POELLATH ranked as top-tier firm in “The Legal 500 2023”
The Legal 500 Germany researches and analyzes over 400 commercial law firms and 2,700 lawyers in 23 practice areas. Each year, an independent team of experienced editors interviews hundreds of lawyers and surveys more than 23,000 clients. This research is the basis for a comprehensive and thorough evaluation of law firms and attorneys.
POELLATH is ranked as a TOP-TIER firm in the 2023 edition in the practice areas of Private Clients/Non-Profit and Fund Structuring and is recommended in all other areas of expertise.
A total of 25 advisors are listed by name for their outstanding advice in their respective fields, of whom Christian Tönies is inducted into the “Hall of Fame” and new partner Dr. Sebastian Gerlinger is included as a “Rising Star”. Dr. Benedikt Hohaus is ranked as “leading” for his expertise in transactional private equity advice and his colleague Amos Veith is ranked as “leading” for his expertise in fund structuring in both the private equity and investment fund sectors.
As co-heads of the private funds team, Amos Veith and Dr. Jens Steinmüller cover both regulatory and tax issues in advising on fund structuring and fund investments, which is “characteristic of the team’s integrated advisory approach” and was “underscored” by last year’s appointment of Dr. Stephan Schade as partner. Particularly in the private equity sector, German and international fund managers value the advice in this asset class, which also includes alternative investments. Amos Veith impresses with “excellent market penetration in the field of alternative investments” and “good team play, fast, efficient and pragmatic”.
In addition to Dr. Stephan Schade, core attorneys in the division are Uwe Bärenz, Dr. Philip Schwarz van Berk and Dr. Peter Bujotzek. References praise the “high level of expertise and understanding of the industry”, the “young and dynamic team” that is “very commercially oriented, i.e., the focus [is] on offering solutions rather than primarily shedding light on legal risks.” The firm therefore receives a top-tier rating for its advice on fund structuring.
The PE transaction department also receives high praise: They “know the market inside out [and] offer suitable solutions for every constellation, [offering] excellent experience and advice both in legal terms and with practical tips and experience”. Philipp von Braunschweig receives special praise from clients as a “legal advisor who is 100% proficient in his field of expertise, but furthermore keeps a deal manageable and ensures fast and efficient execution with valuable advice and practical guidance”. “Mr. von Braunschweig’s advice went far beyond the usual legal framework.”
In addition to transactions, the firm also advises on related topics such as financing, distressed M&A, insolvency and restructuring and tax structuring. Furthermore, with Dr. Benedikt Hohaus as the “central contact”, the firm is known for its expertise in management consulting. In addition to private equity, team leaders Dr. Eva Nase and Jens Hörmann cover corporate and capital markets law. In addition to Philipp von Braunschweig, other core lawyers include Amos Veith and Dr. Benedikt Hohaus, Dr. Tim Kaufhold and Tobias Jäger.
POELLATH also advises venture capital firms, growth companies and business angels on all VC matters, with “particular expertise in financing rounds, exit transactions and tax planning”. In particular, “Rising Star” Dr. Sebastian Gerlinger is known for the “breadth of topics” in his advice on financing, acquisitions and exits. He has “a great deal of potential”, is “extremely pragmatic and solution-oriented” and clients praise the “very pleasant cooperation”.
Christian Tönies has been inducted into the highest category, the “Hall of Fame”; he is an “excellent communicator” with “high technical expertise”. Overall, the division is held in high esteem for its “respectful cooperation amongst equals, fast response time, high level of technical expertise, and pragmatic and solution-oriented approach and open communication”. In addition to Dr. Sebastian Gerlinger, Tobias Jäger is another core attorney, with Christian Tönies and Dr. Michael Inhester as managers of the practice.
Dr. Inhester is also known for his PE and transaction experience. The practice is led by Jens Hörmann, who is “well-versed in M&A private equity and carve-out transactions” together with Dr. Eva Nase, who also advises on public takeovers as a “merger and change of form expert”.
