Europe

Germany

Corporate/M&A


Germany : AN INTRODUCTION

Contributed by Dr. Torsten Bergau, LL.M. (New York University), Hoffmann Liebs Fritsch & Partner, Düsseldorf, Germany

Recent trends in German M&A 

The German M&A market is picking up again. 2013 was the strongest year since the beginning of the financial crisis, although both the number and volume of deals are still below the peak levels we saw in the years 2005 to 2007. Most market players expect this upward trend to continue. More than half of buyers investing in German companies are based abroad. About 25% of foreign investors are from other EU countries. The single most important country outside the EU for investments in Germany is the US, which accounts for about 10% of all foreign investments. Other countries, primarily China but also Korea and Russia, are becoming increasingly important. In 2013, 2% of companies investing in Germany were from China, and this percentage is likely to increase in the future.

Most common corporate structures 

Limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, GmbH)

The limited liability company is the most common business structure in Germany. More than half of all businesses use this legal form. The GmbH has its own legal personality separate from its shareholders, and its liability is limited to its assets. The minimum share capital required by law is EUR25,000, though significantly higher amounts can often be found in practice. Apart from the shareholders, the only other corporate body comprises the directors, who are appointed by and subject to the instructions of the shareholders.

Company limited by shares (Aktiengesellschaft, AG)

The company limited by shares is predominantly used by listed companies. It too has a legal personality independent of its shareholders. The statutory minimum share capital is EUR50,000. The AG has a dualistic corporate governance structure, with management split between two boards. The managing board is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. The supervisory board appoints, controls and advises the management board. However, neither shareholders nor the supervisory board may instruct the members of the managing board.

Societas Europaea (SE) 

For almost ten years now, EU law has provided for a company limited by shares governed by European law. The Societas Europaea (SE) also has its own legal personality and its liability is limited to its assets. The statutory minimum share capital is EUR120,000. While take-up of the SE in Germany was initially slow, quite a number of mostly multinational undertakings have converted into SEs over the years. As of March 2014, 292 SEs were registered in Germany. However, some of them are now in the process of transforming from an SE back into a German national company form.

Limited partnership 

Leaving aside smaller businesses, the most widespread type of partnership is the limited partnership (GmbH & Co. KG), where the sole general partner is a limited liability company. This structure combines the tax advantages enjoyed by partnerships with the limited liability of the GmbH.

Establishing companies 

Establishing a company in Germany is an efficient process that usually takes just a few weeks to complete. In urgent cases, shelf companies can be acquired in less than 24 hours. Shelf companies are widely used and do not involve particular legal issues.

Selected aspects to be considered in German M&A deals

Employment protection in asset deals 

Germany has implemented the EU Directive relating to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) ('TUPE'). If a business or a part thereof is transferred by means of an asset deal, the employees of the business are transferred to the purchaser with all rights and obligations (including collective and works agreements). However, employees who object to the transfer within one month will remain with the seller. The one-month objection period only starts to run once the parties provide the employees with specific detailed information. German courts have established rigid requirements regarding completeness of this information. If the one-month objection period is not triggered, employees may in principle object to the transfer and argue that they are still employed by the seller even years later. Therefore, particular attention is required when drafting information for the employees.

Formal requirements 

In some cases, German M&A deals require notarisation. Typical deals which must be notarised include share deals involving the transfer of shares in a limited liability company (GmbH) or asset deals involving the transfer of real estate. If notarisation is required, this also applies to all ancillary agreements concluded in close connection with the notarised transaction. Thus, related agreements such as side letters of any kind, employment agreements, distribution agreements and loan agreements must also be notarised. The importance of this aspect is often underestimated. If formal requirements are not satisfied, the entire deal – and not just the ancillary agreements – may be void.

Notarisation requires that a German lawyer duly admitted to practice as a notary reads the entire agreement aloud in front of the parties or their proxies. Generally, all exhibits and ancillary documents must also be read aloud, although exceptions apply. The cost of a German notary depends on the value of the transaction, and may be significant. For instance, in case of a purchase price of EUR60 million, the notary fees may exceed EUR50,000. German M&A deals are often notarised in Switzerland. Over the last couple of years there has been some uncertainty as to whether notarisations carried out in Switzerland are legally effective. In December 2013, however, the German Federal Supreme Court ruled that German M&A deals may be validly notarised in Switzerland. We can therefore expect to see an increasing number of German deals being notarised in Switzerland.

Legal culture 

Germany is a civil law country, which impacts deal-making there. In common law countries it is best practice to set out expressly the terms governing a transaction in the sale agreement, as it is believed that express contractual arrangements provide better protection and greater legal certainty for a buyer. In contrast, documentation in Germany tends to be far less extensive. It will be based on, and incorporate without explicit reference, existing statutory rules. German shareholders wishing to sell their holdings will often find it hard to understand the necessity for express contractual provisions which cover all matters and can lengthen the sale agreement significantly. Nevertheless, an increasing number of German lawyers are familiar with common law concepts and international contractual standards. Many have obtained a postgraduate master’s degree (LL.M.) from a law school in the US or other common law country. Managing and ultimately meeting the expectations of international investors and German shareholders is often the major challenge facing advisers on a deal.

Obviously, cultural gaps between Germans and investors from the Far East may be even larger. Established negotiation patterns in Asian countries often differ from the rather streamlined processes in Germany, where milestones and deadlines are clearly defined. German M&A professionals with fluency in Asian languages are still hard to find. Some German law firms with strong ties to China close these cultural gaps by hiring Chinese lawyers, often double-qualified both in China and in Germany.

Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Corporate/M&A - Germany

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Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 50 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Best known for its capabilities on the corporate side, where it provides boardroom advice to a range of DAX-listed companies, but also active in high-value M&A transactions.

What's new? The team recently won a place on the legal panels of Bayer, Colfax and Deutsche Börse. New clients include BSG Real Estate, Celanese and DIH Deutsche Industrie-Holding. The team continues to grow with lateral hires, most recently taking a partner from Shearman & Sterling.

Work highlights Advised Elster Group as the target of a USD2.3 billion friendly takeover offer by Melrose.

Represented DIH Deutsche Industrie-Holding in the sale of SinnLeffers to fashion house Wöhrl.

Notable practitioners  

The well-respected Hans Diekmann recently arrived at the firm from Shearman & Sterling. His main areas of expertise are M&A and stock corporation law, where he offers advice on issues such as annual general meetings, IPOs and corporate reorganisations.

Hans-Christoph Ihrig is highly focused on board advisory work and enjoys an excellent reputation in this field. Stock corporation and capital markets law are amongst his key specialisms.

Hartmut Krause's recent mandates include advising Tokai Rubber Industries on the acquisition of automotive supplier Anvis from HIG Europe, and advising Deutsche Bank on the acquisition of the asset management arm of Deutsche Postbank.

