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Corporate Succession Lawyers

One of the biggest challenges currently facing family firms is maintaining the family's wealth and securing the continued existence of the business. The experts in our Private Clients practice have been successfully advising business owners for decades on corporate succession planning and implementation.

Corporate succession: safeguarding assets, maintaining independence

In addition to the overarching objectives of preserving the company for future generations and securing the associated jobs, our advice on corporate succession focuses on maintaining the long-term independence of the business and ensuring it remains in safe hands.

Our corporate succession advice starts with the existing set-up: we examine the articles of association and ownership structure, management arrangements and contract details, and financing basis.

When designing a corporate succession plan aimed at maintaining the value of the assets and maximising the tax benefits, our suggestions typically include optimising contracts, considering a change of legal form or restructuring the company under corporate law.

If there is no direct successor for the business, we develop alternative succession models such as a sale to management (MBO, MBI), bringing in outside investors or transfer to a family foundation.

Tax and family-law aspects of corporate succession

Our corporate law advice on corporate succession is closely linked to the tax, family and inheritance law issues facing business owners and successors. On the basis of our clients' specific situation, we draft marriage contracts, divorce and separation agreements, set up wills and inheritance contracts that take account of any desire to exclude claims to a compulsory portion and also advise on asset transfers during the owner’s lifetime.

Our advice on corporate succession also includes:

  • Drafting and negotiating succession arrangements from a corporate law viewpoint
  • Reorganising company structures and holdings to avoid succession problems
  • Restructuring to enable and implement succession planning (including management shareholdings, strategic partnerships)
  • Sale and participation options if there are no successors within the family
  • Solutions involving foundations and trusts (including family foundations, "Doppelstiftungen" (a combination of charitable and company foundations), shareholder and holding foundations)
  • International succession planning (including relocation planning)
  • Testamentary dispositions (wills, inheritance contracts) and marriage contracts
  • Inheritance support and execution of wills, estate management
  • Avoiding disputes among the heirs, handling disputes among co-heirs

International corporate succession

Many of the family-owned businesses we advise operate at international level. Accordingly, they are increasingly faced with the task of optimising their corporate succession arrangements with regard to international tax and inheritance law aspects. In complex cross-border cases we call in experts from the CMS Private Clients Specialty Group established by the international CMS organisation. This enables us to guarantee our clients high-calibre specialist advice on corporate succession from a single source.

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Daniel Otte
Dr. Daniel Otte, LL.M. (Boston Univ.)
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt | Fachanwalt für Handels- und Gesellschaftsrecht (Certified lawyer for commercial and corporate law)
Germany, Cologne
Daniel Otte advises entrepreneurs and family businesses on strategic management and equity interest issues. He is particularly experienced in corporate law disputes and represents clients in and...
Angelika Thies
Prof. Dr. Angelika Thies
Part­ner
Tax Adviser | Head of Tax Group, CMS Germany
Germany, Munich
Angelika Thies has long-standing experience advising on complex corporate, private equity and real estate transactions, including tax due diligence and tax structuring. Her German and international...
Hans Christian Blum
Hans Christian Blum
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt | Fachanwalt für Erbrecht (Certified lawyer for inheritance law) | Global Co-Head of Private Clients Group, CMS | Head of Private Clients Group, CMS Germany
Germany, Stuttgart
Germany, Cologne
Hans Christian Blum advises entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. His clients primarily aim at protecting and preserving family businesses/family assets as well as keeping peace in the family....
Luise Uhl-Ludäscher
Luise Uhl-Ludäscher, Dipl.-Ökonomin, Dipl.-Finanzwirtin (FH)
Prin­cip­al Coun­sel
Tax Adviser
Germany, Stuttgart
Luise Uhl-Ludäscher specialises in tax planning, advising medium-sized family businesses and there owners and families as well as high-net-worth individuals on corporate succession and estate planning...
Michael Schellenberger
Dr. Michael Schellenberger, Mag. rer. publ.
Prin­cip­al Coun­sel
Rechtsanwalt | Fachanwalt für Erbrecht (Certified lawyer for inheritance law)
Germany, Stuttgart
Michael Schellenberger assists business owners and high net worth individuals with their asset structuring, corporate investment management, succession planning and matrimonial regime issues. He...
Jasper Stallmann
Dr. Jasper Stallmann
Coun­sel
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...
Anna-Lena Lill, LL.M. (King's College London)
Coun­sel
Rechtsanwältin | Fachanwältin für Steuerrecht (Certified lawyer for tax law)
Germany, Munich
Anna-Lena Lill advises medium-sized businesses as well as group companies mainly on mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. She also advises entrepreneurs and businesses on general...
Dirk Schauer
Dr. Dirk Schauer
Coun­sel
Rechtsanwalt | Fachanwalt für Erbrecht (Certified lawyer for inheritance law)
Germany, Stuttgart
Dirk Schauer advises entrepreneurs and private clients on national and international estate planning and corporate succession planning as well as on foundations. He advises on the structuring and...
Michael Heuser
Dr. Michael Heuser
Seni­or As­so­ci­ate
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Stuttgart
Michael Heuser assists entrepreneurs and private clients on national and international asset and corporate succession planning with special expertise in the law on foundations, the execution of wills...
Benedikt Weber
Seni­or As­so­ci­ate
Tax Adviser
Germany, Stuttgart
Benedikt Weber advises companies, family offices and high net worth individuals on all aspects of tax law, also assisting them with the declaration of tax matters. He specialises in inheritance and...