, recently it was particularly the Hamburg and Berlin offices that saw an increased need for advice on offshore windparks. This also refers to assistance with disputes, while the renowned team's dispute resolution expertise also includes infrastructure and structural engineering disputes as well as arbitration, adjudication and mediation proceedings. The group also has experience with regards to integrated project management as well as multi-party agreements. In Frankfurt, counsel Katja Küpper is the key contact for private construction law and frequently acts at the interface to public procurement law, while Andreas Roquette is a known figure in the construction sector due to his in and out-of-court experience: notably, he has been appointed as mediator and arbitrator in an increasing number of national as well as international disputes.

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Real estate and construction > Project development Tier 1

Due to an impressively broad interdisciplinary service offering, CMS is able to advise any kind of involved party across the entire life cycle of a project development. The client base, which is predominantly composed of project developers, architectural offices, industrial corporations as well as general contractors, instructs the team around Martin Krause with project management, general planning and general transfer agreements, land acquisitions, project financing as well as user-relevant and litigious matters; Nicolai Ritter in particular increasingly advises on integrated project development as well as on multi-party agreements. While the group generally acts across all asset categories, it has particularly deep expertise in the development of technical plants in the oil, gas, chemical and energy industries.

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Trade and distribution > Trade, distribution and logistics Tier 1

Handling trade disputes and various matters pertaining to distribution systems are at the forefront of CMS' work. Recently, the team expanded its offering to include Covid-19-related matters, such as force majeure clauses, supply freezes and export bans. Gerald Gräfe heads the commercial group and makes regular use of his expertise in the automotive sector and in contract law. The team focuses on consumer goods, technology, mechanical engineering and life sciences and is recognised for its broad know-how: Tobias Bomsdorf specialises in industrial plant contracts, while Robert Budde excels in dealing with Italian distribution law and Italy-related mandates. Franchise law and issues pertaining to selective distribution fall within Peter Endres' area of practice, as do interface issues with IP. The group works closely with other teams, such as with its colleagues from the antitrust practice when handling distribution antitrust law matters, and supports clients with the implementation of legal tech in the context of contract standardisation and automation as well as with compliance issues.

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'Quick feedback, legal know-how, knowledge of our special industry and pragmatic solutions.'

'Basically a very professional work, quick and reliable answers, easy accessibility, friendly staff at all levels and in all areas.'

'Tobias Bomsdorf is technically outstanding, always pragmatically interested in the (economic) solution in the interests of the client, and does not get lost in endless fundamental discussions. First-class written submissions, technically sound, clear on the subject, clear and well structured, precise in the linguistic execution. Good advice and presentation of various alternatives including their evaluation, so that this enables clear decision-making. Very pleasant personal collaboration. '

Transport > Maritime and shipping Tier 1

In addition to day-to-day matters, CMS handles accident and damage cases as well as transactions and projects in the maritime industry. In collaboration with the banking & finance team, the practice offers proven ship finance experience. Other key elements include offshore sector and contentious matters. Jost Kienzle and of counsel Jan Wölper are part of the core team.

Dispute resolution > Arbitration (including international arbitration) Tier 2

CMS' team has extensive expertise in disputes with reference to civil, trade, energy and transport law but the team also handles contentious post-M&A, finance, construction and plant construction matters. The group regularly acts at international level, most recently in Latin America and the Middle East. Nicolas Wiegand, who spends half his time in Hong Kong, is also well versed in arbitration proceedings with reference to Asia; he co-heads the practice with Thomas LennarzMatthias Schlingmann and Andreas Roquette are experienced in disputes on major construction projects, whereas Klaus Sachs is one of the active arbitrators. Dorothee Ruckteschler left the team in the summer of 2020 to establish her own firm.

Dispute resolution > Product liability Tier 2

CMS is well versed in major and serial damage proceedings, but also advises on claim enforcement for damaged companies and on recalls. Most recently, the group defended Daimler in several damages claims proceedings against Diesel-car owners. Tobias Bomsdorf is known as experienced point of contact for industrial insurers, national and international corporations and medium-sized companies. Thomas Lennarz and Nicolas Wiegand head the practice.

