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The Legal 500 Germany 2021

Corporate

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen's company law practice is said to have "broad expertise with outstanding specialists". The thematic focus is on company and post-M&A disputes, on reorganizations and restructurings, as well as on issues of corporate succession and inheritance law. The Berlin office opened in May 2020 with company lawyer Alexander Hartmann and two other partners. Gerhard Manz ("outstanding personality"), Barbara Mayer ("very pragmatic, also seeks ways outside the typical legal solution alternatives") and Arnt Göppert ("excellent knowledge and sense of the overall context") are practice leaders.

M&A (mergers and acquisitions)

The M&A practice group is led by Gerhard ManzBarbara MayerArnt Göppert and also includes Alexander Hartmann, who opened the firm's Berlin office in May 2020, as another core lawyer. When advising on national and cross-border transactions, the interfaces with IP, competition, real estate, labor and insurance law can also be covered. There is particular experience in the automotive and healthcare sectors.

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JUVE Handbook Commercial Law Firms 2020/2021 Company Law

Corporate

FGvW's corporate law team is often called upon when shareholder agreements are to be revised, shareholdings re-sorted and corporate structures withdrawn in the upper mid-sized sector. Such mandates often result as post-M&A business from the internationally well-connected transaction practice and from the established advice on inheritance and liability law. Recently, however, FGvW set the course for the expansion of the business: In April, it established a notary's office in Frankfurt with additional staff from Gerns & Partner. In addition, the firm ventured into the Berlin start-up and real estate market with lateral hires in Berlin. The fact that the team also included a tax lawyer now enables the structuring of corporate/M&A projects. The offer is rounded off by many years of experience with questions of directors' and officers' liability in Cologne.

Practice strengths: Very good international network, experience with complex holding structures, cross-border mergers and post-merger disputes. Special expertise in the healthcare sector.

Often recommended: Barbara Mayer ("excellent consultant, experienced and tough", competitor), Gerhard Manz, Carsten Laschet, Tobias Lenz ("pragmatic, solution-oriented", competitor), Hendrik Thies

Team: 12 equity partners, 2 salary partners, 12 associates, 2 of counsel

Change of partners: Christoph Börskens (from Gerns & Partner), Alexander Hartmann (from BRL Boege Rohde Luebbehuesen)

Focal points: Development and optimization of holding structures. Corporate Governance. Startup consulting and succession planning. Close connection to M&A. Strong practice in D&O (insurance law) and corporate litigation. Complex appraisal rights proceedings.

Clients: Schölly Fiberoptic on carve-out of the robotic endoscopy business; Essilor Group on shifting of shares in German subsidiaries; Getinge on implementation of corporate governance; Heritage B on revision of articles of association and restructuring of the company. Restructuring in Germany; JobRad on the formation of a holding and leasing company; anchor shareholder on the IPO of Centogene; Festo on group structure; Getinge, Endress+Hauser and Maquet Medical Systems in appraisal rights proceedings; Pulsion Medical, Degussa Bank AG, Diotec Group on AGM. Current: Herder Group, Neuroloop.

M&A

Mid-cap transactions for upscale medium-sized companies and corporations are the core business of FGvW's M&A practice. The team scores with a well-established international best-friend network and industry expertise, for example in the health care and insurance sectors. Meanwhile, the younger generation stands out from the two Freiburg partners Mayer and Manz with a clear focus on areas such as the interface to real estate law, the startup sector and the health care sector, and succession planning and distressed M&A. The core team has been significantly strengthened by experienced lateral hires in Frankfurt and Berlin, who have long-standing contacts in the real estate industry and the startup scene. In addition to Hartmann, these included a tax advisor, so that FGvW can now flank its transaction advice with tax and fund structuring.

Strengths: Cross-border mid-cap deals. Good networking in the healthcare sector. Well-rehearsed South America desk.

Often recommended: Barbara Mayer ("excellent, experienced and tough", competitors), Gerhard Manz, Hendrik Thies, Stefan Lammel, Jan Martens

Team: 10 equity partners, 2 salary partners, 13 associates

Change of partner: Alexander Hartmann (from BRL Boege Rohde Luebbehuesen)
Focal points: Transactions for family businesses and German subsidiaries of international corporations. Cross-border work. Good competence in health care. Distressed M&A, also closely related to labor law, as well as pre- and post-M&A structural work through personnel overlap with corporate law practice.

Clients: Conductix-Wampfler on acquisition of LJU Automatic; Swiss Automotive Group on investment in Autoteile Pöllath; Blazejewski Medi-Tech on investment by SHS; Fifty2 Technology on investment by AVL List; Fischer Küchenatelier on takeover by Mandemakers; sympathetic partner in financing round; Oxygen Technologies on investment by Centralschweizerische Kraftwerke; PME Fluidtec and shareholder in company sale; Schölly Fiberoptic on sale of robotic endoscopy business.

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The Legal 500 Germany 2020

Corporate law is managed "highly professionally and client-oriented" under the direction of Barbara Mayer and Gerhard Manz (Freiburg) and Arnt Göppert (Cologne).

"Feedback comes promptly and the professional expertise is outstanding. "Fast and reliable."

In the area of M&A (medium-sized deals), this "extremely experienced" team covers not only national and cross-border transaction support for Mittelstand and family-run companies, but also the real estate, medical technology and automotive sectors.

