Baker McKenzie has a strong presence in the German tax market, with a team of 16 professionals covering all areas of domestic and international taxation including private client, VAT, transactional tax and tax controversy. Christoph Becker, who specilises in tax planning and M&A taxation, as well as covering tax disputes, has led the team since 2014.
Baker McKenzie recently advised the LKQ Corporation on its €1.5 billion acquisition of Stahlgruber, in a cross-border deal affecting operations in 15 countries including Germany. The firm has also recently closed the sale of the United Grinding Group by Körber to Martin Ebner’s holding company, Patinex.
The team hired Thomas Schänzle in mid 2018 as a partner. He joins the firm having spent six years at PwC Germany where he was a partner. Senior associate Lars Haverkamp left Baker Mckenzie in the same year.
“Excellent understanding of our business and the respective tax questions raised. Efficient support, always high quality and in time.”
"Brilliant people, fast response time, very much to the point. Partners are doing the actual work. It has a strong global tax presence (unlike other law firms), and strong global integration (unlike the Big Four)."
"Baker is, in terms of tax consulting, the perfect mix of a law firm approach (brilliant people, not a lot of work delegation from partners to associates, strong global integration of all offices) and the Big Four (Strong global presence, high level diversification within tax)."
Bödecker Ernst & Partner is an independent German law firm focused specifically on providing services pertaining to investment funds and investment products. Carsten Bödecker and Carsten Ernst, two of the founding members of the firm, are partners in its taxation division. The remainder of the team includes two further partners.
The team worked for a variety of investment funds during the research period, including foreign-based alternative investment funds and Germany-based insurance and occupation pension schemes.
Deloitte’s German tax practice currently includes a total of 61 tax partners and almost 370 certified German tax advisers, making it one of the largest tax departments in Germany. The firm is also active in domestic corporate tax, indirect taxation, tax disputes and transfer pricing. Christoph Röper is the managing partner and leads the tax and legal team.
The firm continues to advise clients from all sectors including manufacturing, technology and shipping. It is currently advising various German start-ups as well as SME’s and various international corporations.
Dentons offers tax services across Europe, with the German division of the European tax group being the second largest by revenue. The team covers all areas of taxation, both domestic and international, with four offices across Germany. Michael Graf is a partner in the Frankfurt office and co-head of the European tax practice.
Dentons have acted as the sole advisor to Enbridge Inc on the sale of 49% participation of a portfolio of renewable energy plants across Europe and the US to create joint venture with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The deal will result in a $2.25 billion investment from CPPIB. Dentons have advised on all legal and tax aspects for Enbridge relating to this deal.
“Excellent expertise in relation to all M&A-related tax risks, in particular with respect to cross-border transactions. Very quick service, very commercial approach, nice and helpful lawyers.”
"Denton's German tax team is very skilled and experienced in the field of W&I insurance. Highly responsive and all team members are very friendly and straightforward to work with."
DLA Piper has continued to grow its reputation within the transactional tax sector, providing support for M&A deals as well as restructuring transactions. It offers deal due diligence as well as post-deal target integrations and structuring. The firm is led by co-managing partner Konrad Rohde, a tax specialist in transactions and corporate taxation.
The firm recently advised Rolls-Royce Power System on their €700 Million sale of L`Orange to Woodward Inc. The sale includes the operations of L’Orange in Germany, the US and in China. It has also recently advised Barings Real Estate on its acquisition of a 10,000m² office block in Munich for an undisclosed fee.
Flick Gocke Schaumburg is a leading tax-focused law firm in Germany. It offers a variety of practice areas but has a significant focus on its tax practice, with all three of the founding partners being tax professionals. It now has 46 partners focused on tax, with a total of 260 professionals with a specialism in tax. In 2019 it opened its sixth German office in Stuttgart.
The firm advised Minimax Viking on the legal and tax aspects of the sale of €2.3 billion worth of its shares by Kirkibi to Intermedia Capital Group. It is also responsible for advising a number of DAX companies on corporate restructuring models.