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Industry focus > Healthcare and life sciences Tier 2

CMS' strength lies in dealing with pharmaceutical adverting law work. In medicinal products and medical devices law, the team focuses its regulatory advice on market access issues and was able to expand its services to include advice on the approval of medical cannabis products in Germany. Medical care centres are at the core of its transactional work, both in advising investors and clinics, and predominately concerns acquisitions, joint ventures and share purchases. Handling product liability matters constitutes another key area of expertise and includes the representation in contentious proceedings, patent law issues and digital health work; in the last-mentioned segment, clients benefit from the close cooperation with the firm's data protection experts. Jens Wagner in Hamburg heads the international life sciences group and has many years of industry experience in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and food supplements.

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Information technology > Data protection Tier 2

CMS' sector focus is also much appreciated by clients in the data protection space and generates numerous instructions particularly in the banking and life sciences industries while e-commerce and technology companies also form part of its client base. The practice advises these clients on GDPR compliance (increasingly in the context of compliance structures), e-privacy, cookie banners and contract negotiations as well as in proceedings brought on by regulatory authorities. Highly technical matters such as data breach and IT security are also of central importance to the team. The group is spread across Hamburg with practice head Sebastian Cording, Munich with his counterpart Markus Häuser, Cologne and Stuttgart and broadly positioned due to its international integration in the firm's global TMC group. In addition, the firm is also a member of external networks World Law Group and International Technology Law Association.

Real estate and construction > Real estate Tier 2

CMS' strength in real estate matters becomes particularly apparent in high-volume portfolio transactions: the ten-partner team advises on a high number of these in the asset categories housing, commercial, office and healthcare, while most recently instructions from the logistics and hotel sectors predominantly entailed single transactions; the practice's expertise spectrum further spans project developments, real estate structuring as well as asset management. Additionally, the practice, which is traditionally shaped by its international client base,  increasingly focuses on the Asian market, where German institutional investors have a local, Shanghai-based key contact in real estate lawyer  Oliver MaazSebastian Orthmann heads the practice and Heinz-Joachim Kummer assists investors with project developments, real estate transactions as well as financings. 

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Banking and finance > Financial services: regulatory Tier 3

During the reporting period, CMS increasingly assisted financial and payment service providers with licensing procedures and the introduction of new business models, with clients benefiting from Andrea München's expertise in Luxembourg financial supervisory law. This area of expertise also leads to regular instructions from fintechs and established financial services providers on registration procedures and the establishment of e-money models. In addition to providing product-related support and assistance with the introduction of money laundering prevention programmes and internal investigations, where Joachim Kaetzler regularly takes the lead, the team is also experienced in supervisory proceedings.

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Banking and finance > Investment funds Tier 3

CMS' integrated tax and regulatory practice is based on the three cornerstones fund structuring, investor advice and fund-related transactional assistance, including adjacent compliance issues. Within these segments, the focus is on alternative investments such as real estate, infrastructure and renewable energies and, increasingly, VC and PE. Practice head Daniel Voigt has a specialism in alternative investments and regularly takes the lead in mandates pertaining to the structuring of open-end and closed-end funds, while also advising regulated investors on the acquisition of fund investments.

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Banking and finance > Real estate finance Tier 3

CMS advises lenders and borrowers and has seen an increase in mandates from alterative lenders. Many clients from the alternative lending sector call upon André Frischemeier's expertise, who made partner at the beginning of 2020, while the team has also been increasingly active for real estate funds. Its offering includes assistance with the financing and refinancing of individual properties, which regularly have cross-border elements and are at the interface with corporate law. These transactions typically take place in the retail, office, logistics and residential space. Markus Pfaff, who also handles NPL transactions, and Marc Seibold, who acts at the intersection between finance, corporate law and M&A, are the key contacts.

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Capital markets > Equity capital markets Tier 3

CMS mainly advises issuers, but also banks, on the full remit of capital market law including associated matters. This leads to regular instructions on IPOs at the German stock exchange, NASDAQ and Euronext as well as on capital increases, public takeovers and, increasingly, on stock dividends. In addition, the team provides assistance with stock market segment switches and various capital market compliance matters. Andreas Zanner, whose focus lies on work at the intersection between capital market and corporate law, heads the practice from Frankfurt together with Philipp Melzer, who, besides ECM experience, also has expertise in structured financial products and derivatives.