"Extensive knowledge and very fast implementation of the M&A framework". "High quality and a large number of transaction experts."

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JUVE Handbook German Commercial Law Firms 2019/2020

Corporate

FGvW's corporate lawyers, who are strong in acquisitions, were recently able to further expand their client base with Savendo as well as the French Ausy Group and the Swiss group Lonza. Another noteworthy development was the mandate from the eyewear manufacturer Essilor (Ray-Ban, among others) for reorganization in the DACH region. This proves once again that the firm is able to skilfully transfer the expertise and contacts it has gained in cross-border M&A work to corporate law advice. This is particularly successful for the Freiburg team, which at the same time is also expanding its corporate finance advice for medium-sized companies.

Strengths: Excellent international network, experience with complex holding structures, cross-border mergers and post-merger disputes. Special expertise in the healthcare sector.

Often recommended: Gerhard Manz, Barbara Mayer ("very constructive", competitor), Carsten Laschet ("good strategist", competitor), Hendrik Thies

M&A

FGvW's M&A practice specializes in mid-cap transactions, which it manages for both upper Mittelstand companies and corporate groups. FGvW successfully uses its international best-friend network, which has been built up over many years. Since FGvW has established a further network with healthcare specialists, it is gaining profile in the highly regulated healthcare sector: For example, the advice to the Aesculap joint venture Schölly Fiberoptic stood out, since FGvW initially managed a carve-out across several countries with subsequent sale to the USA. While the Freiburg office is also benefiting from the rising transaction business between Germany and Switzerland, the Cologne office is expanding its transaction business in the real estate sector following the addition of a DLA Piper partner.

Strengths: Cross-border mid-cap deals. Good networking in the healthcare sector. Well-running South America desk.

Often recommended: Gerhard Manz, Barbara Mayer, Hendrik Thies, Stefan Lammel, Jan Henning Martens

Team: 11 equity partners, 2 salary partners, 11 associates, 2 of counsel

Priorities: Development and optimization of holding structures. Corporate Governance in internationally active companies (especially SE) and German subsidiaries of foreign parent companies. Start-up consulting and succession planning. Close connection to M&A. Strong practice for directors' and officers' liability/D&O (insurance law) and corporate disputes, also at the interface with stock corporation and capital markets law. Complex appraisal rights proceedings.

Clients: Essilor Group on holding structure in DACH region after major merger with Luxottica, incl. restructuring of group functions; Getinge on corporate governance in German subsidiaries; Festo on group structure; TV production on merger of 6 sister companies; family-run automotive supplier on various financings; international corporate governance in German subsidiaries; Festo on group structure; TV production on merger of 6 sister companies; family-managed automotive supplier on various financings; international corporate governance in German subsidiaries. Endress+Hauser, 2 agricultural companies and Maquet Medical Systems in appraisal rights proceedings; Pulsion Medical at AGM; ongoing stock corporation law-related Diotec, WGF AG, Celebrity News. Current corporate law case Herder Group; Neuroloop.

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JUVE Handbook German Commercial Law Firms 2018/2019

Company Law

FGvW's corporate team masters the entire range of corporate law advice - from corporate restructuring to shareholder disputes and complex succession arrangements in family businesses. Especially the latter two skills are increasingly in demand in the Freiburg office, which also allows the younger partners to distinguish themselves. At the Cologne office, on the other hand, corporate law advice is regularly supplemented by corporate law disputes, for example on questions of manager liability and D&O insurance.

Practice strengths: Very good international network, experience with complex holding structures, cross-border mergers and post-merger disputes

Often recommended: Gerhard Manz, Barbara Mayer, Hendrik Thies, Arnt Göppert ("high competence, good network", competitors)

Priorities: Mainly consulting Mittelstand, internationally active companies. Strong practice for D&O/manager liability (conflict resolution). Also stock corporation and capital market law, corporate disputes and M&A

Clients: Endress+Hauser in arbitration proceedings against 58 plaintiffs of Analytik Jena; Maquet Medical Systems in arbitration proceedings (2nd instance); NexWafe in financing rounds; Pulsion Medical at AGM; eco-product distribution in the event of company succession with foundation; organizer of joint venture with cannabis producers; international sales and distribution of organic products in the event of company succession with foundation; international sales and distribution of organic products. International eyewear manufacturer on merger of group companies; Festo on group structure; Haufe-Lexware on joint ventures in China and on participation in Switzerland; Leaserad on formation of a holding company and revision of the shareholders' agreement; shareholders on revision of the shareholders' agreement in Germany and Switzerland; seller of a textile retailer in post-M&A dispute with tax advisor; ongoing stock corporation law case Diotec Semiconductor, Celebrity News

M&A

FGvW's M&A practice is known for its international best-friend network, through which it handles numerous cross-border transactions for its clients.  Recently, a health care and family-run logistics group also made use of this network for acquisitions in Brazil. The FGvW South America Desk set up in May 2017 has already proven to be a well-functioning bridgehead to the Latin American business. As in previous years, FGvW was also able to score with its close cooperation partner Kellerhals Carrard in Switzerland: with the purchase of the Swiss food waste processor BioTrans, the law firm client Meiko Maschinenbau awarded the Freiburg transaction team an M&A mandate for the first time. Thanks to the broad corporate practice behind it, FGvW is also regularly in demand for post-M&A integration work.

