The German tax authorities are following the international trend of becoming more aggressive. They are cracking down on company structures, causing uncertainty among taxpayers. "For a couple of years, the German tax authorities have applied a more aggressive approach when it comes to pursuing tax audits and so on. This is something everybody complains about," said Martin Klein, tax partner at Hengeler Mueller.
Advisers report that the authorities are quick at turning tax matters into criminal proceedings and many prominent cases are seen as criminal. "Over the last few years, the tax authorities have sharpened their investigations substantially and people are quite nervous," said Michael Best, P+P Pöllath + Partners. "Everybody is afraid of being accused for anything they have done which might be seen as a tax fraud."
Being compliant has moved up taxpayers' agendas as the tax climate changes and so advisers have noticed the demand for assistance to set up risk management systems has increased. There is a thin line between tax planning and tax fraud and the authorities are, according to advisers, quick at sending prosecutors out and claiming tax fraud. "As a result, taxpayers are still very reluctant when it comes to tax planning," said Michael Graf, head of tax at Dentons.
The authorities are also increasingly attacking structures with double deduction or the so-called 'white income' where no income is taxed. "This is something that is going to be interesting in the next years because, as I said, people are not so much into extreme tax optimising as they were five or ten years ago. It's more about not paying unnecessary taxes, meaning for example double taxation," said Graf.
The German economy is still doing very well and the tax market has seen few changes this year, something that is not always guaranteed. As the German federal election is due to take place in 2017 there has been little legislative change; it remains a hot discussion topic among politicians and taxpayers alike. Changes may be on the way if a new government is elected, with the OECD's BEPS Project likely to continue to be the catalyst behind new legislation. "Tax is always very stable," said Johannes Frey, head of tax at Skadden. "There will be an increased demand for tax work due to BEPS and the general market conditions in Germany."
Although BEPS is still causing a lot of uncertainty and the full impact of the project is still unknown in Germany, taxpayers are preparing themselves for what is to come which has kept tax professionals busy. "BEPS will affect the international tax landscape enormously and each potential change needs to be analysed and tackled somehow," said Peter Jung, WTS Germany's head of tax.
A technical draft bill was published on June 1 2016 which included the implementation of country-by-country reporting (CbCR) standards. The draft also included the implementation of the EU automatic information exchange directive, which covers the exchange of information concerning advance cross-border rulings and advance pricing agreements (APAs).
"The legislative proposals and missing planning-security lead to an increased demand for robust and flexible acquisition structures," said Johannes Frey, head of tax at Skadden.
A number of BEPS actions have already been implemented into German law. Germany also has a comprehensive CFC regime.
Whether or not more changes will be made to legislation is not yet known. Anti-arbitrage rules for hybrids already exist in relation to hybrid dividends and the double deduction of negative income tax groups and the EBITDA-related interest deduction limitation rule already exists, although the constitutionality of the latter rule has been challenged and a case is pending before the Federal Constitutional Court.
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
Mittlerer Pfad 15
Tel: +49 711 9881 0
Country and Regional Tax Leader
Tel: +49 221 2779 25648
Dr. Christian F. Bosse
Tel: +49 711 9881 25772
Country Tax Advisory
Tel: +49 6196 996 27241
Global Compliance and Reporting
Tel: +49 89 14331 12189
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
Tax Policy and Controversy
Dr. Dirk Brüninghaus
Tel: +49 211 9352 10606
Dr. Jürgen Schimmele
Tel: +49 211 9352 21937
Tel: +49 6196 996 26440
Tel: +49 211 9352 10627
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 advisers 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 102 partners and associated partners plus more than 260 professional staff with multiple qualifications in the fields of law and economics.
In addition to its representative offices in Vienna and Zurich the firm holds strong working relationships with premier consultants in many other countries.
Flick Gocke Schaumburg 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
|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 nonresident corporate entities, this rate may be reduced to 15% if the nonresident 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:
• Interest paid by financial institutions. The rate is 15% if the loan is not recorded in a public debt register.
• Interest from over-the-counter business. Overthe- counter business refers to bank transactions carried out over the bank counter, without the securities being on deposit at the bank.
• Interest from certain types of profit-participating and convertible debt instruments.
• The interest withholding tax is not imposed on intercompany loans. Non-residents may apply for a refund of the withholding tax if a treaty exemption applies. If a non-resident is required to file an income tax return in Germany, the withholding tax is credited against the assessed corporate income tax or refunded.
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 egistered 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.
