Till Spillmann
Office:
Bahnhofstrasse 53
8001
City:
Zurich
State:
Zurich
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 58 800 8340
Fax:
+41 58 800 8080

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Switzerland

Till Spillmann specialises in large and complex international and domestic private and public M&A, capital markets and corporate finance transactions. Till, a recognised listing representative of the SIX Swiss Exchange, is ranked as a leading individual in banking and finance, and capital markets, by various directories, and won the ILO Client Choice Award in 2018. He is co-founder and member of the editorial board of the Swiss corporate and capital markets law journal GesKR. He regularly speaks at conferences, and publishes articles, on topics related to his fields of practice.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

I started my legal career in 2004 at a major Swiss law firm where I worked in the transaction team with a focus on capital markets, financing and M&A. In 2007 and 2008 I was seconded to a magic circle firm in London where I was a member of the equity and debt capital markets team. 

After acting as a managing partner for a couple of years I felt the need to move on to new challenges. In January 2018, I joined Niederer Kraft Frey (NKF) where I am a member of the transaction team working on capital markets, M&A and financing transactions. 

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER SPECIALISING IN CAPITAL MARKETS AND FINANCE MATTERS? 

While I initially did not consciously decide on a career in capital markets, I started working on capital markets and other financing transactions early on in my career. I always liked this work as you get to know interesting people and companies at different stages of their life cycles. Also, to get the disclosure right, you must really understand the respective business, its opportunities and risks, which is something I always found fascinating. In addition, helping issuers to raise funds and go public is exciting, as it often marks the beginning of a long-lasting relationship with changing demands and challenges as the company further develops. These are probably the reasons I gradually started to specialise in capital markets and I am happy to be one of the few go-to lawyers in the field in Switzerland today.

HOW DOES NIEDERER KRAFT FREY’S CAPITAL MARKETS OFFERING STAND OUT AMONG COMPETITORS? 

The track record of NKF’s capital markets practice in recent years is extraordinary and speaks for itself. NKF has acted on each of the largest Swiss IPOs in the past four consecutive years, namely Landis+Gyr in 2017 (as issuer’s counsel); VAT Group in 2016 (as issuer’s counsel); Sunrise in 2015 (as underwriter’s counsel); and SFS Group in 2014 (as issuer’s counsel). This trend has continued into 2018 with NKF, among others, acting on the first IPO of the year (Sensirion) and in the most recent Swiss IPO (Klingelnberg), both of which were successful. Furthermore, NKF is currently working on a number of high-profile IPOs and other capital market transactions.

Due to this outstanding exposure, the members of NKF’s capital markets team have vast experience in high-profile capital markets transactions and are intimately familiar with the needs of issuers and underwriters alike. Furthermore, it is often said that NKF’s capital market teams have the best drafting skills for disclosure documents when compared to competitors in Switzerland. Also, NKF is renowned for its truly entrepreneurial and hands-on approach when advising clients, which is another key differentiator among our competitors.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE CURRENTLY FACING LAWYERS IN THIS AREA IN SWITZERLAND? 

As in other fields of expertise, competition is fierce. This does not only hold true with respect to acquiring new clients, but also when it comes to attracting new talents. The often long hours and the need to work across various jurisdictions and different time zones are factors that are increasingly challenging to combine with a new generation of lawyers who also emphasise the need for work-life balance. Nevertheless, in my experience interesting work will always attract interested and talented people. So while it may be more challenging to attract talent, they can really make a difference if they go the extra mile.

ALREADY THIS YEAR SWITZERLAND HAS WITNESSED AN UNUSUALLY HIGH NUMBER OF IPOS IN THE MARKET – WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS DRIVING THIS TREND? 

One of the main drivers behind the high number of IPOs in the current year is the very favourable capital market environment, where new issuers and selling shareholders can achieve very attractive valuations. Accordingly, many IPOs are driven by financial sponsors and involve relatively small, if any, primary issue sizes and are often pursued on a dual-track basis.

