Unlike a lot of other countries, Germany has had a stable year in terms of economic growth and legislative change. The economy continues to grow and unemployment figures are lower than elsewhere in mainland Europe. The government is also committed to upholding the BEPS project, and the EU's Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD) has not caught the market off guard.
At the same time, German taxpayers and advisers have been kept on their toes by the tax authorities, which are much more vigilant than they have been in the past. For instance, Germany has seen a huge increase in auditing and the administration has expanded its audit teams to continue to scrutinise the tax affairs of companies.
"German tax auditors are acting more and more aggressively in this area, they are challenging the structures through these new instruments," said Xaver Ditz, a tax partner at Flick Gocke Schaumburg, Taxand Germany. "The practical consequence of the BEPS project are that the German tax administration is more focused on international structures."
The rise in tax auditing has produced an increase in compliance work, as well as a decline in aggressive tax planning and optimisation. These trends are set to continue for at least the next few years. The business community is adjusting to the new standards. German tax specialists are more worried about international events.
Practitioners are concerned that the UK's withdrawal from the European Union and Donald Trump's election in the US may undermine the BEPS project. The fear is that the trajectory leads to irreconcilable differences between international actors.
"On the BEPS side, I fear a lot of the initial tax initiatives are now dead because of the geopolitical developments, like Trump, but there are parts of BEPS which won't go away – such as country-by-country reporting," said Marko Gruendig, a partner at KPMG. "I think BEPS has significantly slowed down in my view, but it is far from dead. It won't go away."
"The [US and UK] governments are focused on unilateral approaches to international tax law, but the BEPS project is a multilateral arrangement. Without the US and the UK, BEPS is something that only exists on paper."
Although the world stage looks uncertain, the domestic political landscape in Germany appears to be more stable. The consensus is that the German federal elections in September 2017 will not produce a defeat for Angela Merkel and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU).
The CDU/CSU could forge a new coalition with the Free Democrats (FDP), or the Social Democratic Party (SPD) could gain more votes as initial polling suggested, forcing a step change for tax policy. Chancellor Merkel has pledged a €15 billion ($17.3 billion) tax break, whereas the FDP is calling for tax cuts up to €30 billion. Tax reform could be a bargaining chip for a CDU-FDP government.
Bödecker Ernst & Partner
Bödecker Ernst & Partner is an investment management boutique firm specializing in tax, legal and regulatory advice to funds, insurance companies, private banks and high net worth individuals. Since 1996 our team is recognized in the market as one of the pioneers and leading experts in the field of alternative investments. Our expertise lies in the areas of fund structuring, international tax, real estate and capital investment products, insurance regulatory issues as well as tax and regulatory compliance for funds. We have built a strong international tax network based on both business and personal contacts worldwide. As a result, we are able to offer high quality, seamless and tailored advice to our clients in a national and international setting. Our practice has grown to 14 tax specialists and lawyers.
40476 Düsseldorf, Germany
Country Tax & Legal Leader
Tel: +49 (0)211 8772 2049
Ernst & Young GmbH
Postfach 23 02 20
Telefon +49 (711) 9881 0
Telefax +49 (711) 9881 550
Country and Regional Tax Leader
Tel: +49 221 2779 25648
Deputy Country and Regional Tax Leader
Tel: +49 6196 996 26440
Dr. Christian F. Bosse
Tel: +49 711 9881 25772
Country Tax Advisory
Tel: +49 6196 996 27241
Global Compliance and Reporting
+49 89 14331 13229
People Advisory Services
Tel: +49 89 14331 17324
Indirect Tax and Customs
Tel: +49 30 25471 21262
International Tax Services
Tel: +49 211 9352 10627
Performance and Reward
Dr. Jens Maßmann
Tel: +49 6196 996 24574
Dr. Jürgen Schimmele
Tel: +49 211 9352 21937
Tel: +49 30 25471 16242
Tel: +49 6196 996 26440
Tel: +49 211 9352 10627
Tax Technology & Transformation
Tel: +49 221 2779 25678
Flick Gocke Schaumburg
53113 Bonn, Germany
Flick Gocke Schaumburg is an independent law firm that has established itself as one of Germany's leading tax law practices, combining the experience of lawyers, tax advisors and certified public auditors to develop tailor-made and tax-efficient legal structures and solutions. With offices in Bonn, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg the firm counts 107 partners and associated partners plus more than 260 professional staff with multiple specialisations in the fields of law and economics.