Strengths: Cross-border mid-cap deals. Good networking in the healthcare sector

Often recommended: Gerhard Manz, Barbara Mayer, Arnt Göppert ("high expertise, good network", client), Hendrik Thies, Stefan Lammel, Jan Henning Martens ("very constructive, precise to the point", competitor)

Priorities: Transactions for family businesses and distressed M&A.Cross-border work also with the well-established international law firm network

Clients: Getinge Group on sale of a business division in Sweden and acquisition of German software company C.a.r.u.s.; listed NL company in bidding process for German e-commerce dealer; Adval Tech (CH) on acquisition of German family business Fischer IMF; Ausy (France ) on the acquisition of 2 IT service providers; Wuppermann Group on its investment in hydroelectric power plant start-up Aquakin; Yinlun Group (China) on the acquisition of a Mittelstand company; Conductix-Wampfler on the acquisition of LJU Automatisierungstechnik; logistics service provider in the military sector on acquisition; Fürst zu Fürstenberg timber industry on the sale of a division

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The Legal 500 Germany 2019

Corporate

Clients of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner appreciate "the fast processing times, the comprehensive business sense and the very good knowledge of the industry" of the corporate law team. Most recently, they provided comprehensive corporate law advice to the Herder publishing house and advised LeaseRad on the revision of the articles of association and the establishment of a holding and a leasing company. A highlight on the litigation side was the representation of Endress+Hauser in the appraisal rights proceedings against 58 plaintiffs of Analytik Jena in connection with their squeeze-out. Managing Partner Barbara Mayer is "pragmatic and goal-oriented" and Arnt Göppert is "a good negotiator". Other important names in the team are Gerhard Manz, Albert Schröder and Tobias Lenz.

M&A: international medium-sized deals (€100m - €500m)

"Extremely fast", the "highly recommended" M&A team of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner advises large German medium-sized companies, but also foreign clients such as medical technology companies. They advised Knauf on the takeover of Opitz Holzbau and the sale of its foam insulation division. Barbara Mayer works "pragmatically and goal-oriented" and manages the practice together with Gerhard Manz. The "exceptionally qualified" Stefan Lammel "keeps the overview" and Hendrik Thies has "very high social competence". The aforementioned lawyers are based in Freiburg, while Arnt Göppert heads the Cologne office.

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JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2017/2018

Corporate

This firm is recommended for its corporate advice and is anchored in the German Mittelstand, which it advises on shareholder disputes and complex company succession plans. However, the team’s repeated instruction by the Swedish healthcare concern Getinge and Swiss auto supplier Adval Tech proves not only that the corporate lawyers have advised family companies for years (e.g. Haufe-Lexware, Fürst zu Fürstenberg, Wuppermann Group) but also that they are well versed in stock corporation law and can advise listed companies as well.

Strengths: Very good international network, experience with complex holding structures and cross-border mergers.

Recommended: Gerhard Manz, Dr. Barbara Mayer (“outstanding service, quick, precise, very reliable”, client), Dr. Hendrik Thies (“highly intelligent and agreeable”, competitor), Arnt Göppert.

Practice: Mainly advice to internationally active Mittelstand companies. Strong practice for D&O/managers’ liability. Stock corporation law and capital markets, corporate litigation and M&A. (12 partners, 1 counsel, 11 associates)

Clients: Herder after the investment in Thalia; ongoing corporate advice to ITV Studios, Patron Capital Partners, GID Fonds; Festo on corporate structure.

M&A

In recent years, this recommended M&A practice added capital markets advice related to public takeovers to its steady, cross-border deal and project work. The lead role in deals, which are mainly in the mid-cap segment, is still generally played by one of the accomplished senior partners, though competitors are increasingly registering young partners in deals, esp. Thies, who is gathering impressive experience in healthcare sector transactions. The firm is increasingly sought after for restructuring-related deals and manages complex company acquisitions arising from insolvency for investors, e.g. the Röder Präzision acquisition.

Strengths: Cross-border mid-cap deals.

Development potential: The senior partners have ensured a good base of up-and-coming partners and now need to transfer the lead role to them more often, to share deal work over more pairs of shoulders and tap the potential in international work.

Recommended: Gerhard Manz, Dr. Barbara Mayer, Arnt Göppert, Dr. Hendrik Thies, Dr. Stefan Lammel.

Practice:Focus on mid-cap M&A, often for family companies. Much cross-border work, often arising from the strong international network. (9 partners, 1 counsel, 9 associates)

Clients:Herder publishing on investment in Thalia; Duravit majority shareholder on sale of shares to Swiss Franke Group; Wuppermann Group on investment in Aquakin; insurance broker Südvers on acquisition of Hannoversche Versicherungs-Vermittlung; Adval Tech on acquisition of family company Fischer.

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The Legal 500 Germany 2018

Company Law

With a large team in export-friendly Baden-Württemberg, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner advises many internationally positioned Mittelstand companies. Gerhard Manz from Freiburg has 'always practical and quickly implementable solutions at hand' and has 'detailed linguistic and cultural knowledge of France'. He advised Haufe-Lexware in connection with two joint venture companies for activities of the Haufe-Group in China. Albert Schröder has advised on numerous restructurings and most recently represented Maquet Medical Systems in arbitration proceedings against originally 72 shareholders of Pulsion Medical Systems in connection with the conclusion of a domination and profit transfer agreement. Barbara Mayer has 'broad expertise' in stock corporation law and medical technology expert Jan Henning Martens has been appointed partner. In addition to Freiburg, there is also expertise in corporate law in Cologne under the direction of Tobias Lenz and Arnt Göppert and in Frankfurt.