Clients describe Astrid Krüger as "a very sharp attorney," adding: "She is very organised and client-friendly."

Sources say Michael Ulmer "always has the best interests of the client in mind. He thinks strategically, and provides prompt advice which is well structured and high-quality."

Significant clients Schaeffler, SAP, Deutsche Telekom, Merck, Hapag-Lloyd.

Basic facts about the department
- 25 partners
- 28 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive international reach thanks to a strong global network, with particular activity linked to Chinese inbound investment into Germany. Broadening scope of activity in the domestic market, with various new German corporates as clients. Particular areas of focus include public M&A and restructuring.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Speed, in-depth knowledge of what is important to us, and the quality of the work product. These are the things we look for in external counsel and these are the things we get from Baker."

"We appreciate the fact that the team gave very practical advice and provided enough resources to get the job done in the short amount of time we had. We considered the firm a valued partner for the acquisition."

What's new? New clients for the team include RWE, Serviceplan Group and TVH Group. The group includes a number of new partners thanks to both internal promotions and lateral hires.

Work highlights Advised Weichai Power on its high-profile EUR800 million strategic partnership with KION Group.

Advised Schuler - Beteiligungen on the sale of its 38.5% stake in Schuler, a publicly listed metal forming and processing company, to Austrian technology company Andritz Group.

Notable practitioners  

Florian Kästleis frequently active on projects with a more international scope as well as German-focused mandates and recently led a team advising on the splitting up of a global pharmaceutical company.

Significant clients SAP, Blue Bay Asset Management, Lufthansa, Cummins, Penta Investments.

Basic facts about the department
- 37 partners
- 21 associates

What the team is known for Well-resourced practice with excellent connections to German corporates from the engineering, construction and media sectors. Strong for mid-cap M&A transactions, and also regularly active in major corporate disputes.

Work highlights Advised Amphenol on the acquisition of Edwin Deutgen Kunststofftechnik from entrepreneur Harald Deutgen.

Assisted Deutsche Kreditbank with the sale of DKB Immobilien.

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Thomas Sacher recently advised Bosch on its joint venture with Sortino for the development of tool transport systems.

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises an impressive international client base on corporate questions and M&A transactions. Noted for its energy industry expertise, as well as experience in the telecommunications and IT sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is very structured and helps us do everything step by step. It is also very pragmatic."

What's new? Two partners joined the team. Anbaric Transmission and Haddington Ventures are new client wins.

Work highlights Advised US company Cummins on ongoing commercial and corporate issues related to its German subsidiaries.

Assisted US investor Anbaric Transmission with general corporate law questions, as well as with the structuring of its investment in a grid connection in a German offshore wind park in the North Sea.

Notable practitioners  

Alexander Schröder-Frerkes heads the department and is the main point of contact for all queries.

Significant clients Nuance Communications, Yelp, Castlepines Global Equities, Itella, Fujifilm.

Basic facts about the department
- 24 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Excellent geographical coverage within Germany, with offices in Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Essen. Active practice handling a substantial amount of corporate reorganisations, as well as acquisitions and general corporate advice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"There is a real service mentality at the firm. The lawyers always manage to apply know-how and experience tailored to the business, and always keep the important aspects for the client in mind. The team keeps close contact with the client and is always available and ready to explain complex issues in a way that you can understand clearly. You feel well looked after at all times."

What's new? Tax and M&A expert Jossip Hesse joined the firm.

Work highlights Advised Swarovski on the reorganisation of Kristall Holding.

Assisted GTB Global Trade Berlin with several acquisitions.

Notable practitioners  

Clients praise Hartmut Fromm for his "entrepreneurial spirit," creativity and ability to find effective solutions to legal and commercial problems. Sources also highlight his experience and strategic insight.

Significant clients Wood Group, Krohne Messtechnik, Doosan Babcock Energy, MEWA Textil-Service, Subway International.

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 4 counsel
- 25 associates

What the team is known for Represents an impressive spread of international and domestic companies on cross-border M&A and corporate matters. Frequently draws on the firm's strong finance and capital markets teams for support, and attracts praise from sources for its ability to co-ordinate complex mandates.

Work highlights Represented Helaba in its acquisition of WestLB's Verbundbank business unit, which had total assets valued at some EUR40 billion.

Advised Zur Rose on its acquisition of DocMorris from Celesio.

Notable practitioners

Clients praise Klaus Riehmer for his "strong understanding of complex structures." He led the team handling Helaba's acquisition of Verbundbank, and also advised Publicis Groupe on its acquisition of German company Pixelpark.

Sources highlight Oliver Schröder's proactive and pragmatic style. He recently assisted Zur Rose with its acquisition of Dutch mail-order pharmacy DocMorris from Celesio.  

Significant clients Orascom Construction Industries, Gazprom, Booz & Company, American Express.

Basic facts about the department
- 23 partners
- 36 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Particularly recommended for public takeovers and capital increases. Advises a broad range of German and international clients on cross-border and domestic transactions. Highly visible in energy M&A, benefiting from the knowledge and expertise of the firm's outstanding energy group.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I have worked with Clifford Chance intensively and have been really positively surprised by the service and depth of the team."

"Always available, with a high degree of engagement - we really enjoyed working with the team."

Work highlights Advised Korean corporation Hanwha Chemical on its EUR240 million acquisition of the main assets of Q-Cells from the insolvency administrator.

Assisted Nokia Siemens Networks with the sale of its Business Support Systems business to Canadian company Redknee Solutions.

Notable practitioners  

Arndt Stengel heads the German corporate group. He recently represented EADS in the sale of a 4.8% stake in the company by a banking consortium to KfW Bankengruppe.

Wolfgang Richter's recent mandates include advising Volkswagen on the creation of an integrated automotive group with Porsche.

Respected figure Andreas Dietzel frequently assists global household names with international M&A transactions.

Significant clients American Tower, KfW, Jiangsu Jinsheng Industry, RBS.  

Basic facts about the department
- 108 partners

What the team is known for Offers considerable manpower and undertakes an impressively high volume of M&A transactions. Continues to consolidate its share of the high-end market, having won several big names as new clients in recent months. Visible on both domestic and cross-border mergers and restructuring mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I was very pleased that the lawyers were able to understand a US company so well. They handled the cross-border aspects of the transaction expertly."

"The firm's performance was outstanding - we will definitely choose CMS again."

What's new? Sebastian Becker has been promoted to partner. New clients for the team include AGROFERT Holding, Hewlett-Packard and Firstextile.

Work highlights Represented Mayfair in the cross-border merger of Germanischer Lloyd and DMV.

