Germany

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Clifford Chance

“Magic Circle” firm Clifford Chance is among the largest law firms in the world, with global operations in 23 countries. The firm’s presence in Germany can be traced back to the end of the 19th century. It currently has office locations in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has a formidable offering across every facet of financial and corporate work. 

In banking, its offering is broad and includes most types of loan work. The firm boasts market-leading capabilities in the area of direct lending, where the practice advises both borrowers and lenders, and acts as one of the firm’s hubs for international bank lending and acquisition finance work. 

In the capital markets space, the firm’s expertise is among the market’s best. The firm is also highly active in conventional debt work, as well as equity capital markets, where it is regularly seen on large cross-border transactions. 

The firm’s financial services regulatory practice is part of its global financial markets group. It has a full-service offering that covers the entire life cycle of market participants from licence application to resolution, and provides a comprehensive regulatory support to a wide variety of clients on a broad array of issues. The practice is recognised for its derivatives-related work, where it focuses more on advising on applicable regulatory requirements than on documentation. 

In M&A, the firm advises some of the top German, European and global clients, including leading corporations, financial investors and banks. The M&A team has strong expertise in several sectors of the German economy such as health, energy, technology and fintech. 

The firm is among the top private equity law firms in Germany in both large-cap and mid-cap work. It maintains relationships and advises top private equity houses in Germany and around the world on an ongoing basis. 

As a core element of the firm’s advisory services, the restructuring team is closely aligned with other local and international teams, which enables it to provide timely and precise advice on cases. 

 

Key clients 

The firms’ key clients list features a number of well recognised names such as Permira, EQT, KKR, Nordic Capital, 3i, Cinven, CABB, RWE, Pfizer, Volkswagen, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, EnBW, Empira, JP Morgan, Siemens, KfW and Daimler. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“Great turnaround times. They understand our business and adapt their advice for our risk appetite and goals.” 

 

Project finance 

“Very experienced in the sector and jurisdiction so able to advise well on all aspects of the transaction.Very good client care, proactive, and able to manage a diverse financier group with patience and efficiency. Lots of partner involvement and advice.Good liaison with local lawyers to ensure that advice met client needs.” 

Görg

German business law firm GÖRG has main offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has one of Germany’s leading insolvency administration and corporate restructuring practices. The firm also provides commercial law advice in areas such as banking, capital markets and private equity.

In banking, the firm specialises in regulation, including payment/ fintech and banking regulation, as well as real estate finance and financial restructuring.

 

Key clients

Key clients include paydirekt, ABN Amro Bank, AD Education Group, Ampega Asset Management, BNP Paribas, BNP Paribas, Belfius, DKB, KfW, Samsung Electronics and IndusInd Bank.

 

Research period review: 32nd edition (2021/2022)

The research cycle saw the firm work on a broad spectrum of mandates in the banking and finance area. The firm was highly active in loan work, having advised on several large acquisitions and real estate financings. The firm was also visible in the regulatory space.

In recent staffing changes Partner Mark Kersting left the firm.

 

Deal highlights: 32nd edition (2021/2022)

Copus Group acquisition financing

Dutch Zeeman Group €90 million financing

Huf Hülsbeck & Fürst refinancing

Gütt Olk Feldhaus

Gütt Olk Feldhaus is a boutique law firm based in Munich and founded in 2011.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is particularly active in M&A and banking and finance. Its M&A practice focuses on advising major German companies, such as Allianz, ZF Friedrichshafen, Hubert Burda Media and Mast-Jägermeister, and strategic investors on small and mid-cap joint ventures and venture capital transactions.

The banking team has significant experience in advising sponsors and lenders on mid-cap leverage transactions with a strong focus on corporate financing as well as financial restructuring primarily for private equity firms and financial institutions.

 

Key clients

The firm’s key clients include Oldenburgische Landesbank, LBBW Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Harald Quandt Industriebeteiligungen, KKA Partners, HANNOVER Finanz, ProLED Group, Deutsche Apotheker- und Aerztebank, Quadriga Capital, ARCUS Capital, Ergon Capital Partners, Deutsche Private Equity and HQ Equita.

 

Research period review: 32nd edition (2021/2022)

The banking and M&A practice areas were particularly active during the research period.

The M&A team mainly advised on acquisitions of shares, for both the buy side and sell side of the transactions, and financial investments with an active involvement in the investment management industry. Notable examples include advising Harald Quandt Industriebeteiligungen, on behalf of its portfolio company, procilon Group, which acquired a majority stake in intarsys.

The firm’s banking team worked closely with the M&A team to advise on the financing aspects of acquisition transactions. Thus, the banking area was seen advising only on acquisition finance. An example of such deals was advising KKA Partners on the financing of the acquisition of a majority stake in Xantaro Deutschland.

 

Deal highlights: 32nd edition (2021/2022)

Harald Quandt Industriebeteiligungen acquisition of shares in Systemhaus Cramer

KKA Partners acquisition financing

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022)

 

M&A

"Excellent service. Very responsive. Experienced and pragmatic. Fun to work with."

"Very professional, very knowledgeable, very responsive, super-service oriented."

 

Kilian Helmreich

"Very professional, extremely responsive, great knowledge and very good communication. Great value for money."

 

Sebastian Olk

"Great value for money. Knowledgeable and pragmatic. Fun to work with."

Schalast & Partner (Schalast Law | Tax)

Domestic German law firm Schalast & Partner was established in 1998. It has offices in Frankfurt, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Stuttgart

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is active in banking and M&A.