M&A: international medium-sized deals (€100m - €500m)

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner is particularly well networked in the German Mittelstand and has 'intercultural understanding, particularly with regard to advising French companies'. The firm advised the Knauf Group on the sale of its foam insulation division, including shares in the French SAS and assets in the UK and Italy in a bidding process; and the Swedish Getinge Group on the acquisition of a company in the field of software development for hospitals. From Freiburg, Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer lead the team, in which Jan Henning Martens was appointed partner in January 2017. Hendrik Thies, who is described as a 'brilliant lawyer' and 'has a very high level of social competence, which is particularly important in the difficult phases of the M&A process', also works there. Arnt Göppert heads the Cologne office.

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JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2016/2017

This firm is recommended in corporate and combines long-standing ongoing advice to Mittelstand companies (above all in southwest Germany) with a notable D&O practice in Cologne. The latter has become more prominent because of the increase in liability litigation among and between executives and supervisory boards. The booming investment market allowed the firm to advise on an increasing number of international joint ventures – itself a traditional strength of the firm which has long-standing good contacts to India and China. The participation in two public takeovers demonstrated also the expertise in stock corporation law and experience in Freiburg. In Cologne meanwhile the broadened experience on the interface between corporate and financing since the arrival of Göppert has allowed the firm to acquire more clients in the restructuring field as well as family offices.

This recommended M&A practice has long had more than its fair share of cross-border deals, both for its own Mittelstand clients as well as foreign concerns. The past few years have seen more work come inbound from Asia. The quality of M&A instructions improved notably – the practice has made great strides with its involvement in significant public takeovers. Traditionally the practice has rested heavily on Manz and Mayer. The emergence of Thies and Lammel is thus particularly important. The former has particular expertise in advising technology firms, the latter has expanded the firm’s India practice. Göppert’s presence in Cologne is also a vital extra flank.

Strengths: Very good international network, recognized D&O practice, long-standing expertise in public takeovers. Cross-border mid-cap deals.

Recommended: Gerhard Manz (“one of the few strong stock corporation lawyers for Mittelstand firms”, competitor), Dr. Barbara Mayer (“strong international network”, competitor), Dr. Hendrik Thies (“you notice his large-firm experience; very service-driven”, competitor), Dr. Stefan Lammel, Arnt Göppert (“pleasant, also experienced in finance”, competitor).

Practice: Mainly advice to internationally-active Mittelstand companies. Strong practice for D&O/managers’ liability. Stock corporation law and capital markets, corporate litigation. Focus on mid-cap M&A for Mittelstand clients. Much cross-border work, often arising from the strong international network.

Clients: Endress + Hauser on takeover of Analytik Jena and squeeze-out; Maquet Medical on takeover of Pulsion Medical; Neuroloop on investment of Aesculap; NexWafe; Essilor on restructuring of investments in Germany. Endress + Hauser on investment in Analytik Jena; Maquet Medical on investment in Pulsion Medical; FSSB Chirurgische Nadeln on sale to Surgical Specialties; Duravit majority shareholders on investment in Roca and sale to Franke Group; Adval Tech on acquisition of Fischer IMF.

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The Legal 500 Germany 2017

Corporate Law
Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner impresses with its “fast processing time, constant availability and high professional competence”. The team, consisting of eight partners and being led by Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer of the Freiburg office and Tobias Lenz and Arnt Göppert of the Cologne office, often deals with transaction-related mandates under corporate law: Albert Schröder, for example, provided support to Endress+Hauser, a manufacturer of measuring instruments, at the general meeting deciding on merger and squeeze-out. Mayer and the “constantly available and linguistically skilled” Manz offered structural advice, another pillar of the firm, to Essilor International with regard to the restructuring of investments in Germany. Björn Fiedler left the firm in order to establish Fiedler Cryns-Moll Jüngel.

M&A: international medium-sized deals (€100m - €500m)
Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner stands out against its competitors for its “constant availability, high professional competence, always pragmatic and non-delayed answers and the correspondence in French”. Gerhard Manz, Barbara Mayer and Arnt Göppert, “very pragmatic” and equipped with a “good economic understanding”, are leading the solid M&A and corporate law department in Freiburg and Cologne. They place their focus on medium-sized transactions; furthermore, many mandates are received from the German mid-sized sector where typically advice is provided for company sales to foreign buyers. For example, the firm represented a leading German food manufacturer for frozen food during the sale of all company shares to a foreign buyer. Additionally, support is offered for the international transaction business of foreign companies of different sizes; for example, the Swiss investor Adval Tech assigned FGvW to accompany their acquisition of the automotive supplier Fischer IMF.

Corporate LiveWire Legal Awards 2016

After closely observing firms, teams and individuals on a national and global level with regard to their consistent excellent performance, dedication and client-satisfaction throughout the past year, the Corporate LiveWire judge panel has once again honoured Barbara Mayer with the Corporate LiveWire Legal Award 2016 as “Corporate Lawyer of the Year”. Furthermore, we are pleased that Jörn Zons is being announced “Construction Lawyer of the Year” by the same board.

