Comment: A highly recommended M&A practice whose incomparably strong track record in mid-cap deals is hard to get around. This remarkable success is partly thanks to the standardization of such deals, which has made CMS a role model to competitors. But this is not helping the firm to raise its market share in more complex big-ticket deals, where CMS is still some way behind the market leaders, though it has made some progress, e.g. advice to RAG trust on acquiring three Italian companies. The new Iranian office could help CMS achieve its goal of holding its ground as a leading Mittelstand advisor while building up contacts among corporates. Work here focuses on sanctions at present, but CMS is already advising DAX companies on entering the Iranian market. The London merger between CMS Cameron McKenna and Olswang and Nabarro offers potential due to Olswang’s good tech industry contacts, but the London office urgently needs corporate reinforcements to operate on a par with Germany.
Strengths: Very large practice, which is the market leader in midsized deals in terms of numbers. Strong CMS offices across central and eastern Europe. Much client praise for sector-related advice.
Development potential: The separation of the practice into corporate and transaction lawyers is more of an obstacle in terms of access to corporates. The alliance partner model also puts CMS at a disadvantage compared to fully merged firms. To develop work strategically across the continent, the corporate practices will need to operate more in unity.
Recommended: Dr. Thomas Meyding (“outstanding transaction lawyer”, competitor), Dr. Christian von Lenthe, Dr. Udo Simmat, Dr. Jürgen Frodermann, Dr. Martin Bell, Klaus Jäger (“pleasant to work with, the firm network also works well”, client), Dr. Oliver Thurn, Dr. Jochen Lamb, Dr. Henrik Drinkuth, Dr. Ernst-Markus Schuberth, Dr. Maximilian Grub (“competent, precise and has the necessary capacities”, client), Dr. Joachim Dietrich (“very good service, strong expertise, excellent understanding of the client, good network, goes the extra mile”, client), Dr. Jacob Siebert, Dr. Malte Bruhns, Dr. Oliver Wolfgramm, Dr. Jörg Lips, Dr. Hendrik Hirsch (“good work at a reasonable price”, client).
Practice: Broad spectrum of M&A. Focus on ?energy, ?pharmaceuticals and healthcare, ?media, financial services providers, automotive. (M&A:65 partners, plus associates)
Clients: ?? Coherent on acquisition of Rofin-Sinar; RAG trust on acquisition of 3 Italian healthcare companies; LBBW on financing public takeover bid by Busch for Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology; Telefónica on sale of German cell towers; Stabilus on acquisition of Motion Controls Business.
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