Best known for its advice on project finance, real estate finance, small-cap securitisations and Fintech structures, the firm’s banking and finance practice regularly represents local and international clients on complex banking and regulatory issues.

The firm is also highly competent in M&A work where it advises both buy and sell side clients. Whilst capable of supporting deals in a multitude of sectors, the firm’s M&A team has historical strength in advising on private equity transactions in the infrastructure and telecommunications sector and real estate-based transactions in the non-performing loans sector.

 

Key clients

Key clients include Viessmann Werke, Beyond Capital Partners, Ringbeck Immobilien, Enercity, Mainova, Milch & Zucker, HRS, Nikkei, Commerzbank, Hamburg Commercial Bank (HCOB), raisin bank, Triodos Bank, Aledius, NTC, isarlend, Mainova, Messe Frankfurt and ConsciousGrowth.

 

Research period review: 32nd edition (2021/2022)

In banking the firm was active in a range of financing work including real estate, acquisition and shipping finance, and sale of loan portfolios. The firm was also engaged in fintech work, as well as, more broadly, advising its banking clientele on a plethora of legal issues and disputes.

In M&A the firm assisted both medium-sized and large clients on a host of M&A and private equity transactions. Many of the deals worked on had cross-border dimensions, with the firm acting as lead counsel on all mandates. Besides its transactional work, the team also provided general corporate law advice to clients.

The firm was also visible in the German financial regulatory area, where it worked for private and public sector clients on a host of regulatory law issues.

In recent staffing changes Partner Marc-André Rousseau and Matthias Geurts joined the firm while Philippe Woesch departed the firm during the research cycle.

 

Deal highlights: 32nd edition (2021/2022)

Beyond Capital Partners Fund II acquisition of Dr. Hoffmann Gebäudedienste

iCON Infrastructure Partners V acquisition of ropa, NGN Telecom and Wisotel

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom is an American multinational law firm founded in 1948 in New York. It is present in Germany with offices in Frankfurt and Munich. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has a strong offering across several financial and corporate areas in Germany. 

In banking it has shown a capacity to advise on domestic and cross-border transactions, with a focus on acquisition finance, structured finance, syndicated lending and debt restructuring work. 

The capital markets team has vast experience handling complex cross-border equity and debt capital markets transactions on behalf of both issuers and underwriters, and in particular capital markets work with a unique US component. 

M&A is another active area for the firm, with the team possessing a unique experience in structuring and executing cross-border transactions. 

Similarly, in private equity, the firm has a strong international focus, advising private equity houses on their inbound buyouts in Germany, as well as pan-European transactions with a strong German component. The team also boasts substantial experience in significant transatlantic transactions involving major US corporates and investors. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Adevinta, Black Diamond Capital Management, Gulf Energy Development, Standard Chartered Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, BioNTech, AMS Group, MorphoSys, Medigene, Signa Group, BofA Securities, Berenberg, UBS, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, American Industrial Partners, Blackstone, Energy Infrastructure Partners, SCP Group, Kone and Coty. 

Ashurst

The multinational law firm Ashursthas a foothold in 15 countries around the world. In Germany, the firm operates offices in Frankfurt and Munich. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm employs capable teams assisting clients in banking, capital markets and M&A. 

Banking, in particular, is a noticeable strength where the firm advises a mix of private equity houses and sponsors, debt funds and banks. It has a strong market position in super senior debt and is recognised for its financing work in the German healthcare, care home and pharma industries. 

The firm is also strong in capital markets work, with debt capital markets, derivatives and securitisation being distinct areas of focus.  

In M&A, the firm is active in predominantly mid-cap work and is visible in the automotive, infrastructure and energy, healthcare and consumer goods sectors. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Adidas, Benteler, Bosch, Commerzbank, National Bank, Paragon Partners, Pinova Capital, Bregal, Auctus, Afinum, Tikehau and HF Private Debt. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Insolvency 

“Highly experienced and accepted in the market. Very good team. Perfect understanding of insolvency problems including a M&A process. Extremely good negotiators.” 

 

Leveraged finance 

“Very responsive, local & global coverage and structuring expertise.” 

Berner Fleck Wettich

Berner Fleck Wettich is a German boutique law firm located in Düsseldorf. The firm was founded in 2014. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm specialises in assisting companies and entrepreneurs on corporate and M&A work. Its advice includes general corporate support, and support on transactions, often with cross-border elements representing foreign companies and investors on transactions in Germany and assisting family businesses and SMEs abroad. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Apollo-Optik, LEG Immobilien, Metroand Mueller Medien. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“Excellent business-oriented legal counseling with excellent knowledge of situation and industry and needs of my company.” 

 

Project finance 

“100% reliable, detailed, direct and solution-oriented.” 

Bird & Bird

Founded in 1846, Bird & Bird expanded rapidly and now includes offices in 19 countries. In Germany the firm has locations in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. 

 

Focuses / specialisms 

Areas of focus in the financial and corporate space include financial services regulatory, banking, M&A and private equity. 

The firm has a dynamic banking team that is knowledgeable in the financial technology space, but also, more broadly, works on a plethora of loan and capital markets transactions. 

In financial services regulatory work, the firm is also strong in fintech work. It boasts a dedicated payment services practice that is experienced in PISP/AISP and German Regulatory Regimes. 

Working in collaboration with the firm’s regulatory group, the M&A team has a strong reputation in the medical cannabis industry where it is one of the few international law firms advising both producers and distributors. The firm is also strong in fintech and financial services, where it advises start-ups, as well as in the German renewables, gaming, social media and e-commerce sectors. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Avery Dennison, Deutsche BeteiligungsKorian, Fujifilm, Mitsubishi Chemical, Mastercard, IDnow, yes.com and bunq. 

