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Lawyers for Family-Owned Companies

Comprising over 90% of all businesses in Germany, family-owned companies generate more than 40% of total sales and provide one in every two permanent jobs. A sustainable, value-driven approach, greater agility, flexibility, innovative ideas and strong employee loyalty enable family-owned companies to survive and flourish through the generations. Nonetheless, globalisation and increasing competition are particularly challenging trends for family firms.

CMS Germany – a reliable partner for family-owned companies

CMS Germany has been advising family-owned companies for decades on all matters related to commercial law, tax law and inheritance law. Family businesses value our role as a reliable partner who provides advice on the company's strategic direction both within Germany and internationally, assists with operational aspects of the business and with corporate transactions, and helps to plan the transition to the next generation.

Our corporate law support for family-owned companies goes hand in hand with the personal advice provided to family business owners, mostly by the experts in our Private Clients practice. In many cases we support family businesses via interdisciplinary teams that comprise corporate law specialists, tax and finance experts, employment lawyers, competition lawyers and specialists in protecting intellectual property. Our lawyers acquaint themselves fully with the client's business, allowing them to respond appropriately at all times.

Our services for family-owned companies

Our Corporate practice advises family-owned companies on the best legal set-up for their regional and sector-specific market environment. Our first step is to consider the strategic options for aligning business interests and family well-being. We then create the relevant contracts, from family constitutions and shareholder agreements to model agreements with customers and suppliers. We also advise family businesses on personnel decisions, such as selecting the management team, and provide ongoing corporate law advice.

In close consultation with the family business owner we assess asset management risks, provide support for investment projects and transactions, and develop strategies for corporate succession.

Our corporate law advice for family-owned companies includes:

  • Drafting shareholder agreements and family codes
  • Advising on the choice of legal form and on changes
  • Restructuring family businesses and corporate groups
  • Advising on corporate transactions and agreement of joint ventures within Germany and internationally
  • Providing legal advice on corporate and group financing, cash pooling
  • Rescue and restructuring of family businesses
  • Organising family and shareholder meetings and providing relevant legal support
  • Contract design and ongoing advice on contract law
  • Litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, involving both shareholder disputes and business operations

Our Private Clients practice offers additional advisory services for family-owned businesses and family business owners.

International activities of family-owned companies

The business activities of family-owned companies do not stop at national borders. Accordingly, we also provide advice on establishing subsidiaries or production facilities in other countries, on joint ventures and cross-border corporate transactions (M&A) and on international trading and distribution relationships.

The international CMS organisation provides family-owned companies with access to local expertise in 40 countries around the world. Our close collaboration with the lawyers of CMS's international Corporate practice enables us to provide excellent cross-border advice to family businesses at all times and to represent our clients as required.

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International desk



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Heiko Wiechers
Dr. Heiko Wiechers
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Stuttgart
Heiko Wiechers is a corporate lawyer focussing on domestic and cross-border transactions and reorganisations. He advises his clients on foreign investments and on joint ventures, in particular with...
Detlef Bischoff
Detlef Bischoff
Of Coun­sel
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Duesseldorf
Detlef Bischoff supports CMS in different business units on business and product development, with a focus on the needs of large medium-sized companies but also public institutions such as...
Annemarie Lietmeyer
Annemarie Lietmeyer
Seni­or As­so­ci­ate
Rechtsanwältin
Germany, Cologne
Annemarie advises and represents national and international clients on all aspects of corporate law. She specialises in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, and corporate...
Helge Rieckhoff
Dr. Helge Rieckhoff
Seni­or As­so­ci­ate
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Leipzig
Helge Rieckhoff advises on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity/venture capital transactions and joint ventures. He also regularly advises on complex restructurings and...
Laura Christin Stein
Laura Christin Stein
Seni­or As­so­ci­ate
Rechtsanwältin
Germany, Cologne
Laura Stein advises national and international companies on all issues relating to corporate law. Her work particularly includes national and cross-border corporate transactions and the corporate...
Jasper Stallmann
Dr. Jasper Stallmann
Seni­or As­so­ci­ate
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Hamburg
Jasper Stallmann advises private clients, entrepreneurial families and family offices on corporate succession and asset planning including cross-border aspects. He focuses on inheritance law and the...
Luise Bochmann
Dr. Luise Bochmann
As­so­ci­ate
Rechtsanwältin
Germany, Hamburg
Luise Bochmann advises groups, medium-sized companies and family-owned businesses on corporate law and corporate governance matters as well as on M&A transactions, joint ventures and...
Omed Asmatyar
Omed Asmatyar
As­so­ci­ate
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Hamburg
Omed Asmatyar advises groups, medium-sized companies and family businesses on all aspects of corporate law as well as on M&A transactions and joint ventures. His practice also covers...
Carmen Hübner
Carmen Hübner
As­so­ci­ate
Rechtsanwältin
Germany, Cologne
Carmen Hübner mainly advises German and international companies on all aspects of corporate law, including complex restructurings of groups and transactions such as cross-border M&A projects. She ...
Thomas Jansen
Dr. Thomas Jansen
As­so­ci­ate
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Duesseldorf
Thomas Jansen’s practice covers stock corporation law, capital markets law and corporate governance. He also advises on M&A transactions, joint ventures and reorganisation. His clients often include f...