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Compliance Tier 3

Well versed in advising companies from the automotive, IT, energy and mechanical engineering sectors, CMS is frequently called upon to advise on corruption, bribery and money laundering matters, while also providing assistance with the introduction and modification of compliance management systems. In this space, clients not least benefit from the close cooperation across practices and offices. Harald Potinecke, who specialises in product liability law and compliance, heads the practice, which also includes Joachim Kaetzler (banking supervisory law and compliance), Florian Block, who focuses on preventive measures, and Eckart Gottschalk (development of compliance structures and internal investigations). Daniel Kaiser, who handles white-collar crime matters, was made partner in January 2020.

Germany > Consumer goods and food law Tier 3

CMS' international consumer products sector group led by Heike Blank advises various clients in the consumer goods sector on a broad range of topics including food law. Specifically the team handles food labelling, unfair competition and increasingly novel food matters, while at the same time representing clients in complaints by authorities. Cosmetics manufacturers and retailers are also part of the portfolio which shows a growing practice on retail side. A recent niche focus has been advice on hemp products alongside the firm's diverse expertise in related fields such as plant protection law. Sustainability is another central topic among the more recent work highlights, including advice to consumer good manufacturers on issues around recycling, plastic and CO2.

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Corporate and M&A > M&A: mid-sized deals (sub-€500m) Tier 3

The corporate and M&A team at CMS predominantly assists major international corporations, listed companies and family businesses in Germany and abroad with transactions in the mid-sized segment. Buyers as well as sellers are advised on acquisitions, mergers and increasingly on distressed M&A. The team has particular sector expertise in technology, energy, automotive, infrastructure and life sciences; Thomas Meyding in particular has longstanding expertise in the media, automotive and financial sectors. Maximilian Grub in Stuttgart, Ernst-Markus Schuberth in Düsseldorf and Richard Mitterhuber in Munich jointly head the practice.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation Tier 3

One of the best-staffed practices in Germany, CMS assists with a multitude of different proceedings. Among the clients are medium-sized companies, hidden champions and also increasingly large corporations. Recently, the team advised on corporate, post-M&A, D&O liability and infrastructure disputes, which often had cross-border components. Thomas Lennarz is experienced in proceedings pertaining to climate change; he co-heads the practice with Nicolas Wiegand, who divides his time between Hong Kong and Munich. Matthias SchlingmannTilman Niedermaier and Claus Thiery are further points of contact.

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Roland Berger

Intellectual property > Patent litigation Tier 3

CMS has managed to further expand its cooperation with the firm's international offices, thereby positioning its patent litigation practice even better for cross-border disputes. In Europe, the team strengthened its cooperation with offices in London, Spain, France and Benelux jurisdictions, while outside European borders the relationship with Chinese colleagues intensified. The team behind leadership duo Thomas Manderla in Düsseldorf and Jörn Witt in Hamburg also impresses with broad sector expertise, while instructions from automotive companies as well as pharmaceutical and medical products manufacturers continue to represent a high proportion of its caseload. The advice spectrum includes infringement, opposition, nullity and vindication procedures as well as strategic assistance.

Media > Press and publishing Tier 3

CMS' press and freedom of speech team, which also acts in copyright, competition and IP law matters, focuses on the representation of media companies, including publishing and broadcasting companies and online providers, as well as of affected parties, such as financial services providers and politicians. Most recently, Michael Fricke and Martin Gerecke advised affected clients on cases pertaining to false reporting, online reputation damages and privacy violations.

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Private clients and non-profits Tier 3

Private equity > Transactions Tier 3

CMS focuses on the mid-cap sphere where it advises both on national as well as cross-border transactions; additionally, the team is also well versed in portfolio management and distressed M&A. The group is instructed by private equity funds and family offices and has experience in the life sciences, energy and technology industries. Tobias Schneider, who is considered a key contact for buyers and sellers alike, jointly heads the team with Oliver Wolfgramm.

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Public sector > State aid Tier 3

CMS' state aid practice is led by Michael Bauer in Brussels; he is supported by Heinz-Joachim Freund in Frankfurt. The team advises clients on general state aid issues and also represents them before the EU Commission as well as before the European Court of Justice and the General Court of the European Union. The client portfolio includes housing associations of state capitals, big corporations, financial companies and hospitality sector players.