Bub Memminger & Partner

Formed as a result of a merger, the German boutique Bub Memminger & Partner focuses on commercial law. The firm’s primary location is Munich with additional offices in Frankfurt and Berlin.

 

Focuses / specialisms

The firm is active in private equity and specialises on transactions involving buying from insolvency. It is particularly experienced in the German healthcare sector.

Dechert

International firm Dechert, has more than 900 lawyers across the globe. The firm opened its London office in 1972 and now has over 160 lawyers in the London office.

 

Focusses / specialisms  

The firm advise clients on a broad spectrum of structured finance, derivatives and securitisation transactions. It is perhaps best known in the UK for its debt capital markets and funds work, particularly work relating to sovereign debt issues. The London team is best known for its work on debt capital markets, private equity and investment funds work.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Ares Management, Brookfield Asset Management, Cerberus Capital Management, Further Global Capital Management, GIC, KKR, Columna Capital, Mid Europa Partners, Nordic Capital, One Equity Partners, Fondazione Enasarco, Athene and Cheyne Capital Management (UK).

Dentons

Dentons is a full-service global law firm with four offices in Germany located in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. The firm has a global presence with more than 200 offices in more than 80 countries. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The German office is particularly active in the capital markets, M&A and restructuring practice.The capital markets team advises on all aspects of securities law, equity and debt financing and complex securisations and structured finance transactions. 

In M&A, Dentons German team works on acquisitions for both foreign and German clients across energy, healthcare and financial services sectors 

The restructuring practice offers extensive advice on self-administration proceedings, distressed M&A and other types of restructuring work.  

 

Key clients 

The firms key clients include German Federal Finance Agency, UniCredit Bank, Wilmington Trust, Deutsche Bank, Hamburg Commercial Bank, Astaris Capital Management, Bayerische Landesbank, KKR/Global Infrastructure Partners, Munich Airport International, CBRE Group, Q-Energy and Helios. 

Dr Beck & Partner

Dr Beck & Partneris a German law firm with a narrow focus on insolvency administration. The firm has offices in multiple cities in Bavaria, namely Nuremberg, Munich, Regensburg, Ansbach, Hof, Würzburg, Augsburg and Landshut. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

Over the course of its two-decade history, the firm has carved out a reputation as one of the best insolvency administrators in Germany. The firm creates value for both creditors and restructuring companies and is frequently appointed on the largest mandates in the field in Germany. 

 

Key clients 

The firm’s notable clients include CMS Hasche Sigle, Theopark, Anchor, Ashurst, Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells International, Latham & Watkins and Gleiss Lutz. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Insolvency 

“Reliable, highly qualified, strong communication skills paired with an extreme persuasive power, best in class!” 

EY Law

As one of the largest professional services networks in the world, EYhas offices in more than 150 countries. Formed in 2018, it currently has offices in about 20 locations within Germany, including Hamburgout of which its private equity team services clients. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is highly active in German private equity and is typically seen advising PE funds on acquisitions of new targets, as well as add-on acquisition for existing portfolio companies. 

The team boasts vast experience in the automotive, healthcare, technology and software sectors, and is predominantly focused on mid-cap work. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Hg Capital, IK Investment Partners, H.I.G. Capital, Paguasca Holding, Daimler, Core Equity Holdings, One Equity Partners, Altor Equity Partners, OpenGate Capital,VR Equitypartnerand Sun Capital. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“The team has both very broad as well as deep knowledge in all relevant aspects of PE law. They were super-responsive, always acted like a true business partner (focusing on getting results rather than lawyering). Whenever we needed out of scope advice, the team was either able to answer themselves or provide valuable resources from the EY network. All in all, can fully recommend!” 

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Founded in Los Angeles in 1890, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has expanded to 20 offices scattered across North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In Germany, the firm operates offices in Frankfurt and Munich. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

Areas of activity within the financial and corporate domains include banking, M&A and private equity. 

Its banking team has experience advising both lenders and borrowers on a plethora of leveraged finance, corporate finance, real estate finance and restructuring transactions. Its clients often feature investors, banks, financial institutions and corporates. 

Its M&A team often assists strategic investors and financial institutions on cross-border deals. Its engagements range from M&A and buyouts to investments to restructurings and bankruptcy-related takeovers. 

Private equity is an area of distinct focus for the firm, with large-cap and mid-cap transactions making up the bulk of the team’s work. With offices in the main private equity hubs in Germany, the firm is able to provide exemplary service to large PE houses such as Lone Star, One Equity Partners and Triton. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Lone Star, One Equity Partners, Triton, Platinum Equity Partners, Baupost Group, Investcorp, Gilde, Capvis, ICG, Granville Baird, The Gores Group, Aurelius Growth Investments, Triton Smaller Mid-Cap Fund, Primutec Solutions Group, Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co, Gilead Sciences, Stone Canyon Industries, Atlas Copco and Heska Corporation. 

Glade Michel Wirtz

Glade Michel Wirtz is an internationally oriented German law firm located in Düsseldorf. The firm was established in 2007. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has experience in corporate, M&A, capital markets and restructuring work. It advises on both the buy-side and sell-side, with a client list featuring large German corporates such as Daimler. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Daimler, Franz Haniel & CIe, Provinzial Rheinland Holding, Rhön-Klinikum, Etris Bank, Einkaufsbüro Deutscher Eisenhändler, Apothekerverband Nordrhein and GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“Accurate and fast M&A support (negotiating & drafting), very experienced and solution oriented in negotiations, ensuring senior lawyer involvement at all times.Efficient cooperation with other professional advisers involved in the transaction.” 

