Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order
by firm name.
Corporate/M&A - Germany
THE FIRM This international firm's corporate practice is becoming increasingly visible at the high end of the German market due to a number of significant new client wins and lateral hires. The team has recently been visible on a number of impressive transactions, and advised SAP on its USD3.4 billion acquisition of NYSE-listed cloud computing leader SuccessFactors. Other notable mandates from the past year include assisting Nynas with its acquisition of refinery assets from Shell.
Sources say: "The lawyers have a very entrepreneurial approach; they tell you the solutions as well as the risks and are able to integrate a number of disciplines seamlessly in one team." "Pragmatic and good value for money."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees draw attention to renowned corporate lawyer Hans-Christoph Ihrig's board advisory expertise. Clients say: "He's an absolute expert in his field and is always at the forefront of legal debate. He delivers excellent results."
Hartmut Krause has a strong focus on domestic and international public takeovers, and publishes widely in the field.
Astrid Krüger advises on national and domestic M&A, with a specific focus on restructurings and corporate reorganisations.
Clients describe Michael Ulmer as an "outstanding personality" with excellent communication skills. Another commentator adds: "He looks at the big picture whilst remaining very detail-oriented."
Hans Diekmann recently joined the firm from Shearman & Sterling. He is recognised for the depth of his knowledge in areas such as corporate law, finance and equity capital markets.
THE FIRM Baker & McKenzie's extensive international network and proven experience in major cross-border transactions are a major draw for clients. The German team has a long-standing focus on the Chinese market, and has particular experience handling Chinese inbound investment into Germany. Prominent mandates of this nature include advising Karl Schlecht Familienstiftung on the high-profile sale of the Putzmeister Group to Sany Heavy Industry.
Sources say: "If I want a strong service, quality and value for money then I go to Bakers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly regarded Florian Kästle recently advised Software on the restructuring of its group of companies following the acquisition of IDS Scheer.
THE FIRM This recognised practice is noticeably active in the southern part of Germany, where it is a popular choice for mid-market deals. With offices in Moscow, Kyiv and Warsaw, the group is particularly well placed to advise on cross-border transactions involving Eastern Europe, and is recommended for its work in this area. Notable recent mandates include advising Bosch on its acquisition of software provider inubit.
Sources say: "A very broad and well-established practice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Sacher co-heads the M&A group and remains a respected figure in the Nuremberg market.
THE FIRM The German corporate and M&A practice of this global powerhouse earns plaudits for its high-quality work, flexible service and international reach. The team advises an impressive number of local and multinational clients, including Nokia Siemens Networks, whom it advised on the sale of the business of broadband access in fixed lines to US company ADTRAN. Another key mandate was advising Lenovo on the public acquisition of German company Medion.
Sources say: "The lawyers are fantastic - they get things done and foster strong client relationships."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The main contact is Alexander Schröder-Frerkes, who heads the corporate and M&A department.
THE FIRM This Frankfurt-based office remains active in the corporate and M&A arena, advising on corporate governance structures, joint ventures, and national and international M&A transactions. It recently assisted Société Air France and Lufthansa Cargo with the sale of a majority share in a German logistics company. Other highlights include advising Indian multinational Bharat Forge on the bidding process for the purchase of German automotive firm Schmiede.
KEY INDIVIDUALS One of the co-founders of the firm, the "absolutely great" Hartmut Fromm is the key name here for corporate/M&A work.
THE FIRM Cleary Gottlieb's German practice is a regular presence on large-cap, cross-border M&A transactions, working on behalf of corporations and financial institutions such as BNP Paribas and EDF. Although the team is mandated by a range of prominent companies within Germany and from around the world, it is particularly popular with French and US clients. Standout mandates from the past twelve months include advising American Express on various corporate transactions relating to the business integration of Loyalty Partner.
Sources say: "Solid and diligent, high responsiveness and lots of partner involvement."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients praise seasoned M&A partner Klaus Riehmer for his in-depth knowledge of the German market: "He knows the banks very well and provides more than just legal advice - he gives full market intelligence." Another client says: "He's excellent at negotiating with the sellers, and knows these transactions and how they work inside out."
Oliver Schröder focuses on cross-border M&A transactions. A recent highlight saw him advise Eni on the sale of its stakes in the TENP and Transitgas gas pipelines to Fluxys.
THE FIRM Due to its stellar reputation in the sector, Clifford Chance's German corporate practice was particularly active in high-end energy-related transactions over the past twelve months. Standout assignments include advising a consortium of institutional investors led by Commerz Real on the acquisition of a 74.9% share in transmission system operator Amprion, and providing advice to Fluxys on its EUR860 million acquisition of Eni's interests in TENP and Transitgas.