Advised Telefónica Deutschland Holding on its pre-IPO structuring, reorganisation as an AG and carve-out, as well as on related corporate governance issues. The deal is valued at EUR1.5 billion and is one of the largest German IPOs in recent years.

Notable practitioners  

A source describes Thomas Meyding as "a great lawyer who is really excellent in negotiations," adding: "He knows when to hold back and when to push forward."

Christian von Lenthe is viewed by clients as "a very experienced lawyer and an excellent team manager."

Significant clients K+S, Milch-Union, E.ON, Schuler, Neckermann, Hewlett-Packard.

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Compact practice which is a popular choice for US clients doing business in Germany. Active on a range of issues in this area, including cross-border public M&A and merger-related squeeze outs.

Work highlights Assisted AIG with the takeover of listed real estate company AIRE, as well as with the subsequent merger-related squeeze-out of minority shareholders. This was one of the first merger-related squeeze outs in Germany.

Advised 3W Power Holdings on a public takeover offer by Andrem Power.

Notable practitioners  

Sources pick out Peter Wand for his "outstanding knowledge of the subject matter and client service." A client adds: "He has very creative suggestions for solutions and the results of his work are high-quality."

Significant clients The Carlyle Group, Dover Corporation, AXA, Najafi, Cabka.

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 6 associates

What the team is known for Moves up the rankings this year thanks to exceptional feedback for commercial understanding and commitment to client service. Recent work includes advice on domestic and cross-border M&A, as well as major restructurings. Primarily active on behalf of German and US clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team thought about the customer, was very flexible, and did an unbelievably good job legally in supporting negotiations."

"It is clear that the firm either has a unique gift for finding talent or expends tremendous effort in doing so, because it is populated with quick-thinking and clever people."

What's new? The team includes a number of new partners thanks to promotions and lateral hires.

Work highlights Advised Aegis Industrial Software on its acquisition of diplan Group in Germany and the Shanghai-based diplan Asia.

Assisted REWE Touristik with corporate matters related to the sale of hotel groups and facilities in Spain.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say top-ranked practitioner Federico Pappalardo is "very good at preparing negotiations and outlining a road map of where we want to get to. He has tremendous market feeling."

Sources highlight Sven Schulte-Hillen's commercial awareness as well as his legal expertise, stating: "It goes without saying that he is a very good corporate lawyer, but he is also very good on financial and fiscal issues." He also receives praise for his quick turnaround times and responsiveness.

Katja Heuterkes impresses clients with her responsiveness and detailed, thorough advice, as well as her ability to explain complicated legal issues clearly and simply.

Interviewees single out Berthold Hummel's business understanding as one of his main strengths: "He has a background in business so his understanding of deals and the law is not merely academic. He understands the client's business drivers – he can craft better strategy and speak with business clients in a manner that yields results quickly."

Significant clients HeidelbergCapital Asset Management, motain, NORMA Group, XLrator Media.

Basic facts about the department
- 50 partners
- 4 counsel
- 120 associates

What the team is known for Market-leading global firm with exceptional strength in cross-border and domestic transactions. Top choice for large, complex matters requiring expertise in regulated industries such as energy, finance and infrastructure. Able to provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of a deal thanks to support from other top-ranked departments such as dispute resolution and tax.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Always fast, thorough and excellent quality work. The lawyers are very service-minded."

"The team does a fantastic job on the technical side."

Work highlights Represented E.ON in the EUR1.3 billion sale of its interest in Slovakian energy company SPP to Czech energy company Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH).

Advised KfW on its EUR1.7 billion purchase of a stake in EADS. This was a high-profile deal involving the firm's Dutch and French offices in addition to the German team.

Notable practitioners  

Andreas Fabritius is widely acknowledged as a leading figure in the market. Sources say: "His wealth of experience enables him to find very creative solutions."

Matthias-Gabriel Kremer's scope of expertise covers public and private M&A and corporate reorganisations. He recently advised BWK on automotive parts company Mahle's acquisition of a majority shareholding in cooling systems manufacturer Behr.

Sources describe Christoph Seibt as a "knowledgeable and elegant lawyer." He recently represented CVC Capital Partners in the sale of a 62% stake in Elster Group to Melrose.

Department head Christoph von Bülow is considered an extremely strong corporate lawyer. He formed part of the team advising on E.ON's sale of its interest in SPP to EPH.  

Interviewees view Nils Matthias Koffka as an active figure in the market, particularly on the private equity side.

Ludwig Leyendecker's recent highlights include advising EQT on its EUR1.8 billion acquisition of BSN Medical.

Stephan Waldhausen recently advised Oerlikon Group on the sale of its natural fibres and textile components business units to Jinsheng Group. Clients describe him as a "fantastic guy – very pragmatic, and smart in terms of interpersonal skills."

Marius Berenbrok recently assisted the Albert-Ballin Konsortium with its acquisition of Hapag-Lloyd shares.

Significant clients Continental, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp.

What the team is known for Handles the full range of corporate matters, including establishing companies, structural reorganisations and shareholder meetings, as well as joint ventures and M&A. Can also advise on transactions with a cross-border element thanks to close links with firms around the world.

Notable practitioners  

Heads of department Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer are key contacts for the practice.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly active in cross-border M&A, with a strong focus on transactions involving the USA, Russia and China. Works closely with the firm's Munich IP and antitrust teams on strategic investments and joint ventures requiring a high level of understanding of the technology industry. Additionally offers corporate governance advice to German and international clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is extremely professional in all areas, covering legal matters and commercial and economic issues."

"The speed of response and accuracy are excellent." 

Work highlights Advised Giesecke & Devrient on the formation of a joint venture with ARM and Gemalto.

Advised shareholders of 3D Shape on M&A and corporate issues during its sale to ISRA VISION.

Notable practitioners  

Clients praise Benno Schwarz for his "speed of response and accuracy."

Significant clients Siemens Enterprise Communications, Armacell, GE Capital, Intel, Trinseo.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners 
- 2 counsel  
- 5 associates

What the team is known for Successful boutique with a growing reputation in the market for both corporate and competition work. Appreciated for an ability to ensure high levels of partner attention, as well as for an efficient and direct approach.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The lawyers see themselves not just as legal counsel, but also as consultants who are interested in the client's desires and able to present alternative approaches to find the best solution."

Work highlights Advised Franz Haniel & Cie. on the private placement of Celesio shares over the course of an accelerated book-building process.

Notable practitioners  

Achim Glade, one of the founding partners of the firm, is a corporate lawyer with experience in joint ventures and M&A, as well as public takeovers. He regularly advises investors, DAX-30 companies and large family offices.