Focus-Spezial 10/2016

Once again, the German news magazine “Focus” lists Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner among “Germany’s Top Lawyers for Business Law”. The survey of approximately 9,500 lawyers and 3,400 in-house counsels of leading companies’ legal departments brought our legal experts out on top in 3 categories: Corporate Law, Commercial Law and Insurance Law. On an over proportional basis we are being recommended by our colleagues and, in the Insurance Law area, by our clients. Thanks to these results we have once again been admitted to the Top 50 ranking of German business law firms.

The Legal 500 Germany 2016

Clients are in good hands at Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner, not only because they appreciate FGvW’s “unexceptionally perfect service” and “transparent handling” but also because of the firm’s “particular adherence to deadlines” and “pleasant personal contact”. One important pillar of the corporate and M&A practice is the transaction-based mandates. FGvW frequently performs squeeze-outs of minority shareholders after corporate acquisitions. Mandates with a compliance aspect are relatively new for FGvW; recently the firm conducted several compliance-due-diligence. Maquet Medical Systems mandated FGvW in connection with a controlling and profit-and-loss transfer agreement with Pulsion. In the field of corporate entities and subsidiaries FGvW comprehensively advised Haufe Lexware and Herder. Hendrik Thies is especially recommended for his “impressive legal knowledge”.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner is pointed out as „the best legal advisor by far” in the field of international medium-sized deals. In its specialized field of medium-sized transactions, FGvW’s compact corporate and M&A practice area stands out for its “adequate rates, which may even be modified for special tasks”. Gerhard Manz is the head of the team which comprises of six partners. Its clients are German small and medium-sized businesses. E.g. the team advised a producer of frozen foods in connection with the sale of all of its shares to a foreign bidder. The majority of clients are foreign corporations and large businesses. For instance, „excellent advisor“ Barbara Mayer advised the Swiss technology group RUAG with regard to several corporate acquisitions in Germany, as well as the Zurich-based Diethelm Keller Group with regard to the acquisition of the high-end outdoor furniture business Garpa.

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2015/2016

The firm is recommended for corporate law. In addition to its regional dominance in the Freiburg area, FGvW has also been successful in positioning itself as a nationwide player. The firm’s legal work for a German client from the defense industry in connection with the client’s acquisition of a US-company with South American subsidiaries is an example for how the cross-locational cooperation can open up new areas of advice. Partners from the Freiburg and the Frankfurt offices conducted a compliance due diligence together for this deal. The mandate is also an example for the unusually international focused work of the firm. In addition, Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer have developed the advice for businesses with regard to the organizational structure of their international subsidiaries from a liability law point of view into a specialized area.

Strengths: Very good international network, renowned D&O practice, longstanding experience with public take-overs.

Frequently recommended: Gerhard Manz (“great expertise in stock corporation law", competitor), Barbara Mayer (quick, pragmatic, competent”, client), Hendrik Thies, Arnt Göppert.

Firm Activity: The firm mostly advises medium-sized companies with international business. It also has a strong practice for D&O and manager liability, as well as for  stock corporation law and corporate disputes.

The Legal 500 Germany 2015

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner proves its expertise in transnational restructurings and mergers, in which medium-sized international clients and medium-sized businesses profit from the firm’s global network. Another focus lies on the assistance of international joint ventures. The seven partners are led by Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer in Freiburg and Tobias Lenz in Cologne. The opening of a new office in Frankfurt particularly strengthened the field of transactions and thereby the corporate practice. The firm advises a group of investors from Dubai in relation to the restructuring of their shares in several companies in Germany, as well as the merger of two companies. The team was further strengthened by Tom Erdt who joined FGvW from PILGER Rechtsanwälte und Notare and Arnt Göppert who joined the firm from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner is a medium-sized law firm which offers a full-service approach to medium-sized German and international businesses. The four partners around „accomplished“ Gerhard Manz and „outstanding“ Barbara Mayer continue to develop the international network and thereby work together closely with European partner law firms. The new Frankfurt office serves as point of contact for international transactions, especially at the interface to the areas of real estate, private equity, banking and capital markets, as well as employment law. The firm advised Haufe-Lexware in relation to the acquisition of the Schäffer-Poeschel publishing house of the publishing group Handelsblatt. FGvW also drafted the contracts, advised in relation to the public tender offer and led the negotiations with the BaFin for Maquet Medical Sytsems and Endress + Hauser. Arnt Göppert joined FGvW from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2014/2015

The firm, which is recommended for corporate law, has for years been among the outstanding advisors of medium-sized clients, especially in the field of cross-border transactions. The firm has particularly strong relations to India and China and good relationships to other international law firms and therefore may be considered an example for many German law firms of similar size. In the past year, FGvW was, as usual, involved in a long list of corporate mandates, especially in Southern Germany where the firm dominates parts of the regional market. At the same time, the firm has developed a unique selling position vis-à-vis its competitors: It was involved in several cross-border public takeovers, a field of advice in which only a few similarly positioned law firms are active. Whereas the Freiburg office accounted for a large part of this work, the Cologne office is becoming more visible, strengthened by its partner Arnt Göppert, who left Hogan Lovells and joined the firm in the past summer. In the field of D&O advice, FGvW has long been considered one of the market leaders.