In addition to its representative offices in Vienna and Zurich Flick Gocke Schaumburg holds strong working relationships with premier consultants in many other countries. Since 2016, the firm is the exclusive German member of the international association of independent tax advisory firms Taxand.
FGS' client base includes national and international groups, affiliated corporations, family-owned businesses and high-net-worth individuals.
Contact: Prof Dr Thomas Roedder
Tel: +49 228 9594-251
KÜFFNER MAUNZ LANGER ZUGMAIER
Unterer Anger 3
Phone: + 49 (0) 89 / 2 17 50 12 - 20
Fax: + 49 (0) 89 / 2 17 50 12 - 99
Phone: + 49 (0) 211 / 54 09 53 - 20
Fax: + 49 (0) 211 / 54 09 53 - 99
Dr. Stefan Maunz
Phone: +49 89 217 5012 40
KMLZ is a boutique tax firm with more than 30 fee earners offering clients specialist advice in the areas of VAT, customs and tax litigation. VAT law is of crucial importance to all businesses with operations in or relating to Germany and / or Europe and for this reason our team is focused on keeping abreast of all aspects and changes to the law. As both national and European wide VAT specialists, we offer a full and comprehensive service to our domestic and international clients, including a large number of US clients. SMCs, as well as large corporations, rely on our VAT and customs expertise in special cases as well as on a routine basis. We provide VAT advice, in-house consulting and assistance with VAT and customs audits. In addition, we offer tax litigation and VAT compliance services. KMLZ's tax litigation services include proceedings before the German fiscal courts, the German federal fiscal court of finance and the European Court of Justice. Court proceedings regularly deal with fundamental national and European VAT issues which often impact directly on companies' financial operations. KMLZ is also specialized in VAT criminal litigation, which includes assistance with the introduction of proactive measures within companies in order to prevent criminal VAT charges, advice concerning VAT fraud proceedings and criminal defense. In relation to our international work, we have at our disposal, a comprehensive network of experienced VAT experts in all European and a large number of non-European countries. This allows us to offer our clients expert international consulting services from a single point of contact. Customs law overlaps VAT law and therefore impacts upon our clients' businesses extending across borders within the European Union and beyond. We at KMLZ advise our clients with regard to the ideal organization of customs related matters by structuring, designing and simplifying their customs processes as well as providing advice and assistance with regard to customs audits and litigation. KMLZ offers specialist advice to corporations, their representatives and individuals, including voluntary self-disclosure.
LW TAX Lemaitre Wittkowski GmbH
Tel: +49 (0) 89 38667899-10
Mob: +49 (0) 172 8818009
Tel: +49 (0) 89386678 99-30
Mob: +49 (0) 172 8135240
LW TAX is a boutique firm specialized in providing tax consultancy services in the following areas:
• German domestic and international tax law / – planning
• Inbound and outbound tax structuring
• Value added tax
• Transfer pricing
• Mergers and Acquisitions
• Private Clients / HNWI taxation
• Tax Compliance, ongoing tax advice
• Accounting Services
Key to our firm's approach is the consistent focus on the wishes and desires of each client, and a proficiency in translating those wishes into quality tax products.
For more information please visit www.lwtax.de
WTS Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH
Phone: + 49 89 28646-0
Main areas of focus:
Corporate Tax, Mergers & Acquisitions, Transfer Pricing, International Tax & Permanent Establishments, Indirect Tax, Customs, Private Clients, Global Mobility Tax Controversy, Tax Technology
|Corporate Income Tax||15%||A|
|Capital Gains Tax||15%||A|
|Net Operating Losses (years)|
|Dividends||25%||A B C D|
|Royalties from, for example, patents, know-how||15%||A B F G H|
A) A 5.5% solidarity surcharge is imposed.