Basic facts about the department
- 33 partners
- 70 associates

What the team is known for Highly regarded for all aspects of public M&A and corporate governance work. Increasingly involved in distressed M&A and advisory work linked to issues such as the German Securities Takeover and Securities Trading Acts. Boasts an impressive client base comprising domestic and international corporates from a variety of industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team has an excellent commercial understanding of what is really important, which makes a real difference in contract negotiations."

Work highlights Assisted German forklift manufacturer KION with Chinese conglomerate Shandong Heavy Industry's widely reported direct investment.

Advised the German government on changes to EADS's shareholder structure.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Christian Cascante remains highly sought for public M&A transactions. His recent highlights include advising on Shandong Heavy Industry's investment in KION.

Gerhard Wirth is praised for his considerable expertise and experience in corporate transactions. He recently advised Infineon Technologies on its defence against a claim brought by insolvency administrator Yesffe relating to alleged liability for capital shortfall.

Gerhard Wegen is recognised for his strength in cross-border M&A. His recent highlights include acting for Groupe Auchan on the EUR1.1 billion purchase of Real's Eastern European business from METRO.

Clients describe Jan Bauer as "clear-minded and energetic, with great communication skills and the ability to manage all interests really well." 

Ralf Morshäuser is known for his focus on distressed M&A. Clients say he is "smart and will fight your corner."

Respected practitioner Alexander Schwarz recently advised on the sale of a number of subsidiaries of Alpiq Anlagentechnik belonging to VINCI Energies. 

Significant clients Blackstone, Primark, Celesio, Pfleiderer, Axel Springer, Ferrostaal.  

Basic facts about the department
- 20 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly visible on restructuring mandates thanks to the firm's considerable experience of matters linked to distressed companies, as well as being notably active on mid-cap classical M&A involving German Mittelstand companies. Particular expertise in the automotive, energy and communication software industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very high-quality work and quick turnarounds."

What's new? DIHAG Group and SSW Industries are amongst the practice's new clients. The firm opened a new office in Hamburg.

Work highlights Represented Sagemcom in its acquisition of Fröschl Group.

Advised SSW Industries on the acquisition of all assets of Fagerdala AG, an automotive supply company, including advice on the creation of its new corporate structure.

Notable practitioners 

Department head Wolfgang König is the key contact.

Significant clients HUK Coburg, HP Pelzer, MVV Energie, Gebrüder Weiss, PubliCare.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Active in M&A and corporate advisory for businesses ranging from family-owned businesses to listed corporates. Praised by clients for corporate compliance expertise and negotiation capabilities.

What's new? New clients include Ferrostaal and GIGASET.

Work highlights Advised Ferrostaal on a comprehensive review of its compliance system.

Represented Vestey Foods in its disposal of Rari Foods.

Notable practitioners  

Clients describe Andreas von Oppen as an "excellent lawyer" who is strong for both corporate advisory work and M&A. He recently advised Swedish company Elanders on its acquisition of dom and fotokasten.

Significant clients Houlihan Lokey, Xella.

Basic facts about the department
- 29 partners
- 27 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Best known for real estate M&A, where it is particularly active on share deals. Additional areas of expertise include corporate compliance and M&A linked to restructurings. Excellent coverage of the German market, with offices in Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Heidelberg.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team had an excellent understanding of the topic, and the feelings and needs of the other party – everything went very smoothly."

Work highlights Advised Pembroke Real Estate on the acquisition of the Maximilianhöfe in the centre of Munich by way of a share deal.

Assisted Deutsche Mittelstandholding with the creation of a corporate structure.

Notable practitioners 

Andreas Bauer heads the department from the firm's Munich office.

Significant clients Lufthansa, MIB AG Immobilien und Beteiligungen, Deutsche Bildung, BIM Berliner Immobilien-management.

What the team is known for Excellent reputation for mid-cap corporate work, particularly in the Stuttgart area. Advises listed companies, mid-sized and family-run businesses on a variety of issues, including mergers, restructurings and reorganisations, as well as shareholder issues and annual general meetings.

Work highlights Represented Oberschwäbische Elektrizitätswerke in negotiations with the State of Baden-Württemberg regarding a potential new ownership structure for EnBW. 

Notable practitioners  

Sources describe Peter Mailänder as "a great guy and an excellent lawyer." 

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly active in international M&A, with substantial experience representing clients from the USA and UK as well as Germany. Additional activity includes assisting with major restructurings and advising listed clients on shareholder meetings. Praised for an ability to handle multi-jurisdictional deals, as well as for its practical advice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"There's nothing I'd fault the team on. Everything was quick, on budget and commercial – I got the support I needed. Lots of experience of how things work in this market."

"The team gives practical advice - I appreciate the lawyers' common-sense advice and guidance."

What's new? M&A specialist Sven Schweneke was promoted to partner.

Work highlights Advised DuPont on the German aspects of the USD4.9 billion sale of DuPont Performance Coatings to The Carlyle Group.

Represented United Drug in its takeover of Celesio subsidiary Pharmexx.

Notable practitioners  

Matthias Heisse is a highly regarded corporate lawyer. He recently led the group's involvement in the sale of DuPont Performance Coatings.

Significant clients Parker Hannifin, 3M, Insight Technology Solutions, EADS, AZ Electronic Materials.

What the team is known for Widely acknowledged as one of the outstanding corporate firms in Germany in terms of both breadth of expertise and client service. At its best on complex M&A transactions in regulated sectors such as telecoms, financial services, energy, healthcare and insurance. Assists major German and international companies with corporate governance and board advisory questions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The quality is excellent across the board. The firm has a great service mentality, with no gimmicks – it is confident in what it can do and very easy to work with."

"The Hengeler team is one of the best I've come across - very high-quality."

"For more difficult transactions Hengeler would be my first choice." 

Work highlights Advised Weichai Power on its acquisition of a 25% stake in KION Group and a 70% stake in KION's hydraulics business. 

Assisted Axel Springer with its conversion into a Societas Europaea.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Hoffmann-Becking is widely acknowledged as a star corporate lawyer. Clients say: "He is the doyen of company law and corporate governance."

Clients describe top-ranked Maximilian Schiessl as a "wise adviser with broad practical experience." A prominent figure for both M&A and company law advice, he recently advised Lagardère on the reduction of its participation in EADS.

Interviewees consider Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain one of the very best M&A lawyers in the German market, saying: "He really has the whole package – extremely good in negotiations, smart, eloquent, and not at all arrogant. When you have an urgent situation you would always think of him first."

Sources rate Gerd Krieger extremely highly for his knowledge of corporate law, combined with "excellent business judgement and a deep understanding of economic relationships." 

Andreas Austmann moves up in the rankings thanks to excellent feedback from interviewees. He recently advised Axel Springer on its annual general meeting and conversion into a Societas Europaea.

Rainer Krause's recent work includes advising Fresenius, Deutsche Telekom and IVG on general corporate issues.

