Germany



World Tax Reviews

Tax
Baker McKenzie

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 specialises in tax planning and M&A taxation, as well as covering tax disputes, has led the team since 2014.

Over the research period, the team provided advice to numerous German multinationals on general corporate tax and tax controversy matters.

In terms of lateral moves, the group welcomed equity partner Florian Gimmler in January 2021, joining from PwC. Associate Friederike Goering left the firm for Knorr-Bremse in June 2020.

Bödecker Ernst & Partner

Bödecker Ernst & Partner is an independent German law firm focused specifically on providing services pertaining to investment funds and investment products.The firm also covers all aspects of cross border taxation, from local German tax laws to double tax treaties. 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 three further partners.

Over the research period, the firm advised on transactional tax matters for several German insurance companies. The firm provided tax and legal due diligence and side letter negotiation in connection with an investment of several German insurance companies into a US infrastructure fund vehicle.

CMS

CMS provides comprehensive advice on all issues related to national and international tax with a focus on practice areas such as transactions, real estate, corporate tax, litigation, private client, investment tax, tax structuring, compliance and indirect tax. The team consists of 37 tax experts including 10 partners, led by heads of practice Björn Demuth and Angelika Thies. Industry sector strengths of the tax team include energy, healthcare, biotechnology, telecommunications and IT.

Over the research period, the firm advised French automotive supplier Plastic Omnium on complex tax issues in relation to the establishment of a joint venture. It also provided tax advice for real estate investment management company Invesco in connection with a large real estate transaction.

Deloitte

Deloitte’s German tax practice currently includes a total of 60 tax partners and over 370 certified German tax advisers, making it one of the largest tax departments in Germany. The firm is 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.

Over the research period the group advised on several complex and innovative matters. All clients remain confidential.

The firm welcomed two new partners Birgit Köhler and Stella Posnak, both joining from EY in April 2020.

Dentons

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.

During the last 12 months the team advised Johnson Controls International in a controversial disputes matter. This involved tax advice in an arbitration case mostly related to a hypothetical dividend distribution.

The firm recently hired Partner Pia Dorfmueller, who joined from Poellath in June 2020. Associate Anna Groß also joined the firm from KPMG in January 2020, while Associate Christopher Burch departed the firm in March 2020 to join Flick Gocke Schaumburg.

DLA Piper

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.

Over the research period the group advised on numerous complex and innovative matters, including advising one client on new and complex anti-hybrid rules in international tax law.

EY

Big four firm EY has one of the largest and most renowned tax practices within the German market, providing the full range of tax and legal services including corporate tax, transactions, people advisory, compliance, indirect tax and international tax. Regional tax leader Henrik Ahlers and deputy tax leader Claudia Dedio are both key individuals at the firm.

The firm recently advised several clients on complex M&A matters. One case involved advisory work for financial services firm Bridgepoint during their acquisition of pharmaceutical manufacturer PharmaZell.

Partners Michael Kürmayer and Patriz Ergenzinger joined the firm in April 2020, while partners Stephan Marx and Armin Seitz both departed the firm in December 2020.

Flick Gocke Schaumburg

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, which specialises in transactions, M&A, due diligence, compliance, tax planning, criminal tax law, private client, litigation and transfer pricing. It now has 40 equity partners focused on tax, with a total of over 270 professional tax specialists operating across six German offices. Partner and corporate tax specialist Thomas Rödder is a key individual at the firm.

Case studies show the firm recently advised a large electronics group in relation to an international joint venture. It also advised multinational energy solutions company Schneider Electric on a complex M&A matter involving tax due diligence and tax structuring support.

Partner Florian Holzner joined the firm from a consumer electronics company in April 2020.

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz operates within a network of leading independent European law firms in order to provide a broad range of international and domestic tax advice. The practice operates within transactional and indirect taxes as well as corporate tax structuring, private client, compliance and tax disputes. The tax team is led by partner Stefan Mayer, who is recognised as a leader in transactional tax and corporate restructuring. He is supported by a further three partners as well as counsels and associates across six German offices.

Over the research period, the firm advised the Dutch technology group ASML in relation to its acquisition of Berliner Glas. It also advised German clinical group Paracelsus-Kliniken during its comprehensive restructuring and refinancing process.

Partner Michael Marquardt recently departed the firm to retire.

Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis is among the most prominent firms in the M&A practice area. The Munich tax practice is led by Oded Schein and is a significant part of Kirkland’s international transactional practice. The firm also works on corporate reorganisations and restructurings. The Munich team is renowned for its extensive experience in complex tax structuring work in connection with private equity and M&A transactions.