Allen & Overy's tax team is overseen by Gottfried Breuninger who specialises in national and international corporate tax law. His focus is on M&A transactions and post-acquisition structures, tax-driven restructurings and the tax structuring of hybrid financing. The team offers an extensive range of services, with focus on several key areas that include asset finance, banking and finance, capital markets, investment funds, real estate, restructurings and insolvencies, tax investigations and disputes.
The German team has significant experience in advising clients on tax audits and negotiating with the tax administration, courts and European legislative and regulatory bodies.
Christoph Becker oversees the tax department at Baker & McKenzie in Germany, working closely with Nicole Looks who heads the indirect tax practice. The team of focused tax specialists works closely with the corporate, tax and employment law practice to promote a strong and seamless interface between the departments.
The indirect tax practice, which focuses on advising national and international companies in all VAT and customs related matters, specialises in supply chain structuring, VAT and customs optimisation of German and EU inbound transactions, tax audits and disputes. Becker's specialism is international tax planning and tax advice in connection with M&A transactions and corporate restructuring.
The tax practice at Baker Tilly Roelfs is headed by Carsten Kratzer and Thorsten Hiintze. The department provides a full range of legal and accounting services, specialising in automotive, real estate, mechanical engineering, medical and energy industries.
Head of international tax Gerlinde Seinsche leads the full-service practice at BDO Deutsche Warentreuhand. The firm specialises in structuring, double tax agreements, foreign tax law and tax accounting. As well as international tax services, the team also covers VAT, small and medium enterprises consulting, income and employee tax, customs and trade law.
Berwin Leighton Paisner opened its German tax practice in 2011, with key focus in real estate. The firm has created a respected reputation for its quality services. As part of the global network, the team provides effective tax advice in a variety of jurisdictions. It operates across key sectors including financial services, retail and manufacturing.
Carsten Ernst oversees the tax practice of five other partners and nine professionals at Bödecker Ernst & Partner. The team has extensive expertise in financial services and advises asset managers, real estate private equity funds, insurance companies and infrastructure fund sponsors as well as renewable energy funds. This year, the team provided tax advice in connection with real estate, private equity, debt and infrastructure investments of German pension schemes via pooling structures, which included the alignment of tax and regulatory requirements.
Ernst is the founding partner and head of the capital markets, financial products and investment funds department. A client said: "They are highly experienced, they work cost-sensitive and fast and the personnel is very friendly."
Daniel Weyde is the key contact for the tax team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. He specialises in international and business tax, with focus on M&A transactions and corporate reorganisations and the taxation of financial instruments. He frequently advises banks, insurance companies and asset managers on tax issues in relation to financing, investments and capital market transactions. The small but dedicated team offers a range of specialty services including M&A, joint ventures, restructurings, project finance and real estate matters. The firm also advises clients on tax planning with respect to double-taxation treaties, EU law and German CFC rules.
Clifford Chance's tax department is headed by Uwe Schimmelschmidt who mainly advises clients in the financial services, funds and investment management, insurance and private equity scopes. He has extensive experience in M&A and property transactions. The German practice is integrated into the global Clifford Chance network comprising 170 tax advisers worldwide. It assists clients, including global businesses and small enterprises, to keep on top of the risks and opportunities arising from international tax changes.
Christoph Röper is Deloitte's head of tax in Germany, leading a team of 57 tax partners and 900 other professionals. The team, which is one of the largest in Germany, has recently expanded, gaining four new partners: Andrea Bilitewski from BDO, Christoph Welter from EY, Sevim Demirbilek from EY and Ulrich Grünwald, from Flick Gocke Schaumburg.
The firm offers the full suite of tax services, specialising in business tax, cross-border tax, indirect tax and global employer services. Its extensive clientele include German-based companies of all sizes and multinationals based in Germany and elsewhere. The firm is praised by its clients for its excellent expertise, hands-on approach and understanding of businesses.
Seminars and training are also a staple of the firm's offering, and it offers individual and innovative one-day workshops for tax executives in large companies.
This year, the firm took on various deals and projects which included a technology based assessment of one client's readiness regarding new regulations on the electronic archiving of accounting and tax data, and the principles regarding electronic tax audits; the tax audit defence of another client, relating to the VAT treatment of cross-border supply chain transactions; and the regularisation of a wrongly declared power tax position of a renewable energy distributer which contained numerous refund applications and appeal procedures where the adoption of various technical issues into the power tax rules were required.
Dentons' tax team consists of 18 professionals, including five partners, and is headed by Stephan Busch. The practice advises clients on ongoing tax issues, as well as complex and difficult individual mandates. Busch works closely with the four other partners Michael Graf, Michael Helm, Hauke Thieme and Andreas Ziegenhagen.
