LINKLATERS

Comment: A leading M&A practice which is often in the spotlight in major international transactions of the caliber of Deere/Wirtgen and ZF/Haldex. The steady broadening of contacts to DAX corporates like Thyssenkrupp and RWE/Innogy is considered an outstanding growth effort, and the future of the practice appears secure thanks to an exceptionally strong team of young partners: besides veterans like Wollburg and Hoenig, Illert, Johannsen-Roth and Klaaßen-Kaiser now enjoy an excellent reputation for both deal work and ongoing corporate advice. The move of renowned partner Dr. Nikolaos Paschos to Latham & Watkins was a setback: he steered high-profile projects like Bayer/Covestro and ZF/Haldex in recent years. Highlights like Xella (for unsuccessful bidder Apollo) frequently stem from the contacts of the PE practice which, however, has not regained its former strength since last year’s move of central Munich partner Dr. Rainer Traugott.
Strengths: Integration of M&A and corporate. Much experience in public takeovers. Strong footprint in banking and insurance industries as well as good track record in infrastructure deals ( ?private equity and venture capital). Cross-border (esp. inbound) M&A.
Development potential: The dominance of the Düsseldorf corporate practice compared to other offices is more pronounced than at any other leading firm. To demonstrate the value it attaches to its Frankfurt and Munich deal teams, Linklaters will have to advance young corporate partners here. The local banking and dispute resolution practices have shown how this is done.
Recommended: Dr. Ralph Wollburg, Wolfgang Sturm, Achim Kirchfeld, Staffan Illert, Dr. Klaus Hoenig, Ulrich Wolff, Peter Erbacher, Dr. Rüdiger Thiele, Dr. Wolfgang Krauel (“quick, enthusiastic”, client), Dr. Thomas Nießen (“very reliable, excellent negotiator, puts himself entirely in the client’s situation and steers large transactions alone if necessary”, client), Hans-Ulrich Wilsing, Dr. Tim Johannsen-Roth, Dr. Ralph Drebes, Kristina Klaaßen-Kaiser.
Practice: Strength in ?insolvency and restructuring and ?corporate. The firm focuses on transactions for foreign investors in Germany as well as work for large domestic clients. Sector focus on ?energy, ?insurance, auto, consumer goods, engineering, IT and banks. (27 partners, 8 counsel, 93 associates, 3 of counsel)
Clients: ?? Deere & Co. on acquisition of Wirtgen; Thyssenkrupp on sale of Slab International and CSA; Osram Licht on sale of Ledvance; Porsche SE on acquisition of PTV; ContiTech on acquisition of Hornschuch.
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