Comment: This highly recommended corporate practice has gone through an important strategic shift over the past few years. No longer is the stock corporation law advice separate from the transaction practice. Instead the integration of the team has exploited the relationships in both halves to enrich the client list. The cooperation between the ?capital markets team and the stock corporation practice of Krämer and Weber is particularly visible. In addition, the departures over the past few years have allowed younger talents like Kiefner to shine through. He has built strong relations to a number of concerns, incl. a major plastics manufacturer. The highlight was, however, the advice to the GfK supervisory board on the KKR takeover bid. That has led to more defense instructions for Krämer, who continues to have a strong reputation in the market. The loss of Dr. Volker Land to Noerr in Hamburg was a disappointment but also underlines W&C’s departure from the segment (more national and Mittelstand-focused) which has dominated its corporate practice in the past.
Strengths: Strong links to capital markets practice, strong ?insolvency and restructuring practice, AGM advice to midsized listed companies.
Development potential: The lack of a notable Düsseldorf practice remains an issue, esp. given the success in recruiting laterals in Frankfurt. A meaningful presence in what is still a vital office for corporation law advice in Germany would be an important next step.
Recommended: Dr. Lutz Krämer (“one of the leading takeover lawyers in Frankfurt”, competitor), Dr. Robert Weber, Matthias Kasch (“solid in the banking sector”, competitor), Dr. Jörg Kraffel, Markus Hauptmann, Prof. Dr. Roger Kiem, Dr. Alexander Kiefner.
Practice: Broad German client base, esp. with Mittelstand companies. Focus on the banking, auto and retail sectors. Also ?corporate litigation and ?M&A. (7 equity partners, 2 salary partners, 1 counsel, 2 associates)
Clients: ?? GfK supervisory board on voluntary public takeover bid by KKR; DMG Mori on control agreement; Otto Group on merger of 2 owner companies; ongoing advice to Aixtron, Clariant.
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