Another factor driving IPOs is that issuers in certain industries seem to anticipate further consolidation within the markets on which they compete. In such an environment, being able to use stock exchange-listed shares as an acquisition currency can enable a company to grow successfully through M&A activity, rather than being swallowed up itself at some point.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST PIECE OF CAREER ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED? 

My mentor back at McKinsey & Company once told me that there are two types of leaders: the ones who prevail because they make sure they are the smartest in the team, and the ones who succeed because they look for teammates who are actually smarter than themselves. He strongly advised me to become one of the latter. Although I probably shouldn’t say it, I have stuck to his advice ever since.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR PRACTICE DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS? 

We strive to further grow as a team and foster our market position as a leading team for Swiss capital market, financing and M&A transactions. 

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SUCCESS IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR? 

I don’t think there is one particular transaction or event that I could single out as my biggest success. I think success is based on hundreds of smaller and larger transactions that enabled me to build up a team of smart and passionate lawyers, and to gain a good reputation among clients, competitors and market participants. All of this has allowed me to represent clients in connection with some truly high-profile transactions in Switzerland such as the rights offerings of Credit Suisse in 2015 (worth 4.7 billion Swiss francs) and 2017 (worth 4 billion Swiss francs), or the IPOs of VAT, EDAG and DKSH. A good example of the breadth of my practice may also be my work for EQT, where I acted as key legal adviser for the public takeover of Kuoni Travel Holding in the subsequent refinancing, bond tender offers, corporate restructuring and disposals of a number of businesses. I was only able to keep up with a very demanding team from EQT because of my experience in the fields of capital markets, public and private M&A, corporate restructuring, and financing, in combination with a hard-working and passionate team of experienced lawyers.

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Banking: Finance

Over the last decade, Till has built remarkable expertise in advising private equity firms and corporate organisations on large and complex M&A transactions, including public to private transactions and subsequent corporate reorganisation topics. Furthermore, Till regularly advises underwriters and issuers on all aspects of capital market transactions, with a focus on equity capital market transactions such as IPOs and rights offerings. Till's practice also includes advising lenders, borrowers and private equity sponsors on complex financing transactions, in particular acquisition, leveraged, syndicated and real estate financing transactions.

Till is a recognised listing representative of the SIX Swiss Exchange and is ranked as leading individual in the practice areas M&A, capital markets and banking and finance by Chambers Global and Chambers Europe. IFLR 1000 lists him as a "market leader" in the practice areas M&A, capital markets, banking and finance and restructuring. In 2018, he was awarded with the ILO Client Choice Award 2018 for his capital market practice and in 2019 for his M&A practice. The awards are of particular importance since they are based on feedback from senior corporate counsels and other clients.

He is co-founder and member of the editorial board of a legal periodical on corporate and capital markets law GesKR (Zeitschrift für Gesellschafts- und Kapitalmarktrecht). Furthermore, he speaks and writes publications, including legal commentaries, on topics within his fields of practice.

Till joined Niederer Kraft Frey in 2018. He spent most of his previous professional career with another major Swiss law firm, from 2013 onwards as a partner and from 2014 to 2017 also as a managing partner. Till is also a board member in a number of Swiss companies

Till graduated from the University of Zurich in 2002. He also wrote an award-winning doctoral thesis and holds a Dr iur since 2004. Till is a member of the Swiss and Zurich bar association.

WWL says: Till Spillmann is "a great lawyer who works hard and has lots of experience" according to peers who particularly commend his expertise in syndicated, acquisition and leveraged finance transactions. 

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Banking which can be purchased from our Shop.

Other Practice Areas:

Follow us on LinkedIn

Practice Areas

Firms

Browse Firms

Search Firms

The Who's Who Legal 100

Awards

News & Features

Special Reports

Events

Shop

About Us

It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication

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.

Copyright © 2018 Law Business Research Ltd. All rights reserved. | http://www.lbresearch.com

87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK | Tel: +44 20 7908 1180 / Fax: +44 207 229 6910

http://www.whoswholegal.com | editorial@whoswholegal.com

Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK