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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Till Spillmann

Till Spillmann

Niederer Kraft Frey LtdBahnhofstrasse 53ZurichZurichSwitzerland8001
Watch interview with Till Spillmann

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Till Spillmann is “a great and hardworking lawyer” who is widely respected among sources for his excellent work on complex capital markets transactions 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 past 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 do you enjoy most about working in capital markets?

It is a dynamic and challenging environment most of the time, with an international angle that allows you to get to know interesting people, and gives insight into the strategy and business of companies across various sectors and life cycles.

What is the most interesting recent matter that you have worked on?

That is difficult to say. I would not say there has been one single most interesting matter. While it was certainly very exciting to have been able to advise Stadler Rail and its main shareholder on the IPO earlier this year, there are also less high-profile matters where we can make a difference with our structuring and general legal expertise. For instance, we have helped investors unlock a deadlock in an M&A scenario with a structuring proposal. This is true value-add and not just legal execution. Also, it is fun to become more and more sought-after for advice at shareholder and board governance levels.

What are the implications of the new Swiss Financial Services Act (FinSA) for the market?

For our ECM and DCM work the FinSA will usher in a new era of Swiss capital markets regulation.

First, the prospectus duty will be aligned with international standards. Going forward, a prospectus will have to be published in case of a public offering of securities in Switzerland, or the admission to trading of securities on a Swiss trading venue. Exemptions to publish a prospectus and content requirements have also been aligned with international standards.

Second, there will be a new prospectus approval regime. In other words, subject to certain exemptions, Swiss prospectuses will have to be approved by a review body before their publication. Generally we see positive implications of this, given that with the introduction of the new regime Switzerland will also get a modern private placement regime, which is very liberal. It will allow private placements, and thus undocumented deals, to up to 500 retail investors (plus institutional investors). Also, the alignment of the prospectus content requirements will increase the quality of the information shared with investors, which will have a positive effect on the Swiss capital markets in general. Of course, the prospectus approval requirements will make the launch of capital market transactions more cumbersome and formalistic.

It remains to be seen how practical and forthcoming the authorities will be in applying the rules. Swiss market participants expect them to continue to be business-minded as they have been in the past in other areas.

There are concerns about the state of the global M&A market. Have you noticed any impact on the capital markets space as a result of other transactional trends?

We have been working on numerous dual-track transactions recently. While many of them started out being M&A-led, some turned out to be IPO-led. This may be a reflection of the state of the global M&A market. However, we still see a lot of money going into M&A with acquisition financing being very cheap, leverage levels going up, and thus a lot of activity. It remains to be seen where this ends.

Where, in your opinion, does the future of the practice area lie?

There are a number of challenges ahead of us. There are macroeconomic pitfalls such as policy decisions by central banks around the world, trade wars looming or even escalating with negative knock-on effects on many companies also in Switzerland. Also, the political environment will become more challenging, with no-deal Brexit becoming a very real scenario and the relationship between the EU and Switzerland, which has shown open fissures – most recently with the denial on the part of the EU to recognise the SIX Swiss Exchange as an equivalent trading venue, for political reasons only. Thus, it is difficult to predict where the future of the practice area lies. It is certain, though, that the practice area will be exposed to interesting and challenging developments. We’d better get prepared.

How is the generational shift changing legal practice at your firm? What do younger lawyers do differently?

Very frankly, they are not so easily convinced to do long hours on the basis that they may be able to access the honeypot sometime in the future. Personally, I believe the development is good and bad. Good because life is more than just work, and the quality of our advice will be better if it is based on a more holistic (and less stressed) view of things. Bad because I still believe that hard work is the very best recipe for success and personal fulfilment. Life in Europe will be more challenging 10–20 years from now. So again we (and in particular the younger generations) better get prepared.

How do you anticipate the Swiss legal market changing in the next five years? How might this affect your practice?

The Swiss legal market will come under more pressure from international firms coming into Switzerland. Recent years have shown that it is not even necessary for international firms to open an office here. Some international firms just started to advise Swiss clients out of their neighbouring countries’ offices, particularly in the cities of Frankfurt, Milan, Paris and London. Also, the trend for more specialisation will continue. Based on these factors, I also believe there will be more pressure for consolidation among Swiss law firms. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the Swiss legal market will remain very attractive and dynamic over the next couple of years.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the capital markets space?

Try to understand the whole picture, and not just the legal/technical side of it – law is just a toolkit to get your clients’ ideas implemented. It will be more fun and you will become a better lawyer.

Global Leader

Banking - Finance 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Till Spillmann is distinguished as a keystone of the Swiss banking market whose deep expertise lies in corporate finance transactions and capital markets matters.

Biography

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. 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 M&A, capital markets and banking and finance practice areas by Chambers Global and Chambers EuropeIFLR 1000 lists him as a “market leader” for M&A, capital markets, banking and finance, and restructuring. Furthermore, he ranks as a Thought Leader by WWL for his capital markets practice. He won an ILO Client Choice Award in 2018 for his capital market practice, and in 2019 for his M&A practice. These 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 the legal periodical on corporate and capital markets law GesKR (Zeitschrift für Gesellschafts- und Kapitalmarktrecht). Furthermore, he is a regular speaker and writes for 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 as a partner, and from 2014 to 2017 as a managing partner). Till is also a board member of a number of Swiss companies.

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

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Till Spillmann is a firm favourite among market sources who consider him “excellent for debt work”.

Biography

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 M&A, capital markets, and banking and finance by Chambers Global and Chambers EuropeWho's Who Legal ranks him as a Thought Leader in Switzerland in 2018 and 2019. IFLR1000 lists him as a "market leader" in M&A, capital markets, banking and finance, and restructuring. He won the ILO Client Choice Award in 2018 for his capital markets 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. He is a regular speaker and author, with his work including legal commentaries on topics within his fields of practice.

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

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

National Leader

Switzerland - Banking 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Till Spillmann is looked upon with enormous favour for the effective counsel he offers borrowers, lenders and private equity firms and sponsors on complex financing 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. 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 active and prominent figure in the market with extensive experience” of equity capital market transactions, including rights offerings and IPOs.

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.

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