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Restructuring and insolvency > Insolvency Tier 3

The restructuring and insolvency team at CMS, under the leadership of Alexandra Schluck-Amend, advises on both national and international restructuring matters. The group is active in insolvency administration as well as pre-insolvency restructuring. In insolvency procedures, the firm fulfils several roles, either in preliminary stages or as advisor to the debtor, self-administrator, insolvency administrator, shareholder, creditor or investor. Increasingly, the team advises former pre-crisis clients on regular insolvency or self-administration proceedings. With regard to administration, the group is especially experienced in assisting debtors in self-administration, and also in the role of CRO. The team has additional expertise in complex D&O liability matters, evident in the handling of the Maple insolvency. The group expanded its service offering to insolvency administrators, who seek advice on the reappraisal of complex insolvency claims or the enforcement of recovery claims against shareholders and also advises on distressed M&A procedures. 

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Restructuring and insolvency > Restructuring Tier 3

Key elements at CMS are financial restructurings, the negotiation process as well as securing loan agreements with banks and credit consortia for companies or their shareholders. Debtors, self-administrators, insolvency administrators, shareholders, creditors and investors are among the client portfolio. Particularly in demand is the team's expertise in pre-insolvency matters and in asserting creditors' rights, especially international creditors with assistance from the firm's cross-border network. For insolvent or unprofitable companies, the team handles restructuring measures such as insolvency proceedings, management buyout or liquidation. On the increase is the advice to medium-sized companies. Practice head and economist Alexandra Schluck-Amend focuses on internal and external financing and restructuring as well as distressed M&A and is especially well versed in liability matters. In January 2021, senior associate Artur Swierczok joined the new restructuring team at Baker McKenzie as counsel.

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Trade and distribution > Foreign trade law Tier 3

CMS is particularly active in the area of investment control and, thanks to its connections to the Moscow office, is able to offer in-depth sanctions advice on trade with Russia. Hermann Müller, who is one of the team's key contacts alongside Brussels-based Kai Neuhaus, handles foreign trade audits and instructions pertaining to the dual-use regulation. In the contentious space, the team relies on the expertise of white-collar crime expert Daniel Kaiser, who has been part of the team's partner roster since January 2020 and handles, among other matters, administrative fine and criminal proceedings in a foreign trade law setting.

Germany > Antitrust Tier 4

With regards to antitrust law, CMS follows a full-service approach with a focus on merger control. Here, Markus Schöner's department handles merger control investigations and filings on national as well as multi-jurisdictional level; Rolf HempelHarald Kahlenberg and Christian Haellmigk often lead in these matters. Tim Reher is particularly active in cartel damages claims, where the firm acts for both claimants as well as defendants. Practice head Schöner is further adept in distribution antitrust law and with Michael Bauer and Kai Neuhaus, the firm has a direct connection to the firm's European office in Brussels. The client base includes companies from a multitude of sectors including several well-known corporations.

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'CMS has a strong and extremely well-versed antitrust team. All areas of antitrust law are covered. Inquiries are answered comprehensively and with a view to the client's business. The international aspect is also important. CMS can very well operate across borders in Europe. '

'CMS's antitrust law practice is well networked with the other areas of advice, so that advice is also guaranteed that takes peripheral areas into account.'

'Harald Kahlenberg is very competent and extremely thorough.'

'The advice from everyone was excellent at all times. The team is very reliable, not stuck, but open to practical arguments, well-informed and experienced. '

Banking and finance > Lending and borrowing Tier 4

CMS' financing practice receives a steady deal flow of acquisition and corporate finance alongside refinancing mandates from lenders and borrowers, while the team is also experienced in real estate finance. Handling restructuring-related matters constitutes another key element of the practice, which has recently led to several mandates from listed companies that required assistance with the application for and integration of KfW loans. Markus Pfaff and Marc Seibold, who cover the full spectrum of corporate, acquisition and real estate finance, jointly head the practice, which includes André Frischemeier. He was elevated to the partnership at the beginning of 2020 and advises banks and borrowers on the full range of financing matters with a focus on the corporate and real estate sectors and also provides assistance with financial restructurings.

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Banking and finance > Project finance Tier 4

Marc Riede is the key contact for project and asset finance at CMS and specialises in infrastructure and energy sector work with particular emphasis on conventional and renewable energy. In asset finance, his focus lies on rolling stock and ship finance. Clients include national and international banks, leasing companies and investors.