Sources describe Jochen Vetter as "pragmatic but with very deep legal knowledge – certainly someone I could always recommend." He recently advised Henkel and Linde on their annual general meetings.

Experienced practitioner Oleg de Lousanoff recently advised JCDecaux on its acquisition of a 25% stake in Russ Outdoor.

Daniel Wiegand formed part of the team advising E.ON on the high-profile sale of Open Grid Europe.

Significant clients ThyssenKrupp, Porsche, Melrose, Fresenius, Achmea.

What the team is known for Stable position in the German mid-market, with a solid transactional and corporate practice and excellent links to Mittelstand clients across Germany. Noted for bench strength and broad geographical coverage. Clients from a variety of backgrounds, including the engineering and automotive sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Well organised, very responsive and available at any time."

"A very precise and pragmatic approach - the team is fast and reliable."

Work highlights Advised Neumayer Tekfor Holding on its sale in a bidding procedure.

Acted for Mackprang Holding on the sale its logistics division to TST Group Worms.

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" Andreas Urban's recent highlights include advising shareholders of one of the largest German media groups on its reorganisation.

Adi Seffer recently advised Steadfast Capital on the sale of Kautex Group.

Significant clients Sana Kliniken, Odewald KMU, Bioeton Deutschland, Celenus, J.P. Sauer & Sohn Maschinenbau.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners  
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Successful practice covering MBOs, mid-cap M&A and distressed deals. Recognised for its strong focus on the technology industry, where it has substantial experience advising investors. Also popular amongst clients from the fashion industry.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very strong in the technology sector and on private equity deals." 

Work highlights Advised listed company Tom Tailor on its acquisition of the Bonita Group, additionally assisting with the financing aspects of the transaction.

Advised Investcorp on the sale of Armacell to Charterhouse. 

Notable practitioners  

The vastly respected Thomas Heymann recently advised Toshiba on the EUR1 billion acquisition of the German RSS business unit from IBM, and assisted Tom Tailor with its acquisition of the Bonita Group.

Significant clients Toshiba, HarbourVest, Alpha, Nero, Jost-Werke, Dolby Laboratories.

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Respected practice representing organisations ranging from small domestic companies to listed international groups. Cited for a high level of partner attention, efficiency and value for money. Notable activity in the energy sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We are very satisfied – the quality of the advice the firm gives us is very high. Even tasks given at short notice are handled quickly and thoroughly."

Work highlights Advised Nürburgring Automotive and Lindner Group on the restructuring of the motor sport resort.

Assisted PGNiG Sales & Trading with its acquisition of XOOL.

Notable practitioners 

Clients say Björn Neumeuer has "excellent technical knowledge and a lot of experience in M&A transactions." He also receives praise for the highly pragmatic nature of his advice.

Significant clients SUMEC Europe, Technotrans, UDG United Digital Group, Rheinenergie, PNE Wind.

Basic facts about the department
- 25 partners 
- 48 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Benefits from the firm's strength in regulated industries such as energy, insurance and finance, where it is frequently visible handling significant M&A transactions. Also recognised on the corporate side for its specialist focus on listed stock corporations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We would definitely recommend the team for corporate work. It was a perfect project and great to have the lawyers on board." 

Work highlights Advised the independent board members of Elster Group on the company's USD2.3 billion acquisition by Melrose.

Represented the Bundesanstalt für Finanzmarkstabilisierung in the final restructuring of WestLB.

Notable practitioners  

Well-regarded department head Christoph Louven recently advised Ametek on the acquisition of the Dunkermotoren Group from Triton.

Significant clients Sky Deutschland, Deutsche Börse, ExxonMobil, Deutsche Telekom, Hannover Re.

Basic facts about the department
- 20 partners  
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Growing team regularly advising large domestic and international corporates. Particularly visible on US-German M&A and private equity deals. Notable corporate finance offering.

What's new? The firm has recruited a number of new corporate partners. New clients include Ahlstrom and Bayer.  

Work highlights Advised Goldman Sachs on the takeover of DNick Holding, a UK company listed on several German stock exchanges, by Wickeder Westfalenstahl.

Notable practitioners  

Ansgar Rempp heads the team. His recent mandates include advising Chinese state-owned company Sinomach on its acquisition of MAG Europe.

Significant clients SAP, Mitsui Chemicals, OM Group, Merz Pharmaceuticals.

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 8 associates

What the team is known for Compact team with a strong private equity and M&A focus. Regularly advises private equity funds and corporates from the USA and Germany on acquisitions, disposals and reorganisations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Creative and commercial – the team offers strong support." 

Work highlights Represented cable operator Telecolumbus in its EUR603 million sale to Kabel Deutschland.

Advised Synteract on its acquisition of the Munich-based Harrison Clinical Research Group.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say department head Volker Kullmann is "very sharp and efficient; he gets the big picture, but also digs into the details." He receives additional praise for his solution-oriented approach.

Significant clients Irving Place Capital, Martinrea International, Rodenstock, TeleColumbus, Teva.

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 3 counsel
- 26 associates

What the team is known for Full-service team handling major public and private transactions. Works closely with the firm's respected restructuring practice, with frequent involvement in distressed M&A. Highly regarded for deals in regulated industries, including healthcare and energy.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We were extremely happy – we received exactly the expertise we were in need of. I don't think we were at any point disappointed with the work Latham did for us."

What's new? The firm has recruited a number of respected partners from Shearman & Sterling.

Work highlights Represented Q-Cells and its insolvency administrator in its sale to the South Korean Hanwha Group.

Advised the supervisory board of Rhön-Klinikum on Fresenius' public takeover attempt.

Notable practitioners  

Harald Selzner recently joined the firm's new Düsseldorf office from Shearman & Sterling. Impressed clients say: "He's really good – a smart guy and someone I like to do business with because he is frank, open and direct. Working with him is always a pleasure." 

Dirk Oberbracht receives praise from clients for his extensive knowledge and experience of public M&A.

Henning Schneider has an excellent reputation for healthcare M&A. Sources praise his industry expertise: "He has a very deep knowledge of all questions of legal importance in a transaction - he concentrates on the sector, so you don't have to start from zero when you work together."

Rainer Wilke recently arrived at the newly established Düsseldorf office from Shearman & Sterling. He advises major multinationals on topics including M&A, restructurings and group reorganisations.  

Public M&A specialist Wilhelm Reinhardt impresses clients with his "high technical capabilities and excellent practical know-how." Interviewees add: "He has a very calm and balanced way of discussing issues, and most importantly, everything ends well when we work with him."

Significant clients Advent International, DAK-Gesundheit, Deutsche Bank, Lenovo, Perella Weinberg.