B) On application, these rates may be reduced by tax treaties.
C) This withholding tax applies to dividends paid to residents and non-residents. Under the 2009 Annual Tax Act, for dividends paid to non-resident corporate entities, this rate may be reduced to 15% if the non-resident dividend recipient qualifies as an eligible recipient under the German anti-treaty shopping rules.
D) These rates may be reduced under the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive. Under the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive, on application, a withholding tax rate of 0% applies to dividends distributed by a German subsidiary to an EU parent company if the recipient has owned 10% or more of the share capital of the subsidiary for a continuous period of 12 months at the time the dividend distribution takes place and if the German anti-treaty shopping rules do not apply.
E) A 25% interest withholding tax is imposed on the following types of interest:
F) These rates may be reduced by tax treaties or under the EU Interest-Royalty Directive. Under the EU Interest-Royalty Directive, on application, German withholding tax is not imposed on interest and royalties paid by a German resident company to an associated company located in another EU member state. To qualify as associated companies, a minimum 25% shareholding or a common parent is required, among other requirements.
G) The withholding tax rate on royalties from patents, know-how and similar items is 15% for payments to nonresident corporations if such items are registered in Germany or used in a German permanent establishment.
H) This withholding tax applies to payments to non-residents only.
I) The loss carryback, which is optional, is available for corporate income tax purposes, but not for trade income tax purposes. The maximum carryback is €1 million ($1.1 million).
J) The carryforward applies for both corporate income tax and trade tax purposes. Effective for tax years ending after December 31 2003, the maximum loss carryforward that may be used for corporate and trade tax purposes is restricted to €1 million for each tax year plus 60% of annual taxable income more than €1 million (so-called minimum taxation). The carryforward is subject to the change-of-ownership rule.
Partner Gottfried Breuninger oversees tax services at Allen & Overy. He specialises in domestic and international corporate tax, and pays particular attention to M&A transactions and restructuring. The firm's key focus areas include banking, asset finance, capital markets and investment funds.
Other key team members include partners Heike Weber, Asmus Mihm and counsel Eugen Bogenschütz. The team offers an extensive range of tax services, such as tax audits, investigations and dispute resolution, as well as negotiations with the German tax authorities. Past clients range from real estate firms to energy companies and private equity funds.
Christoph Becker is the head of the tax group at Baker McKenzie. He has more than 10 years of tax experience and advises German and international clients on tax planning strategies. His focus areas include all phases of transactions, from designing tax-optimised structures to carrying out due diligence reviews.
Becker works closely with Nicole Looks, the head of the indirect tax team, who focuses on supply chain structuring, customs, VAT and dispute resolution. The tax group provides a comprehensive range of tax services, such as direct and indirect tax, international tax, transactions, structuring and dispute resolution.
With a team of more than 150 tax advisers, Baker Tilly has a strong tax practice established in offices across Germany. Two key tax partners, Wolfgang Richter and Oliver Hubertus, are based in Munich. The team covers an extensive range of areas in tax law, and it offers clients bespoke solutions. The firm works with a range of clients including non-profit organisations (NPOs) and high-net-worth individuals.
The tax practice has recently been recognised as a German leader within the fields of finance and insurance; consulting of non-profit societies; rehabilitation, restructuring, and insolvency; and audit and advisory.
BDO Deutsche Warentreuhand offers a full range of tax services, putting a strong focus on their tax advisory services. The team also offers specialised knowledge in fields such as customs duties and taxation in the healthcare and social services sectors, and specialises in structuring, tax accounting, and foreign tax law.
With a team of more than 150 professionals across 26 cities, the practice aims to serve business of different sizes throughout the country, with its largest teams in Hamburg, managed by Frank Biermann, and Düsseldorf, managed by Tanja Cech and Achim Schroer.
