Niederer Kraft & Frey won the European Corporate Deal of the Year Award at this year's The Lawyer European Awards ceremony in London for its role as lead advisor of Actelion Ltd in the US$30bn acquisition by Johnson & Johnson, combined with a spin-off and listing of its R&D and early clinical operations into Idorsia Ltd.
The judges, consisting of 21 managing partners of international law firms and in-house counsels from various international companies, commended the deal for being "very innovative, high-profile […] with good outcomes” and that "The new Actelion acquisition structure is the first of its kind in pharma M&A, and represents a quantum leap in pharma M&A deal structuring" . NKF was recognized for taking the lead in structuring and implementing the transaction.
NKF worked as part of an integrated legal team consisting of NKF, Slaughter and May and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
The NKF team was led by Corporate/M&A partners Philipp Haas and Ulysses von Salis, working with Thomas Broennimann (partner, M&A/Corporate), Bertrand Schott (partner, Corporate), Moritz Maurer (senior associate, M&A/Corporate), Deirdre Ni Annrachain (associate, M&A), Julia Tolstova (associate, M&A/Corporate), Samuel Hochstrasser (associate, Corporate/M&A), Alexander Göbel (Junior Associate, Corporate/M&A); Christina Del Vecchio (counsel, Capital Markets); Daniela Schmucki (partner, Tax), Thomas Graf (partner, Tax), Christina Rinne (counsel, VAT); Laurence Uttinger (partner, Pensions); Nicolas Birkhäuser (partner, IP and Anti-trust); Clara-Ann Gordon (partner, TMT and IP).
The Lawyer European Awards recognise and celebrate excellence across the European legal market.