Basic facts about the department
- 26 partners
- 75 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A top choice for cross-border M&A, with clients praising its ability to co-ordinate deals in a variety of jurisdictions. Provides advice to a mix of DAX-30 and international companies from a range of industries. Regularly involved in the jurisdiction's headline mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"We appreciate the team's strong empathy with the client’s objectives, and the great relationship-building skills of the partners. The lawyers are approachable and not overbearing in their counsel."

"We completed the entire deal, from negotiating to structuring, in six weeks. It was only possible in such a short timeframe because of Linklaters' support. The team was quite instrumental and provided a really excellent service."

What's new? Staffan Illert was promoted to partner, and Wilhelm Haarmann joined the firm. The group recently won a place on Bayer's legal panel.

Work highlights Assisted ThyssenKrupp with the disposal of steel works in Brazil and the USA.

Advised leading Austrian electricity supplier VERBUND on an asset swap with E.ON.

Notable practitioners  

Esteemed practitioner Hans-Ulrich Wilsing is praised for his corporate advisory and transactional offering. His recent highlights include representing Douglas Holding in its public takeover by Advent International.

Ralph Wollburg remains one of the most highly regarded figures in the German market. A recent mandate saw him advise E.ON on the increase of its stake in MPX.

M&A specialist Achim Kirchfeld recently formed part of the team advising ThyssenKrupp on its disposal of steelworks in Brazil and the USA.

Clients describe Rainer Traugott as "a great negotiator and a very likeable person who offers excellent quality." His recent mandates include advising Siemens on its acquisition of Invensys's railway business.

Significant clients RWE, Federal-Mogul, Heraeus Holding, Wuhan Iron & Steel, Siemens.

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Active practice regularly handling impressive deals in the mid-market. Notable strength in the energy sector. Clients including SMEs, international groups and private equity investors.

What's new? The firm won places on the M&A panels of Deutsche Post and Amazon.com. 

Work highlights Advised Hitachi Power Europe on its acquisition of Xervon Energy from Remondis.

Represented Armand Group in its sale of all shares in Revell.

Notable practitioners  

Thomas Kuhnle is the main contact for the firm's M&A team.

Significant clients ArcelorMittal, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Adolf Würth, Remondis.

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Specialises in cross-border transactions, particularly those involving Asian and US clients. Regularly advises both German and international corporate groups, as well as leading financial institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is very well organised, very professional, very efficient and client-oriented. The lawyers are always available, even at the oddest times."

Work highlights Advised Chinese company Hanergy on the acquisition of various German solar companies.

Assisted Fresenius Kabi with the acquisition of Fenwal Holdings.

Notable practitioners

Friedrich Merz heads the German corporate practice at the firm and is the main contact for all queries.

Significant clients Avedon Capital Partners, Gulf Oil, Lone Star, WEPA, Caterpillar.

What the team is known for Corporate boutique located in Munich, recognised for its strength advising small and mid-sized companies on matters such as capital increases, annual general meetings and IPOs. Also able to advise on takeovers and M&A transactions.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Thomas Mayrhofer's field of expertise encompasses IPOs and other capital markets transactions, annual general meetings and takeovers.  

Basic facts about the department 
- 18 partners
- 1 counsel
- 13 associates

What the team is known for Noted mid-cap M&A offering, with a strong focus on strategic buyers from the German Mittelstand. Highly recommended for work with family-run and entrepreneurial companies, and for the ability to handle complex transactions with aplomb.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm has a pleasant and cooperative approach – the lawyers have a very good way of giving the owner of a company the feeling he is well advised."

What's new? The firm has recently hired and promoted a number of new corporate partners in Germany.  

Work highlights Represented Intersnack Group in its acquisition of KP Snacks, United Biscuits' salty snacks unit.

Advised United Initiators on the acquisition of Syrgis Performance Initiators.

Notable practitioners  

Christian von Sydow has broad experience of M&A, corporate disputes and board advisory issues. He recently advised Beretta on its acquisition of Laser Device.

Significant clients Heckler & Koch, Honeywell, DMK Milchkontor, Pfeifer & Langen, Walter Dorwin Teague Associates.

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-regarded group which is popular with international and German clients. Valued for exposure to the US market and praised for the consistent quality of its practitioners. Well equipped to advise on corporate matters as well as M&A and takeovers.

Work highlights Assisted ProSiebenSat.1 with the sale of its television and radio operations in Northern Europe.

Advised new client Eifeler Holding on the sale of its tool coating business to the voestalpine Group.

Notable practitioners  

Norbert Rieger is widely acknowledged as one of the outstanding members of the practice. Clients say: "He's an excellent negotiator. He's also very business-oriented and no-frills – you get a high level of partner exposure, which is fantastic and completely worth the money."

Peter Nussbaum comes recommended for auction situations, with interviewees saying: "He is always a good choice for work on the bidder side." His recent mandates include advising RHJ International on its acquisition of BHF-Bank from Deutsche Bank.

Sources describe Martin Erhardt as a "reliable and commercially minded" lawyer. He advised Axel Springer Media on the acquisition of 75% of the shares in Onet.pl.

Significant clients Sky Deutschland, LGT Group, Didier-Werke, Gentherm.

Basic facts about the department
- 41 partners  
- 46 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Particular strength in public takeovers and M&A involving the e-commerce, healthcare and real estate sectors. Active on an impressive number of domestic as well as cross-border transactions, with a notable focus on inbound Chinese investment deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Reactive and proactive, offering really in-depth analyses of corporate and contractual implications. The lawyers are extremely good technicians with excellent business sense. They know exactly how to translate strategy into legal language."

What's new? Stephan Schulz joined the firm from Linklaters, and a number of corporate lawyers were promoted to partner internally.

Work highlights Assisted Austrian technology company Andritz with its EUR600 million takeover of listed metal-forming company Schuler.

Advised the founding shareholders and Insight Venture Partners on the EUR477 million sale of trivago to Expedia.  

Notable practitioners  

Alexander Ritvay is a managing partner at the firm. He recently formed part of the team advising on the sale of trivago to Expedia.

M&A specialist Thomas Schulz's recent highlights include representing US private equity firm Apollo in its acquisition of a German office portfolio from Capita Asset Services.

Significant clients GBW, TAG Immobilien, Lone Star, Pfleiderer, Veolia.

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 45 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Enters this year's rankings following strong market feedback for each of the firm's German offices. Clients are international as well as domestic and come from a range of sectors, including financial services, transport and life sciences. Handles issues such as restructuring and corporate compliance alongside M&A.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We are extremely happy with the team's attention to detail. The lawyers draft fabulously in English and German, are very responsive and thorough in their advice, and really take time to understand the issues at hand and our business. They always keep us informed and updated."