The M&A practice area is continuously recommended for medium-sized transactions, especially those with international reference. This year the firm profited from the revival of public takeovers and it became apparent that FGvW is one of a few medium-sized law firms that has these kinds of transactions in its repertoire. The Freiburg office has long been among the strongest firms for inbound investors in relation to medium-sized transactions and was repeatedly mandated by Asian investors (especially from India and China). Since Göppert joined the Cologne office, the firm also has a regular deal flow outside of Freiburg.

Strengths: Very good international network, renowned D&O practice, long lasting experience with public takeovers, cross border mid-cap deals.

Frequently recommended: Gerhard Manz (“very fair and very reliable”, client), Dr. Barbara Mayer, Dr. Hendrik Thies (“outstanding expertise and ability to explain difficult legal matters even to non-lawyers", client), Arnt Göppert.

Firm activity: Mostly advice for medium-sized, internationally active businesses. Strong practice for D&O/manager liability. Stock corporation and capital markets law, corporate disputes. Focus on small and medium-sized M&A transactions for medium-sized clients. In addition, a lot of inbound work. Good relations to similarly positioned law firms abroad.

Chambers Europe 2014

What the team is known for: Handles the full range of corporate matters, including establishing companies, structural reorganisations and shareholder meetings, as well as joint ventures and M&A. Can also advise on transactions with a cross-border element thanks to close links with firms around the world.

Notable practitioners: Head of department Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer are key contacts for the practice.

www.chambersandpartner.com

Kanzleien in Deutschland [Law Firms in Germany], 15th edition 2014

The Freiburg office has always stood out for its expertise in corporate law, especially in transactions. The increase in business volume is primarily due to synergy effects and cross sellings between offices, as well as national and international presence accompanied by an international focus and the trend towards advising international businesses on acquisitions in Germany. FGvW continues to cooperate with international law firms and focus on mid-cap businesses.

FGvW has already successfully interconnected with medium-sized businesses, something that many other law firms, including large international law firms, are increasingly aiming at. Due to the firm’s good connections to leading nerve centers (Schaltzentrale), such as local savings banks (Sparkasse) and the non-existence of competitors, FGvW has excellent relationships with several high-performance medium-sized businesses in Southern Germany (Baden) and sometimes even acts as an outsourced legal department for these companies. Barbara Mayer and Gerhard Manz, the leading partners in this practice area are internationally known and have an excellent reputation. Without doubt they belong to the most renowned corporate lawyers and transaction specialists in Germany.

The incorporation of a joint venture in the media sector in Beijing, contract negotiations with respect to Intersolar China in Beijing and Intersolar India in Mumbai, the acquisition of an Indian business, as well as disputes in Brazil and Turkey clearly illustrate the important role of growing international business. These transactions also emphasize the expertise and class of this practice group. The pronounced teamwork between Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer who are known by clients and colleagues to be very versed in transaction issues, contributes to this impression.

The Legal 500 Deutschland 2014

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen and Partners has been able to strongly develop the international client base across all sectors, although the Team often advises small and medium-sized enterprises. It was also possible to develop long-term mandates in Europe, Asia, the Near East and America through close ties with international law firms. There is particular expertise in restructuring, contract drafting, advising on stock corporation law and cartel law as well as in advising on joint ventures. Barbara Mayer was the lead partner when advising Delachaux/Conductix-Wampfler on corporate reorganizations and changes to articles of association and she also advised the Ormand/Vitra Group on the transfer of all of the European subsidiaries' shares to Vitra International. The Haufe-Lexware Group was advised on a joint venture in China and Glatt was advised on a joint venture in India.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen and Partners strengthened its team by a high-profile addition, namely Arnt Göppert of Hogan Lovells International LLP, and the practice was able to continue its successful development as a whole, which has been demonstrated by, inter alia, a further increase in turnover. One of the driving forces was the buoyant China business, and with Trina Solar, a provider of solar modules from China, the firm was able to acquire an important client in the area of transactions. Furthermore, numerous contacts to other Chinese businesses in the renewable energies sector, who wish to expand their activities in Europe, have in the meantime come about through Trina Solar. The Team also acted on behalf of Putzmeister, a manufacturer of concrete pumps, on the acquisition of the machinery specialist, Intermix. The firm's practice is led by Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer jointly.

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2013/2014

Recommended law firm for corporate law, which often advises its mostly small and medium-sized clients on complex, cross-border matters. Approximately one-half of the business has a foreign component; for a German law firm of its size that is a considerable proportion and due mainly to the well-maintained contacts to foreign law firms. The emphasis in Germany was most recently on advising family businesses where the Freiburg Practice also benefits from the Cologne office's contacts. This continues to be excellently set up, especially in the D&O field. The Cologne office will also have been boosted through the addition of the long-serving Lovells partner. Arnt Göppert, who brings with him much experience in transactions and financing in real estate management and should promote the advisory services in this sector. (...) He specializes in corporate and financing transactions, particularly in real estate management.

The M&A Practice is particularly recommended for medium-sized transactions with an international component.  The core of the practice continues to be the Freiburg office with the large team around Manz and Mayer.

Strengths: Very good international network, recognized D&O Practice, cross-border mid-cap deals.

Frequently recommended: Gerhard Manz ("longstanding, reliable working relationship in trade mark law", client), Gerhard Manz, Dr. Barbara Mayer ("considerable negotiating skills in the international context, very easy to get in contact with", client about both)

Particularly advising small and medium-sized companies, companies that operate internationally. Strong practice for D&O/directors' responsibilities. Also the law governing stock markets and capital markets, shareholder disputes.

