Dr Werner Meier
Werner Meier is a finance and restructuring partner and heads the German restructuring practice of Simmons & Simmons, being based in the firm’s London and Frankfurt offices. He has more than 25 years of experience in German and European debt and corporate restructurings as well as syndicated loans, high yield bonds, securitisations and other structured finance transactions as well as M&A transactions involving private equity and strategic investors.
In Legal 500 EMEA (2018) Werner Meier was included in the newly introduced Hall of Fame, which “highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence” and “who are at the pinnacle of the profession”. According to Legal 500 (2016/2017), where Werner is also listed as one of few “Leading Individuals” for Banking & Finance in Germany, clients call him “technically very strong” and appreciate his "extremely quick feedback without any loss in quality". According to Chambers (2016), Werner is “greatly admired by clients, who say: ‘He is highly experienced and really fights for what the client wants’”. “State of the art, very professional and highly motivated” is how Werner was described by a client, as quoted in IFLR1000 (2016). JUVE (2014/2015) called him an “esteemed restructuring expert” with “an outstanding reputation”. Global Turnaround (2017) called him “one of Germany’s leading restructuring lawyers for private equity and hedge funds and banks”. Expert Guides (2017) lists him as a “Leading Practitioner” for Banking & Finance and for Insolvency & Restructuring in Germany and the UK and calls him “one of the leading Banking & Finance and Insolvency & Restructuring lawyers worldwide”. Werner has also won numerous awards for the transactions that he advised on.
- Recent Work
- advised Henkel in connection with a €1.5bn revolving credit facility with a $300m swingline, the first “green loan” in Germany and the first of its kind Europe-wide
- advised bondholders in the HSH Nordbank privatisation
- advised bondholders in the AirBerlin/Niki insolvency
- advised Henkel in connection with a $3.6bn financing of the acquisition of The Sun Products Corporation
- advised a major international investment bank in connection with the debt and corporate restructuring of A.T.U. Group
- advised 17 international financial investors (banks and hedge funds) as creditors under senior and subordinated bonds and Schuldschein loans in connection with the resolution of Austrian Hypo Alpe Adria Group, involving debt in the aggregate amount of more than €18bn
- advised Och-Ziff Capital, York Capital, Farmstead Capital, Perry Capital, Wingspan Investment Management, and Caspian Capital in connection with the €4.2bn debt and corporate restructuring of IVG Group
- advised The Hellenic Republic in its €206bn sovereign debt restructuring, the largest restructuring transaction in history
- advised Texas Pacific Group (TPG), SilverPoint, Strategic Value Partners, Triton and Perry Capital in connection with the CHF 2.5bn debt and corporate restructuring of Swiss industrial OC Oerlikon
- advised Rusal in connection with the restructuring of secured credit facilities in the aggregate amount of $16.8bn
- advised BlueBay, Deka Bank, Dresdner Bank, GMAC, IKB, BNP Paribas, NIBC and two leading international banks (the steering committee of senior lenders) in connection with the debt and corporate restructuring of Kiekert Group; also advised a leading international bank, BlueBay, NIBC and SilverPoint as shareholders/lenders in connection with a second round restructuring and a subsequent sale of the group.
In 1992 Werner was admitted to practice in Germany and in New York. He holds a German Ph.D. in law (Dr. iur., with honours) and obtained an LL.M. degree (with honours) from Columbia University Law School and Columbia University Business School and an MBA (Diplom-Kaufmann, with honours) from University of Bielefeld Business School. He completed his German legal education and practical training (with honours) at University of Bielefeld Law School. Werner received a fellowship from Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit and an award from the Parker School of International and Foreign Law at Columbia University. His native language is German and he is fluent in English and proficient in French and Spanish. He is a member of Gesellschaft für Restrukturierung TMA Deutschland e.V., an international affiliate of the Turnaround Management Association. He is also an member of INSOL International.
Prior to joining Simmons & Simmons, he worked at two major international law firms in Frankfurt, New York and London.