Berwin Leighton Paisner is an international law firm which opened offices in Frankfurt and Berlin in 2011. With Roland Fabian as its managing partner, the firm focuses on real estate where it establishes links between Germany and clients in emerging markets.
In the past year, the firm has doubled the size of its German operations, and has expanded the range of services to work with clients on the finance and tax aspects of international real instate transactions. The firm's clientele includes Allianz Real Estate, Royal Bank of Scotland and CBRE Global Investors.
Bödecker Ernst & Partner is a firm specialising in legal and tax advice for funds, insurers and banks. The leading partners at the firm are Carsten Bödecker, Claudia Bödecker and Carsten Ernst. The firm is based in Düsseldorf.
Some of the tax team's recent experience includes structuring the acquisition of German real estate by a French foreign portfolio investor (FPI). The practice also supported the claims of withholding taxes to European countries, and working to apply a double tax treaty (DTT) between Luxemburg and the US for a Luxembourg securitisation vehicle.
The tax practice at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton provides clients with practical advice on tax planning, strategies for transactions, cross-border issues and controversy. The firm offers advice on planning with respect to double tax treaties (DTT), EU tax law and German controlled foreign company (CFC) rules.
JF Daniel Weyde is a key partner at the firm's tax practice. He specialises in corporate and international tax law, including M&A transactions and corporate reorganisations. Weyde regularly advises investment banks, asset management companies and insurance firms on tax affairs. The firm's clientele encompasses financial institutions, public bodies, start-ups, multinationals and high-net-worth individuals.
Partners Thorsten Sauerhering and Felix Mühlhäuser are co-heads of the tax practice of Clifford Chance. Both partners focus on advising investors on structuring of national and cross-border transactions, whether it's M&A transactions or structured finance.
A key partner at the firm is Uwe Schimmelschmidt, who specialises in financial services, such as investment funds and private equity. The tax group provides a wide scope of tax services to key industry sectors like energy, healthcare, real estate and finance. The firm has offices in Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf and expertise in corporate law, financial services, capital markets, dispute resolution and tax litigation.
Christoph Röper is the head of tax and legal services at Deloitte. His areas of expertise include advising on large-scale M&A transactions for multinationals and private equity firms, as well as initial public offerings (IPOs), due diligence and restructuring.
With 57 partners and almost 350 tax advisers, the Deloitte practice is one of the largest tax departments in Germany. Deloitte prides itself on its multidisciplinary approach, bringing together different departments for specialised project teams. This allows the firm to operate in a wide spectrum of industries, including automotive, pharmaceuticals and financial services.
Tax technology is a major focus of Deloitte's international strategy. This includes automated tools for compliance, digitalisation of such processes for improved data management, and IT-supported data analytics to ease this realignment. The aim is to cut out as much paperwork as possible to maximise efficiency.
The firm's clientele includes German-based companies of all sizes, including multinational corporations and a number of DAX 30 index firms and Fortune 500 companies.
PThe tax practice at Dentons operates from three German offices in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich, with Stephan Busch as its office managing partner operating out of Berlin and Michael Graf as a key partner in Frankfurt. The tax team also includes Siegbert Seeger, a former judge and widely respected writer on income tax and corporate tax.
The firm works with both domestic and international clients, offering a wide range of services including corporate tax, transactions, tax field auditing, corporate tax planning, insolvency-related tax and tax litigation. The team, comprises 15 professionals, many of whom hold multiple licences as lawyers, certified tax advisers and public accountants. The practice offers tax advice to banking and financial institutions, as well as SMEs and public bodies.
As part of an international network, the German branch of DLA Piper focuses on delivering tax advice for commercial and business operations. Managing partners Benjamin Parameswaran and Konrad Rohde oversee the tax practice, which provides a full range of tax services. Parameswaran is an M&A specialist focused on public takeovers, while Rohde focuses on transactional tax as well as reorganisations, tax auditing and litigation.