The addition of Göppert provides the M&A Practice with the opportunity of leveraging even more synergies with the recognised Cologne product liability lawyers.  

Areas of focus are small and mid-cap M&A for small and medium-sized clients.  In addition, much inbound work. Good relations with similarly set-up law firms abroad.

Kanzleien in Deutschland [Law Firms in Germany], 14th edition 2013

The Freiburg office has always been distinguished for its strong expertise in company law, particularly in transactions. The office in the most south-western part of Germany has never found it difficult to position itself well nationally or to hold its own in international deals. The office has once again been able to increase its turnover by approximately 28%. The crucial factors for this success are probably the synergy effects and effective cross-selling between the offices. Likewise its powerful presence in Germany and abroad as well as its resulting strong international presence with a noticeable trend towards advising foreign companies on acquisitions in Germany. FGvW thereby continues to place an emphasis on firm cooperations with firms abroad, with whom the law firm works together on an exclusive basis, as well as on the mid-cap business.

FGvW has already succeeded in this area with what many other law firms - even large law firms - are increasingly trying to do: networking with medium-sized businesses. Particularly in Baden there are a large number of successful SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises), with whom the Firm maintains excellent contacts, often acting as their outsourced legal department. This is down to the the lack of local competition and the Firm's good networking with important nerve centres, such as the local associations of savings banks (Sparkassenverbände).

Last year the practice group again grew by three associates. The partners, who lead this area, Dr. Barbara Mayer and Gerhard Manz, are well known beyond national borders, enjoy an outstanding reputation and are, without doubt, two of the most prestigious German corporate lawyers and transaction specialists.

The competence and class of this practice group has once again proven itself by advising on all areas involved in the reorganisation of an Aktiengesellschaft (German stock corporation) into a GmbH (German private limited company) as well as on a cross-border Indian joint venture in the plant construction sector or also when it advised on the acquisition of a large company by an Indian group of investors. Another key factor here is quite definitely also the good working relationship between Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer, who is considered by clients and colleagues alike to be extremely well-versed in transaction matters. She succeeds time and time again to take on the lead role on prestigious deals, so even partners from renowned large law firms have to adjust their strategy. For example, she most recently succeeded with this when advising MAQUET Colombia SAS, Bogotá on the takeover of the Medical Technology business division of the Columbian company Tecno-Hospitalia Ltda in Colombia.

Chambers & Partners 2013

Corporate/M&A: Mid-Market (Germany): THE FIRM This firm handles the full spectrum of corporate and M&A work, as well as liability and insurance law. As one of the founders of international legal firm network PECS, it offers clients strong local knowledge as well as enviable international links. A recent cross-border highlight for the group was advising Maquet on the corporate acquisition of USCI Japan.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Heads of department Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer are key contacts for the practice.

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2012/2013

Once again FGvW's Freiburg office underlines the special position it holds in the region with outstanding M&A and IP clients. The international contacts of Gerhard Manz and his co-managing partner, Dr. Barbara Mayer, guarantee a continuous stream of international business, which is comparable to Stuttgart or Mannheim mid-cap law firms. By entering into a close cooperation with the Swiss law firm Kellerhals, FGvW also emphasized its ambitions in the German-Swiss market. The company lawyers also made progress with providing advice to local power suppliers.

"excellent international contacts", "a strong line-up and efficient approach". Strengths: cross-border mid-cap deals, in Freiburg "a small but excellently set-up corporate practice, which keeps bringing young partners to the fore."

Frequently recommended: Gerhard Manz, Barbara Mayer

Kanzleien in Deutschland [Law Firms in Germany], 13th edition 2012

The Freiburg office of FGvW has always been known for its expertise in company and corporate law matters, particularly as regards M&A transactions. The office in the most south-western part of Germany has never had difficulties in positioning itself well nationally, or to hold its own as regards international deals. The firm exclusively focuses on the mid-cap sector in advising on joint ventures, restructurings and equity financing, and does so with great success: It was the corporate practice group, which was able to grow most strongly last year in terms of revenue development and new clients (including Tognum, Vitrashop and Ausy SA). FGvW has already succeeded in this area with what many other law firms - including large law firms - are increasingly trying to do: Networking with medium-sized businesses (the so-called German Mittelstand). Baden, in particular, has an incredibly large number of successful medium-sized businesses (such as the local Sparkassenverbände), with which the firm maintains excellent relations, often acting as an outsourced legal department - not only due to the lack of local competition. In addition, the Freiburg office of FGvW also benefits from the synergy with the Cologne offices of FGvW. Beforehand, many did not think this possible. However, several prestigious M&A mandates, which were referred by the Cologne colleagues, prove otherwise.

The corporate / M&A practice group reported significant personnel growth last year. In addition to four new associates joining the team, Dr. Hendrik Thies was appointed as partner at the beginning of 2011. Gerhard Manz continues to retain an outstanding reputation as a transaction and corporate lawyer - even beyond the national borders - and is without doubt one of Germany's most prestigious corporate and transaction lawyers. With his lead role in advising and assisting Tognum AG, an MDAX-listed company, on the sale of a business division and on a cross-border joint venture, and by advising a technology group on various joint ventures in the USA, Gerhard has once again proven that he is regularly trusted by companies that are industry leaders. Gerhard frequently works together with Dr. Barbara Mayer, who is considered by clients and colleagues alike to be extremely well-versed in transaction matters. She regularly succeeds in taking on the lead role in prestigious deals such as the restructuring of the word's leading finnish packaging manufacturer Huhtamäki, with the result that even partners from renowned large law firms have to adjust their strategy to suit hers. Dr. Albert Schröder is also held in extremely high regard, and is known to act with much foresight.

