CC beats Freshfields and CMS to be 3i’s top German adviser

CMS to be 3i’s top German adviser” />Clifford Chance has dealt a blow to rivals Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and CMS Hasche Sigle after winning a place on 3i’s German panel.

The magic circle firm has been retained to act on large management buyouts, leaving CMS to advise on venture capital and smaller deals. There was no place at all on the panel for Freshfields.

Clifford Chance’s appointment comes after 3i went off-panel earlier this year to instruct Frankfurt partner Mario Schmidt on its €50m (£33.9m) buyout of German pharmaceutical company Lichtwer Pharma. The firm was later retained to act on the acquisition of sewage pumps manufacturer Jung Pumpen.

Freshfields was also tested for larger buyout work when partner Peter Nussbaum was instructed on the €300m (£203.7m) Betapharm leveraged buyout in March. Nussbaum quit Freshfields along with a team of lawyers, to join Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in May. It is understood that the team is continuing to advise on follow-up work on the Betapharm deal, although it has not been instructed on new transactions.

Dechert is another new addition to the panel through this year’s hire of the Munich arm of Coudert Brothers. The team, led by Federico Pappalardo, will advise 3i on venture capital, core private equity and buyout work.

Elsewhere, SJ Berwin has retained its role advising on tax due diligence and structuring.

3i is becoming increasingly bullish in Germany, making a play into the mid-cap private equity market through a string of significant buyouts. 3i German in-housers Bertold Hummel and John Tecesare oversaw the review, which concluded last month.

Clifford Chance declined to comment.