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Compliance > Internal investigations Tier 4

The group at CMS supports German and international companies from sectors such as healthcare, defence and services in internal investigations, for which it makes use of specially developed legal tech tools. In cross-border work, clients benefit from the team's close cooperation with other offices within the firm's network. Practice head Harald Potinecke is experienced in white-collar crime law as well as in dealing with authorities, while Daniel Kaiser regularly advises on tax law matters. Compliance management expert Florian BlockJoachim Kaetzler (banking supervisory law and compliance) and counsel Laura Blumhoff (compliance, internal investigations and white-collar crime) are other key contacts.

Corporate and M&A > M&A: large deals (€500m+) Tier 4

The M&A and corporate team at CMS is jointly led by Maximilian Grub in Stuttgart, Ernst-Markus Schuberth in Düsseldorf and Richard Mitterhuber in Munich. Major corporations, financial investors and companies in Germany as well as abroad seek the firm's advice on large-cap transactions. The practice boasts extensive experience in the energy, infrastructure and telecoms industries. Thomas Meyding is particularly well versed in transactions in the automotive and media sectors, and has additional expertise regarding financing matters.

Insurance > Advice to insurers Tier 4

KPMG Law in Germany counts on legal tech for its comprehensive advice to the insurance sector in areas such as claims settlement and product distribution. The team also advises on run-offs and other transactions as well as asset management and the implementation of sustainability and social responsibility requirements. Ulrich Keunecke, who leads the practice, assists insurers with the structuring of investments under Solvency II and with Brexit-projects. Frank Püttgen joined from CMS in October 2019, advises on regulatory matters with additional expertise in the area of financial lines. Frank Fischer mainly focuses on transactions, and Einiko Franz, who joined the team at the beginning of 2019 from PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft), covers the intersection with tax law.

CMS offers insurance sector clients ongoing advice on their insurance business as well as regulatory and corporate matters. Another more recent focus concerns IT and data protection issues and advice on outsourcing projects. Winfried Schnepp heads the practice and assists insurance companies with their market entry and restructurings; he is also experienced in dispute resolution. He receives support from a counsel duo consisting of Margareta Wolff and Thomas Maur: the former specialises in advising international clients with expertise in private international law matters, whereas the latter is well-versed in insurance marketing.

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Insurance > Insurance litigation Tier 4

Definiton of insurance products, directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) advice as well as settlement of claims are among the key focus areas at CMS. Recently, there was an increased demand for advice on works closure insurance and event cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Practice head Winfried Schnepp also represents in litigation proceedings.

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Germany > Tax Tier 4

The team at CMS receives regular instructions from national and international companies to assist with transactions, most notably in the energy, real estate, telecommunications and IT sectors, which are handled in cooperation with the corporate and M&A teams. Corporate and group taxation work constitutes another central pillar, leading to regular compliance-related mandates and instructions on restructurings and reorganisations. Practice head Heino Büsching has a specialism in these two core segments. In addition to matters at the corporate and transactional interface, the practice also covers matters at the investment law intersection. Tillman Kempf is a key contact for this space, where typical mandates include the structuring of high-volume funds, most notably real estate and renewable energy funds, as well as advising asset owners on the set-up of fund structures. Its offering also includes assistance in disputes with tax authorities.

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Capital markets > Structured finance and securitisation

Due to the cooperation with colleagues from the firm's international network and the integration into the German banking, finance and capital market group, Dentons is able to cover a broad range of topics, leading to a diversified client portfolio. It includes national and international financial institutions, investment funds and alternative investors. This type of work resembles the expertise of practice head Arne Klüwer, which means that the practice regularly advises on various structured finance and distressed transactions. Within the securitisation space, the team covers all asset classes and advises on loans, leasing and trade receivables as well as inflation-indexed leaseholds and discounted cash flows (DCF). Mortimer Berlet, who covers an equally broad range of structured finance, moved to Deutsche Bank in June 2019. The team's interface capabilities with DCM were however strengthened with the arrival of Oliver Dreher from CMS in December 2019.

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Bank Vontobel

Bayern LB

CRX Markets

Deutsche Bank

Hamburg Commercial Bank


PEAC (Germany) GmbH


UniCredit Bank

Volkswagen Financial Services

Wilmington Trust SP Services

Germany > Private clients and non-profits

CMS is regularly instructed by private clients, family business, entrepreneurs and family dynasties on issues pertaining to funds and family assets as well as on art, sports and foundation law, including associated disputes, which are frequently handled on a cross-practice basis. Practice head Christian Blum regularly serves as family officer.

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