“They bridge the gap between the legal technicalities and business objectives in a constructive manner, identifying issues and needs and constructively work to finding solutions. Thus, they work effectively with the client and the counterpart to progress matters. Further, although being a smaller firm, they work effectively with partners to provide a complete set of services, both partners that are long-term liaisons of theirs but also firms that the client has a history with and brings to the team. The business in which we operate is global, and in this manner GMW are capable of reaching well beyond the German jurisdiction. 

Gleiss Lutz

Stuttgart-headquartered Gleiss Lutzis one the largest German law firms. The firm has six offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart, as well as an office in Brussels and in London. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s banking practice, helped by its strong line-up and close integration and interdisciplinary work with other practice areas, has remained a source of strength for the firm in recent research cycles. The team can advise on both the side of lender and borrower clients. The team is strong across a wide range of loan work, including syndicated and corporate loans, leveraged buyouts and acquisition financing, promissory notes, infrastructure and real estate financing. 

The firm also advises on financial services regulatory work, where it is seen working on the side of German and foreign clients across the entire financial sector. Capitalising on the firm’s strong compliance department, the practice often assists financial institutions in complex and high-stake investigations. The team is also strong in corporate governance work and is adept at advising on outsourcing and remuneration matters. 

In capital markets, the firm is visible in both debt and equity on the side of issuers and underwriting banks. Helped by its close-knit ties with US and European law firms, the capital markets practice can support complex cross-border work. 

The investment funds team provides advice across practically all aspects of funds work including formation, distribution, regulatory and supervisory matters and fund financing. It has a particular focus on compliance and regulatory advice, corporate governance and transactional activity in the asset management industry. 

In M&A and private equity, the firm has the capacity to support the full life cycle of complex, landmark acquisitions, divestitures, investments, joint ventures and distressed M&A. 

The firm’s projects team can handle all development and implementation issues of projects in Germany. The team possesses expertise in plant construction, especially in connection to power plant projects, and is active in project financing work, where it advises both financing banks and investors on the purchase of property and project developments. 

Restructuring and insolvency is a strong area for the firm, as the team is often seen on some of the complex cases in the markets. The firm is highly capable in assisting on financial restructurings and has strong expertise in highly complex insolvency work and innovative restructuring options. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Bosch, Henkel, Linde Group, Deutsche Telekom, Infineon Technologies, KKR, Triton, Apax, Blackstone, LEG Immobilien, Delivery Hero, AlzChem Group, Invesco Real Estate and NAS Invest. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“Gleiss Lutz is one of the leading law firms in Germany, providing services on the highest level one can expect. For me, the restructuring & insolvency practice group is benchmark in Germany.” 

“They are highly client-focussed and competent, thus pragmatic and highly performant.” 

GLNS

GLNSis a Munich-based boutique law firm. The firm was founded in 2012. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has an active M&A practice. Its focus is on mid-cap work, often with international dimensionsnearly 50% of its client base is international and the firm represents clients from foreign countries such as the US, Spain, UK, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Zooplus, Allianz, Audi, Zalando, MorphoSys, Hello Fresh, Adidas, BSH, Delivery Hero Holding, CGS, EMERAM Capital, FSN Capital, Egeria Capital and Paragon Partners. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Leveraged finance 

“GLNS offers highly customer-centric, quality service with sound commercial advice and attention to detail.” 

 

M&A 

“Just an outstanding firm! Super knowledgeable, extremely hardworking, 100% reliable, great people who are fun to work with.” 

Greenberg Traurig

Founded in Miami in 1967,Greenberg Traurig has expanded to 40 offices located in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia. The firm’s German office is based in Berlin. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has a credible M&A offering in Germany. It advises on both the buy-side and sell-side on private M&A transactions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. 

The team is particularly strong in the TMT sector but has also recently represented clients in sectors such as automotive, life sciences, healthcare, chemicals and environmental. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Digital Turbine, ALS Global, KKR, Gilde Healthcare, Tuscan Holdings, Röhlig Deutschland, Nvidia, Best Western International, Eltel, IFA Group, CCC, GlobalLogic, Black Dragon Capital, Inpixon, BC Partners, Quilvest Capital Partners and Obvious Ventures. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Bank lending 

“Legally good and quick advice, good recommendations for action, advice also on topics outside the legal advice in the transaction process.” 

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller is a leading German law firm with an international reach. It was established in 1990. The firm’s locations in Germany are in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, with international offices based in Brussels and London. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is active across most financial and corporate domains and excels in banking, capital markets, regulatory, M&A and private equity. 

The firms banking practice is market leading and covers bank-side work and advice to borrowers across the full extent of lending products. It frequently acts for large corporates including several DAX30 companies. 

The firm is active in equity capital markets, where it typically does landmark issuer-side work on a share of the largest transactions in Germany. In debt, the firm is equally strong, with sound expertise possessed in both bonds and structured finance. 

In the financial services regulatory space, the firm advises both institutions and investors, public and private, across the European banking and finance sector. The firm advises international and German banks on regulatory questions, with consolidation of the European banking industry remaining a key focus for the firm. 

In M&A and private equity the firm is extremely strong, regularly seen advising on the lion’s share of the largest transactions in Germany. 