The firm hired numerous practitioners in 2019, including Markus Suchanek as of counsel from Grant Thornton, Nils Häck as an associated partner from Birkenstock, Heinrich Drinhausen as the new managing director of Flick Gocke Schaumburg digital and Lars Haverkamp as an associated partner from Baker McKenzie.
Gleiss Lutz operates within a network of leading independent European law firms, as well as US law firms, in order to provide a broad range of international and domestic tax advice. The Gleiss Lutz practice operates within transactional and indirect taxes as well as corporate tax structuring, private clients and tax disputes. The firms tax team is led by partner Stefan Mayer, who is recognised as a leader in transactional tax and group restricting. He is supported by a further 4 partners as well as counsel and associates across six German offices.
Gleiss Lutz has acted for Schaeffler in the recent sale of Schaeffler’s UK based subsidiary Barden UK to the UK based HQW Holding. They have also advised Schaeffler in their 2019 acquisition of German company Xtronic through the subsidiary, Schaeffler Technologies.
LW TAX Lemaitre Wittkowski is a small tax boutique, which services M&A taxation for small and mid-sized private equity firms as well as renewable energy companies and privately held organisations. The firm will also provide ongoing tax advice, including tax audit advice, to its clients. It was founded by the two partners Claus Lemaitre and Ansas Wittkowski.
Mayer Brown leverages its significant global footprint to be able to offer its clients access to specialised tax professionals all across the world. The German tax department of the firm is fully integrated with its global tax experts and, as such, it has a specific focus on international tax structuring and all aspects of cross-border transactions from a variety of sectors. International transaction-structuring specialist Volker Junge heads the German tax team, where he is supported by a team of three others.
The firm advised on numerous cross-border transactions during the research period, including the acquisition of the Germany-based Sellbytel Group to the French based CRM provider Webhelp. The target is owned by an American agency, while the purchaser is a subsidiary company of the American investment company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. The team Advised Webhelp on all structuring and transactional matters relating to the cross-border and multi-jurisdictional aspects of the deal.
Oppenhoff & Partner advises clients mostly in the areas of restructuring and planning connected to M&A deals, as well and transfer pricing and tax litigation. The department has a strong focus on US-German cross-border taxation and advises a number of US multinationals. The tax team includes equity partners Axel Bödefeld and Gunnar Knorr. Bödefeld is also a founding member of the firm.
The team has worked on corporate structuring work for clients including American conglomerate Johnson & Johnson, as well as for investment firm Benckiser Holding. It has also assisted Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel with tax advice.
P+P Pöllath + Partners is a full service law firm, with a large tax department focusing in part on tax planning and structuring for international corporates and for financial sector clients. The team also has a strong presence in M&A, asset management and real estate. It consists of a team of six equity partners, with further team of non-equity and associated partners, as well as counsel and associates.
The firm’s clients include financial institutions such as DPE Deutsche Private Equity, which it assisted in the acquisition of a majority stake in the BE-terna Group, as well as German multinationals like Schwanhäußer, which it has been advising for the past seven years on a variety of taxation questions, including corporate tax structuring and international acquisitions.
In 2019 the firm promoted Maximilian Haag to the position of equity partner. In the same year, the firm hired Dr. André Fest as a counsel, previouslt Fest had been the Managing Director of CAM Alternatives.
WTS is a global tax consultancy that actively refrains from conducting any audits. The German branch of group now consists of 900 employees across nine locations, capable of covering all areas of domestic and international tax and transfer pricing. WTS global covers more than 100 countries across the world, allowing it to offer international tax advice to the largest multinationals. Karsten Gnuschke, who is one of the founders of WTS Germany and a director on the board of WTS global, is the head of international taxation at the firm. The team is managed by Fritz Esterer, who is the chairman of the board of WTS Global, and Franz Prinz zu Hohenlohe.
The team advises many well-known international clients such as Siemens, MAN and Osram. It also recently advised Toshiba Europe on the restricting of its VAT in relation to the sale of the European division to Foxconn.
In January of 2018, managing partner Peter Jung left WTS to become partner at EY in Munich.