Benno Schwarz is a German-qualified partner in the Munich office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. He is a member of the firm's International Corporate Transactions and White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group.
For nearly 20 years, Mr. Schwarz has advised companies on national and international M&A and private equity transactions, joint ventures and other investments by foreign companies in Germany, Europe, Russia and the U.S. as well as in accompanying acquisition financing.
Additionally, Mr. Schwarz has many years of experience in the area of corporate anti-bribery compliance, especially issues surrounding the enforcement of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and the UK Bribery Act as well as Russian law. This includes the planning and implementation of internal corporate investigations both nationally and internationally, advising on the structuring, implementation and assessment of compliance management systems and the representation of companies before domestic and foreign authorities during associated criminal and administrative proceedings.
Especially noteworthy is Mr. Schwarz’ experience advising companies in connection with FCPA monitorships, whether in a leadership function as part of an international team from Gibson Dunn advising the Siemens compliance monitor, the first non-U.S. compliance monitor in conjunction with the world’s largest FCPA settlement thus far, or as an advisor for other DAX-30 and Fortune 100 companies in relation to FCPA monitorships or disclosures according to the FCPA or to the UK Bribery Act.
Mr. Schwarz is continuously ranked as a leading lawyer in the fields of “Corporate” and “M&A” by industry directories such as JUVE Handbook, Legal 500 EMEA, Chambers Europe, Best Lawyers International and Legal Experts EMEA.
Mr. Schwarz is ranked as a leading lawyer for Germany: Corporate/M&A by Chambers Europe 2013. Chambers Global 2013 recommended Mr. Schwarz as a ‘foreign expert’ for both “Corporate/M&A” and “Dispute Resolution” work in Russia, and the publication has featured praise from sources who describe him as "very client-oriented" and note that "he is not only fluent in Russian but knows exactly how business is done and gives expert advice on any potential risks or problems." Clients have also appreciated his “calm, logical and reasoned approach...a top lawyer with good insight” (Chambers Europe) and described him as “highly intelligent, outstanding and extremely professional” (JUVE Handbook). In addition, the JUVE Handbook 2011/2012 recommended the Munich office’s White Collar Defense and Investigation team in the category “Compliance Investigations.”
He regularly publishes and speaks on compliance topics, most recently the article “Im Fadenkreuz der Regulatoren – Worauf strategische und Private-Equity-Investoren bei M&A-Transaktionen achten müssen” (BetriebsBerater, issue 3/2012). He has also appeared in multiple webcasts speaking on the topic of Anti-Corruption Enforcement and Compliance.
Mr. Schwarz speaks German, English and is a state-certified translator (IHK) for Russian, which makes it possible for him to carry out transactions and internal investigations in all three languages.
Representative Transactions include:
- Cooper Standard Automotive, a U.S.-based private equity investor, in the acquisition of the worldwide Fluid Handling Systems Division of ITT, an international automotive company, for over $200 million.
- The Gores Group, in its acquisition of the European operations of Micro Warehouse, a company in bankruptcy in Delaware;, in particular, in the simultaneous sale by Gores of its German and Dutch operations to European senior management.
- An international investment company, in the sale of a majority interest in a Russian electrical steel manufacturing company for approximately $60 million.
- K2, in its acquisition of Völkl Group (transaction value €120 million).
- A major retailer, on the disposition of 100% of its German business (approximately € 350 million).
- Mannkind, in its acquisition of insulin assets from Pfizer ($33 million).
- OAO Stroytransgaz, a Russian gas pipeline construction group, in its shareholder dispute over a German company.
- OAO TMK, in its multi-staged acquisition of all shares of Ipsco Tubulars Inc. and NS Group Inc. for approximately $1.7 billion and related international financing matters.
- The selling majority shareholder of OAO TMK, as shareholder of one of the largest Russian tube manufacturing companies, in the successful offer of its shares in its +$1 billion IPO on the Moscow stock-exchange and a listing of GDRs on the LSE.
- Ticketmaster, in its first strategic acquisition in Germany.
Membership of Professional Bodies
Mr. Schwarz has been admitted as a German lawyer (Rechtsanwalt) since 1993.