Restructuring has strengthened in past research cycles, gaining a high market share of the country’s complex mandates. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Waterland, BlackFin, Trill Impact, Tencent, Skaylink, HAL Investments, Deutsche Lufthansa, Glencore, Siemens, Deutsche Börse, Schneider Electric, 3i, Apollo, Bain, Blackstone, Oaktree, Rothschild, KKR, Adidas, Robert Bosch, Thyssenkrupp, KION, Covestro, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, ABN AMRO and Goldman Sachs. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“HM transfers well the knowledge about our company, set-up and business to the legal world. HM is always on top of issues and has an almost 24/7 availability.” 

 

Private equity 

Fast, complete, accurate, friendly, responsive, good involvement of senior people on complicated topics rather than too-junior staff.” 

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek is a German law firm active in all areas of commercial law. The firm was established in 1971 in Düsseldorf and has a Germany-wide presence with offices in Berlin, Chemnitz, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgard.  

 

Focuses / specialisms

The firm is active across the full spectrum of financial and corporate work in Germany.

It fields a large M&A department, roughly half of whose lawyers engage in other areas such as corporate litigation and corporate housekeeping which allows the team to provide a well- rounded experience in various industries.

The team has a focus on work in the mechanical engineering, automotive, healthcare, energy and financial services industries.

 

Key clients

The firm’s key clients include CANCOM, Primepulse, 4basebio, KATEK, Aquila Capital and Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln.

Hogan Lovells

The American-British headquartered international law firm Hogan Lovells has operations in 40 countries on all continents. The firm’s German offices are located in the cities of Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Hamburg. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

Areas of activity for the firm’s banking team include acquisition finance, syndicated loans, corporate finance, debt restructuring, real estate finance, project finance, trade and export finance and promissory notes. The firm’s work for non-bank lenders has intensified in the recent past, whilst it also continues to regularly advise national and international banks on various aspects of banking law, as well as large corporate groups on international cash-pooling arrangements. 

The firm has an able financial services regulatory practice, whose work ranges from advice on all aspects of legal banking supervisory requirements, financial market stabilisation measures and contractual trust agreements to assistance on BaFin licence applications and security regulatory law. 

In capital markets, the firm is especially well recognised in structured finance and securitisation work, where it is among the market leaders for fintech and startup securitisations and retail structured products, but also has credible equity and debt offerings. 

The M&A practice group, bolstered by the firm’s global profile, has a strong market penetration. The firm has improved its share of work for DAX30 companies in recent years and has made significant strides in infrastructure M&A, where the team increasingly works on complex and high-profile matters. 

 

Key clients 

Key recent clients include AkquiVest, BayernLB, Commerzbank, Bundesrepublik Deutschland -Finanzagentur, Daimler Group, Marex Financial, Voxeljet, Dana Incorporated, OMV, Boston Consulting Group and Gilead Sciences. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Capital markets: Debt 

“Extremely responsive, knowledgeable and competent. They demonstrate high levels of expertise, work efficiently to deadlines and are a pleasure to work with.” 

 

Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Solution-focused and with the ability to solve tricky negotiation issues by providing clear and solid opinions. Quick response times.” 

K&L Gates

K&L Gates is an international law firm headquartered in Pennsylvania with more than 40 offices located in key capital cities and world commercial and financial centres, including its offices in Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s M&A practice focuses on large middle-market transactions for multinational corporations in Europe, the US and Asia, with strong participation in the automotive and technology industry sectors. The team advises on acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures, strategic alliances and recapitalisations for clients. 

 

Key clients 

The firm’s notable clients include Continental, Cummins, Minebea Mitsumi and Mobis Europe. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“Very good market and business knowledge as well as good, speedy legal advice.” 

 

Private equity 

“Client service, timely delivery, great commerciality and practical.” 

Kallan

Berlin and Frankfurt-based Kallanwas founded in 2016. The core of the team formerly formed the German offices of the Scandinavian law firm Mannheimer Swartling. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm provides a comprehensive M&A and corporate offering to a client list that ranges from owner-managedMittelstand” companies to international groups. It advises on national and cross-border transactions that include acquisitions and divestments of shares and assets, mergers and joint ventures. 

 

Key clients 

Key recent clients include Hemsö Tyskland Fastigheter, Langley Holdings, DC Druck Chemie and Beijer Ref. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“Very good knowledge and advice. Great support and easy to work with. Adaptable to changing situations.” 

“Knowledgeable and experienced in cross-border M&A, strong communicators, pragmatic and balanced.” 

King & Spalding

Headquartered in Atlanta, the international law firm King & Spaldinghas offices in North America, Europe and Asia. In Germany the firm advises clients out of Frankfurt. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s German team is active in the banking space. It is part of an integrated global finance group that advises a wide spectrum of clients on the full range of secured and unsecured financing transactions. 

The team has experience in handling complex national and cross-border transactions in the financial services, real estate and funds industry. Its client list features prominent national and international banks, funds, asset managers and institutional investors. 

 

Key clients 

The firm’s key clients include Deka Bank Deutsche Girozentrale, AEW Invest, Barings Real Estate Advisers, HANSAINVEST Hanseatische Investment, BeOS, Principal Real Estate Europe (fka Internos Global Investors), 2IP Institutional Investment Partners, Universal Investment, BMO Real Estate Partners and Proprium Capital Management (UK).

King & Spalding

Headquartered in Atalanta, the international law firm King & Spalding has offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. In Germany the firm advises clients out of Frankfurt.

