LATHAM & WATKINS

Comment: A highly recommended M&A practice which emerged stronger from recent turmoil. After initial skepticism, more and more competitors are acknowledging how L&W has driven its focus on higher end work. The quality of client relationships has little to do with clients’ size, even though L&W was again able to capitalize on established connections to DAX corporates like Henkel or E.on/Uniper for high-profile deal work. The Siemens connection gained traction thanks to Traugott. But the fall 2017 arrival of Paschos from Linklaters should mean an even greater push, as he was in action for clients like Bayer, Deutsche Börse and ZF Friedrichshafen. The practice appears more diverse overall and landed complex work for owner families and large Mittelstand companies, as shown by work for the first time for the Arag family shareholders. Other assets include international visibility (esp. in Asia), broadened PE contacts and expertise in the healthcare sector, which Astellas drew on.
Strengths: Large group of transaction lawyers, also frequently active in ?private equity.
Development potential: Despite its success, L&W still rarely steps up to bat in international billion-euro deals. In projects like Bayer/Monsanto or Linde/Praxair, the firm only plays a secondary role, if any. If L&W wants to join the firms at the top of the market it will have to show it can handle high-volume strategic deals away from PE. Siemens could act as a gateway.
Recommended: Oliver Felsenstein, Dr. Henning Schneider, Dr. Harald Selzner, Dr. Martin Neuhaus, Dr. Nikolaos Paschos, Dr. Rainer Traugott, Dr. Stefan Widder, Burc Hesse, Rainer Wilke, Dr. Holger Iversen, Dr. Hans-Jürgen Lütt.
Practice: Focus on pharmaceuticals and healthcare, financial services providers, energy, media. Strong ?private equity practice. Good connections to large corporates, esp. in Düsseldorf. The Munich office typically focuses on PE but is increasingly active for strategic clients. (17 partners, 7 counsel, 38 associates, 2 of counsel)
Clients: ?? Astellas Pharma on acquisition of Ganymed; Berenberg/Bankhaus Lampe on sale of shares in Universal-Investment; family shareholders on sale of Arag Lebensversicherung; Henkel on acquisition of Darex Packaging Technologies; Novo A/S concerning share in Evotec.
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