Cleary Gottlieb has a longstanding commitment to its German practice.

With a combined total of around 45 lawyers in our German offices and additional German or German-speaking lawyers in our Brussels office, we provide our clients with fully integrated German, pan-European, and global legal advice in a broad range of key practice areas. These include:

Mergers and Acquisitions

Our German M&A team advises clients on public and private M&A matters, restructurings of corporate groups (including going-private transactions, delistings, mergers, spin-offs and demergers of corporate divisions), as well as private equity investments and buy-outs, joint ventures, and outsourcing agreements. We also provide integrated and comprehensive advice on all tax, labor, IP, and regulatory matters, including FDI, related to M&A transactions.

In addition to our substantial, multidisciplinary experience in cross-border and domestic transactions, we are able to draw on our highly integrated global infrastructure to offer advice on U.S. and other foreign-law aspects of M&A transactions in Germany.


Our Cologne antitrust team is an integral part of our top-ranked global competition practice, advising clients on all aspects of European and German competition law and digital regulation, including merger control proceedings, abuse of dominance and restrictive agreements (e.g., vertical agreements and cartels), private enforcement of competition law, and state aid. We advise on business practices, audits, and compliance programs and represent clients in proceedings before the German Federal Cartel Office, the European Commission, and German and European courts.


Our German tax practice focuses on three pillars: transactional tax advice, integrated tax and corporate law advice for complex structural solutions, and tax controversy.

In our transactional tax practice, we provide advice for all of our M&A, PE, capital markets, funds, and other transaction practices in all of our offices. Our integrated tax and corporate law practice focuses on complex corporate solutions that typically involve significant tax aspects, such as reorganizations, e.g., pre-or post-M&A or standalone, in many cases cross-border. We are also regularly involved in tax controversy, including tax audits, tax litigation and fiscal court procedures as well as post-M&A disputes, e.g., on tax indemnification. Cleary’s tax practice is fully integrated, and we constantly and seamlessly work with our colleagues in our U.S., French, UK, and Italian tax practices.

Litigation and Arbitration

An integral part of the firm’s European and international practice, our German-based team is able to draw on far-reaching experience in domestic and cross-border dispute resolution and dispute avoidance.

We represent clients before national courts, domestic and international judicial authorities and arbitral tribunals, regulatory authorities, and mediation bodies on a broad range of matters, including major antitrust, post-M&A, capital markets, construction/infrastructure, energy, general commercial, intellectual property, public international law, and regulatory enforcement matters, often involving sovereign states and entities. We also advise clients on domestic and cross-border investigations and compliance-related matters, often with an antitrust, bank regulatory or corporate governance background.

Banking and Finance

Our Frankfurt office regularly advises on all types of financing transactions, including leveraged and acquisition financing, as well as bank regulatory matters. Our German team also has extensive experience in representing companies, banks, and investors in complex restructurings and in providing insolvency law advice. Our Frankfurt banking and finance team is fully integrated into our worldwide finance, restructuring, and insolvency practice.

Capital Markets

Our Frankfurt team is part of our worldwide capital markets practice and assists with international capital market transactions such as issuing regulatory banking capital instruments and complying with capital markets reporting obligations.


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