 

Focuses / specialisms

The firm’s German team is active in the banking space. It is part of an integrated global finance group that advises a wide spectrum of clients on the full range of secured and unsecured financing transactions.

The team has experience in handling complex national and cross-border transactions in the financial services, real estate and funds industry. Its client list features prominent national and international banks, funds, asset managers and institutional investors.

 

Key clients

The firm’s key clients include DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale, AEW Invest, Barings Real Estate Advisers, HANSAINVEST Hanseatische Investment, BEOS, Principal Real Estate Europe (fka Internos Global Investors), 2IP Institutional Investment Partners, Universal Investment, BMO Real Estate Partners and Proprium Capital Management (UK).

King & Wood Mallesons

Founded by a merger in 2012, King & Wood Mallesonsis a multinational law firm headquartered in Hong Kong. The firms German team advises clients from an office in Frankfurt. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is visible in M&A, private equity and restructuring work in Germany. 

Its M&A team specialises in advising clients on cross-border deals with a specific focus on Sino-German transactions. An area of strength for the team is in transactions related to foreign investment control proceedings in accordance with the German Foreign Investment Act. 

In private equity, the firm focuses on advising on both the buy-side and sell-side of deals in the German and European mid-cap market. The team has a distinct focus on the technology and healthcare industries. 

The restructuring team’s focus on distressed financings and distressed M&A complements well the other practices of private equity, M&A and finance. The team has also recently been engaged in assisting German companies in connection with securing state aid financing. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC), Compo Investco/Kingenta, Fawer Automotive Parts, Jinzhou Halla Electrical Equipment/Wonder Auto Group, Ninestar Corporation, BIP Capital Partners, Silver Investment Partners, LEA Partners and LANDWEHR Group. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“Most practical and to the point, they have impressive market knowledge.” 

“Pragmatic, impressive market knowledge, to the point, easy to work with.” 

Kirkland & Ellis

US firmKirkland & Ellis established an office in Germany in Munich,its second branch in Europe, in 2005.  

Founded in 1909 in Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis is a leading US and international firm with a network of 15 offices spanning three continents. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

In Germany, like the firm as a whole, the team has a focus on serving the needs of financial sponsors and does this well. However, the firm’s restructuring team is its – and one of the market’s – best in Germany.  

In lending and borrowing work, the firm specialises in advising sponsors in LBO transactions and exclusively works for borrowers. 

The firm’s work in the capital markets area is typically bond issues and also focused around private equity transactions. It represents sponsors on bond issues to finance acquisitions or refinance portfolio businesses, or on exits through an IPO.  

The firm’s transactional private equity team is large and experienced and is generally seen on a share of what large primary or secondary transactions there are in Germany annually. It more often works for US-based funds. 

The restructuring practice is known for working for creditors (often funds) on large cases with a complex debt element, and in the recent past has been involved in a good share of large German or European cases. 

 

Key clients 

Advent, Apax, Bain, BC Partners, CVC, Cinven, ApolloBrookfield and Lone Star are a few of the firm’s key private equity clients. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Bank lending 

“Very commercial, close to market standards, high technical expertise, lots of experience, high accessibility.” 

 

Private equity 

“Kirkland & Ellihave quickly become the leaders for German corporate M&A and public to privates. They combine a high-performing culture with excellent technical ability, commercial astuteness and an international outlook.” 

Latham & Watkins

The multinational law firm Latham & Watkins is among the largest and most profitable in the world. It was established in 1934 in Los Angeles. In Germany, the firm serves clients from the country’s major commercial hubsDüsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s financial and corporate coverage is broad, with banking, capital markets, private equity and restructuring being among the firm’s strengths. 

Working in close cooperation with the firm’s capital markets and restructuring teams, the banking practice is especially strong in corporate finance work. The team is among the market’s best and frequently assists both borrowers and lenders on complex and impactful transactions. 

Within capital markets the firm is particularly well recognised in equity capital markets, where it is often seen serving clients on IPOs across the German and other European stock exchanges. The firm is also active in the debt capital markets domain, where it has a strong foothold in the European and German market for high-yield bond offerings. 

An area of strength for the firm in the financial services regulatory domain is advising global financial institutions on complex issues, such as the provision of support in relation to supervisory measures of the ECB. 

In M&A, the firm has a focus on technology and healthcare, where it has completed a plethora of landmark transactions recently, but also advises clients on complex deals in other industries such as financial services, manufacturing and infrastructure. 

The firm has been consistently competitive in the private equity space, where it advises on a share of the market’s landmark transactions, but also regularly completes a high volume of mid-market deals. 

In restructuring, the firm’s offering is also impressive, with the firm often advising on some of the most challenging restructurings, insolvencies and distressed transactions in Germany. 

 

Key clients 

The firm’s key clients include Adesso, Allgeier, Atai Life Sciences, Atotech,Berenberg,Air Berlin, Barings, Commerzbank, 3i Group, Ardian, Banco Santander, BlackRock, BNP Paribas, Allianz Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking, Brookfield, Temasek, Carlyle Group, Siemens Healthineers, JP Morgan, Citi and Deutsche Bank. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Restructuring 

“What I appreciate is the very business-oriented, progressive and holistic approach of the Latham restructuring team in Germany. With three partners and about 15 team members, there is no other restructuring team in the German market with such fire power.” 

“Very forward thinking, proactive and full service oriented.” 