Chambers Europe 2012

Corporate/M&A: Highly regarded: THE FIRM This bold mid-market firm has remained successful since its demerger from Graf von Westphalen in early 2011. Clients appreciate the team's experience in corporate and M&A, as well as employment issues. In addition to a strong domestic reputation, it is also visible in cross-border deals and often assists clients from Asia and Latin America. Notable mandates include representing Indian company Motherson Sumi in its acquisition of 80% of German-based Peguform and its Spanish subsidiaries.

Sources say: "The lawyers are truly excellent; they initiate local training, invite in-house lawyers to different meetings and provide a newsletter to keep us updated on market developments."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Freiburg-based Barbara Mayer and Gerhard Manz are the key contacts here.

http://www.chambersandpartners.com/Europe/Editorial/47922#org_315237

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2010/2011

"An esteemed law firm for corporate law, whose long-term clients particularly include internationally operating small and medium-sized enterprises. The splitting of Graf von Westphalen was therefore an acid test in that FGvW lost its office in Shanghai as well as its connection to international networks. However, it succeeded in finding a new cooperation partner in China and the well maintained international contacts also proved to be enduring. FGvW continues to have much international business, for example for clients such as Intersolar and Maquet.

The employment and corporate lawyers have "a high degree of expertise and are solution-driven".

For law firm is particularly recommended for medium-sized M&A transactions. The team based in Freiburg won its pitch to Tognum and advised the company on a transaction for the first time. The Firm's good contacts to foreign law firms remains a particular feature of the firm and brought the US conglomerate Smithers to it as a client. Following Graf von Westphalen's spin-off last year the lawyers won over the German-Chinese law firm, Burkhardt Böhland & Partner, centred around the former Squire Sanders lawyer, Rainer Burkhardt.

Frequently recommended lawyers: Gerhard Manz, Dr. Barbara Mayer."

WirtschaftsWoche Guide 2012 M&A and Corporate Finance

"Barbara Mayer is one of the "leading heads for M&A and Corporate Finance."

Kanzleien in Deutschland [Law Firms in Germany], 12th edition 2011

"Gerhard Manz is "no doubt one of the most prestigious German corporate lawyers and transaction specialists". By his side the managing partner, Dr. Barbara Mayer, stands out; they work very successfully together in the mid-cap area. More than half of their transactions have an international element."

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2010/2011

"An esteemed law firm for corporate advice to small and medium-sized enterprises. The law firm has its corporate law centre in south-west Germany, from where, however, the team advises nationally. The second office in Cologne is a busy practice handling cases involving the liability of directors and officers at the point of overlap to corporate law.

Strengths: Partner-centric advice; good international connections.

Frequently recommended lawyers: Gerhard Manz, Dr. Barbara Mayer.

Gerhard Manz: One of the leading names in Baden-Württemberg in the field of corporate law/M&A.

"Recommended law firm for M&A, which particularly advises small and medium-sized clients on small to medium-sized transactions, often with an international element.

Strengths: M&A with an international element, good relationships with foreign law firms, particularly in the USA."

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2009/2010

"Particularly Freiburg is considered to be a strong, recommended law firm for corporate law, which focuses on advising high-end and internationally active small and medium-sized enterprises. Here, the Firm benefited from the increased cost awareness of companies and has succeeded in winning over numerous new clients. Its work involving cross-border mandates (including transactions) particularly increased.

Frequently recommended lawyers for corporate law, M&A: Gerhard Manz, Dr. Barbara Mayer ...

M&A: Assessment: Recommended law firm for M&A with a focus on medium-sized transactions. GvW continued its past growth path; it even gained market share. For this, the large proportion of strategic investors in its client base, who used the crisis at competitors for acquisitions or who themselves parted from marginal areas, stood it in good stead. It also made progress in expanding its international activities. GvW particularly increased its presence in its Asia business, such as German-Indian transactions.

Particular strengths: The law firm's partner-centric model proves popular with small and medium-sized German clients particularly in times of economic crisis because of, inter alia, the attractive relationship between price and performance. Good relations to foreign law firms, particularly in the USA.

The law firm's activity: Areas of focus are M&As for small and medium-sized enterprises and extensive inbound work, including advising several of the largest US-companies.

Gerhard Manz: One of the leading names in Baden-Württemberg in the field of corporate law/M&A."

Legal 500 Germany 2010

"Clients value Graf von Westphalen's cooperation with Wragge & Co LLP ... It has particular strengths in the fields of medicine, life sciences and biopharmaceutics. Barbara Mayer provides quick answers ..."

Legal 500 EMEA, 2010

"Corporate and M&A Mid-Sized Deals: Barbara Mayer and Gerhard Manz are recommended."

Chambers & Partners

"Corporate / M&A, highly regarded, Germany: This team is an established force in the mid-cap arena, offering clients extensive knowledge of a variety of sectors. ... Highlights include advising OXID eSales on a secondary investment by LBBW Venture, KfW and MBG. Gerhard Manz is the key contact."

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