Sources say: "Top-notch lawyers: quick, trustworthy and extremely service-oriented." "I appreciate the team's intelligent input, understanding of the economics behind the deal, participation in negotiations and excellent drafting skills."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients describe Arndt Stengel as a "creative and constructive" lawyer. "He is an outstanding technician and can always come up with ideas to solve our problems."
Wolfgang Richter is recognised in the market for his ongoing work with Volkswagen. He has recently represented the company in its takeover offer for truck manufacturer MAN.
Clients praise Andreas Dietzel for his ability to co-ordinate large, cross-border transactions. One interviewee says: "He is committed, organised and thinks about the bigger picture. He's also hugely experienced."
THE FIRM This sizeable German team handled an impressive range of transactions over the past year. The group is growing its high-end advisory practice and was recently mandated by Iberdrola to advise on its planned cross-border merger with RWE. On the corporate side, the team is currently advising the supervisory board of Volkswagen on the integration of the operational automotive business of Porsche into Volkswagen Group.
Sources say: "I found the team very imaginative in finding alternatives and defending its client's interests." "Well organised, with fantastic coverage in Europe."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Commentators hold "extremely active" M&A partner Thomas Meyding in high esteem, saying: "He really knows the business and is someone you can get along with."
Christian von Lenthe led the team advising on Iberdrola's planned cross-border merger with RWE, and advised on the integration of Porsche's operational automotive business into the Volkswagen Group.
Corporate partner Henrick Drinkuth recently assisted domestic publishing house Gruner + Jahr with its acquisition of website portal urbia.de.
THE FIRM Impressive market feedback and strong work highlights propel this firm into the mid-market rankings this year. It earns praise for its international capabilities, particularly its links to the USA, and its clientele is made up of German and multinational companies, investment banks and private equity firms. Recent mandates include advising Helios Investment Partners on the acquisition of a controlling two-thirds stake in Interswitch from several Nigerian banks.
Sources say: "The team is very solution-oriented and manages clients' questions very efficiently. It provides to-the-point advice and doesn't waste our time with dozens of pages of theoretical evaluations."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources describe Peter Wand as "very responsive, pragmatic and business-focused. He's an excellent bridge between the US and German cultures and comes up with creative proposals for both laws."
THE FIRM Clients commend this group's entrepreneurial approach to corporate and M&A mandates and value its excellent international resources. The team recently advised the NORMA Group on its acquisition of 100% of the shares of Connectors Verbindungstechnik. High-profile financial institutions such as Gulf One Investment Bank and Heidelberg Capital Asset Management feature in the practice's impressive client portfolio.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients highlight Federico Pappalardo's business-oriented approach, responsiveness and availability. He is managing partner of the Munich office and heads the corporate and securities practice.
Sven Schulte-Hillen advises German and international companies on complex multi-jurisdictional M&A and corporate finance transactions. He is also adept at corporate restructurings and German regulatory issues.
THE FIRM This top-ranked global player continues to excel in complex, cross-border M&A transactions. Drawing on an enviable international network and full-service expertise, the team recently advised GM on its global strategic alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroën, and is currently representing the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund in a comprehensive restructuring and privatisation of Greece's biggest ports. The firm's impressive client roster also includes domestic heavyweights such as Daimler, Siemens and Deutsche Bahn.
Sources say: "If you really need to pull out people in 20 jurisdictions in a minute, Freshfields can do it." "Excellent negotiators."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "outstanding" Andreas Fabritius enjoys a tremendous reputation in the market. His recent work highlights include advising GM on its global strategic alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroën.
Sources note Matthias-Gabriel Kremer for his strong focus on advising financial institutions. He is admired for his "excellent knowledge of the law and really commercial approach" to M&A deals.
Christoph Seibt receives particular praise for his public takeover experience. Clients say: "He knows all areas of the law and there's no recent development he's not aware of. When there's a change he's the first to know."
The highly regarded Axel Epe has recently advised the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in connection with the restructuring of WestLB.
Sources emphasise Christoph von Bülow's expertise in big-ticket public M&A transactions. He is also noted for his regulatory capabilities.
Drawing on his formidable cross-border transactional experience, Marius Berenbrok is currently representing the Hellenic Republic in its comprehensive port privatisation programme.
Nils Matthias Koffka is "really focused and dedicated to the deal," according to clients. He has particularly developed expertise on the private equity side.
Ludwig Leyendecker recently advised German food manufacturer Krüger on Starbucks' entry into the coffee capsule business.
The well-considered Stephan Waldhausen recently acted on General Atlantic's strategic partnership with Axel Springer in the online classifieds business.
THE FIRM This firm handles the full spectrum of corporate and M&A work, as well as liability and insurance law. As one of the founders of international legal firm network PECS, it offers clients strong local knowledge as well as enviable international links. A recent cross-border highlight for the group was advising Maquet on the corporate acquisition of USCI Japan.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Heads of department Gerhard Manz and Barbara Meyer are key contacts for the practice.
