Germany's rapidly growing economy — the fourth largest in the world and the largest in Europe — offers uniquely attractive trade and investment opportunities. German businesses are among the leading exporters in the world, and the German economy is one of the largest importers of goods and services worldwide.
In recent years, K&L Gates has significantly expanded its presence and resources in Germany. We have joined with high-caliber teams of lawyers and have enhanced the existing practices through the addition of highly experienced individuals. The German practice comprises approximately 75 resident lawyers in Berlin, the country's capital, Frankfurt, its financial center and economic stronghold, and Munich, one of the most commercially influential centers in Europe.
The group's main practice areas include corporate, M&A, real estate transactions, banking and finance, tax, regulatory (antitrust and trade regulation, public procurement, and PPP), and employment, as well as corporate matters in such fields as real estate and telecommunications, media, and technology (TMT).
The German Cross-border practice in our U.S. offices offers a wide range of services on both inbound and outbound cross-border corporate, business, financing, intellectual property, and litigation matters for the firm's large, mid-size, and emerging growth company clients.
Clients include German and international blue chip companies, major international utility service providers, renewable energy project developers, investment banks, and private equity, hedge, and venture capital funds as well as a variety of national and international businesses.
RecognitionFor a sixth consecutive year, K&L Gates’ German practice was ranked among the top firms in Germany in JUVE’s 2016/17 list. This leading German legal publication also recommends K&L Gates for corporate, mergers and acquisitions, private equity (transactions), media, public procurement, real estate, and tax. JUVE also named K&L Gates as “Law Firm of the Year—Region East” (2012), “Law Firm of the Year for Public Procurement” (2010), “Law Firm of the Year for Media,” “Law Firm of the Year for TV, Film and Entertainment,” and “Law Firm of the Year for Telecommunications” (2009).
K&L Gates was ranked in a top-tier by Legal 500 Deutschland for M&A: international mid-sized deals again in 2017. Additional rankings include Banking and Finance (Credit Law and Investment Funds), Corporate, Media (Entertainment), PPP, Public Procurement, Real Estate and Construction (Real Estate), and Tax.
Chambers Europe 2016 recommends K&L Gates for Public Law: Public Procurement/PPP, Real Estate, and TMT (Media). We are a first-tier firm for Transportation: Rail and Aviation Asset Finance. Additionally, Chambers Global 2015 recommends us for Banking and Finance: Acquisition Finance and Syndicated Lending.
Our German construction and engineering team assists clients with the everyday issues and battles that are part of the construction and engineering industry. Our core practices are construction project support and dispute resolution. Our experience also covers public procurement law and infrastructure projects.
Our main areas of focus include:
Mergers and acquisitions are a focal point of K&L Gates' German practice. The M&A group provides an integrated cross-border service for industrial clients, financial institutions, and financial investors. Our experience extends to a wide range of M&A transactions from domestic to highly complex international deals.
Our engagements encompass both private and public M&A transactions. We address every aspect of the transaction, including finance, regulatory, compliance, and corporate governance aspects as well as administrative and employment law issues. The group has a strong reputation for its innovation, commercial experience, and technical ability.
The firm's German environmental group aims to deliver commercially focused, sustainable, and cost-effective solutions that meet clients' objectives. We find solutions by negotiation wherever practicable. We have an in-depth knowledge of current environmental and planning issues. Our experience also covers related issues including sustainable development, retail, housing, health care, historic buildings, and conservation. We conduct environmental and planning disputes. For our clients, we liaise with public authorities and negotiate agreements under public law related to any issues under planning or environmental law. We undertake planning and environmental due diligence for both property and corporate transactions.
Our German finance lawyers represent both lender and borrower clients in aircraft finance, acquisition finance, project finance, commercial lending, asset-based lending, structured finance, and equipment leasing. Many of our financings involve multiple countries. Our offices work together to provide mutual support for such transactions.
K&L Gates represents not only financial institutions, but also corporate and other business borrowers, in both secured and unsecured commercial credit facilities, including cash-flow and asset-based transactions.