Dr. Nase is praised as a “very experienced corporate lawyer” who “was able to help us quickly and without complications; a huge step up in quality from our previous advisor”. She works “professionally with clients. Of particular note is her ability to adapt to different corporate cultures in multiple countries and achieve compelling results for all parties involved”, [she] has “excellent technical knowledge”, a “quick and accurate response” accompanied by a “deep understanding of corporate law”. The department is characterized by an “extremely motivated, constructive team”, has “many creative ideas, reasonable and balanced strategies”, and shows “great fighting spirit and efficient implementation of decisions”. Core attorney, Stefanie Jahn, who is “well-versed” in corporate governance, compliance and corporate litigation, is particularly praised for her “many good ideas” and correct “handling of all pending matters discussed” and “clean and comprehensive collection and processing of the facts”.
One client summarizes: “The cooperation - even when the circumstances were not pleasant - was a lot of fun and I sincerely appreciated the contact.”
The real estate department also works closely with the corporate law and tax team. Within the transaction work, this close cooperation enables coverage of all stages of sale and acquisition or in the context of project developments “all topics from the start of planning to further utilization of the property”. The entire team specializes in supporting real estate transactions and financing, project development, joint ventures and industry-specific restructuring. This range of topics corresponds to the expertise of the two practice leaders, Dr. Matthias Durst and Dr. Stefan Lebek. References praise them as “lawyers who always maintain an overview, independently drive deals forward and, due to the size of the firm and the deals it handles, always have an overview of the market and are professionally up to date. Both understand our approach and play it up to contractual partners.” Dr. Durst “provides us with excellent support, is always responsive, and is an outstanding negotiator”.
The “holistic approach” helps to “handle large, complicated deals in a short time due to the strong team”, which acts “very professionally and expertly” and is “always responsive, strong in negotiations and solution-oriented”.
The co-head of tax law, Dr. Hardy Fischer, contributes by “impressing [clients] with his expertise in providing tax law advice on real estate transactions to domestic and foreign investors”. The team, and particularly Munich co-head Dr. Michael Best, are “particularly active in advising on tax-optimized private equity structures (buy-outs) and the structuring of investment funds”. Associated Partner André Fest focuses on setting up tax compliance systems. Other core lawyers are partners Gerald Herrmann, Dr. Martin Liebernickel and counsel Korbinian Wintermeier. Overall, references value “colleagues from POELLATH” as “pragmatic and practice-oriented” who offer “very high quality”. Namely, Dr. Hardy Fischer shines with “specialist expertise and industry knowledge, responsiveness”; he offers “tailored advice from emails to detailed opinions, tax fact books or contract negotiations”. He is a “quick thinker” and “no-nonsense guy”. In addition, the entire group is also experienced in advising on corporate tax and wealth management.
Here, Dr. Maximilian Haag (“very responsive, technically adept, extremely service-oriented”) is a “key contact” for international tax and succession issues, as is Dr. Stephan Viskorf, who co-heads the team with Dr. Andreas Richter, who specializes in advising entrepreneurial families and foundations, and Dr. Katharina Gollan as an expert on charitable foundations. The latter is “pragmatic, client-oriented and professionally qualified”.
The practice group covers the “entire spectrum of the private client and non-profit sectors”, from succession and inheritance planning to the establishment of foundations and family offices” and advises clients, including wealthy individuals and entrepreneurial families, on the tax optimization of companies, foundations and trusts in Germany and abroad, as well as providing support in succession disputes.
References are therefore particularly taken with the fact that the practice area “combines everything you need as a private client from a single source, from family law to taxes”, the team is “sharp in legal argumentation, creative” and “has excellent specialist knowledge of domestic and cross-border issues”, and the “professional and constructive” cooperation enables “out-of-court collaboration even with the other side”. Quote: “I have always found POELLATH (Munich and Berlin) to be very practice-oriented and pragmatic. They are also extremely likeable! It is a pleasure to work with them.” The high standards on both the professional and human levels earn them the well-deserved top-tier rating.