THE FIRM Glowing market recommendations and standout work highlights propel this firm into the top tier for mid-market transactions this year. Clients appreciate the group's fully integrated approach to cross-border mandates, especially its strong US capabilities and strong white-collar crime department. The team has particular expertise in complex joint ventures regarding hi-tech companies, and a recent highlight was representing the shareholders of Arithnea in the sale of 51% of the company's shares to publicly listed IT company adesso.
Sources say: "In my top ten law firms of all time. The lawyers are available whenever they are needed night or day, and at weekends. If you ask a question about A, they ask if you've thought about X, Y, Z as well."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very client-oriented" Benno Schwarz handles a wide range of domestic and international corporate/M&A work. He also has long-standing experience in corporate anti-bribery compliance issues. Sources note his knowledge of the Russian market, and he often advises Russian clients on investments in the USA and Europe.
THE FIRM Since its formation in 2007, this thriving German firm is experiencing significant growth in the market. It focuses on all aspects of corporate and competition law, and recently welcomed two partners from Shearman & Sterling, pushing the team to 13 members. Amongst its recent highlights the team advised INEOS Melamines on the acquisition of the amino resins business from DSM NeoResins.
Sources say: "The delivery, performance and turnaround time are absolutely top." "It gives outstanding advice and is really creative in finding a solution when negotiations are going in the wrong direction."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Achim Glade is identified by clients as "quite simply, a brilliant lawyer. He is extremely quick in understanding the issues at hand, he has innovative ideas and solutions - he is really to the point. Outstanding." He focuses his work on corporate law and M&A, as well as public takeovers.
THE FIRM This celebrated German firm offers full-service corporate and M&A advice to prominent domestic and international clients such as Daimler, Procter & Gamble and Bain Capital. The firm is particularly sought after for its public M&A expertise, and is widely viewed as one of the leading practices in this area. It also acts on corporate advisory and contentious matters, and successfully represented Hypo Real Estate in its legal dispute regarding nationalisation. Other key mandates include advising Blackstone on its acquisition of the Nördlicher Grund wind farm project.
Sources say: "We are delighted with the support we get from Gleiss Lutz." "The firm is on the rise; it's got a young team of talented but at the same time very pleasant partners who are handling a lot of large transactions."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients describe practice head Christian Cascante as a "top choice for public M&A." He recently advised Siemens on its takeover offer for software company IBS.
Commentators admire Gerhard Wegen's depth of experience, particularly regarding international M&A. He recently acted for Mustang in relation to its sale to an investor consortium headed by private equity firm A-Capital.
Gerhard Wirth is widely recognised for his corporate advisory practice. Clients include the supervisory board of WestLB.
Peers highlight the increasingly visible Jan Bauer as "one to watch." Interviewees are impressed by the way he defends his clients' interests, saying: "He tries to get the best possible outcome for the client but also keeps in mind what the counterparty is thinking."
Managing partner Rainer Loges is developing the firm's M&A practice in the Munich area. His recent transactions include advising Nanometrics on its acquisition of Nanda Technologies.
Ralf Morshäuser frequently advises on prominent cross-border M&A transactions. Deals involving distressed companies are a particular strength.
Sources highlight Alexander Schwarz as one of the firm's most visible figures on major M&A transactions.
Andreas Rittstieg enters the rankings thanks to enthusiastic market feedback. He recently advised the Albert Ballin consortium on its EUR700 million acquisition of shares in Hapag-Lloyd.
THE FIRM This full-service firm continues to attract a starring role on some of the mid-market's most important deals. The corporate practice is strongly supported by the firm's first-rate restructuring and insolvency department, and it also offers sector-specific expertise on various industries including energy, automotive, communications software and real estate. Notable mandates include advising new client DIHAG Group on an internationally oriented auction proceeding and subsequent sale to a Swiss-based investor group.
Sources say: "The lawyers are very clear - they say what they would do in our shoes and we like that approach." "Fully integrated so you can get everything you need there. The lawyers are also very proficient in English so they can handle international transactions."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of department Wolfgang König is the key contact for the practice.
THE FIRM The corporate/M&A group at this full-service firm remains at the top of the mid-market, earning praise for its high-quality work and excellent client service. The team offers a leading domestic practice whilst still being very active on an international level. A recent key highlight for the group was advising the management of the Dress-for-less Group on the sale of all company shares to Privalia, by way of a secondary buyout. Other notable mandates include representing CRONIMET Mining in a joint venture/co-operation project relating to a tantalum-niobium ore mine in Rwanda.