The high-tech sector and financial services are two key industry focus areas for DLA Piper. The firm draws in German businesses, multinational corporate groups, institutional investors and SMEs from these sectors. Apart from corporate clients, the German tax group provides advice to NPOs, foundations and the public sector.
Managing partner Ute Benzel oversees the EY tax service line in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. She has been a partner at EY for almost 20 years. Benzel has expertise in international tax planning, accounting and tax technology.
The German tax practice is one of the strongest in EY worldwide and stands as one of the largest firms in the country. The tax team offers the full range of tax services for sectors such as energy, software and electronics, financial services and the automotive industry. Key practice areas include tax accounting, reporting and risk management.
Thomas Rödder is the head of tax law at Flick Gocke Schaumburg, Taxand Germany. He specialises in corporate tax, reorganisations and transactions for corporate groups and family-owned businesses. As one of the largest firms in Germany, the tax practice consists of almost 80 partners and 140 other tax professionals. The firm offers clients specialist tax advice in a comprehensive range of areas.
Partner Christian Schatz joined the tax team in Munich this year. He specialises in the tax and regulatory elements of M&A transactions, fund structuring and asset planning. The firm's strong client base includes more than 2,000 businesses, including domestic and multinational corporations, private clients and public bodies. Well-known clients include Volkswagen and Lufthansa.
Flick Gocke Schaumburg is a part of the Taxand international network, from which it draws upon joint expertise on cross-border structures. The firm has a new office in Bonn alongside offices in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Outside of Germany, FGS has a presence in Austria and Switzerland.
Partner Norbert Schneider is the head of the German and Austrian tax groups at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which has offices in Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. He has more than 20 years of experience, particularly in cross-border tax matters, structuring and M&A transactions.
Schneider has an impressive record in corporate restructuring, where he combines his expertise in tax with his knowledge of accounting and corporate law. Past clients have included German and foreign multinational companies and private equity investors.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advises various financial institutions, family-owned businesses and private clients from the financial services industry and other key sectors. The tax group offers clients the full suite of services on cross-border transactions, restructuring, EU tax law, VAT, transfer pricing, dispute resolution and energy tax.
Partner Achim Dannecker oversees the tax team at Gleiss Lutz, working closely with Alexander Werder. The Stuttgart-based practice offers a comprehensive range of tax services to a diverse client base, from key economic sectors such as financial services, the automotive industry, energy, IT and healthcare.
Outside of Germany, the firm collaborates with a network of top law firms spanning Europe, particularly the UK, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Ireland. Gleiss Lutz prides itself on its independence and seeks to collaborate with other practices through its network rather than be merged into a larger company. The US market is a major source of business for the firm.
One client said: "Achim Dannecker and Alexander Werder are extremely responsive. Their main strength is that they constantly combine extremely high technical knowledge with pragmatic solutions. Based on their broad experience they have a clear view what is realistically feasible."
Hengeler Mueller's tax practice offers clients a comprehensive range of tax services such as international tax, transactions, compliance, restructuring and litigation. Key partners include Stefanie Beinert, Martin Klein, Ernst-Thomas Kraft and Matthias Scheifele.
Hengeler Mueller serves clients including medium and large companies and their respective shareholders. The firm's focus of legal expertise covers state aid, insurance, private equity, venture capital and white collar crime. The team has industry expertise in banking and financial services, the digital economy, energy and life sciences.
This year, Hengeler Mueller advised DONG Energy on the divestment of a 50% stake in Borkum Riffgrund 2, an offshore wind farm, to Global Infrastructure Partners. Partner Nicolas Böhm led the team on this case.
With offices in Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf and Hamburg, the German team of Hogan Lovells works closely with the firm's network of international tax specialists to help deliver all tax services to clients through planning, implementation and reviewing of clients' ventures.
Michael Dettmeier, a real estate, infrastructure and M&A expert leads a team of 13 tax lawyers, including partners Ingmar Dörr, who is head of the Munich tax and accounting team, Heiko Gemmel, and Christoph Küppers.
