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Till Spillmann

Till Spillmann

Niederer Kraft Frey LtdBahnhofstrasse 53ZurichZurichSwitzerland8001
Watch interview with Till Spillmann

Thought Leader

WWL says

Till Spillmann is a “highly active and prominent figure in the market with extensive experience” of equity capital market transactions, including rights offerings and IPOs.

Questions & Answers

Till Spillmann specialises in large and complex, international and domestic, private and public M&A, capital markets and corporate finance transactions. Over the last decade, Till has built remarkable expertise in advising corporate governance and other corporate and commercial law matters. He 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.

What attracted you to a speciality in capital markets? 

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 has the market changed since you first started practising?

The market has changed quite dramatically with respect to a number of aspects. First, transactions are executed at greater speed on accelerated timelines. Second, the level of professionalism has increased significantly and, third, often processes have become more complex be it because of cornerstone investors coming in or because the transaction is structured as dual-track process.

What are the greatest challenges posed by dual-track processes? 

Each transaction is different but dual-track processes tend to be more complex. While there are a number of legal or transactional challenges such as finding the right timing and creating the right process dynamic so that both tracks are tied together in a value maximizing way, in reality often very practical aspects prove to be most challenging. For instance, these processes are often very resource-intensive. Key people are involved and instrumental on both tracks although their days have only 24 hours too. 

What impact has covid-19 had on dual-track processes, and how do you think players in the private equity space will respond in a post-coronavirus market?

It is probably too early to provide a reliable answer to this question. Dual-track processes were put on hold during the lockdown phase and some of them returned afterwards. Some industries were hit hard though and in these industries processes may not be kicked off again until business activity comes back to pre-covid levels which may take years. Generally, depending on the industry investors will factor in risks of future world-spanning pandemics more consciously going forward. This will have an impact on valuations.

In what ways does Niederer Kraft Frey distinguish itself from the competition in the capital markets space?

The track record of NKF’s capital markets practice in recent years is extraordinary and speaks for itself. NKF has acted on some of the largest Swiss IPOs in the past years, namely SoftwareONE in 2019 (as underwriter’s counsel); Stadler Rail in 2019 (as issuer’s counsel); Medacta in 2019 (as issuer’s counsel); Sensirion in 2018 (as underwriter’s counsel); 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). 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.

Cornerstone processes have become more common in the Swiss market over the last three years. What are the intricacies of these processes and how should they be approached? 

Other than in some Asian markets there are no specific rules governing cornerstone processes in Switzerland. However, these processes come along with a number of pitfalls that must be considered carefully on a case-by-case basis. A topic that is often subject to intense discussions is which information can be shared with the cornerstone investor. A red line is often drawn where potentially price-sensitive is supposed to be shared that will not (or only at a very high-level) be reflected in the prospectus. A typical question is whether a business plan containing projections for the next 3-5 years can be shared with cornerstone investors while the projections may only find their way into the prospectus in the form of short- and mid-term guidance. There is additional complexity if the cornerstone investor was also involved on the M&A side of a dual-track process. These issues must be anticipated and addressed early on in dual-track processes so that investors are not excluded from cornerstone processes later on in the process. 

What do blue-chip clients look for when selecting a capital markets lawyer?

That lawyer should be seasoned, responsive, and pragmatic and have a good team that can turn documents overnight. Depending on the planned transaction, the lawyer should be experienced in M&A deals as well so that he or she can provide hands-on advice on dual-track and/or cornerstone processes.

What advice would you give to younger practitioners hoping to one day be in your position?

Legal consulting is primarily a people’s business. Work hard, have fun and find your own style. Clients will appreciate it.

Global Leader

Banking - Finance 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Till Spillmann is an important name in the Swiss market, renowned for his market-leading expertise in capital markets and banking transactions. 

Biography

Over the past 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. 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 M&A; capital markets; and banking and finance by Chambers Global and Chambers EuropeIFLR 1000 lists him as a "market leader" in M&A; capital markets; banking and finance; and restructuring. He is ranked in WWL: Thought Leaders capital markets and recognised by WWL for his Banking, M&A and Capital Markets practice. He won the ILO Client Choice Award for capital markets in 2018 and for M&A in 2019.