The service offering includes corporate tax, audit monitoring, tax planning, tax litigation, and preparing tax and income declarations as well as transfer pricing and property transfer tax. Key industries include the banking and public sector. The team is a mix of backgrounds and expertise, adding a well-rounded and extensive quality to its advice.
The tax team at DLA Piper comprises three partners and 10 professionals and works closely with member firms across the world. The team is headed by Konrad Rohde who has more than 10 years' experience in advising on domestic and international tax law. He assists clients with tax structuring, advice on tax audits and tax litigation as well as general advice in corporate tax.
This year a number of professionals joined the firm, including Andreas Habig from Linklaters, Raimund Behnes from KPMG, and Claus Jochimsem, Tim Zinowsky, Christoph Gradl and Christoph Imschweiler from PwC. The firm comes recommended by clients, one said: "Over the last several years I have used this firm on several projects and have always had excellent results as well as practical advice."
Ute Benzel leads the tax team at EY in Germany and is the regional tax leader of the Big 4 firm. The team offer a full range of tax services, with expertise in all areas. Ralf Eberhardt leads the business tax services division of the firm, working closely with Hubert Kratzer, global compliance and reporting, Ulrike Hasbargen of people advisory services, Peter Schilling of indirect tax and customs, Oliver Wehnert of international tax, Jürgen Schimmele of controversy, Claudia Dedio of transaction tax and Hermann Gauß of tax policy.
Flick Gocke Schaumburg's tax practice of 73 partners and 150 tax specialists is headed by Thomas Rödder. He specialises in corporate tax, reorganisations, transactions, corporate groups and family-owned businesses. As of January 2016, the firm joined the international network Taxand which will increase its international level and position as a key-driver for cross-border work.
Though it is a law firm, the main focus is on tax, and the majority of the work has a tax aspect. The practice is particularly strong in criminal tax law. The practice has continued to grow this year with a new office in Hamburg, its fifth office in Germany, as well as a new office opening in Bonn in October 2016.
The firm was praised by clients and peers. One client said: "If we need the highest tax expertise, especially in German tax cases, Flick Gocke Schaumburg are the best of all! The quality of the consultants and the quick response is the best I know. Although it is quick the quality is top."
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is an international law firm with German offices in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. The key contact for the tax team is Ulrich Blass who advises major companies on optimising tax structures, including cross-border investments and assists clients in tax audits. He specialises in financial and strategic investors for acquisitions and has more than 30 years of tax experience.
As part of the global network, the team collaborate with colleagues on a multi-jurisdictional basis, offering a full range of tax services. The services include customs advice, excise and energy tax, structured finance, tax consultancy, tax disputes, planning, structuring, transfer pricing and VAT advice.
Most of Gleiss Lutz's transaction work comprises a corporate and indirect tax element, as well as a transfer pricing focus. Achim Dannecker oversees the team and specialises in M&A transactions, restructuring and succession planning. He works closely with the four other partners at the firm Stefan Mayer, Michael Marquardt, Johann Wagner and Alexander Werder.
Alongside 13 other professionals, the five partners offer special expertise in various service areas, with compliance a key one. The firm is also often called upon to be second opinion in complicated tax questions. The firm is praised by clients, one described the partners as experienced and extremely responsive and said: "The quality and responsiveness is outstanding."
The tax team of 11 professionals at Hengeler Mueller is overseen by partners Stefanie Beinert, who has a wealth of knowledge in M&A and business secession, Martin Klein, specialising in M&A, private equity and venture capital, Ernst-Thomas Kraft and Matthias Scheifele who both focus on tax and accounting law. It provides tax advice to medium and large companies and their respective shareholders. The firm offers international tax and transactional tax advice, with key focus on education and preparation. The team is strong in all areas of tax, regularly advising clients on tax compliance, restructuring and litigation.
This year, the practice completed the task of refinancing and freeing a medium-sized company from its debts in a tax-neutral manner, successfully securing the approach by obtaining a binding tax ruling. The firm is praised by clients for its good and helpful tax advice which was described as very intelligent, pragmatic and quick.
Michael Dettmeier focuses on the tax aspects of complex real estate and infrastructure transactions, with specialism in healthcare, logistics and retail industries. He heads the practice at Hogan Lovells. The team provides all tax services including M&A, corporate, international and real estate tax from its offices in Munich and Düsseldorf.
Christian Jänisch leads KPMG's German tax practice and specialises in providing advice to multinationals and financial investors on cross-border M&A. The firm offers the full scope of services, covering both international and domestic tax law, as well as accounting and auditing services.