What's new? Following Norton Rose's recent merger with Fulbright & Jaworski, the corporate practice has gained a number of new lawyers. Three German corporate practitioners were promoted to partner.

Work highlights Advised Swedish freight ferry operator Stena Line Scandinavia on the acquisition of five ferry routes from German shipping company Scandlines.

Represented the sole shareholder in Instrument Systems in the sale of the entire business, including subsidiary Optronik Berlin, to Konica Minolta Optics.

Notable practitioners  

Klaus Bader, Frank Regelin and Klaus von Gierke lead the team from Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg respectively.

Significant clients Berenberg Bank, Veolia Verkehrs, Voxx International, GrainCorp Operations.

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Independent German firm advising an impressive roster of clients on cross-border, high-end M&A transactions and general corporate issues, regularly collaborating with fellow members of its international law firm network. Trusted adviser to a range of leading multinationals, particularly those of US origin.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Oppenhoff is one of the strongest independent German firms, with a loyal and impressive list of corporate clients. It provides consistently strong advice across its core practice areas and provides a high level of partner involvement."

Work highlights Advised a US institutional investor on a global private placement of shares in German speciality chemicals manufacturer Evonik Industries.

Represented Swedish-headquartered group Nederman Holding in its acquisition of US company Environmental Filtration Technologies (EFT), which has subsidiaries inter alia in Germany, Australia and France.

Notable practitioners  

Clients praise Georg Maier-Reimer for his long-standing experience, noting: "He knows everything about German M&A law you could possibly know, as well as other areas of law you wouldn't expect an M&A lawyer to know about. He also understands the commercial aspects of M&A transactions really well."

Hans Rolf Koerfer remains a well-regarded and active figure in the German market, with noted expertise in the insurance industry.

Significant clients Balfour Beatty, Schaeffler, Johnson Controls, Vaillant, Argos Group.

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 33 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly sought after for transactions with private equity and fund-structuring elements, and increasingly active advising on management participation schemes. Enjoys an excellent reputation amongst German and international private equity clients.

Work highlights Advised the management of KION on Weichai's EUR738 million acquisition of a 25% stake in the company.

Represented Equistone Partners in its acquisition of Sunrise Medical from Vestar Partners.

Notable practitioners  

Reinhard Pöllath remains one of the best-known lawyers in the German market, with a long-standing and distinguished reputation.

Clients say renowned M&A practitioner Matthias Bruse is "capable, reliable, and an excellent negotiator who is great at negotiating with third parties in the interests of his clients."

Significant clients Apax Partners, Deutsche Beteiligungs, VR Equitypartner, Körber, ZF Friedrichshafen.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 2 counsel
- 4 associates

What the team is known for New entrant to the German market, ranked for the first time thanks to excellent feedback from interviewees. Particularly praised for its extensive international resources and understanding of clients' businesses.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm's international network is outstanding."

What's new? The firm opened its first German office, in Munich, in July 2012.

Work highlights Assisted German biotech company Strube with a number of transactional and corporate advisory matters.

Advised ophthalmology laser company Technolas Perfect Vision on its acquisition by Bausch & Lomb.

Notable practitioners  

Rainer Kreifels heads the department and is the main contact for queries.

Significant clients Hyland Software, Time Equity Partners, Trilogy Enterprises.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Berlin-based corporate team with a strong reputation for mid-cap transactions, particularly those involving the energy sector, where the firm offers in-depth regulatory expertise. Instructed on cross-border deals as well as German transactions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The Raue lawyers are very efficient; if you need something done under time pressure they work in an extremely fast and focused manner. Always to the point."

"Quick, on time, and very high-quality work." 

What's new? New clients for the practice include Sixt and NHST Media Group.

Work highlights Assisted municipal gas supplier GASAG Berliner Gaswerke with its search for a strategic partner for subsidiary BEGA.tec.

Advised science publisher Walter de Gruyter on the acquisition of Oldenbourg WissenschaftsVerlag and Akademie Verlag by Franz Cornelsen Bildungsgruppe.

Notable practitioners  

Andreas Nelle remains a firm favourite with clients, who say: "What is outstanding about him in particular is his ability to combine excellent legal knowledge with great business understanding." He also receives praise for his "very consistent and thorough work."

Significant clients Sixt, MTS Incoming and Touristic Services, Bundesdruckerei, ESK Ceramics, Gläserne Meierei.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Compact team with a strong focus on advising international corporates on their investments in the German market. Equipped to advise on all aspects of corporate law and M&A transactions, including reorganisations, joint ventures and distressed deals.

Work highlights Advised new client Fong's Industries on the acquisition of the Monforts Group, including various international subsidiaries and a joint venture in China.

Notable practitioners  

Justus Binder, Michael Fischer and Stephan Rippert are the main points of contact for the practice.

Significant clients WHEB Partners, CIBT, Imclone, sTec.

What the team is known for Hamburg-based boutique with a strong reputation for corporate law, particularly stock corporation matters. Other areas of expertise include M&A, private equity acquisitions and venture capital investments.

Work highlights Represented Adiuva Capital in its takeover of vitamin manufacturer Ascopharm.

Advised Dutch investor Panta Holdings on its acquisition of Bremen-based aviation company OLT Express Germany.

Notable practitioners  

Ulf Renzenbrink is a respected and visible figure in the German market. He recently advised HOCHTIEF on the sale of its 45.45% stake in the operating company of a Chilean toll road to Brookfield.

Basic facts about the department
- 23 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Recognised in the market for providing excellent transactional support to family-owned and Mittelstand companies. Particularly visible on strategic acquisitions and disposals, both domestically and abroad. Refined expertise in sectors including real estate and renewable energy.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We are very satisfied. The team has a structured way of working, is able to cover all the practice areas required and communicates with us well."

Work highlights Acted for Austrian-headquartered company Tyrolit Group on its acquisition of German abrasives manufacturer Burka-Kosmos.

Advised shareholders of the Liebmann Group and subsidiaries MGlas and MG Sterile Products on a takeover by Nipro Corporation.

Notable practitioners 

Michael Wiehl heads the department and is the main point of contact for all queries.

Significant clients IPSAK, EnviCon Holding, Strasser Capital, Viessmann Kältetechnik, Schwesternschaft München vom Bayerischen Roten Kreuz.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 1 counsel
- 9 associates 

What the team is known for Remains a recognised name in the market despite recent departures. Strong focus on cross-border M&A transactions carried out by leading domestic and international clients, particularly those originating in China. Scope of activity encompasses share buy-backs, squeeze outs, mergers of equals, takeovers and defence strategies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"The team is able to mobilise its employment and antitrust experts across Europe, which is particularly useful for acquisitions of international companies."

Work highlights Advised E.ON on the sale of its Hungarian gas storage and trading activities to state-owned energy group MVM Hungarian Electricity.