Managing partner Marko Gründig is the head of tax at KPMG. He has more than 16 years of tax experience and joined the firm from Arthur Andersen. The firm offers the full suite of tax services, covering international and domestic tax law, accounting, transfer pricing and auditing.
Another key partner is Achim Roeder, the head of transfer pricing services. He advises major German businesses and multinationals on transfer pricing planning, documentation and supply chain reorganisation. The firm's clients come from all industrial sectors, such as financial services, logistics, IT and manufacturing. Clients are large German companies, multinational corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and financial institutions.
Innovation is a key focus for the firm, as KPMG has invested heavily in tax technology in its pursuit of digitalisation and automation. The practice employs data analytics tools as part of its project work.
Küffner Maunz Langer Zugmaier is a boutique firm focusing exclusively on VAT and customs law. It has been repeatedly recognised as a leading firm in the field. The tax team comprises 35 professionals based in Düsseldorf and Munich, and is sought after to publish in legal journals and speak at many prominent events.
The managing associates at the firm are Matthias Oldiges, Michael Rust and Matthias Luther. The team's offering includes a consultancy service to other tax advisers, lawyers and auditors on the application of VAT and customs law.
The tax practice at Latham & Watkins offers a comprehensive range of services such as controversy, dispute resolution and litigation. A key partner at the firm is Stefan Süss, who is the vice chair of the global department for tax. He specialises in domestic and international tax law, particularly tax optimisation of private equity, structuring funds and M&A transactions.
Other distinguished partners at Latham & Watkins include Tobias Klass, who represents major corporations in cross-border transactions, and Thomas Fox, who advises businesses on tax audits and controversy issues. The firm has branches in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Düsseldorf.
Sebastian Benz is the head of the tax practice at Linklaters. Based at the Düsseldorf office, Benz is widely recognised for his proficiency in German tax law and specialises in advice for group restructuring, M&A projects, strategic reorganisations and succession planning.
Linklaters offers clients a wide range of tax services, such as financial structuring and tax litigation. The tax practice provides services to key industry sectors, including the car industry, banking, energy and utilities, as well as real estate and infrastructure. The firm has offices in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.
Another important partner at the firm is Jens Blumenberg, who has extensive experience in tax law, particularly with regard to M&A transactions, transfer pricing and EU tax law.
Luther provides a comprehensive set of tax services, collaborating with legal specialists in other fields to provide the best advice to the businesses the firm serves. Since 2014, Elisabeth Lepique has served as managing partner of the practice. She has a history of working with publicly owned companies and municipal projects, and her clients have included the state of Berlin, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe and the city of Viersen.
Recently, Luther supported Sirius Real Estate in its acquisition of the Grasbrunn Technopark near Munich and advised the Norwegian business Wenaasgrupen on its acquisition of the Hamburg Radison Blu Hotel.
Based in Munich, LW Tax Lemaitre Wittkowski is a boutique tax firm operating both nationally and internationally. The firm is a member of True Partners Consulting International.
The LW tax team consists of Claus Lemaitre, who is widely recognised as a top tax adviser in his field, Ansas Wittkowski, and Marion Gilsing. All three have experience working in Big 4 firms or major law firms. The team shows exceptional dedication to its clients, offering 24/7 service and 24-hour turnaround.
Volker Junge is the head of tax at Mayer Brown. The tax team advises on all aspects of domestic and international tax law. The practice consists of more than 70 lawyers based in offices in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.
Mayer Brown's tax team works closely with the firm's corporate practice. Distinguished figures at the corporate team include partner Benjamin Büttner and counsel Alexander Täumer. Key practice areas include real estate, private equity, M&A transactions, corporate restructuring, tax controversy, as well as financial and tax insurance products.
Financial services are a key sector for the tax practice, particularly the tax aspects of employee and management, various types of fund and cross-border projects. The team also advises private clients on wealth management, including family-owned and manager-owned companies.