We assist clients in perfecting and enforcing security interests in all kinds of collateral, including aircraft, rolling stock, equipment, inventory, and insurance policies. We handle acquisition financing, warehouse lines of credit, loans to regulated industries, and other specialized lending arrangements.
Our finance lawyers have significant experience with asset-based lending, equipment leasing, and structured finance equipment leasing of specialized assets, such as aircraft or containers. We also advise clients concerning cross-border leasing arrangements. Clients have also looked to us to assist with the preparation of prototype lease documents, the acquisition or sale of equipment leasing portfolios, and the securitization of such portfolios.
The Banking and Finance practice is recommended for Banking & Finance; Banking Lending and Acquisition Finance (JUVE 2011/12–2014/15; Legal 500, 2014–2017, Chambers Global 2015) and a first-tier firm for Transportation: Rail and Aviation Asset Finance (Chambers Europe 2016). Legal 500, 2016 and 2017 also ranks us for Banking and Finance: Investment Funds.
The German investment management team advises traditional fund managers and also covers private funds, as well as other financial products, such as notes and insurance wrappers. Instructions from fund managers cover the structuring work—including tax—and the product documentation. We can assist with fund structures that are regulated or unregulated, open-ended or closed-ended, domestic or foreign, onshore or offshore and the asset classes involved include private equity, infrastructure, debt, hedge, real estate and renewable energy. The team also advises institutional investors when investing in a fund or restructuring their portfolio investments and works for high-net-worth individuals and their family offices into structuring their portfolios and investments. Our main areas of focus include:
Legal 500, 2016 ranks us for Banking and Finance: Investment Funds.
K&L Gates’ German employment law practice advises clients on all legal issues concerning directors and staff, including employment law, compensation and benefits, social security, tax, and immigration. The group is also particularly experienced with the structuring of complex benefit schemes, including pensions. The group's work covers transactional services with relation to employment as well as the representation of employers in court. The group's clients range from mid-size companies to large corporations with a focus on the technology industry.
The German employment group is listed among the leading firms in Chambers Europe 2009 and 2011.
Our team advises entrepreneurs, family companies, wealthy individuals, artists and athletes as well as private banks and family offices, either project-related or on a permanent basis.
Our lawyers and tax advisers are experienced professionals who respond to all matters regarding the succession and wealth management of companies and private individuals, especially in cases with an international background. Our services include the ideal structuring of donations, wills, inheritance contracts, articles of association, prenuptial agreements as well as the preparation of corresponding tax declarations and defence of the chosen structure. Further key areas include private tax planning, relocation planning, sale or restructuring of (family) companies, capital investments, establishing and managing foundations and other non-profit associations as well as comprehensive advice on inheritance matters, including estate planning and administration.
Our main areas of focus include:
Other areas of advice:
K&L Gates’ German Private Equity and Special Situations practice advises private equity funds, hedge funds and other opportunistic investors targeting large/mid-cap investments in the DACH region. Services rendered by a dedicated team of experienced professionals include the full range of legal and strategic advice from the identification of potential target companies and early stage structuring considerations to the execution and post-closing management of transactions until, and including, a successful exit. The German practice is an integrated part of K&L Gates’ global private equity practice and well-positioned to handle multi-jurisdictional transactions in a seamless manner. Our main areas of focus include:
The team is recommended for Private Equity (Transactions) (JUVE 2012/13–2016/17; Legal 500, 2014 and 2015).
Our German real estate team provides comprehensive advice on real estate-related matters. We assist our clients with the acquisition of real estate portfolios, including advice on the development of real estate and infrastructure projects regarding commercial, industrial, and residential properties. Our legal services include due diligence, the drafting and negotiation of contracts, finance, and all related legal matters.
Our advice on investment properties covers a range of real estate-related issues, such as landlord-tenant matters, insurance, the law applicable to works and services, and building and planning law as well as claim and contract management, including the judicial enforcement of claims and their execution.
We have extensive experience with refinancing and restructuring as well as the sale and purchase of real estate located abroad. When coordinating due diligence, we also offer the set-up and administration of physical and virtual deal rooms.
