Comment: This firm highly recommended for M&A has made large strides over the past three years thanks to greatly increased cross-border integration, a consistent focus on particular industries and above all a rejuvenation of the team. The traditional strengths of the German team are banking M&A (esp. Kasch) and energy (Kraffel). It is this latter generation that is bringing about a transformation of the German corporate team which previously showed little strategic unity. The deal flow from the Far East (Heinrich for China, Arndt for Japan) and in the technology field is the most obvious change. The international integration at W&C is particularly significant because both London and New York offices have invested heavily in new corporate partners, moving the firm decisively away from its former finance specialty. While the German lawyers have profited from clients from these offices, the export of German clients is beginning to accelerate, turning Germany into a hub for international corporate work for the first time.
Strengths: Cross-border M&A, esp. in eastern Europe. Good track record in retail, financial services and ?energy.
Development potential: With departures in Hamburg the Frankfurt office is almost alone in carrying the corporate banner and although there is a good German-Russian practice in Düsseldorf and energy practice in Berlin, the focus on Frankfurt is not sustainable if W&C is to challenge the market leaders further.
Recommended: Markus Hauptmann (“very well-connected, experienced M&A specialist”, competitor), Dr. Jörg Kraffel (“good team coordination in deals”, competitor), Matthias Kasch, Andreas Stilcken, Dr. Tobias Heinrich (“offers reliable, high-quality support”, client), Prof. Dr. Roger Kiem, Dr. Tim Arndt (“always fair and solution-focused”, competitor), Dr. Stefan Koch.
Practice: Transaction practice at all offices. Increase in cross-border transactions. ?Private equity. (16 equity partners, 8 salary partners, 2 counsel, 13 associates, 3 of counsel)
Clients: ?? United Arab Shipping on merger with Hapag-Lloyd; Ameriprise Financial on planned takeover of Pioneer Investments (public knowledge); Groupe Legris on takeover of Schiederwerk; Luxoft on acquisition of Pelagicore; Nabtesco Automotive on acquisition of Ovalo and Adcos.
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