Comment: This highly recommended corporate practice succeeded in making inroads at DAX corporates: in addition to the VW executive board, the corporate lawyers also landed Audi in connection with the diesel scandal. These instructions show that the practice is gaining increasing access to corporate work for major corporations. Due to the sheer size of the practice, however, there is a danger that it could lose sight of its broad Mittelstand clientele. The team was increasingly active in public takeovers (e.g. for LBBW and SLM Solutions) and restructuring (e.g. for Coherent). A field that CMS has hardly covered is corporate compliance advice. This weakness is to be remedied with the arrival of Dr. Thomas Sonnenberg, who used to be head general counsel at Sal. Oppenheim and most recently came from PE investor Triton. The firm’s specialty of focusing on markets early on provides CMS with particularly good access to companies facing digitalization: the firm was involved in some joint ventures here (e.g. Kärcher), some of which are cross-border. The decision to open an office in Iran has already paid off: the presence in Tehran enables DAX companies to enter the market there.
Strengths: Strong stock corporation law practice, increasingly close ties to DAX companies.
Development potential: CMS has identified internationalization and digitalization as strategic goals. The question now will be how well the firm manages to integrate its expertise in various sectors more internationally. The merger between the London CMS arm and Olswang could provide opportunities in this respect, as the practice there boasts extensive expertise in IT and media.
Recommended: Dr. Karsten Heider (“very high level of service”, client), Dr. Christian von Lenthe, Prof. Dr. Martin Erker, Dr. Thomas Meyding, Dr. Jürgen Frodermann (“outstanding expertise and assertive”, competitor), Dr. Maximilian Grub, Dr. Ralph Drouven (“markedly good expertise”, client), Dr. Jochen Lamb, Dr. Dirk Jannott, Klaus Jäger, Dr. Peter Baisch, Dr. Hendrik Schindler, Dr. Wolf-Georg Frhr. von Rechenberg, Dr. Hilke Herchen (“technically and tactically a virtuoso”, client), Dr. Martin Kolbinger, Dr. Henrik Drinkuth.
Practice: Specialized corporate practice providing advice to stock corporations, Mittelstand and family companies. Strong track record in certain sectors: biotech, ?energy, hotels, ?telecoms, press law. Strong notary office. (48 partners, plus associates)
Clients: ?? SLM Solutions on public takeover bid from GE Aviation; Audi executive board on review of compliance and governance structure; Volkswagen Truck & Bus on cooperation with Navistar; Coherent on restructuring and acquisition of Rofin-Sinar; LBBW on financing of public bid for Pfeiffer Vacuum.
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