Over the research period, the team led by Oded Schein advised on tax law aspects of several major transactions and restructurings.

LW TAX Lemaitre Wittkowski

LW TAX Lemaitre Wittkowski is a small tax boutique consisting of 11 professionals and providing M&A tax services for small and medium-sized private equity firms as well as renewable energy companies and private organisations. The firm also provides ongoing tax advisory to its clients, including tax audit services. It was founded by partners Claus Lemaitre and Ansas Wittkowski.

The firm recently advised on several complex due diligence and transactional tax matters. All clients remain confidential.

Mr R. Arndt joined the firm as a senior tax advisor in August 2020.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown leverages its significant global footprint 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.

During the last 12 months, the firm advised on several complex transactional tax matters. One notable case involved advisory for Goodyear Group on their acquisition of Reifen Baierlacher KG. This included legal due diligence, purchase agreement negotiation and general transactional advisory.

The firm recently welcomed Associate Kai Yan, who joined from Weil Gotshal in April 2021.

Mazars

Mazars is a global advisory firm that offers a full suite of tax services to clients across the world. The German practice has tax experts across 12 national offices. The team excels in practice areas including corporate income tax, international tax, VAT & indirect tax, transactions, private client, transfer pricing and real estate. Partner and international tax specialist Marcus von Goldacker is a key individual at the firm.

Over the research period, the firm advised German real estate company IVG Immobilien in relation to a cross-border reorganisation. It also provided transactional advice to several large German companies in connection with high-profile mergers and acquisitions.

Partners Bernd Keller and Frank Lüpges joined the firm from WTS in April 2020, while senior manager Frank Selbeck departed the firm in October 2020.

Noerr

Noerr employs a specialised full-service and high-end tax approach, with established specialists in place to cover all areas of tax expertise. Partner Carsten Heinz is a key individual at the firm. The team provides specialist services in multiple practice areas, including restructuring, transactions, real estate, international tax, due diligence, private client, VAT, customs, compliance, audit and litigation.

Case studies show the firm advised Chinese automotive manufacturer SAIC Motor Corporation on general corporate tax matters related to carbon dioxide emissions fines. It also advised a German multinational financial services company on a complex matter involving restructuring and corporate tax aspects.

Senior associate Carolin Vettermann joined the firm from Clifford Chance in June 2020, while senior associate Andreas Busch joined from EY in October 2020. Associated partner Matthias Geurts departed the firm for Schalast Law in March 2021, while tax professional Katja Becker left the firm in November 2020.

Oppenhoff & Partner

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 tax department has a strong focus on 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.

During the research period, the firm advised on a transactional matter for Bristol Myers Squibb involving acquisition and integration procedures for the acquired group into the existing corporate structure. They also advised on an M&A matter for nd Industrial Investments, providing comprehensive advice with respect to acquisition and financing processes.

Poellath

Poellath 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 a further team of non-equity and associated partners, as well as counsel and associates.

Over the research period, the team advised clients such as Mgm. Stark, Union Investment and Deutsche Wohnen SE in complex transactional and real estate tax matters.

The firm internally appointed Gerald Herrmann and Martin Liebernickel as partners in January 2021. Partner Pia Dorfmueller departed the firm to join Dentons in April 2020.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has a highly regarded German tax practice, best known for specialising in practice areas such as M&A transactions, corporate tax, real estate, cross-border restructuring, international tax and audit. Tax partner and practice leader Johannes Frey is a key individual at the firm.

Case studies show the firm recently advised Black Diamond Capital Management regarding its acquisition of American chemicals company Hexion. It also advised Gulf Energy Development during its acquisition of a 50% stake in a German offshore wind farm.

WTS

WTS is a global tax consultancy that actively refrains from conducting any audits. The German branch of the group now consists of 900 employees across nine locations, capable of covering all areas of domestic and international tax, as well as transfer pricing. Karsten Gnuschke, co-founder of WTS Germany and a director of WTS global, is the head of international taxation at the firm. The team is managed by Fritz Esterer and Franz Prinz zu Hohenlohe.

The team has recently provided high-end tax advisory for one of the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers. This involved tax-optimized reorganization of the international group structure as well as acquisition advisory.

The firm recently hired several new partners including Daniel Blöchle from PwC and Dieter Becker from KPMG, both joining the firm in July 2020. Partner Reinhard Pumpler joined the firm in October 2020 from his previous position at Deloitte.