Leo Schmidt-Hollburg Witte & Frank

Leo Schmidt-Hollburg Witte & Frankis a German boutique law firm with a narrow focus on M&A and intellectual property/information technology work. The firm is located in Hamburg and Frankfurt. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm advises on a wide spectrum of corporate and M&A transactions such as acquisitions, investments and investment rounds. It is seen on both the buy-side and sell-side and has distinct strengths in the transportation, food and beverages, technology, media, software, finance, professional services and real estate sectors. 

 

Key clients 

Key recent clients for the firm include Zertus, DSV GroupFFG Finanzcheck Finanzportale, Nordic Alpha Partners, Oyster Bay Venture Capital, Vivum, FMS Friedrich Meyer’s Sohn and COR Therapeutikum WestFehmarn. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“Very knowledgeable, target-focused and pragmatic.” 

 

Private equity 

“Very clear, structured and innovative.” 

Lindemann Schwennicke & Partner

The German boutique law firm Lindemann Schwennicke & Partner was formed in 2006 as a spin-off from international law firm Lovells (now Hogan Lovells)It operates out of a Berlin office. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm fields strong banking and financial services regulatory teams. 

In banking its work extends to the full spectrum of clients and transactions. Its core financing practice advises on acquisition finance, project finance, real estate finance and corporate loans. 

In the financial services regulatory space, the firm is well regarded for advising banks, financial institutions, fintech and insuretech in connection with the digitisation of the banking and insurance industry. The firm is also frequently seen advising major German and European banks and bank associations in connection with the transfer of various EU regulations and directions and directives into German law. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Commerzbank, Deutsche Bahn, DvHM MedienFlughafen Berlin Brandenburg, IKB Deutsche IndustriebankLandesbank Baden Württemberg (LBBW), Axel Springer, BAWAG PSK Bank, BitpandaDeutscher Sparkassen-und Giroverband, GARBE Industrial Real Estate, HypoportInvesdor and S-Payment. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Bank lending : Borrower side 

"Focused on our business situation and special needs. " 

 

Bank lending : Lender side 

"Outstanding knowledge in debt financing, finding pragmatic solutions, applying business logic." 

"Pragmatic and professional execution" 

Mayer Brown

The large international law firm Mayer Brown boasts a global presence with office locations across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In Germany the firm fields large legal teams located in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is active across several financial and corporate areas. 

In banking, it is broadly active in loan work and is often seen on real estate finance, acquisition finance, syndicated corporate loans and asset-backed finance transactions. 

The firm’s financial services regulatory team is highly capable. It regularly advises leading banks on various aspects of European and German banking supervisory law. A strong focus for the practice relates to the regulation of securities trading, financial market infrastructure and the regulation and clearing of derivatives. 

The firm is visible in capital marketsboth in debt and structured finance on the side of both issuers and banks. 

In M&A, the firm has broad experience in venture capital, where its client base ranges from founders to family offices and venture capital funds. 

In the private equity space, the firm advises clients on all product groups, including infrastructure assets. 

The firm’s restructuring team advises clients on financial restructurings of loan financings, real estate and corporate restructuring, distressed M&A and defence against rescission actions. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Lear Corporation, Volpi Capital, DBAG, Borromin Capital, Triton Partners, Eurazeo, Invision Capital, Hauck Aufhäuser Lampe Privatbank, Sixth Street Partners, AaviGenTUI, Goodyear Group, Mitsubishi Corporation, DekaBank, LBBW, UniCredit and Bank Julius Bär. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Banking and finance 

Good (cross-jurisdictional/product) network, responsiveness, industry focus, competitive prices, reliable business relationship.” 

 

Capital markets: Debt 

“Professionalism of the entire team, dedication and commitment for the client, in-depth expertise, taking the client's perspective.” 

McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Will & Emery is an international law firm headquartered in Chicago. The firm has a growing presence in Germany and currently operates offices in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

Banking, capital markets, M&A, private equity and restructuring are distinct areas of focus for the firm within the financial and corporate domain. 

The banking team advises the global financial services industry mainly on acquisition finance. Its clients include borrowers, issuers, sponsors and financial institutions. 

Its capital markets team advises across the full spectrum of mandates in the space. It acts as underwriter’s counsel, issuer’s counsel and transaction counsel on a mix of IPOs, rights issues and convertible bond matters. 

In M&A, the firm is active in the mid-market space and often works at the epicentre of significant transactions. The M&A team also assists clients on a wide range of general corporate work such as reorganisations, general meeting advice and cross-border joint venture agreements. The firm is visible in the German private equity space where it also typically advises on mid-market deals. 

In restructuring, the firm is especially strong in the retail sector. It has also visibly strengthened in the automotive and healthcare sectors in recent years. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients include Ardian, Hamburg Commercial Bank, Gimv, Ajax Health, Silverfleet Capital, Halder, VREquitypartner, EMH Partners, Investcorp, Intersnack/KP Snacks, Signa Retail, United Drug Group, CA Technologies, TransDigm Group, Bilfinger, Nagel Group, Aumann, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, European Department Store Holding (Signa), Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co, Baader Bank, Stifel Europe Bank, Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers, Sport1 and MBB. 

Milbank

Milbankis an international law firm headquartered in New York. With roots tracing back to 1866, the firm has expanded to 12 office locations around the world. The firm’s German presence dates back to 2001 when it opened its Frankfurt office, followed by a Munich office two years later. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has an active and able banking and finance practice which advises financial institutions, private equity funds, underwriters and corporate clients. Its work spans the full range of financing transactions, with particular strengths possessed in cross-border Term Loan B financings, where the firm is among the market’s leaders. 

The firm’s German capital markets practice advises issuers, management and shareholders, as well as syndicate banks and investors, whilst working in collaboration with the firm’s New York and London offices. 