Sources say: "The practice advises on the economic side of a case as well as the legal. It works as a double adviser, which is a great advantage."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Andreas von Oppen focuses on public takeovers and capital markets, as well as corporate and M&A. Clients report that "he has a broad range of knowledge - you can attack him with several kinds of questions and he has a good feeling of what's needed. He is supportive and willing to help the client even in the most challenging cases."
THE FIRM This firm is going from strength to strength in the mid-cap corporate/M&A market. As well as its prominent domestic presence, the firm also attracts praise for its experience in cross-border mandates and offices in Brussels and Singapore. The team advises on corporate finance, M&A, privatisations and IPOs, and recently advised Allgäuland Group on its sale to Arla Foods, a co-operative with German, Danish and Swedish members.
Sources say: "Breaking through in large-scale transactions." "Outstanding service and very cost-effective."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eckart Petzold is the key contact for the corporate department.
THE FIRM This firm enjoys a strong reputation in the domestic mid-market and is best recognised for its corporate work in the Stuttgart area. The practice advises on mergers, company takeovers, MBOs and LBOs, joint ventures and IPOs, as well as due diligence work.
Sources say: "Very well established in Stuttgart. Definitely Band 1."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Mailänder remains a recognised and highly experienced leading figure in the German corporate arena. Peers confirm that he is "absolutely great."
THE FIRM This firm offers a comprehensive corporate practice that covers M&A, capital markets and tax. It is enjoying a period of growth, thanks to the recent opening of a new office in Hamburg, and also draws praise for its extensive international reach. A recent highlight saw the group advise Insight Technology Solutions on its acquisition of hardware distributor Inmac, and its Dutch subsidiary Micro Warehouse. The team has won a number of new clients in recent months, including Cisco Systems, FEI Company and Nomad Digital.
Sources say: "Strong problem-solving skills and commercial approach. The practice is very multinational and used to working with foreign clients."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Matthias Heisse heads the corporate department and advises a broad range of clients, including listed companies, international conglomerates, banks and private equity firms. He also has extensive experience in handling US-related mandates.
THE FIRM This firm has an outstanding track record in all areas of the corporate field, and it is universally recognised as one of the best for deals at the higher end of the market. The team is particularly active in public M&A and recently advised global healthcare group Fresenius on its EUR3.1 billion takeover offer for private hospital group Rhön-Klinikum. Further key mandates include advising ThyssenKrupp on the carve-out and sale of Inoxum to Outokumpu, demonstrating the firm's ability to handle triple-track proceedings.
Sources say: "Take any lawyer with a Hengeler business card and you know you'll get quality." "Excellent partners and associates." "The team is really pragmatic and helps its clients to find a way around problems."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The distinguished Michael Hoffmann-Becking has long held an undisputed position at the forefront of German corporate law. He concentrates on board advisory work.
Sources describe Maximilian Schiessl as "really outstanding and good to work with. Definitely one of the stars in the market." His recent work highlights include advising ThyssenKrupp on the complex carve-out and sale of Inoxum to Outokumpu.
Clients highlight Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain's negotiation skills. One states: "He is brilliant at identifying the commercially relevant issues and the interplay between legal, accounting and tax elements." "He's very experienced, so you feel in extremely capable hands," says another interviewee.
Rainer Krause has considerable healthcare sector expertise. This was at play when he recently acted on Fresenius' voluntary public takeover offer for Rhön-Klinikum.
Gerd Krieger remains active on corporate advisory matters. He represents a range of blue-chip German clients, including Siemens, Commerzbank and ThyssenKrupp.
Commentators praise Oleg de Lousanoff's prowess for M&A and general corporate matters. His recent highlights include advising EuroChem on its acquisition of K+S Nitrogen from K+S Aktiengesellschaft.
Andreas Austmann recently represented Porsche in its high-profile merger with Volkswagen. He is described by sources as an "outstanding" lawyer.
Splitting his time between corporate advisory and M&A work, Jochen Vetter has acted on a number of prominent mandates of late. Highlights include advising MAN on the mandatory tender offer made by Volkswagen, and advising TKH Group on its takeover bid for AUGUSTA Technologie.
Clients describe Daniel Wiegand as "excellent for legal analysis, but with the necessary touch of pragmatism." His recent mandates include advising a Czech energy group, Energeticky a prumyslovy holding, on its acquisition of power plant project Profen.
THE FIRM This firm plays a central role in the corporate/M&A mid-market, and has recently been developing its transactional business in the energy and renewables sectors. A notable mandate in recent months has been advising a private client on the EUR500 million acquisition of 50% of WAZ Media Group. Further clients include Sana Kliniken, EGGER Group and Celenus Holding.
Sources say: "Very efficient and the lawyers work together easily."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Adi Seffer advises on the full range of corporate and M&A matters, as well as IT outsourcing and restructuring.
