WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER

Comment: A highly recommended Frankfurt office, which has focused on maintaining its market position after a strong development over the past few years. Schmidt (private equity) and Linde (M&A) are still the figureheads of the office. The former has consistently been able to extend the client base (e.g. last year there was considerably more work for 3i) while the latter is developing into one of the leading lawyers for strategic M&A at a US firm in Germany. The two younger partners of the practice, Wahl and Schwab, also continued to gain in prominence both in a supporting role on deals but increasingly with their own client base. Beyond the corporate practice, the most important development has been the continued growth of the finance practice. Wilms has joined the elite group of a small number of finance partners in Frankfurt. The only disappointment was the departure of a highly regarded senior associate who moved in-house. It demonstrates the challenge WFG faces in aligning client demand and profitability expectations on the one hand, with the reality of the work-life balance of younger lawyers on the other.
Strengths: Private equity, M&A, financing.
Recommended: Mario Schmidt, Georg Linde, Dr. Stefan Jörgens, Dr. Axel Wahl, Dr. Maximilian Schwab (all M&A/private equity), Jan Wilms (financing).
Practice: Employment, ?corporate, ?bank lending and acquisition finance, litigation, ?M&A, ?private equity and venture capital, insolvency and restructuring, tax. (4 equity partners, 7 salary partners, 1 counsel, 21 associates)
Clients: ?? 3i on acquisition of Formel D from DBAG; Waterland on sale of Casino Royale; Ardian on acquisition of SLV; Constantia Flexibles on sale of its label business.
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