Clients include local and international investment funds, real estate companies, investment banks, and private investors.
We have been cited for Real Estate (JUVE 2013/14–2016/17) and recommended for Real Estate (Legal 500, 2009–2017; Chambers Europe 2015 and 2016).
German Antitrust and Trade RegulationIn the increasingly global marketplace, national and multinational antitrust and competition considerations are core strategic issues for most industries. Competition law in the EU Member States is governed by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU Treaty of Lisbon) and each of the 27 Member States’ own competition laws. The lawyers in our Berlin office act as “European Counsel” for clients wishing to maintain a point of contact for the management and coordination of antitrust and regulatory services for their business ventures in the various EU jurisdictions. K&L Gates’ competition lawyers in Germany are an integral part of K&L Gates’ international antitrust and trade regulation practice.
We provide advice regarding a variety of issues under German and EU competition laws, including:
In addition to experience with and knowledge of the antitrust laws, winning an antitrust case — or avoiding one — requires an understanding of the industry and its products, services, and geographic markets. Experience in the following German industries, among others, gives our German lawyers insight into the business conditions and strategic challenges faced by our clients and other participants:
Public Procurement and PPPOur German public procurement and PPP team is highly regarded in the market for its long-term advice to principals, bidders, and sponsors. Our solutions are tailored to the legal realization of complex technology, infrastructure, and construction projects. Thanks to our work in various pilot projects, we are familiar with economic and political interests both of the bidders as well as the principals.
We focus on the structuring of complex procurement proceedings, including the structuring of privatizations and PPP-projects complying with procurement and state aid law, as well as on the advice to bidders in such proceedings. In addition, we frequently act as consultants and represent our clients in review proceedings, as well as before German and European courts.
Advice to the public authorities
The German practice was named “Law Firm of the Year for Public Procurement 2010” by JUVE and acknowledged as a first-tier firm for Public Law (PPP) by Legal 500, 2014. It is also recommended for Public Procurement (JUVE 2011/12–2016/17; Legal 500, 2012–2017; Chambers Europe 2014–2016), PPP (Legal 500, 2015–2017) and Project Finance (JUVE 2011/12–2013/14).
The German tax practice focuses on the tax optimization of cross-border real estate transactions, financing, and pan-European investment structures. Among its clients are national and cross-border investors such as opportunity funds, banks, insurance companies, and initiators. The team advises on tax and insurance regulatory optimization and the structuring of national and cross-border real estate investments, unregulated international real estate funds, portfolio transactions, restructurings, and joint ventures. The Germany-based tax team benefits from close cooperation with worldwide tax lawyers and other practice groups of K&L Gates.
Our main areas of focus include advising investors, companies, investment managers, servicers and other service providers, banks, insurers, opportunity funds, developers, enterprises, and partnerships with respect to domestic and international tax law, particularly in the areas of:
JUVE 2013/14–2016/17 and Legal 500, 2016 and 2017 recommend us for Tax.
K&L Gates' Telecom, Media, and Technology (TMT) practice is experienced in dealing with all TMT-related matters and in particular the increasing convergence of telecom, media, and technology. Our interdisciplinary structure with fully integrated practices provides exceptional client service.
The German TMT team enjoys a strong reputation for developing commercially viable solutions to complex legal issues. Our success can be attributed to our high standards of service, extensive industry experience, and longstanding relationships with important market participants. The team works closely with colleagues in the UK, France, the United States, and Asia, providing quality local advice to meet our clients' needs.
General Intellectual Property
The practice is recommended for Media (JUVE 2007/08–2016/17; Legal 500, 2010–2017; Chambers Europe 2014– 2016), IT (JUVE 2011/12; 2012/13), and Telecommunications (JUVE 2011/12; 2012/13; 2014/15; Legal 500, 2009–2015). In 2009, the practice was named “Law Firm of the Year for Media”, “Law Firm of the Year for Telecommunications” and “Law Firm of the Year for TV, Film and Entertainment” by JUVE.