With the launch of the Berlin office in 2007, the firm expanded its operations both in Europe’s largest economy and in one of the largest bilateral economic partners of the United States. Our Berlin office, located in the heart of the political and business district, comprises a team of approximately 45 lawyers. Over the past 25 years, Berlin has not only regained its position as the political center of Germany but also has become one of the principal and the fastest growing markets for the media and entertainment, bio-tech, life sciences, IT and advertising industries.
The Berlin office works closely with the Frankfurt office to comprise a seamless German practice. The German offices and their approximately 75 lawyers offer clients a broad array of legal services, including corporate/M&A, private equity, investment management, banking (including banking regulation law) and complex financings, insolvency and restructuring, real estate, telecoms, media and technology (TMT), IP, IT, public procurement, antitrust and trade, tax, private clients, employment, (international) dispute resolution and equipment leasing.
The corporate group in Berlin advises on private and public mergers and acquisitions, private equity, finance & projects, including PPP schemes, as well as high-end company law matters. The group also advises on corporate governance and risk management across a variety of sectors. The group focuses on transactions in a variety of industries, including infrastructure, travel, health care and media, and it also has extensive experience in corporate litigation. Clients include German and international blue chips, major international utility service providers, investment banks, private equity funds, and midsized (Mittelstand) companies. The group has significant experience in cross-border deals.
We are ranked as a first-tier firm for international mid-sized deals (Legal 500 Deutschland—“Legal 500”—2014 and 2015) and recommended for M&A (JUVE Handbuch—“JUVE”—2007/08-2015/16, a leading German legal publication; Legal 500, 2009–2016), for Corporate (JUVE 2007/08–2015/16; Legal 500, 2016), Private Equity (Transactions) (JUVE 2012/13–2015/16; Legal 500, 2014 and 2015), and Compliance Investigations (JUVE 2013/14–2014/16); “Other Noted Firm” for Corporate M&A: Mid-Market (Chambers Europe 2015).The private equity/special situations group offers legal and strategic advice to private equity funds, hedge funds, family offices and other opportunistic investors targeting large/mid-cap investments in the DACH region, in particular on LBOs, MBOs, MBIs, PIPE and P2P transactions, venture capital investments, management participation programs and special situations. The team is recognized for Private Equity (Transactions) (JUVE 2012/13–2015/16; Legal 500, 2014 and 2015).
Our investment management practice advises on investment funds, tax law and regulatory issues in the context of structuring various kinds of collective capital assets investing in private equity, real estate, renewable energy, leasing agreements and other asset classes. We offer advice to fund initiators, fund investors and other market participants on transactions in these asset classes. Legal 500, 2016 ranks us for Banking and Finance: Investment Funds.
The Berlin-based German real estate practice focuses on international and domestic transactions (offices, logistics, residential, health, care homes and hospitals, and retail sectors), project development, infrastructure and commercial developments (including wind parks, shopping malls, zoning), joint ventures, corporate restructurings and funds work, as well as leases, leaseholds, sale and lease backs, and restructuring, creditors’ rights and insolvency issues. The group also covers environmental and public planning law, and construction and real estate litigation. We have been cited for Real Estate (JUVE 2013/14–2015/16) and recommended for Real Estate (Legal 500, 2009–2016; Chambers Europe 2015).
Our TMT and IP practice focuses on television and radio broadcasting, film, film financing, collecting societies, music rights and licensing, unfair competition, press law, IT contracts and trademarks. The group also has substantial experience in dealing with IP and IT aspects of corporate transactions. The telecoms group has an emphasis on regulatory and industry related transactions. The practice is recommended for Media (JUVE 2007/08–2015/16; Legal 500, 2010–2016; Chambers Europe 2014 and 2015), 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.
Our private clients 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 defense 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 public procurement team advises upon all aspects of privatizations, Public Private Partnerships (PPP), Private Financial Initiatives (PFI), plant construction (including shipbuilding), large building and infrastructure projects and their related financing. Our team has many years of experience in national and international tenders and has had decisive involvement in the largest PPP infrastructure projects in Germany of recent decades, including airports, highways and ports. Our practice includes advising contracting authorities and bidders, particularly on complex PPPs, such as in the areas of IT, eGovernment and real estate. We have specific experience in the area of public utilities and municipal development projects, and represent our clients before German procurement review bodies, competition authorities, and national and European courts.
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 2011/12–2015/16; Legal 500, 2012–2016; Chambers Europe 2014 and 2015), PPP (Legal 500, 2015 and 2016) and Project Finance (JUVE 2011/12–2013/14).
The antitrust practice advises on a variety of issues under German and EU competition law, including merger notifications and challenges, horizontal and vertical aspects of commercial transactions and agreements, dominant market position issues, investigations and sector inquiries by competition authorities, identification of state aid issues and notification, antitrust, competition and trade law compliance issues, external trade regulation (customs and export control issues), and antitrust litigation and damages claims.
The employment group provides integrated services on all legal issues concerning directors and staff including advice on employment law, compensation and benefits, social security, wage tax, the law on sales agents and business immigration. Our clients range from mid-size companies to large corporations with a focus on the technology industry. Our employment team has extensive experience structuring employment contracts with board members and advising on questions of executive liability, structuring benefit and incentive schemes, establishing and restructuring pension schemes, restructuring businesses and outsourcing, terminating employment relationships including mass dismissal, and cross-border secondments. In addition, we offer general advice on day-today employment matters and represent employers before employment and general civil law courts.
For the fifth consecutive year, our German practice was ranked among Germany’s top firms in JUVE 2015/16, and is also listed among the top 100 employers in Germany by Azur 2015, an affiliated magazine of JUVE. LTO Young Professionals Survey 2015 has honored K&L Gates with the “Young Professionals’ Choice 2015” award, with our firm counting among the ten favorite employers according to various groups of applicants.