Küffner Maunz Langer Zugmaier is a VAT boutique firm and was praised by peers and clients as one of the best. Specialised in VAT, customs and tax litigation, and criminal tax law, the team is one of the biggest indirect teams in Germany with six partners and 21 dedicated professionals. Stefan Maunz leads the team and advises clients on all VAT matters and represents them before the tax authorities and courts. A further specialism is advising on customs issues, particularly connected with import VAT.
This year, the team was engaged in a number of impressive projects including legal action for one client owing to additional VAT payments based on alleged chain transactions of approximately €60 million ($67 million), which was to be additionally paid due to an incorrect, voluntary self-disclosure.
The firm came highly recommended as a top tier VAT firm and a client said it received excellent service and support on the matter.
Latham & Watkins's global tax department is headed by Stefan Süss, who is a partner in the Munich office. With specialism in German and international tax law, he focuses on tax optimisation of private equity and M&A transactions, as well as structuring funds and financial instruments. The firm offers an array of tax services including litigation, dispute resolution and representation during controversy cases.
With offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf, Linklaters' tax practice offers a range of advisory services, including financial structuring, litigation and transfer pricing. The team is headed by Jens Blumenberg who has extensive experience in the field of tax, M&A, transfer pricing and EU taxation law. He joined the firm's Munich office in 2001 and moved to the Frankfurt office in 2003.
Under the supervision of Ulrich Siegemund, the tax team at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft assists clients on various tax matters. Siegemund has more than 20 years of experience in international and national tax law and focuses on inbound and outbound tax law, acquisitions, tax-optimised structuring and restructuring and real estate transactions.
Until this year, the firm was affiliated to the global network Taxand, which is now joined in Germany by Flick Gocke Schaumburg.
Claus Lemaitre and Ansas Wittkowski are joint heads of LW TAX Lemaitre Wittkowski. In 2015, the firm joined the True Partners Consulting International Network and has since received several new assignments from private equity investors and foreign groups starting businesses in Germany. Both professionals have previously worked at Big 4 firms.
The firm comprises two partners and five professionals and offers specialism in private equity as well as M&A and day-to-day tax services for clients, which are mainly German subsidiaries, expatriates and wealthy individuals.
McDermott Will & Emery's German office is headed by Dirk Pohl. The practice provides a range of integrated tax services, often coordinating seamlessly with the corporate and M&A teams. Clients come from a range of industries including chemicals, energy, retail and finance.
Partner Rolf Füger is the main contact for the tax team at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. The team of professionals has experience in financial markets, M&A, joint ventures and restructuring. Füger's expertise is in the private equity sector where he focuses on the development and implementation of innovative cross-border acquisition and financing structures, post-closing reorganisations and recapitalisations, exits, including partial exits and the structuring of funds. He works closely with Thomas Kleinheisterkamp, another member of the team who works in all aspects of national and international tax law, and Norbert Rieger, head of the corporate group and one of the founding partners of the Munich office.
Full-service legal practice Noerr is co-headed by Georg Edelmann and Lutz Schmidt. It focuses on structuring and the team advises on company taxation, reorganisation, regulated financial investments, transaction tax, disputes and private client work. The firm aims to give a strong service through initiating and maintaining strong client relations through open communication, strategic business advice and reactivity to shifting market environments worldwide.
Oppenhoff & Partner's tax team comprises five professionals, including three partners. It is headed by Axel Bödefeld, who specialises in M&A, with respect to national and cross-border transactions, and structuring of corporate groups. The firm has had a strong relationship with US multinationals over many years and are experienced in US-German cross-border transactions. It regularly advises numerous Dow Jones top 100 companies on cross-border issues. This year, the team engaged in various projects including the arbitration on a post-M&A dispute concerning taxes of the target.
This year, the team welcomed Mirko Florczak who advises on national and international tax law.
A client said: "For international tax advice I prefer working with Oppenhoff & Partner as they do have an outstanding understanding of the client's need, always keeping an eye on administrative law in addition".
Under the supervision of Michael Best, the tax practice at P+P Pöllath + Partners offers the full suite of tax services. The team comprises 17 partners and 29 professionals and has grown significantly this year with eight new additions. The practice is recognised for keeping up with international tax developments and has broadened its cross-border footprint by introducing conferences such as the Frankfurt international tax forum.
Best is a registered tax adviser in Munich, with focus in domestic and international tax law, particularly with regard to structural aspects of private equity funds and cross-border acquisitions and real estate. He works closely with Pia Dorfmueller, who is a lead partner, and Hardy Fischer, partner in Berlin.
The team is praised by its clients for its reliable advice, one said: "Whether strategic advice, transfer price concepts or profit allocation consulting, P & P's service is based on deep knowledge and perfect customer performance."
