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
Number of partners: 24
Number of lawyers: 73 (including partners)
Languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
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 13 of the 30 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:
The firm’s core advisory services in the field of M&A cover matters such as acquisitions and divestments of businesses and company takeovers in accordance with the German Acquisition and Takeover Act. SZA relies on an extensive international network of law firms to assist with cross-border projects. Issues concerning labour law, intellectual property, etc. often arise in this complex legal field. In this case, the firm will deploy its attorneys from other fields to deal with these matters. Representation in post-M&A disputes is a further strongpoint at 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 and environmental law. The firm assists its clients, inter alia, in identifying the relevant compliance standards, forming internal guidelines for the fulfillment of compliance requirements and inspecting the implementation of these guidelines as well as in increasing employee awareness.
Capital Markets, Banking & Finance:
SZA provides representation in governmental investigations, damage claims under capital markets law, and has experience with class actions. It also offers consultation on all regulatory issues. SZA provides preparation of and defence against takeover bids as well as consultation on IPOs, the replacement of shares and the issuance of convertible bonds. In addition to general banking and financial regulatory law matters, SZA assists its clients in developing and implementing (tax) efficient financing structures and instruments to ever changing market conditions and their unique financing needs.
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 in the cartel cases on bathroom fittings and door & window fittings. The firm also has significant experience in the defence against complex follow-on damage claims and out-of-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.
All relevant areas of intellectual and industrial property law, such as patent law, trademark law, copyright law, press and media law and competition law, are covered by the firm’s attorneys. Cross-border 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 taxoptimised 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.
SZA has a large client base in a wide range of fields including automotive, aviation, engineering, chemical, pharmaceutical, healthcare, printing, clothing, food and beverages, building, real estate, banking and insurance.