The tax department at McDermott Will & Emery is one of the largest and most established within the firm globally. With offices in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, they offer a comprehensive range of legal services to international clients.
The tax team is led by Dirk Pohl, who has extensive experience representing multi-national corporations before the European Court of Justice, German Supreme Constitutional Court, and the German Supreme Tax Court.
Recently, McDermott Will & Emery worked with SIGNA Group, Austria's largest private real estate company, to set up an acquisition and financing structure for their purchase of a real estate portfolio and on the debt financing related to their acquisition of 19 German department stores.
Managing partner Rolf Füger leads the tax group at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. He was one of the three partners to found the Munich office in 2004 as part of the firm's expansion of its presence in Germany. Füger works in tandem with fellow partners Thomas Kleinheisterkamp and Norbert Rieger.
The practice offers advice in all areas of corporate and international tax, including cross-border transactions, auditing, litigation, IPOs, arbitration, structuring and reorganisations. This range covers M&A, joint ventures, incentive schemes, capital markets and private equity. The firm draws major national and international clients from key sectors such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, finance, renewable energy and power.
Carsten Heinz is the head of the tax department at Noerr. His practice areas include cross-border tax planning and structuring investment funds for mid-sized companies. Heinz specialises in developing tax optimised structures and often advises clients on restructuring and transactions.
Two other distinguished partners include Georg Edelmann and Lutz Schmitt. Edelmann focuses on group reorganisation, securitisation and structuring acquisitions. Schmitt has expertise in corporate and international tax law, especially in relation to private equity and M&A deals.
The firm provides a wide variety of tax advice and draws clients from the automotive industry, as well as infrastructure projects, financial institutions and insurance companies.
Based in Frankfurt and Cologne, Oppenhoff & Partner offers tax counselling to national and international clients on both their daily operations and other undertakings such as M&A transactions and restructuring.
The tax practice also represents clients in dispute with tax authorities. The tax team is lead by Axel Bödefeld, a founding partner of the firm and specialist in tax advice on both domestic and international M&A. Recently, partner Gunnar Knorr, leading a tax law team, advised SGL Group on the sale of its CFL/CE business to Triton.
Established in 1997, P+P Pöllath + Partners offers clients the full range of tax services. Founding partner Reinhard Pöllath focuses on such areas as corporate law, tax law, litigation and arbitration for M&A transactions and private equity. Today, the tax practice consists of 18 partners and 37 other specialists based at offices in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.
Key tax partners include Michael Best, Pia Dorfmueller, Hardy Fischer, Andreas Rodin and Thomas Töben. The tax team covers such areas as investment funds, private equity, venture capital, trusts and foundations. The firm's remit includes corporate tax planning, structuring deals, corporate reorganisations and asset management.
The practice has a strong record in tax litigation and arbitration, whether it is in local courts, the Federal Tax Court or the European Court of Justice.
Regularly consulted by industry and the tax authorities, PwC Germany offers the full suite of tax services to companies in the financial sector, consumer goods, technology and the automotive industry. A key partner at the firm is Marius Möller, who heads the corporate tax team.
PwC offers specific expertise, such as tax audit support, international tax, restructuring, planning, risk management and litigation. The firm has tax practitioners in every major city in the country and has a strong client base, including a number of blue chip German enterprises and multinational corporations.
Simmons & Simmons works with major national and international corporates, leading financial institutions, multinational banks and government institutions from its offices in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich.
The tax team comprises partners Heiko Stoll, who heads the financial markets practice group in Germany, and Bernulph von Crailsheim, with supervising associates Jochen Beyer and Elmar Weinand.
Stoll's recent work includes advising Macquarie Bank International Limited on its residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) transaction, while von Crailsheim's recent work includes advising a Danish seller on the disposal of a 40MW windpark in Zölkow to RheinEnergie.
