Comment: This highly recommended M&A practice was slowed down in its race to catch up with the top of the market. Dr. Michael Ulmer joined Cleary last year, and now well-regarded PE partner Dr. Michael Bernhardt went to Milbank. But with some high-profile cross-border deals (incl. public takeover bids), Frankfurt partner Krause cemented his reputation in this field. Work for new client Advent shows the firm’s progress on the M&A/PE interface. A&O enjoys a good position among notable German companies; the team advised long-time client Allianz on a billion-euro cross-border takeover in the UK, and Tui again banked on Hamburg partner Schäfer. Bilfinger returned to A&O for a deal after the firm had lost out to Milbank several times. A&O welcomed partner Dr. Michiel Huizinga from King & Wood Mallesons.
Strengths: Strong European corporate practice, esp. in the UK and Benelux. Strong in public takeovers.
Development potential: A&O’s transaction practice lost clout with the partner departures. It will be some time before young lawyers enjoy the standing of a partner like Ulmer. Finding experienced laterals is thus all the more important. Huizinga is just the beginning.
Recommended: Dr. Helge Schäfer (“holds the deal together with his personality”, client), Dr. Hartmut Krause (“very good deal coordination”, client), Dr. Hans Schoneweg, Dr. Astrid Krüger, Dr. Christian Eichner, Dr. Jan Schröder (“incredibly committed, very client-focused”, client).
Practice: Frequently international transactions, increasing number of large German deals. Frequent activity in the ?real estate, telecoms, healthcare, ?insurance and banking sectors. Also ?private equity and venture capital. (Corporate in total: 13 partners, 2 counsel, 40 associates, 2 of counsel)
Clients: ?? Allianz on takeover of claims and accident division of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society; Deme Group on acquisition of Merkur offshore wind farm; portfolio company of Advent (Allnex) on acquisition of Nuplex; Studio 100 on acquisition of majority stake in m4e; HP on takeover of David Vision Systems.
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