From practice for practice: CMS Hasche Sigle, Reed Smith and McDermott Will & Emery

By Dr. Heike Wagner, Rolf Hünermann and Dr. Uwe Goetker

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In the last issue of the Business Law Magazine, we launched the In-house Top 5 section. As of today, this section will be mirrored by the premiere edition of the Lawyers Top 5. We will be presenting all the important and practice-oriented topics that are high on the agendas of leading corporate lawyers in Germany. Since 2014, this magazine’s core statement has been: “From lawyers for companies.”

With the Lawyers Top 5, we would like to contribute further to improving transparency in the German legal market on both the demand and supply side, in conjunction with companies, law firms, auditing firms and service providers. Our newly established Top 5 series supplements the practice-oriented reporting introduced in the Business Law Magazine four years ago. And because time is a factor – and, of course, time is mone – we have tried to make our reporting as succinct as possible.

The Lawyers Top 5 column is launched in this issue by our strategic partners Dr. Heike Wagner, Rolf Hünermann and Dr. Uew Goetker.

  1. Smart operations: Innovative structuring of competitive corporate business by using commercial lawyers and technologies and by maintaining high quality standards.
  2. Attracting new talent in the M&A world in the time of Generation Z: How young talent’s demand for a better work-life balance can be brought in line with worldwide clients’ demand for 24/7 responsiveness and availability across time zones.
  3. Trading barriers and sanctions: More challenges facing international investors – to what extent will this lead to a decrease in M&A activity on the part of international investors both inbound and outbound?
  4. PE and strategic investors in auction processes: How can a listed strategic (US) investor be competitive in an auction without making too many compromises in regard to their internal compliance requirements concerning due diligence and sales and purchase agreements ?
  5. Risk management and compliance in the post-merger­ integration process.


  1. Collaborate – teamwork is key – within our organization but also with clients: “Driving progress through partnership” is our mantra.
  2. Enhance efficiency for the benefit of the client as well as for the firm; happy clients are the best foundation for a happy Reed Smith team.
  3. Develop young talent; today’s young talent will be tomorrow’s leaders: It’s a joy to see members of the team improving day by day – including mentors.
  4. Anticipate legal developments: We are the smartest lawyers when we identify legal risks that may impact our clients’ commercial success early enough to have the right remedies – so far, we’ve succeeded in reaching this goal.
  5. Embrace diversity and inclusion: It’s a great honor to work for a law firm using significant resources to globally support this important topic.


  1. Matching and exceeding client expectations/needs: Our ambition is to provide first-class service to our clients and to understand their needs and requirements entirely. In order to keep our clients always satisfied we conduct different types of client surveys and matter reviews that give us valuable insights into our professional relationship to the clients.
  2. Thought leadership: We have been constantly exploring and tracking the implications of change and are collaborating with global experts on opportunities and challenges that lie ahead of our clients, e.g. in the context of blockchain technology, ICOs, data/secrecy protection, Fintech, Brexit, and developing new legal products for our clients.
  3. Challenging and promoting the team: Fostering the team spirit by increasing the level of responsibility of junior partners, counsel and associates has always been beneficial for the development of our lawyers.
  4. Successful integration of laterals:Strategic and efficient identification of laterals across our practices and geographies follows the systematic integration into our firm that offers great synergies and added value for both parties.
  5. Preparing for the future: We observe market trends and developments in the law firm business, e.g. in relation to AI, legal tech, alternative pricing, etc., in order to best predict the (near) future and constantly adjust our business model.

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