DLA PIPER

Comment: This firm is highly recommended for M&A and has gone through a significant reshaping of its practice over the past year. Dr. Kirsten Girnth moved to US firm Bryan Cave, while the young Cologne partner Dr. Michael Burg moved to PwC. The interface ?private equity was also weakened by the departure of Dr. Jan Schinköth to Sidley Austin. The track record is impressive, however. The core of the practice is focused on Parameswaran (esp. cross-border M&A) and Krause (Chinese investors, and German family companies). These two partners have succeeded in exporting German key clients (e.g. Lufthansa) into the network and the appointment to the BASF panel was another highlight. The reliance on both as the motor of the practice has been an obvious weak point, but it was noticeable that younger partners are starting to profit from the network on international mid-cap deals and the practice as a whole is far better managed than the lone-wolf culture of yesteryear. This shift upwards was the preface to the arrival of significant reinforcement in Frankfurt which was long overdue. In May a three-partner team arrived from K&L Gates: Schulze-Steinen has a strong record in technology and media-related transactions and Füchsel considerable experience in public takeover work and private equity.
Strengths: Good international network in Europe and the US. Strong team of young M&A partners, which now operates homogeneously. Large corporates praise the value for money.
Development potential: The Frankfurt recruits are an important development because there was too much emphasis on two figureheads of the practice. It gives the opportunity to accelerate the integration with the European practice, let alone with the massive US corporate client base where there is considerable potential.
Recommended: Dr. Benjamin Parameswaran (“knowledgeable and pragmatic”, client), Dr. Nils Krause (“in-depth sector expertise, exceptionally quick reactions – in short, a true problem solver”, client), Dr. Thomas Schmuck, Florian Hirschmann (“outstanding China and M&A expert”, client), Dr. Jörg Paura, Dr. Mathias Schulze Steinen, Andreas Füchsel (“clever and versatile”, competitor).
Practice: Advice on cross-border, mostly midsized transactions, embedded within a full-service concept with ?corporate, ?employment and ?antitrust, increasingly ?private equity. (Corporate in total: 15 partners, 4 counsel, 22 associates, 1 of counsel)
Clients: ?? Columbus McKinnon on acquisition of Stahl Cranesystems; CVC on German law aspects of Quironsalud sale to Fresenius; Cargotec/MacGregor on sale of north German production division for maritime components; KGAL on sale of majority stake in Deutsche Telekom headquarters; Flacks Group on acquisition on industrial packaging division of Holzindustrie Fürst zu Fürstenberg.
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