Last year, Frankfurt based firm ARNECKE SIEBOLD and Munich based firm SIBETH combined to form ARNECKE SIBETH. We spoke with Michael Siebold, Founder and Member of Management Board of ARNECKE SIEBOLD, about the successful merger and how this has led them to experience a highly eventful and prosperous Q4.

Since our inception in the summer of 2015, the question of how best to serve our German clients abroad as well as international clients in Germany and on the continent became a crucial question. We decided to offer our full service capabilities to the wide and diverse range of domestic and international clients by concentrating certain services in different offices in order not to duplicate our offering and thus competing with one another. Despite our size of more than 110 fee earners and app. 200 staff in our four

offices in Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Berlin and Dresden we work seemlessly across all offices – and throughout the world together with our network partners.

As a company working in a highly competitive industry, our firm has a number of different attributes which allow us to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. We offer practical solutions delivering excellent legal service. In a global and quickly changing world, our clients expect us as well as our international network partners to be their trusted specialist advisers, strongly entrenched in our communities, cultures, etiquette and customs, understanding their businesses by being sector-focussed. We are personal and collaborative, innovative, creative and international in our approach, mind-set and service delivery, and fair and transparent in our pricing – Mehr als Recht.

As such, we also strive to become the ‘Go To’ firm for our people, attract high performing, ambitious and

smart colleagues sharing our values.

The merger to become ARNECKE SIBETH went ‘live’ on the 1st of September last year, and immediately produced synergies in joint pitches and services to existing clients as well as increasing our visibility to new clients. Furthermore, applicants from law schools as well as lateral hires also wanted to join our team, allowing us to grow immediately in excess of earlier growth.

Despite the merger and the cost and time associated therewith, in particular for integration, as well as time spent on merger activity, the overall firm experiencedboth revenue and profit growth making 2015 a very successful year. One rather significant and somewhat typical deal for ARNECKE SIBETH was the renovation of the Eurotower building in Frankfurt following the move of the ECB into its new headquarters and the subsequent sale to IVG which closed late in 2015, a deal worth approximately 500 million US$. This deal involved many of our real estate experts as well as the corporate/M&A team, and we continue to be involved in the project today when it is fully let, reflecting the lifecycle approach towards real property the firm is taking.

Generally speaking, global M&A activity was strong throughout the year, with the last quarter seeing a number of megadeals, including Pfizer’s purchase of Allergan, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller and the merger between DuPont and Dow

Chemical. Furthermore, cross-border deal values in the last quarter of 2015 rose to a record high. As one can imagine, financial and legal advisers such as ourselves benefited greatly from this increase.

Looking further into 2016 and beyond, our teams in all locations will grow at all levels, and we will also add capabilities in renewable energy and anti-trust. Furthermore, we are looking at strengthening our overall workforce by focused internal continued education, secondments, etc. and becoming even more attractive to millenials and colleagues returning from parental leave.

Alongside these aspirations, we expect to become even more involved in global cross-border transactions, mainly originating from North-America, China and the UK. Domestic M&A will also remain strong and we expect to expand our German client base as well.

In our region, Germany will remain a vibrant and strong economy in 2016 and M&A activity will reflect this. With this in mind, ARNECKE SIBETH is well positioned to play a vital role in this market and we will be looking for further opportunities to expand, in Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin and possibly also in other major German cities.