Partner Johannes Frey is the head of tax services at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He was at Shearman & Sterling before joining Skadden in 2012 and has since overseen deals with multinational clients such as JP Morgan, Airbnb and The Coca Cola Company.
With offices in Frankfurt and Munich, the practice consists of eight professionals and offers the full range of tax services including M&A transactions, reorganisations, cross-border issues, tax auditing and structuring. This remit extends to dispute resolution and litigation. This year associates Jacqueline Schwenk and Frank-Michael Schwarz joined the tax group.
Skadden's track record underscores a strong reputation in high-profile tax matters. The firm's clients include domestic and multinational corporates, small and medium-sized companies, institutional investors, private equity firms and other financial institutions.
With offices in Cologne, Berlin and Munich, Streck Mack Schwedhelm's tax practice has a wealth of experience advising and representing companies, societies, associations and private individuals at court in tax disputes. There are 26 lawyers spread across the firm's three offices. The firm describes its power structure as a flat hierarchy.
Streck Mack Schwedhelm is also one of the seven firms behind JURDAY, an event that allows well-qualified young lawyers an opportunity to network with established firms.
Warth & Klein Grant Thornton has offices in 10 German cities and a staff of 25 experienced lawyers. Senior partner Paul Forst, a specialist in taxation and consumer goods and retail, leads the tax team.
The firm offers eight service lines in tax areas to serve a variety of needs, and works with both corporations and private clients. The practice works closely with the other members of Grant Thornton International, which has offices in approximately 130 countries, to provide the best possible international tax advice for clients.
Watson Farley & Williams opened the firm's first German office in Hamburg in 2003, followed by expansion into Munich and Frankfurt in 2008 and 2013 respectively. Key partners include Verena Scheibe, working in both the Hamburg and Munich offices, and specialising in M&A, private equity and real estate. She offers tax advice to organisations in the renewable energy and aviation sectors.
Notable recent work by the Watson Farley & Williams team includes working with commercial property company Unibail-Rodamco and MFI Management on the development of a site on Überseequartier, HafenCity Hamburg, and advising wind farm developer Denker & Wulf.
White & Case is an award-winning firm with a 150-year history of legal advice in Germany and offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Key partners include Bodo Bender, Andreas Knebel, and Robert Weber, all of whom are based in Frankfurt.
In recent years, Knebel has represented PATRIZIA Alternative Investments in connection with two portfolio transactions acquiring retail assets. Weber has also represented Internationale Kapitalanlagegesellschaft on the acquisition of a 5.02% minority stake in GSW Immobilien.
CEO Fritz Esterer and managing partners Peter Jung, Lothar Härteis, Ulrike Schellert and Franz Angermann oversee the tax group at WTS Germany. The tax group consists of 57 partners and 475 other fee earners spread across offices in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Munich.
WTS is a market leader in automation and technological innovation in Germany. In the past, this has amounted to the development of automated tax solutions tailor-made to fit a client's needs. The tax practice offers the full service range and has impressive expertise in the financial sector, as well as manufacturing and real estate. The firm is highly rated by peers and clients alike.
"We are very happy with the services received – they are were proactive, have short response time and deliver excellent quality that can directly be transferred into our corporate processes," one client said. "The firm's main strengths are the response time and the practical analyses that give us a clear guidance."
|Tier 1- Germany|
|Flick Gocke Schaumburg|
|Tier 2- Germany|
|Allen & Overy|
|Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer|
|P+P Pöllath + Partners|
|Tier 3- Germany|
|Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton|
|Latham & Watkins|
|Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom|
|Tier 4- Germany|
|BDO Deutsche Warentreuhand|
|Berwin Leighton Paisner|
|Bödecker Ernst & Partner|
|Küffner Maunz Langer Zugmaier|
|LW Tax Lemaitre Wittkowski|
|McDermott Will & Emery|
|Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy|
|Oppenhoff & Partner|
|Simmons & Simmons|
|Streck Mack Schwedhelm|
|Warth & Klein Grant Thornton|
|Watson Farley & Williams|
|White & Case|