He is co-founder and member of the editorial board of GesKR, a legal periodical on corporate and capital markets law. He is a regular speaker and writer for various publications, including legal commentaries.

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 as a managing partner. Till is also a board member for many Swiss companies.

Till graduated from the University of Zurich in 2002. He wrote an award-winning doctoral thesis, and holds a Dr iur (2004). Till is a member of the Swiss and Zurich Bar Associations.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Till Spillmann is a highly skilled capital markets expert who receives widespread plaudits for his exceptional work assisting underwriters and issuers.

Biography

Over the past 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. 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 M&A; capital markets; and banking and finance by Chambers Global and Chambers EuropeIFLR 1000 lists him as a "market leader" in M&A; capital markets; banking and finance; and restructuring. He is ranked in WWL: Thought Leaders capital markets. He won the ILO Client Choice Award for capital markets in 2018 and for M&A in 2019.

He is co-founder and member of the editorial board of GesKR, a legal periodical on corporate and capital markets law. He is a regular speaker and writer for various publications, including legal commentaries.

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 as a managing partner. Till is also a board member for many Swiss companies.

Till graduated from the University of Zurich in 2002. He wrote an award-winning doctoral thesis, and holds a Dr iur (2004). Till is a member of the Swiss and Zurich Bar Associations.

National Leader

Switzerland - Banking 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Till Spillmann is a top name for corporate finance transactions and is a key adviser to lenders and borrowers. 

Biography

Over the past 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. 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 M&A; capital markets; and banking and finance by Chambers Global and Chambers Europe. IFLR 1000 lists him as a "market leader" in M&A; capital markets; banking and finance; and restructuring. He is ranked in WWL: Thought Leaders capital markets and recognised by WWL for his Finance, M&A and Capital Markets practice. He won the ILO Client Choice Award for capital markets in 2018 and for M&A in 2019.

He is co-founder and member of the editorial board of GesKR, a legal periodical on corporate and capital markets law. He is a regular speaker and writer for various publications, including legal commentaries.

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 as a managing partner. Till is also a board member for a number of Swiss companies.

Till graduated from the University of Zurich in 2002. He wrote an award-winning doctoral thesis, and holds a Dr iur (2004). Till is a member of the Swiss and Zurich Bar Associations.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Till Spillmann is recognised as “active and highly regarded in the market" and has been "a prominent figure for a long time” according to an impressed peer. 

Biography

Over the past 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. 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 M&A; capital markets; and banking and finance by Chambers Global and Chambers Europe. IFLR 1000 lists him as a "market leader" in M&A; capital markets; banking and finance; and restructuring. He is ranked in WWL: Thought Leaders capital markets and recognised by WWL for his Banking, M&A and Capital Markets practice. He won the ILO Client Choice Award for capital markets in 2018 and for M&A in 2019.

He is co-founder and member of the editorial board of GesKR, a legal periodical on corporate and capital markets law. He is a regular speaker and writer for various publications, including legal commentaries.

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 as a managing partner. Till is also a board member for many Swiss companies. 
Till graduated from the University of Zurich in 2002. He wrote an award-winning doctoral thesis, and holds a Dr iur (2004). Till is a member of the Swiss and Zurich Bar Associations.

Switzerland - M&A 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

The “excellent” Till Spillmann is experienced at public and private transactions, as well as corporate M&A”. He provides clients with “speed and very clear, unambiguous advice”.

Biography

Over the past 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. 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 M&A; capital markets; and banking and finance by Chambers Global and Chambers Europe. IFLR 1000 lists him as a "market leader" in M&A; capital markets; banking and finance; and restructuring. He is ranked in WWL: Thought Leaders capital markets and recognised by WWL for his Finance, M&A and Capital Markets practice. He won the ILO Client Choice Award for capital markets in 2018 and for M&A in 2019.

He is co-founder and member of the editorial board of GesKR, a legal periodical on corporate and capital markets law. He is a regular speaker and writer for various publications, including legal commentaries.

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 as a managing partner. Till is also a board member for a number of Swiss companies.

Till graduated from the University of Zurich in 2002. He wrote an award-winning doctoral thesis, and holds a Dr iur (2004). Till is a member of the Swiss and Zurich Bar Associations.

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