Acting from both the Berlin and Düsseldorf offices, Andreas Urban recently led the group's work on the WAZ Media Group acquisition. Sources affirm that he is "a really outstanding guy - quick, practical and very intelligent."
THE FIRM This firm remains a strong player within the mid-cap corporate and M&A field. Notably strong in the technologies sector, it offers a highly integrated group made up of lawyers with expertise in corporate, technology and IP. In a key highlight the firm advised Atlantic Bridge on the acquisition of a German software company.
Sources say: "One of the best-known boutiques in Frankfurt."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Founding partner Thomas Heymann wins praise for his in-depth legal knowledge and dedicated client service. He frequently advises on the acquisition and restructuring of technology companies, recently advising ITERGO Informationstechnologie regarding the placing of outsourcing client services for ERGO Versicherungsgruppe.
THE FIRM This highly reputed Düsseldorf firm has been extremely busy in the energy sector of late, recently advising DEW21 on the acquisition of Windfarm Rothenkopf. Best known in the domestic market, the team has also assisted a number of Chinese clients in recent months, notably PhonoSolar Technology, who it advised on the construction of photovoltaic parks in Germany.
Sources say: "A very dedicated and service-oriented firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Björn Neumeuer focuses on corporate, M&A and capital markets, and recently led the team's sale of Windfarm Rothenkopf to DEW21. Clients describe how "he has a very analytical way of thinking - very straightforward and objective."
THE FIRM This respected corporate practice advises a number of major financial institutions and regulatory bodies, and is also regularly visible on energy transactions. Its impressive client roster includes Deutsche Börse, Deutsche Telekom and FMS Wertmanagement. The team recently advised ExxonMobil on the sale of various gas storage facilities to Storengy.
Sources say: "A well-organised and motivated team." "The lawyers keep their clients’ commercial interests in mind and are pleasant to work with."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Christoph Louven has noteworthy experience in the insurance sector. He recently advised Hannover Rückversicherung on its contemplated conversion into a Societas Europaea.
THE FIRM The growing corporate practice at Jones Day is a firm favourite with US and other international clients requiring advice on their German business interests. The group excels in major private equity transactions, and recently advised OM Group on its high-profile acquisition of Vacuumschmelze from One Equity Partners.
Sources say: "Pragmatic, quick and very service-oriented."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Ansgar Rempp enters the rankings on the back of impressive client feedback for his understanding of the German and US markets. As one client enthuses, "his command of English and ability to draft are flawless."
Wolfgang Hölters recently joined the firm from Orrick Hölters & Elsing. He has over 30 years of experience in domestic and cross-border M&A, corporate governance and related dispute resolution. He is a member of various professional associations and publishes widely in the field.
THE FIRM Sources note this US player's impressive activity on the private equity market. The German team acts for private equity funds, portfolio companies and large corporates, and advises on the full range of issues connected with large-cap M&A transactions and general corporate law. The group offers expertise in a variety of industry sectors, but has recently been particularly visible on life sciences deals.
Sources say: "An approachable, boutique style: they'll come back to you within an hour. The lawyers provide pragmatic solutions and aren't just sophisticated for the sake of it."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Corporate/M&A practice co-head Volker Kullmann regularly handles both domestic and cross-border transactions, with a specific focus on the private equity market.
THE FIRM Clients draw attention to this practice's high-end corporate expertise, and highlight its particular experience in the healthcare sector. The team has recently advised on several major transactions in this field, including DAK Angestellten Krankenkasse's merger with BKK Gesundheit and BKK Axel Springer. This significant deal created DAK Gesundheit, currently the third largest health insurance company in the German market. Demonstrating its considerable international capabilities, the team also advised Chinese bidder Lenovo on its takeover of German computer firm Medion.
Sources say: "High-quality lawyers with terrific experience."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Henning Schneider has a strong focus on the healthcare sector and receives considerable praise for his transactional work in this area. Clients say: "He is realistic, pragmatic and focused. He knows how to get things done and doesn't waste time on being unnecessarily combative or dealing with issues that have no commercial importance."
Dirk Oberbracht maintains an excellent market reputation for M&A work.
Joachim von Falkenhausen advises both domestic and international clients on complex M&A and corporate matters.
Interviewees describe Harald Selzner as "really experienced and to the point; as a client you have the feeling you are in extremely capable hands." He recently joined the firm's Düsseldorf office from Shearman & Sterling.
Rainer Wilke recently joined Latham & Watkins from Shearman & Sterling. His broad client base includes prominent domestic companies such as Daimler, Axel Springer and Fresenius.
THE FIRM This renowned firm remains a frequent presence on prominent and complex large-cap M&A transactions in sectors including automotive, energy and financial services. The corporate team advised Deutsche Börse on its proposed merger with NYSE Euronext, and represented Audi in its acquisition of Ducati from Investindustrial. On the corporate advisory side, the firm provides ongoing advice to the board of software corporation SAP.
