A Brief History

Hengeler Mueller originated in 1990 from a merger of two law firms: Hengeler Kurth Wirtz in Düsseldorf and Mueller Weitzel Weisner in Frankfurt. Our Düsseldorf office dates back over a century, while the Frankfurt firm was founded in 1947. Immediately after the merger we opened in Berlin, later followed by offices in Brussels, London and Munich. In 2014 we established a base in Shanghai.

The following is a selection of our high profile assignments, widely regarded as landmark transactions:

  • First ever public takeover bid in Germany: Hengeler Kurth Wirtz advises Texaco on the acquisition of DEA (1966).
  • First ever global bond issue under German law: Mueller Weitzel Weisner the World Bank as issuer (1987).
  • First ever hostile takeover bid in Germany: Hengeler Mueller advises Pirelli on the takeover attempt of Continental (1990).
  • Largest ever industrial espionage case in Germany: Hengeler Mueller represents General Motors and Opel against Volkswagen (1993).
  • Largest ever IPO in Germany: Hengeler Mueller advises the underwriters on Deutsche Telekom IPO (1996).
  • First ever parallel merger of three listed German stock corporations: Hengeler Mueller advises on the merger to create Metro AG (1996).
  • First ever hive-down of assets from a foundation (Stiftung) into a stock corporation: Hengeler Mueller advises Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung on the transformation of its semiconductor optics division (2002).
  • Integration of Schering into Bayer after successful defence against hostile takeover bid by Merck (2006).
  • First ever inflation-indexed bond issued by the German Federal Government: Hengeler Mueller advises the Federal Republic of Germany, developing and negotiating the bond documentation (2006)
  • Leading role in coping with the financial crisis: Hengeler Mueller advises WestLB on the restructuring and the transfer of activities to the "bad bank" Erste Abwicklungsanstalt as well as HRE on the transfer of risk assets in the nominal amount of EUR 173 billion to the "bad bank" FMS Wertmanagement (2010)
  • Unique intergovernmental financial stability programme of the Eurogroup: Hengeler Mueller acts as counsel to the German Federal Ministry of Finance on EUR 440 bn European Financial Stability Facility (2010).
  • One of the largest equity-linked bonds in Germany: Hengeler Mueller advises Siemens on equity-linked bonds with warrants totalling US-$ 3 bn (2012)
  • First ever scrip dividend in Germany for DAX corporation: Hengeler Mueller advises Deutsche Telekom on dividend paid in shares (2013)
  • Leading role in implementing Basel III on capital requirements as defined by European Central Bank: Hengeler Mueller advises Federal Association of German Banks (Bundesverband deutscher Banken) on model terms and conditions for Additional Tier 1 capital instruments and Tier 2 capital instruments (2014)
  • Innovative IPO structure with two private placement steps: Hengeler Mueller advises Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. on going public with tailor-made private placements (2014).