Advised Aabar Investments on the sale of a 9.1% stake in Daimler.

Notable practitioners  

"Outstanding lawyer" Georg Thoma is unanimously recognised for his long-standing experience and tremendous reputation in the corporate field. 

Sources describe Thomas König as "highly professional and solution-oriented." He recently advised Gasunie on its proposed acquisition of OpenGrid Europe.

Significant clients Allianz, Daimler, The Carlyle Group, Sany, Continental.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong focus on cross-border M&A, frequently collaborating with colleagues from other European offices and the USA. Praised for its international network and ability to quickly draw on expertise from different practice areas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We need people who are deal drivers, who can make things work – this is what the firm offers."

Work highlights Acted for Hillenbrand on its USD530 million acquisition of Coperion Capital, a manufacturer of industrial machinery and plants, from Deutsche Beteiligungs.

Represented Rain CII Carbon in its EUR702 million acquisition of the RÜTGERS group.

Notable practitioners  

Respected department head Matthias Jaletzke recently advised Quadriga Capital on its acquisition of LR Health and Beauty Systems.  

Bernd Mayer wins praise for his calm and collected negotiation style, with clients saying: "He is a very credible negotiator – not just for us but also for the other side of the table. This is one of his big advantages – he can bring forward arguments so both parties listen to him. He's the one to cool people down when the temperature is rising."

Significant clients Outokumpu, BlackRock Financial Management, Equistone Partners Europe, Apax Partners.

Basic facts about the department
- 23 partners
- 1 of counsel
- 13 associates

What the team is known for Distinguished by broad coverage of the German market and an ability to act on cross-border M&A in conjunction with its international 'best friends' network. Visible advising family offices and other Mittelstand clients on issues such as spin-offs, carve outs and structural reorganisations, as well as providing ongoing advice to boards and shareholders. Particularly well regarded in the media sector.

Work highlights Advised Perform Media Services on a number of transactions, including the acquisition of Sportal.

Notable practitioners

Practice head Sebastian Graf von Wallwitz is a key contact for the team.

What the team is known for Corporate boutique with an strong reputation for both mid-market and high-end advice. Advises clients from the German Mittelstand as well as a substantial number of DAX 30-listed companies on complex company law issues and M&A transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Absolutely superb – we are very satisfied with the quality of work the team provides. The lawyers give a thorough review of all important points and have great analytical skills."

"Schilling is brilliant and very active on the corporate side."

Work highlights Advised Daimler on the restructuring of its shareholding in EADS.

Advised Nolte Moebel-Industrie Holding on all aspects the restructuring of its holding company, including its transformation into a Societas Europaea and the negotiations with the employees' body. 

Notable practitioners  

Jochem Reichert is widely regarded as one of the most prominent corporate lawyers in Germany. Clients say: "If I have a really important question regarding German corporate law I go to him." Interviewees also highlight his "hands-on and responsive" style.

Stephan Harbarth receives excellent feedback from clients. One says: "He is a very good corporate lawyer with a very sharp brain. He analyses the questions and challenges in the advice we seek from him and is an excellent counterparty to the other side."

Significant clients Freudenberg, Deutsche Bahn, MAN, Südzucker, BayernLB.

Basic facts about the department
- 61 partners
- 53 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Excellent relationships with blue-chip US and domestic clients, and increasingly visible on deals involving China and Brazil. Notable strength in sectors including technology, energy and infrastructure.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team works together excellently and co-ordinates itself internally very well. All contacts have an overview of the topics affecting us at any time, so when any one contact is absent we can always go to another."

What's new? Two new partners joined the firm from Linklaters. New clients include Gunvor and Aiko Solar Energy Technology.

Work highlights Advised Rhön-Klinikum on the planned takeover by Fresenius.

Acted for ThyssenKrupp in relation to the disposal of Tailored Blanks Group, with 13 subsidiaries, to Chinese steel corporation Wuhan Iron & Steel.

Notable practitioners 

Klaus Grossmann heads the corporate transactions department and is the main point of contact for queries.

Clients praise Walter Henle for his "constructive, proactive" approach and "ability to find amicable and reasonable solutions." He recently joined the firm's Munich office from Skadden, Arps.

Significant clients Evonik, SBI Holdings, Microchip Technology, SGL Carbon, Panasonic Electric Works Europe.

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly active in cross-border M&A on behalf of German and international corporates from a range of industries, as well as representing a number of US private equity houses. Handles public and private M&A along with general corporate matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is very precise, very fast and very efficient."

What's new? Barbara Jagersberger was promoted to partner. New clients include Applied Materials and Nortek.

Work highlights Advised Sanofi on its contemplated acquisition of the diabetes diagnostics division of Bayer Healthcare.

Represented GM Financial in its acquisition of Ally Financial's automotive financing operations in Latin America, Europe and China.

Notable practitioners  

According to interviewees, department head Gerhard Schmidt has been particularly visible in cross-border restructurings and distressed deals in addition to classical M&A in the past twelve months. His recent work includes advising Sanofi on its contemplated acquisition of the diabetes diagnostics division of Bayer Healthcare.

Significant clients Grohe, eBay, GM, MorphoSys, Atos.

Basic facts about the department
- 24 partners
- 4 counsel
- 10 associates

What the team is known for Acknowledged by sources as an active and visible presence in this field, with developed expertise in sectors including automotive, chemicals and real estate. Notable experience of corporate mandates with significant capital markets elements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The lawyers are always available to answer the questions of myself and my team. We are very happy with the quality of work they deliver."

Work highlights Advised Swiss chemical company Clariant on the establishment of a joint venture with Wilmar, a Singapore-based agribusiness group.

Represented H.I.G. Europe in the sale of automotive anti-vibration systems manufacturer Anvis Group to Tokai Rubber Industries.

Notable practitioners  

Corporate partner Roger Kiem recently joined the firm from Shearman & Sterling. His areas of expertise include stock corporation law, company reorganisations and spin-offs.

Significant clients Bertelsmann, Daimler, Lufthansa, Gildemeister, LBBW.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

The recent work of Jan Krekeler of Ashurst includes assisting funds advised by Equistone Partners with the acquisition of a majority stake in Vivonio Furniture Group. 

Markus Schackmann recently joined Deloitte's legal arm from Luther. He focuses on advising German and international companies on M&A transactions.

Following his recent move from Cleary Gottlieb, Jürgen Sieger now heads DLA Piper UK LLP's German corporate group. Whilst at his previous firm he advised on the corporate law aspects of the restructuring of Pironet Group.

Roland Steinmeyer of WilmerHale wins praise for his expertise in corporate compliance matters. Clients say: "He is knowledgeable, has an effective approach, and is very aware of in-house sensitivities and strategic needs."

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.