Sources say: "Extremely responsive, flexible and timely. The team followed our guidelines perfectly and gave us monthly reports on developments. The firm exceeded all our expectations."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients praise Hans-Ulrich Wilsing for his pragmatic approach and efficient service, particularly for corporate advisory matters. He has recently advised SAP on the German law aspects of the litigation brought against it by Oracle.
Ralph Wollburg enjoys an excellent market profile. Recent highlights include advising E.ON on its joint venture with Brazilian coal mining and natural gas company MPX.
Achim Kirchfeld recently advised WAZ Media Group on its corporate reorganisation. Interviewees describe him as "a fine M&A lawyer."
Rainer Traugott earns plaudits from clients for his exceptionally responsive approach. His practice covers public M&A and private equity transactions.
THE FIRM This full-service German firm enjoys a solid reputation in the corporate and M&A mid-market, with notable expertise in the energy and healthcare industries. The team has been notably active in M&A transactions regarding mid-sized companies, and transactions of companies owned by public authorities. Recent highlights include advising Rethmann/Remondis on the acquisition of the Xervon business from ThyssenKrupp, and assisting R&W Industriebeteiligungen with the sale of Damp Holding to Helios. The firm recently opened a new office in London and sources anticipate this will greatly boost the firm's international profile.
Sources say: "The lawyers are very hands-on in deals. From the beginning it was clear they were very experienced in M&A."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Markus Schackmann focuses on joint ventures and corporate sales, and clients laud him as "a strong negotiator and someone you want at your side." He recently advised ArcelorMittal on the acquisition of Kokerei Prosper.
Since publication, Markus Schackmann has moved in-house.
THE FIRM This firm boosted its German corporate offering with the opening of a new office in Düsseldorf in early 2012. The group has notable strength in cross-border M&A and represents a range of international and domestic companies, including Akzo Nobel and Benteler. Drawing on its in-depth knowledge of the Asian market, the team recently advised Indo-Arab company Microsol on its acquisition of assets of insolvent German solar module manufacturer Solon.
Sources say: "Mayer Brown drove the entire deal process." "We encountered a lot of cross-border legal issues, and the team navigated them really well."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Friedrich Merz heads the German corporate practice from Düsseldorf.
THE FIRM The corporate team at this Munich-based boutique is best known for its IPO work, although it is also adept at takeovers, transactional cases and matters relating to the German stock exchange. A key highlight saw the team advise Grammer on capital increases against a contribution in cash. Further clients include Loewe, Advanced Inflight Alliance and Tomorrow Focus.
Sources say: "Excellent service and very focused on IPO work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Managing partner Thomas Mayrhofer advises small and mid-cap companies on IPOs, takeovers and general corporate work. He was involved in the capital increase mandate for Grammer.
THE FIRM Sources commend this firm's expert handling of multi-jurisdictional corporate and M&A mandates. The practice recently represented Honeywell in the USD400 million cross-border acquisition of RMG GROUP, which involved local counsel in the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and India. The firm is strengthening its foothold in the German market thanks to the expansion of the team in Düsseldorf and the recent opening of the Frankfurt office by the former corporate and equity capital markets team from Dewey & LeBoeuf.
Sources say: "The lawyers are extremely cost-sensitive and understand family-owned companies. They offer an excellent, comprehensive service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christian von Sydow's wide-ranging practice encompasses M&A, capital markets, private equity, restructuring and contentious issues. He was recently involved in advising the shareholder of WTA on the sale of all the equity interests to CraneCo.
THE FIRM This highly reputed group provides comprehensive corporate advice, including counsel on tax and antitrust issues. The team advises on high-end deals across a diverse range of industries, but is increasingly active on behalf of media companies such as ProSiebenSat.1 and Sky Deutschland. Noteworthy recent mandates include assisting LGT Group with the sale of its banking business to Delbrück Bethmann Maffei, and advising Axel Springer on its strategic partnership with General Atlantic in the online classifieds business.
Sources say: "A small, straightforward team which knows its goals." "Attentive, thorough and helpful in converting the German legal system and documents into language that is easy to understand."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Norbert Rieger splits his time between M&A, corporate advisory work and tax. Clients describe him as "a brilliant lawyer and one of the best negotiators around." His recent highlights include advising Axel Springer on its strategic partnership with General Atlantic.
Private equity transactions, related litigation and equity capital markets are among Peter Nussbaum's specialisms in this area. Representative transactions from the past twelve months include advising D+S Europe on the sale of its call centre division to CMP Capital Management Partners.
Described as a "young but really experienced M&A lawyer," Martin Erhardt receives praise for his quick response times and excellent drafting skills. He recently advised ProSiebenSat.1 on the sale of its Greek and Bulgarian operations.