Dorfmueller came particularly highly recommended for her profound knowledge on tax matters and customer orientation.
Marius Möller oversees the corporate tax practice at PwC in Germany. The firm offers the full suite of tax services and is regularly consulted by both industry and political organisations for its independent tax advice across a range of sectors that includes financial services, industrial production, retail and consumer, public sector, technology and automotive.
Heiko Stoll and Bernulph von Crailsheim co-head the tax practice at Simmons & Simmons, working alongside three other professionals. The dedicated team offers a range of services with a focus on the asset management, investment funds and financial sectors. Its key work is on fund related advice, including on the structuring and establishment of hedge funds, real estate funds, private equity funds, infrastructure funds and renewable energy funds for private and institutional investors.
Stoll's focus is on acquisitions, restructuring, tax-optimisation and cross-border tax planning. He also advises on acquisition finance, real estate finance and tax-efficient structured finance transactions. Von Crailsheim advises on national and international tax matters, particularly in connection with fund structuring, M&A transactions, reorganisations and business structuring. The team is praised by clients, with one saying that the firm constantly brings new projects to the firm and always produces good results.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is a transaction-oriented practice, with a strong emphasis on structuring tax-efficient acquisitions and joint ventures in cross-border ventures in a cross-border context. The team is led by Johannes Frey. He has a broad transaction-oriented tax practice, with focus on corporate restructuring, acquisitions, spin-offs, joint ventures and transactions involving cross-border planning.
The firm is advising the Coca-Cola Company on the tax aspects of the combination of the three biggest European bottlers of its Coca-Cola products. Part of the advice includes pre and post-merger restructurings, the acquisition structure, international taxation of mergers and holding structures as well as real estate transfer tax issues.
Streck Mack Schwedhelm has gradually expanded into a respected tax boutique, since it was founded in 1984 by Michael Streck. The practice deals with disputes, investigations structuring and tax-adviser liability and combines years of experience in managing legal dispute proceedings with specialised knowledge of tax law.
The large team of 22 partners and 255 professionals at Warth & Klein Grant Thornton is overseen by Paul Forst. It assists clients on all tax matters, including corporate, international tax, transfer pricing and M&A. Forst has more than 20 years of experience in providing tax advice and is supported by a management team of eight partners.
This year, four professionals joined the team: Claudia Klümpen-Neusel and Katja Immes, both specialised in wealthy private clients, Norbert Miethe, who has extensive experience in advising on the tax aspects of international and multinational companies, and Manfred Elkemann-Reusch, who is an expert on M&A and private equity transactions.
Watson Farley & Williams's tax practice offers a full range of tax services and is active across various industries. Tax partner Verena Scheibe specialises in M&A, private equity and real estate transactions and is one of the key contacts at the firm. She works closely with Gerrit Bartisch, who focuses on tax matters related to renewable energy, property and shipping, and Lothar Wegener, who is managing partner of the firm along with Chris Lowe.
Under the supervision of Andreas Knebel, the tax team at White & Case has strong expertise in M&A and private equity. The diverse and multi-disciplinary practice operates within international and domestic taxation and works on many high-profile cross-border transactions, providing comprehensive advisory services. Knebel focuses on German and international taxation issues, working closely with Bodo Bender, who often works on complex negotiations and has vast experience advising global clients.
CEO Fritz Esterer and managing partners Peter Jung, Lothar Härteis and Ulrike Schellert lead the tax team at WTS Germany. The department consists of 52 partners and 392 professionals and is an established player in the field of tax advising on energy and excise duties, VAT, transfer pricing, M&A and real estate taxes. The team has strong expertise in the financial sector, as well as real estate and manufacturing sectors.
One client said: "It was very good. They have technical expertise and are able to provide advice as relevant to our business. They bring practical solutions, delivered timely, and are responsive."
To keep up with the increasing demand for IT solutions in the tax environment, WTS has developed several IT solutions under the name iTAX and will continue to expand its consulting services within the IT field. This year, the team expanded with four partner promotions as well as the hires of Thomas Dennisen from KPMG, Ralf Dietzel from BSH and Florian Oehl from E.ON.
|Tier 1- Germany|
|Flick Gocke Schaumburg|
|Tier 2- Germany|
|Allen & Overy|
|Baker & McKenzie|
|Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer|
|P+P Pöllath + Partners|
|Tier 3- Germany|
|Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton|
|Latham & Watkins|
|Tier 4- Germany|
|Baker Tilly Roelfs|
|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|
|Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom|
|Streck Mack Schwedhelm|
|Warth & Klein Grant Thornton|
|Watson Farley & Williams|
|White & Case|