- Germany, in: Banking & Finance Practice Guide 2019, Chambers and Partners, London 2018 (also previous edition 2016)
- Germany, in: The Legal 500 Banking & Finance Comparative Guide 2019, London 2019 (also previous edition 2018)
- An unnecessary jurisdictional conflict, in: Global Turnaround, The international magazine for company rescue and insolvency specialists, February 2018
- NIKI: Ein unnötiger Justizkonflikt (NIKI: An unnecessary jurisdictional conflict); in: EXISTENZ Magazin für Finanzen, Restrukturierung, Sanierung und Wirtschaft, Feb. 2018
- Doing Business 2018 (contributor), World Bank, Washington, D.C. 2018 (also previous editions 2007 to 2017)
- Germany, in: The International Comparative Legal Guide to Lending & Secured Finance, Global Legal Group, London 2017 (also previous editions 2014 - 2016)
- Germany, in: The International Comparative Legal Guide to Securitisation, Global Legal Group, London 2017 (also previous editions 2005 to 2016)
- Germany, in: Banking & Finance Annual Review 2015, Financier Worldwide 2015
- No Consolidation In German Group Insolvencies, Law360 (Lexis nexis), 2013
- Back to Square One - Frankfurt Courts Limit Restructuring Options for Bonds; in: Corporate Finance Law, 2012
- Sanierung in der Insolvenz wird Plan B bleiben (In-court restructuring will continue to be plan B); in: Platow Recht 2012
- NIKI – Britische IAG muss um Übernahme bangen (NIKI - British IAG to fear for takeover); in: Taxnet Pro, Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd, 2010
- Key Issues in Different European Jurisdictions; in: A Practitioner’s Guide to Syndicated Lending, London 2010
- Grenzüberschreitender Durchgriff in der Unternehmensgruppe nach US-amerikanischem Recht -- Jurisdiktions- und Prozessrecht, Kollisionsrecht, materielles Recht (Piercing the Transnational Corporate Veil under U.S. Law - Jurisdiction and Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Substantive Law), Frankfurt am Main 2000
- Zugang zum US-amerikanischen Eigenkapitalmarkt aus der Sicht eines deutschen Unternehmens (Access to U.S. Equity Markets from the Perspective of a German Enterprise); in: Internationales Steuerrecht (International Tax Law) 1994, pp. 243 et seq.
- Germany - Statutory termination and global netting provisions; in: 13 International Financial Law Review 43, July 1994
- Germany - Access to foreign equity markets; in: 13 International Financial Law Review 51, June 1994
- New Thin Capitalization Rules for German Subsidiaries; in: 12 International Financial Law Review 27, September 1993
- Press articles based on interviews
- That was then, this is now; interview with members of Legal 500 EMEA’s Hall of Fame; fivehundred, February 2019
- Germania bankruptcy: What’s next for lessors; insights (ishkaglobal.com), February 2019
- Eurowings will Slots der insolventen Germania (Eurowings interested in slots of insolvent Germania); Wirtschaftswoche Online, February 2019
- Geschäftsreiseverband plädiert für Insolvenzabsicherungs-Pflicht der Airlines (Association of Business Travelers in favour of insolvency protection obligation of airlines); Handelsblatt Online, February 2019
- Germania schlittert in die Pleite (Germania stumbles into insolvency); Börsen-Zeitung, February 2019
- Experte vermutet geringe Vermögenswerte bei Germania (Expert expects few assets at Germania); dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur), February 2019; reprinted in Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 160 other print media and more than 150 online articles throughout Germany and Europe
- Am Ende fehlte die Zeit – Die knapp verpasste Rettung der Germania (In the end there was not enough time – The closely missed rescue of Germania); Wirtschaftswoche Online, February 2019
- Gerry Weber verhandelt über Verkauf von Hallhuber (Gerry Weber in negotiations of a possible sale of Hallhuber); Handelsblatt Online, February 2019
- Warum die Sanierungspläne von Gerry Weber stocken (Why the Gerry Weber restructuring plans are delayed); Handelsblatt Online, February 2019
- Etihad droht Milliarden-Klage (Etihad faces possible litigation for billions of euros); Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 2018
- NIKI-Streit zwischen zwei Ländern (NIKI dispute between two states); Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), January 2018
- NIKI-Insolvenzverfahren – Weitere Verzögerungen sind eine Katastrophe (NIKI insolvency proceedings – Further delay would be a disaster); WirtschaftsWoche Online, January 2018
- NIKI – Britische IAG muss um Übernahme bangen (NIKI - British IAG to fear for takeover); Handelsblatt, January 2018
- Etihad droht Milliarden-Klage, Etihad faces possible litigation for billions of euros; Süddeutsche Zeitung, 4 March 2018
- Niki-Streit zwischen zwei Ländern (Niki dispute between two states); Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), 24 January 2018
- Niki-Insolvenzverfahren - Weitere Verzögerungen sind eine Katastrophe (Niki insolvency proceedings - Further delay would be a disaster); WirtschaftsWoche Online, 8 January 2018
- Niki - Britische IAG muss um Übernahme bangen (Niki - British IAG to fear for takeover); Handelsblatt, 4 January 2018
- Mit der Niki-Pleite spart Lufthansa sogar noch Geld (Niki insolvency even saves money for Lufthansa); Die Welt, 15 December 2017
- Air Berlin - Wenn Kunden zu Gläubigern werden (Air Berlin – When customers become creditors); Süddeutsche Zeitung, 25 August 2017
- Air Berlin - Die Hoffnung auf die sanfte Pleite stirbt (Air Berlin - The hope for a smooth insolvency dies); Die Welt, 23 August 2017
- Wenn Gläubiger zu Eigentümern werden (When creditors become the owners); Financial Times Deutschland, 15 April 2010.