Its M&A team represents public and private companies and financial sponsors and investors on a broad range of transactions and corporate reorganisations. 

Private equity is a key focus area for the firm in Germany. Fully integrated with the firm’s international offices, the team advises large- and mid-market investors, and often works on complex transactions. 

Working with other practice areas and offices, the firm’s restructuring team provides complex solutions on cross-border mandates. It advises on both the creditor and borrower side. 

 

Key clients 

The firm’s key clients list includes such names as Advent International, Allianz X, Ardian, Axel Springer, EQT, CVC Capital Partners, Deutsche Beteiligungs, Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group, General Atlantic, Auto1 Group, Cerberus, Pemberton, Signal Capital Partners, Aviva and ProSiebenSat.1. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

Very skilled lawyers, but I guess what they are doing better than competitors is the service approach. Their advice is always on time, always thought through.” 

 

Restructuring 

“Service oriented, out-of-the-box thinking, high technical knowledge.” 

Noerr

The Munich headquartered, pan-European law firm Noerr was formed in 1950. The firm has 15 locations across Europe and the US, including German offices in Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

In banking, the firm is especially strong in advising on financing work for German “Mittelstand” businesses, as well as large real estate transactions. The firm has recently bolstered its relationships on both the lender and borrower side, which enables it to work on higher volume and more challenging transactions. 

The firm’s capital markets practice, spread across several of the firm’s offices in Germany, covers both the classic equity and debt transactions, as well as all aspects of public takeovers, reorganisations of listed companies, squeeze-outs and de-listings. The practice also provides financial markets regulatory advice to underwriters, issuers and selling shareholders relating to capital markets transactions. 

In M&A, the firm is known for its cross-border work and is seen acting as lead counsel on international acquisitions and investments. The firm also advises on joint ventures and domestic and international restructuring mandates. 

 

Key clients 

The firm’s recent client list features such names as Apollo, Aviva, Capital 4, Carlyle, Cerberus, Cellnex Telecom, Deutsche Finanzagentur, Flughafen (Airport) Berlin Brandenburg, Kaufland Stiftung & Co, Rocket Internet, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, IGN, Postbank, UniCredit, Fresenius Medical Care and HelloFresh. 

POELLATH

P+P Pöllath + Partners (POELLATH) is a German-based law firm founded in 1997 and headquartered in Berlin with offices in Munich and Frankfurt. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

Corporate M&A and private equity are the key strengths of the firm. The practice offers advice to both publicly listed and private companies regarding their general and shareholders’ meetings, restructuring and all corporate governance matters. The firm advises clients in the technology, e-commerce, banking, media and healthcare sectors. 

 

Key clients 

Notable clients of the firm include Brockhaus Technologies, Equistone Partners Europe, EQT Partners, Emeram Capital, Elvaston Capital, GenUI, Gimv, Investcorp, Oaktree Capital, Pinova and SevenVentures. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

Diligent, commercially minded, likeable to work with.” 

 

Private equity 

“Very professional, very easy and good to deal with, reliable, good personalities.” 

Shearman & Sterling

Headquartered in New YorkShearman & Sterling is an international law firm with more than 850 lawyers across 25 offices in the world. The firm’s German offices are located in Frankfurt and Munich. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

Key areas of strength for the German offices are M&A and private equity practice. The German M&A team, being part of the global M&A group, is experienced in advising on complex multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions including cross-border public takeovers. The private equity practice is focussed on large-cap and mid-cap transactions in German. 

 

Key clients 

The firm’s key clients include Deutsche Beteiligungs, Andlinger, First Sentier Investors, Intek Group, Ardaghand KME. 

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

“Professional service and good personal relationship.”

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing is an international law firm with more than 1,100 lawyers across 29 locations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as representative offices in the US. Its German offices are based in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich.  

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s German team is particularly active in the banking and finance practice,which covers acquisition finance, corporate lending, real estate, project, export and asset finance. The firm works mainly for the real estate and banking industry players while providing financial advice to both lender and borrower side. 

 

Key clients 

Notable clients of the firm include Hamburg Commercial Bank, Helaba-– Landesbank Hessen, Thüringen Girozentrale, Natixis Pfandbriefbank, Bayerische Landesbank, Tishman Speyer, Borromin Capital Management, Claret Capital Partners, CORDET Capital Partners, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Beteiligungs, HIG Europe and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg

Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Founded in 1888, Willkie Farr & Gallagher is an international law firm with 13 offices located in key business centres across six countries in the world. Its German office is based in Frankfurt. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s German office is active in banking and finance, restructuring, M&A and private equity.  

The banking and finance team advises financial sponsors, corporate borrowers, financial institutions and private debt funds on all types of domestic and cross-border financings, particularly corporate loans, Schuldschein loans, project loans and real estate loans, as well as their refinancings and complex restructurings. 

In M&A and private equity, the firm advises on high-profile international transactions including divestitures and acquisitions for private equity sponsors and portfolio companies as well as strategic public and private companies. 

 

Key clients 

Notable clients of the firm include 3i, AddSecure, Acerinox, Apax Partners, Aquiline Capital Partners, Ardian, Blantyre Capital, Brookfield, Calida Holding, Capital 300, Barings, Novum Capital, Arcmont Asset Management, Deutsche Bank, Berlin Brands and WWK Life Insurance.  

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A 

They are professional, very competent, and commercial in their approach.” 

 

Private equity 

“They are very knowledgeable and focus on delivering solutions that are tailored to our needs.”