THE FIRM This firm is a strong presence at the top end of the German M&A market. The team is highly regarded for public M&A and joint venture work, and has particular experience in handling inbound Chinese investments. Recent highlights include advising Chinese investor Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group on its acquisition of a strategic interest in German machinery manufacturer Schwing Group. The team also represented Gazprom in its acquisition of German energy supplier Envacom Service, a deal which showcases the team's strength for corporate transactions in regulated markets.
Sources say: "The team is client-oriented and speedy, but at the same time diligent in its work approach."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department co-head Alexander Ritvay has significant international experience. Aside from cross-border M&A, his areas of focus include finance and corporate restructurings.
Clients commend co-head of corporate Thomas Schulz for his calm approach to negotiations. He recently acted for INEOS on its agreement with BASF to form a joint venture, Styrolution Group.
THE FIRM Working closely with its own network of firms in foreign jurisdictions, this German independent is well equipped to handle large-cap domestic and international transactional mandates. Standout matters from the past twelve months include advising Benckiser Holding on the structuring of Coty's widely publicised takeover bid for Avon. The team also advised Krauss Maffei Wegmann on the acquisition of EDAG's armoured civil vehicles business.
Sources say: "The firm is a pleasure to work with. We challenge the lawyers on a daily basis with complicated cross-border issues but they handle these with ease."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients describe Georg Maier-Reimer as "up to speed, thoughtful in his responses and extremely intelligent." He recently represented Benckiser Holding in relation to Coty's takeover bid for Avon.
With over 20 years of experience in corporate transactional work, Hans Rolf Koerfer is a widely recognised and respected figure in the German market.
THE FIRM Sources view this firm's corporate practice as being particularly strong for transactions requiring fund structuring or private equity expertise. As a result of this, the team is a popular choice among private equity houses and represents such leading names as Apax Partners and Quadriga Capital. Recent transactional mandates include acting for Brockhaus Private Equity in the sale of 360 Treasury Systems to Summit Partners Funds.
Sources say: "The firm is well positioned in the market and has a very broad range of expertise."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers admire Matthias Bruse's commercial and pragmatic approach, saying: "He can deliver high-quality work in a rational manner, without arguing irrelevant points."
Interviewees draw attention to "fantastic" founding partner Reinhard Pöllath's long and distinguished career. He remains a renowned and recognised figure in the German market.
THE FIRM This firm has a growing reputation for corporate and M&A work, notably within the energy sector. With expertise advising on small and mid-cap transactions, the group advised GASAG Berliner Gaswerke on the complex swap of participations of numerous Eastern German utilities with national gas group VNG Verbundnetz Gas. Further clients for the group include TOBI Windenergie, EMB Energie Mark Brandenburg and Paragon Partners.
Sources say: "The lawyers are always reachable and very practical. They are great at coming up with creative ideas and are also very friendly to work with."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "really outstanding" Andreas Nelle attracts praise from all quarters for his negotiation skills and commercial perspective: "He's a really strong negotiator and is good at prioritising issues. Furthermore, he understands the technicalities of a deal and business implications."
THE FIRM This corporate team is renowned for advising traditional German mid-tier organisations. Clients appreciate the seamless interaction between the firm's offices in different jurisdictions, most notably between the German and US offices.
Sources say: "The firm is reliable and provides fast responses - definitely customer-oriented." "I think we will hear more from this team in the future."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Fischer is the main point of contact for the practice.
THE FIRM This well-established firm remains active in M&A, private equity and venture capital work. It also enjoys a solid name in advising family-run companies on corporate succession issues. A notable highlight saw the group assist Adiuva Capital with the acquisition of an interest of GBA Gesellschaft für Bioanalytik.
Sources say: "A Hamburg corporate boutique with a great reputation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Specialising in both competition and corporate law, name partner Ulf Renzenbrink remains highly active in this field.
THE FIRM This firm offers a multidisciplinary corporate practice that covers M&A and tax advice. It has notable experience advising family-owned companies and publicly listed companies in Germany, and has recently handled a number of transactions in the renewable energy space, such as advising Strasser Capital on the sale of three photovoltaic plants in Italy. Another key highlight for the team was advising Audi on the acquisition of 91% of PSW automotive engineering.
Sources say: "Very successful in German Mittelstand work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of department Michael Wiehl is the main contact here.
THE FIRM This international firm is respected by major clients, and a popular choice for large-cap transactions with a significant US element. The M&A team is also increasingly active on behalf of Asian investors, and recently represented Chinese machinery manufacturer Sany Heavy Industry in its widely reported acquisition of German mechanical engineering group Putzmeister Holding. Further highlights include advising Eurex Zürich on the increase of its stake in the European Energy Exchange.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Commentators are unanimous in their admiration of Georg Thoma, highlighting his formidable experience in the corporate sphere. Market sources say: "He's a great lawyer and an excellent rainmaker."
