Our 30-lawyer Berlin office – the most recent addition to Morrison & Foerster's global network – joined us in its entirety from another global firm and enjoys an outstanding reputation in the market as a resource to clients in Germany, across Europe and around the world. It is an important addition to the firm, providing substantial resources to clients in Germany and throughout Europe, with cross-over benefits to clients in the United States, particularly Silicon Valley, Northern California and New York, as well as in Asia.
Our German team represents clients in M&A transactions, corporate and commercial litigation, antitrust and sector-specific regulation, tax issues, labor and employment, and privacy. We have a particular industry focus on the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector, as well as on other industries such as transportation, real estate, private equity and financial services. The breadth and depth of the practices of our Berlin lawyers provides important benefits to multinational clients on a wide array of matters, including cross-border Germany-bound transactions as well as transactions within Germany.
The international scope of our practice derives in no small part from our reputation as one of the strongest transactional and regulatory practices in the TMT sector, where we represent some of the world's leading media and entertainment companies, along with many high-growth digital start-ups. MoFo's global reputation in the TMT sector, a cornerstone also of the German economy, is unrivaled thanks to numerous important and groundbreaking transactions, including our representation of Walmart's Global e-Commerce division in its 51 percent increased investment in China e-commerce business Yihaodian, one of the largest in-bound investments to China in 2012, and recognized as a 2012 Deal of the Year by Asian-MENA Counsel, or our recent representation of SoftBank in its $21.6 billion acquisition of a 78 percent stake in Sprint Nextel, which was the largest announced U.S. transaction in 2012 and the largest outbound investment ever by a Japanese company.
Our German lawyers are frequently ranked among the top lawyers in their fields by leading independent directories such as JUVE and Chambers in areas that include high-end corporate/M&A, TMT (transactional and regulatory), tax, corporate litigation, antitrust, privacy and data security, and employment law.
Our clients also benefit from the highly regarded notary practice of Karin Arnold. This includes – in German, English and French – all classic notarial activities in addition to the preparation, advising and notarizing of complex corporate and real estate transactions.
Our German Practices
Corporate and M&A. MoFo's Berlin team has a strong focus in M&A transactions, including related competition and regulatory issues. In particular, we are acknowledged market leaders in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector. Our corporate practice also covers startup work, private equity and venture capital, finance and corporate restructuring.
In addition, the group has broad experience in corporate counseling and other business transactions, including advising boards of directors and executive officers as well as shareholders and investors.
Litigation. Our litigation capabilities include the representation of companies and their boards and owners in corporate and capital market lawsuits, post-M&A litigation, compliance and other proceedings. The practice also includes counseling on matters likely to result in legal action – for example, in connection with critical general shareholders' meetings and in connection with restructurings, squeeze-outs, domination agreements and takeover proceedings.
Competition and Regulatory. We have extensive experience advising companies on regulatory and competition issues in the TMT sector, including regulated-market transactions, merger control, anticompetitive practices control and cartel proceedings.
Tax. The Berlin team provides tax advice on German and cross-border investments, such as share and asset deals. Our experience includes tax structuring and developing strategies for implementing complex tax structures, restructuring multinational media enterprises and providing tax advice on business transactions, such as sale and leaseback transactions.
Labor and Privacy. We represent employers in a broad range of labor and employment matters, including executive employment, the employment consequences of corporate restructurings, the acquisition of German companies and remuneration plans. We also advise on compliance issues (reporting, anti-bribery and anti-corruption), offer privacy counseling and provide general M&A support.
Notary Practice. Our highly regarded notaries draft, execute and register legal instruments in large and complex corporate and real estate transactions.
Key clients include News Corporation, Sky TV, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Tele Columbus, Schmolz + Bickenbach, Twentieth Century Fox and Deutsche Börse.