Senior Partners: Jochem Reichert, Georg Jaeger
Managing Partners: Hans-Joachim Hellmann, Heino Rück, Stephan Scherer, Thomas Liebscher, Thomas Nägele, Stephan Brandes, Martin Feick, Marc Löbbe, Hans-Georg Berg, Max Hirschberger, Nicolas Ott, Christian Gehling, Michaela Balke, Silvio Cappellari, Christoph Nolden, Thomas Oberle, Katharina Steinbrück, Markus Pfüller, Peter Bauschatz, Dietrich Stiller, Stefan Zeyher, Marc-Philippe Hornung, Oliver Schröder, Jonas Fischbach, Ben Steinbrück
Number of partners: 27 Number of lawyers: 100 (including partners)
Languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Bahasa Indonesia
With over 100 years of experience, SZA consults and represents a range of top-tier domestic and international clients in all areas of corporate and commercial law, including almost half of all enterprises listed on DAX in recent years. SZA is regularly counted among the most reputable German law firms.
Main Areas of Practice:
Transactions and restructurings form an important part of the firm’s corporate and group law practice. SZA advises enterprises on mergers, demergers, changes of corporate form, realignment of a company’s financial framework, spin-offs, etc. Another focal point of the firm’s corporate law practice is representation in corporate disputes, both in arbitration and before court. Additionally, the firm provides general consultation to executives and board members regarding a number of corporate matters including, inter alia, corporate governance, the preparation of shareholders’ meetings and legislation.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
SZA’s advisory services in the field of M&A cover both public and private transactions on domestic as well as cross-border projects. In connection with the latter, SZA can rely on a well-established cooperation with foreign law firms which are among the leading firms in their respective jurisdictions. The firm’s practice in this field also covers the founding, rearrangement and dissolution of joint ventures as well as restructurings of any kind, including cross-border mergers. Representation in post-M&A disputes is a further focus of SZA.
The firm’s consultation covers a broad range of corporate taxation including VAT, customs duties, tax audits, international taxation, structuring acquisition and divestments on the national as well as international scale, reorganisations and restructurings. Other services include the analysis of financial products, cooperation with clients’ tax advisors and representation before financial courts.
SZA offers a range of advice in a number of compliance related legal fields such as corporate law, capital markets law, labour law, antitrust law, environmental law and data protection law. The firm assists its clients, inter alia, in identifying the relevant compliance standards, forming internal guidelines for the fulfilment of compliance requirements and inspecting the implementation of these guidelines as well as in increasing employee awareness.
SZA advises domestic and international issuers and underwriters on transactions, e.g. IPOs, capital increases or the issuance of convertible bonds. Another focus of SZA’s practice in this area is advising board members in connection with follow-up obligations under capital markets law, e.g. the prohibition of insider trading, ad hoc publications or publication of shareholdings required by capital markets law. In addition, SZA represents issuers in capital markets law litigations.
Banking & Finance:
SZA advises in all kinds of financing transactions such as syndicated loans, acquisition financing, real estate financing and project financing. SZA also assists its clients in developing and implementing tax efficient financing structures. SZA’s expertise in financial law further comprises advice on workouts / restructurings as well as advice in general banking and supervisory law.
SZA advises both domestic and international clients on all aspects of German and European competition law. In the merger control area, the firm carries out risk assessments and represents clients before the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. Moreover, the firm has particular expertise as regards internal cartel audits as well as the representation of clients in cartel proceedings before the competition authorities and the courts. Recent matters at EU level included proceedings before the ECJ in a preliminary ruling on the German rail cartel and before the General Court regarding two high-profile proceedings in the energy sector. The firm also has significant experience in the defence against complex follow-on damage claims and outof- court settlements. Additionally, SZA advises its clients on competition compliance and on vertical agreements.
Litigation & Arbitration:
SZA represents its clients in disputes concerning deficiencies in resolutions including nullification actions, declarative actions, shareholder actions and actions for declarative nullification judgment concerning private companies. The firm also provides representation and consultation in approval and release proceedings and interim relief. Other important areas include M&A-related disputes and legal assistance in complicated general commercial disputes.
The firm represents and consults both mid-size businesses and international conglomerates in, inter alia, designing and drafting employment agreements and other internal employment matters as well as in negotiating payment plans with unions. SZA represents its clients before arbitration committees and in labour litigation in all judicial instances. Further services include consultation in transactional labour law and general assistance for board members and other executives in this regard.
The firm’s attorneys cover all relevant areas of intellectual and industrial property law, such as patent law, trademark law, copyright law, press and media law, competition law and data protection law. Crossborder cases are dealt with through cooperation with other foreign and domestic law firms. Further services include advice for businesses in complex IT and outsourcing projects, consultation on the drafting and negotiating of intellectual property-related agreements, intellectual property applications and registrations, pre-trial advice on infringement disputes, etc.
SZA offers a wide range of legal advice for its domestic and international private clients in all legal and tax aspects of their assets including estate law (also regarding anticipated succession), art laws and laws for culturally valuable goods, matrimonial law, property law, tax law, corporate law and foundation law. Furthermore, the firm provides consultation for family-owned businesses and their shareholders.
Public & Administrative:
The firm’s public and administrative law practice offers, in addition to general consultation and representation in this field, support in the public law aspects of M&A transactions, e.g. regarding emission control. Such issues are handled through tight cooperation with the firm’s M&A experts.
Some of the firm’s focal points are the tax-optimised structuring of real estate transactions, due diligence, real estate financing and development, the drafting and negotiating of the property purchase agreement and dealing with public law issues such as environmental law. Additionally, SZA provides post-transfer consultation.
The firm advises on business acquisition and sales in crises and out of insolvency as well as on restructuring measures such as debt-equity swaps or the acquisition of non-performing loans.