Thomas König recently advised on Sany Heavy Industry's high-profile acquisition of Putzmeister Holding. He has also worked closely with International Chemical Investors of late, acting on the acquisitions of subsidiaries of Genzyme and Hoffmann-La Roche.
THE FIRM Cross-border work is a key area of focus for this M&A powerhouse. Clients benefit from the firm's integrated approach to multi-jurisdictional mandates, and the German offices collaborate with colleagues across Europe and the USA on a frequent basis. The team's notable recent work includes advising Outokumpu in conjunction with six other Skadden offices on its EUR2.8 billion acquisition of Inoxum from ThyssenKrupp.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Matthias Jaletzke receives particular praise for his private equity work. He recently advised Quadriga Capital and Barclays Private Equity on the high-profile sale of Jack Wolfskin to The Blackstone Group.
Walter Henle is a recognised and respected figure in the M&A market. His recent highlights include acting for the sellers of e-mail marketing provider eCircle in relation to its acquisition by analytic data solutions company Teradata.
Bernd Mayer has expertise in both corporate compliance and transactional matters. He recently advised on Outokumpu's acquisition of Inoxum from ThyssenKrupp.
THE FIRM This independent German firm attracts praise for its high-quality, efficient service and hands-on approach. As well as its vast nationwide coverage, the group handles a large number of cross-border mandates, particularly for foreign clients with business in Germany. Standout highlights saw the team assist Svenska Cellulosa with the high-profile acquisition of the cellulose division of Georgia-Pacific Group.
Sources say: "The service is very partner-driven: the lawyers don't just delegate it out but stay very engaged and are always available if we have any questions."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Sebastian Graf von Wallwitz is the key contact here.
THE FIRM This successful firm wins plaudits for its thriving corporate advisory practice. The team is traditionally popular with clients from the German Mittelstand, but also advises a number of DAX 30 listed companies. It is currently providing ongoing counsel to Daimler on corporate matters, and is advising the supervisory board of UniCredit on various damage claims.
Sources say: "A premier firm for corporate law."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees describe Jochem Reichert as "an excellent corporate lawyer." His recent work includes advising the supervisory board of the Deutsche Börse on its planned merger with NYSE Euronext.
THE FIRM This team has recently raised its profile with a number of lateral hires from magic circle firms, and counts blue-chip companies such as Google and ThyssenKrupp among its clients. Sources draw attention to the team's role in Evonik Industries' prominent recent sale of its carbon black business to Rhône Capital.
Sources say: "The Taylor Wessing lawyers had to manage teams in several jurisdictions, and did that really well." "A firm of excellent calibre."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Hellich is the key corporate contact here.
THE FIRM Interviewees are impressed by this firm's strong track record on high-end international transactions. The German practice advises on a broad range of corporate issues and both public and private M&A, offering particular expertise for deals with private equity elements. Standout mandates from the past year include advising Grohe on the increase of its stake in Frankfurt-listed Chinese company Joyou.
Sources say: "A high-quality firm with an extremely experienced corporate law team. The work is effective and client-focused."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Commentators describe managing partner Gerhard Schmidt as "the heart of the firm." Clients appreciate his strong communication skills and ability to "take ownership of a mandate."
THE FIRM Clients highlight this team's international experience and relationship-building capabilities. Following its successful handling of Swiss chemicals company Clariant's acquisition of Munich-based Süd-Chemie in 2011, the corporate team is currently assisting Clariant with the integration of Süd-Chemie into the business across multiple jurisdictions. It is also advising domestic mechanical engineering company Gildemeister on its strategic co-operation with Japanese tool manufacturer Mori Seiki.
Sources say: "We had an excellent experience: the team understood the mechanics of the deal quickly. A firm which really understands that it's about deliverables, rather than just intelligent talk."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Roger Kiem recently joined the firm's Frankfurt office from Shearman & Sterling. Clients note his "outstanding expertise in M&A transactions." Recent deal highlights include assisting ABN AMRO and Delbrück Bethmann Maffei with the acquisition of LGT Bank Deutschland.
Senior associate Jan Krekeler of Ashurst is described by one commentator as "very intelligent, just brilliant." He has extensive knowledge of public and private M&A transactions at a national and global level.
Jürgen J Sieger of DLA Piper UK LLP recently joined the firm from Cleary Gottlieb. Interviewees rate him as "an outstanding lawyer in terms of commerciality, technical ability and value for money."
Christoph Louven of Hogan Lovells International LLP
Clients recommend Roland Steinmeyer of WilmerHale for his corporate and capital markets expertise. His practice spans a number of areas, including M&A, board advisory work and compliance programme structuring.