ALLEN & OVERY

Comment: The trend toward D&O advice in compliance issues is still going strong at this highly recommended corporate practice. Many corporate instructions now feature corporate governance elements. Diekmann esp. but also Eichner use this work to nurture solid relationships that they can then translate into ongoing corporate advice. AGM advice continues to provide a good work flow. There has been some staff unrest that has mainly affected the transactions practice: in summer Dr. Hans-Christoph Ihrig left A&O to start his own firm and his renowned work in stock corporation law will surely be missed. In spring, however, the team was bolstered with Dr. Michiel Huizinga (from King & Wood).
Strengths: Stock corporation law; one of the leading takeover practices. Good contacts to leading corporates through the banking practice ( ?banking and regulatory, ?equity issues and IPOs). Strong ties to the ?insurance industry.
Development potential: Four corporate partners left the firm last year. The departures of Dr. Michael Ulmer (to Cleary), Dr. Oliver Seiler (to Latham) and Dr. Michael Bernhardt (to Milbank) mainly weakened the firm in transactions, but Ihrig’s departure left a gap in classic corporate work, above all stock corporation law. Since some of these losses concern the partner generation under 50 years of age, A&O needs to establish further younger partners and bring these to the fore. Crucial here will be a stronger integration with adjacent fields, such as banking.
Recommended: Dr. Helge Schäfer (“his know-how keeps the deal together”, client), Dr. Hartmut Krause (“very recommendable in complex matters”, client), Dr. Alexander Veith, Dr. Christian Eichner, Dr. Jan Schröder, Dr. Hans Diekmann.
Practice: Listed companies on stock corporation law, employee stock options, secondary offerings, restructuring, share buybacks, management obligations and remuneration, AGMs. Connection to capital markets work and ?insolvency and restructuring. Also ?corporate litigation and compliance. (Corporate in total: 14 partners, 8 counsel, 40 associates)
Clients: ?? MLP on conversion into SE; Alstria Office on change of legal form; RAG Stiftung on issue of exchangeable bond; Corestate on IPO; Kontron on planned takeover.
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