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Germany: M&A 2017

This year, we list 42 leaders in German corporate law, with varying expertise in public and private M&A, joint ventures, private equity, and cross-border transactions. 

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Maximilian Schiessl Hengeler Mueller, Munich
Jan Bauer Gleiss Lutz, Frankfurt
Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain Hengeler Mueller, Munich
Andreas Fabritius Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Frankfurt
Christian Cascante Gleiss Lutz, Stuttgart
Tobias Bürgers Noerr, Munich


M&A work is the driving force behind Hengeler Mueller’s prominent position in the German legal market with more than half of its lawyers specialising in its practice. It tops our research with several universally celebrated names who are known for their activity on high-end deals for large multinationals and DAX30 corporations. Maximilian Schiessl’s dominance in the market is “unequivocal”. He regularly acts as lead counsel on the firm’s most noteworthy mandates, including for GE Germany Holdings AG, a subsidiary of General Electric, on its proposed take-over of SLM Solutions Group. The prominence of Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain is equally well attested in our research, particularly on the private M&A side. One source remarks that “he is a towering figure in the market”. Emanuel Strehle’s growing status in the market has earnt him a number of nominations, placing him in the top quartile of our research.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is often seen on high-end corporate transactions in the market and boasts a number of senior figures in corporate law. Andreas Fabritius ranks among the top five names in our research, with an impressive domestic and international client base he represents in both public and private M&A transactions. Christoph von Bülow, a seasoned practitioner, is very well known in the market and is seen as “one of the best lawyers in the country for representation in public takeovers”. Meanwhile, Stephan Waldhausen is very well regarded on the public M&A side.

Gleiss Lutz is distinguished in this area with a large practice group advising major publicly listed multinationals to medium-sized privately held entities. Seven lawyers are listed, including the very top names in our research. Christian Cascante heads the corporate team and is viewed as “an extremely good corporate lawyer”, regularly acting as lead counsel in large public takeovers and cross-border transactions. Gerhard Wegen is called upon to advise on the trickiest cross-border M&A deals. “He is a very sophisticated deal-maker”, states one respondent. Co-head of the private equity group Jan Bauer is a leading specialist in advising private equity investors on cross-border M&A deals.

Noerr’s large and high-quality team is well attested in our research. Its partner in Munich Tobias Bürgers ranks highest at the firm and is among the very top M&A lawyers in Germany. One respondent calls him “intelligent and forward-thinking”. Christian Pleister has a strong presence in the market acting as lead counsel on a number of high-end domestic and cross-border transactions, particularly in heavily regulated industries. Alexander Ritvay is highly rated by peers for his work in cross-border transactions. Clients add, “He knows and protects our best interests.” Thorsten Reinhard also receives glowing praise from clients, one of whom states: “Reinhard is very results-oriented and very quickly understands his client’s concerns and goals.”

P+P Pöllath + Partners’ co-founder Matthias Bruse is "a very sophisticated corporate lawyer" who undertakes a range of complex M&A and private equity deals. Also at the firm, Otto Haberstock is a highly recommended figure in private M&A and venture capital transactions.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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W11 1QQ, UK