Comment: The range of this highly recommended M&A practice across all offices – apart from Berlin – is allowing HKLW to advance to become a market leader for mid-cap M&A. A number of partners have carved out sector specialties (e.g. engineering, energy in Hamburg, healthcare in Munich), though this is coming from the individual practices rather than managed centrally, as is typical for HKLW. With this individualistic philosophy, the firm has attracted numerous laterals over the years and these partners (esp. Dürr in Munich, Ladwig and Herschlein in Stuttgart, Sahin in Frankfurt) have raised HKLW’s profile. The Düsseldorf office is known for advice to family businesses, for whom the two-way use of the M&A and full-service practices is esp. interesting: the deal lawyers draw work from ongoing operational advice and, in return, ensure a high utilization rate in other practices, esp. this year. The rise in inbound and outbound deals via the international World Services Group network is a new development made possible by the growth in the partnership. Partner Dr. Volker Holl left the Frankfurt office after a short time.
Strengths: Diverse, sector-oriented transaction practice; strong focus on midsized transactions; partners are seen as enterprising and industry-oriented.
Development potential: The rising internationalization of the M&A practice is a welcome development. As to be expected for a European network focusing on mid-cap activity, deals are rarely transcontinental. There is thus considerable potential to build on contacts in the US and Asia.
Recommended: Dr. Hans Gummert (“a Düsseldorf heavyweight now”, competitor), Dr. Andreas Urban, Dr. Stefan Duhnkrack (“target-oriented and pragmatic, much industry experience”, client), Prof. Dr. Georg Streit, Dr. Pär Johansson, Boris Dürr, Dr. Günther Bredow, Dr. Mathias Schröder, Peter Schäffler (“constructive and pragmatic negotiating approach when required by the deal”, competitor), Dr. Ali Sahin, Dr. Peter Ladwig, Dr. Rainer Herschlein.
Practice: Transaction advice to Mittelstand companies and corporates, esp. in the fields of transport and logistics, the maritime sector, industry (esp. plant construction and engineering), automotive, energy, media and IT. Work for PE investors. Active for domestic and foreign financial investors from the international network World Services Group. Further non-exclusive firm contacts. China desk in Hamburg and Brazil desk in Frankfurt. (Corporate in total: 62 equity partners, 29 salary partners, 45 associates)
Clients: ?? AL-KO on acquisition of Steca Elektronik; Celenus/Orpea on takeover of Danuvius hospital; Datagroup on takeover of SAP and Application Services from HP Deutschland; DekaBank on sale of German and Luxembourgian Dealis businesses to State Street; MicroDoc shareholder on sale to Data Respons; Janoschka Group on acquisition of Beck AG Swissform.
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