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Dr. Thomas Lappe

Practice Area Leader - Corporate
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Thomas Lappe is a partner in the firm's Berlin office focusing on mergers & acquisitions. He has over 23 years’ experience in advising corporate clients and private equity firms on international M&A transactions including carve-out and buyout transactions. Dr. Lappe also frequently handles international joint ventures, corporate reorganizations, and venture capital transactions.

Dr. Lappe is recognized as a leading practitioner in legal directories such as JUVE,TheLegal 500 and Chambers Europe. JUVE 2015/16 refers to him as “one of the most successful M&A lawyers in Germany’s capital Berlin”.

Professional Background

Dr. Lappe joined K&L Gates in January 2007. From 2005 through 2006 he was partner with an international law firm in their Berlin office. From 2001 through 2005 he worked for an international law firm in their Hamburg office and from 1996 through 2001 as a transactional in-house counsel for a DAX 30 company.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Gesellschaftsrechtliche Vereinigung
  • International Bar Association
  • German Bar Association

Additional Information

A thought leader on corporate and transactional topics, Dr. Lappe frequently publishes on corporate law and M&A and is a regular speaker on these topics.

Selected publications include:
  • Ed. Lappe/Gattringer: Carve-out transactions – legal, tax and accounting aspects of the drop-down and divestiture of business units (Carve-out-Transaktionen – Recht, Steuern und Bilanzen bei Ausgliederung und Verkauf von Unternehmensteilen), C.H. Beck, Munich 2016.
  • Fairness opinions in M&A transactions (Die Fairness Opinion im Transaktionsgeschäft), Corporate Finance Law, p. 312 et seq., 2010 (with Axel Stafflage).
  • Commentary on the liability of supervisory boards as a result of the failure to cause an insolvency filing (Kommentar zur Haftung des Aufsichtsrats wegen unterlassenen Hinwirkens auf Insolvenzantrag), p.1207 et seq., 2009 (with Alexander Hartmann).
  • SPACs, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 2008 (with Alexander Hartmann).
  • Risk allocation in M&A transactions (Risikoverteilung beim Unternehmenskauf), Der Betrieb, p. 153 et seq., 2007 (with Alexander Schmitt).
  • Hidden contributions in kind and Private International Law (Verdeckte Sacheinlagen und IPR), GmbH-Rundschau, p. 584 et seq., 2005 (with Andrea Schefold).
  • On the relocation of German corporations (Das Heimatrecht im Gepäck), Financial Times Deutschland, March 2003 (with Axel Stafflage).
  • Free choice of legal form (Freie Rechtsformwahl), Unternehmermagazin, p. 36 et seq., 2003 (with Axel Stafflage).
  • Valuations under the German Takeover Act (Unternehmensbewertungen nach dem Wertpapiererwerbs- und Übernahmegesetz), Betriebs-Berater, p. 2185 et seq., 2002 (with Axel Stafflage).
  • Mixed capital increase and the exclusion of the subscription right in restructuring cases (Gemischte Kapitalerhöhung und Bezugsrechtsausschluss in Restrukturierungsfällen), Betriebs-Berater, p. 313 et seq., 2000.
  • The assessment of environmental advertisement from a competition law perspective (Die wettbewerbsrechtliche Beurteilung der Umweltwerbung), R. v. Decker’s Verlag, Heidelberg 1995.
  • On the ecological exploitability of the competition law (Zur ökologischen Instrumentalisierbarkeit des Wettbewerbsrechts), Wettbewerb in Recht und Praxis, p. 170 et seq., 1993.
  • Cross-border environmental law protection (Grenzüberschreitender Umweltrechtsschutz), Natur und Recht, p. 213 et seq., 1993.
  • Competition law aspects of marking products with the „Green Point“ (Lauterkeitsrechtliche Aspekte der Kennzeichnung von Produkten mit Hilfe des „Grünen Punktes“), Betriebs-Berater, p. 1661 et seq., 1992.
  • On the term of the concrete danger in connection with drunken driving (Zum Begriff der konkreten Gefahr bei der Trunkenheitsfahrt), Juristische Schulung, p. 133 et seq., 1990 (with Johann Wilhelm Knollmann).

Selected speaking engagements:
  • Selected legal aspects of carve-out transactions (Ausgewählte rechtliche Themen bei Carve-out-Transaktionen), Annual Meeting of M&A Alumni Deutschland e.V., Berlin 2015.
  • Purchase price adjustment clauses (Kaufpreisanpassungsklauseln), series of seminars by Beck-Akademie, 2013-2015.
  • Transatlantic trends in M&A, K&L Gates Client Event, Pittsburgh 2013.
  • International M&A transactions (Internationale M&A-Transaktionen), series of Management Circle seminars, 2012
  • International bidding consortium in the proposed acquisition of Toll Collect GmbH, the operator of the German highway tolling system for trucks, from the Federal Republic of Germany 
  • VTG AG in its EUR780 million acquisition of Nacco Group
  • Continental AG in various cross-border transactions
  • OpenSynergy GmbH in its trade sale to Panasonic
  • Listed real estate company in the structuring and implementation of a joint venture with tracking stock
  • Microsoft in the acquisition of 6Wunderkinder GmbH from, among others, Sequoia Capital, Earlybird, and Atomico
  • VTG AG in a pan-European joint venture with Kühne + Nagel merging the rail logistics activities
  • OYSTAR Holding GmbH and funds advised by Odewald & Compagnie in the sale of OYSTAR North America Inc. to Coesia S.p.a.
  • Deutsche Wohnen AG in the acquisition of a 5,000 unit residential and commercial portfolio and in the acquisition of a 1,900 unit residential portfolio
  • Zumiez Inc. in the acquisition of the Austrian Blue Tomato group
  • Microsoft in the acquisition of the crash analytics and beta distribution service HockeyApp and in the sale of the European comparison shopping platform Ciao to LeGuide.com
  • Continental AG in the sale of its worldwide public transport solution business to Trapeze
  • VTG AG in the acquisition of GRAAFF’s wagon construction business and in its acquisition of the Railcraft group in Northeastern Europe
  • BancTec in the acquisition of Beta Systems Software AG's global Enterprise Content Management (ECM) business
  • Russian investor in buying shares in K+S AG (stake building)
  • Funds advised by Strategic Value Partners in the acquisition of the office and commercial building ”Q207“ in Berlin’s Friedrichstraße
  • Mondi AG in various M&A transactions including in the acquisition of the bags and kraft paper business of Graphic Packaging International Inc. and in the acquisition of Schleipen & Erkens AG
  • U.S. private equity firm in its public to private bid for a German health care company
  • La Seda de Barcelona in the German aspects of the acquisition of the Amcor Pet packaging business
  • Bilfinger Berger AG in its public takeover of Rheinhold & Mahla AG (including the subsequent squeeze-out of the minority shareholders) and in its acquisition of Babcock Borsig Service GmbH from Deutsche Beteiligungs AG
  • Royal Dutch Shell in the formation of its solar energy joint venture with Saint-Gobain
  • TUI AG in its sale of VTG AG to funds advised by WL Ross & Co. LLC and in its disposal of Lehnkering GmbH to funds advised by Triton Managers Ltd.
  • Soros Private Equity Partners in its acquisition of the Bayer/Degussa polymer latex business
  • Petro-Canada in the German aspects of its acquisition of the Veba upstream oil assets
  • Preussag AG in the sale of Minimax GmbH to funds advised by Barclays Private Equity GmbH