About Me

As co-head of the global Finance & Financial Regulation Practice Groups and head of the German Finance & Financial Regulation Practice Group, I advise on national and international finance and capital markets law as well as on commercial and corporate law. I am also a member of the international steering group of our Financial Services Sector Group.

My many years of experience in the execution and restructuring of cross-border transactions in Germany and abroad also include the cooperation with international colleagues, including financial transactions and restructurings in already more than 50 jurisdictions. My clients include companies from the financial services sector as well as the e-commerce, telecommunications, electronics, energy and utilities as well as media sectors.

I regularly advise financial investors and banks on their investments and credit exposures in Europe. My advisory focus, in addition to general lending, ranges from distressed investments to leverage buyouts, project finance and loan portfolio transfers. I also advise on the management of loans and investments in companies as well as capital market transactions. I have particular expertise in the area of LMA-based and other structured loans. Furthermore, I advise investors in the area of private equity and growth capital as well as refinancing and recapitalisation (venture capital financing, venture lending) with a focus on FinTech.

Furthermore, I advise both established companies and start-ups on all areas of banking regulatory law and its interdependence with digitalisation, including new and market-transforming technologies, such as blockchain or distributed ledgers. My client work ranges from lobbying on new legislation to corporate finance to practical application of regulatory law for companies in FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech and other sectors. I am also advising in the field of rapidly developing technologies. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems pose a range of potential legal issues and pitfalls in the 'European digital future'. For Bird & Bird, AI is a cornerstone of expertise within the Digital Rights & Assets Group.

Over the years, I have also advised an international payments firm on payments regulation and anti-money laundering in Germany and Europe. In another landmark mandate, I advised Germany's bank bailout fund (SoFFin) on the development of preliminary and final stabilization measures for WestLB AG under the Financial Market Stabilization Act, including the establishment of Germany's first deconsolidated environment (bad bank). This was a mandate of the highest complexity, resulting in new benchmarks for bank regulation in Germany.

I regularly speak at conferences and congresses on the future of the financial services sector and give interviews and expert opinions for the daily and trade press.
  • A German FinTech: Advising on the launch of a new joint EU banking product with Number26, combining a bank account with a mobile app solution and a debit card, as well as adding the option of overdrafts for customers to the N26 account's range of services; the product set new standards in terms of bringing together electronic payments, mobility and security. Continued to advise on the delivery of a co-branded card product, including the licensing of a mobile payment app, credit card issuance, credit card payment processing, and loyalty program processing.
  • International payments firm: Continuous advice on a variety of matters regarding finance law and relevant regulation including, but not limited to PSD2, Interchange Fee Regulation, Customer Authentication, competition law etc.
  • Hamburg Commercial Bank: Customer-dependant project financing of fibre-optic network infrastructure and corporate restructuring in the German state of Brandenburg.
  • Cerberus Capital Management: Advising on the bidding and acquisition of a loan portfolio of HSH Nordbank and an associated debtor structure of Kaiserwetter (loan-to-own transaction).
  • LCM Partners: Advising a leading European alternative investment management firm regarding the acquisition in Germany of multiple non-performing loan portfolios from major European banks.
  • Lone Star/Hudson Advisors: Legal monitoring of several billion-Euro transactions in the field of LMA-based distressed loan trading, CMBS bonds and CLNs, as well as accompanying tax-optimised structuring of funds. Legal advice on the management of distressed assets.
  • Deutsche Beteiligungs AG/vitronet Projekte GmbH: Advising German fibre optics champion vitronet regarding demand-oriented fibre-optic network financing project including management buyout.
  • Vitruvian Partners: Advising Vitruvian Partners on its partnership with German-Swiss doctari-group. This included acquisition of shares, the composition of the holding structure, as well as the financing of the purchasing price. The firm also advised on the merger control clearance by the German Federal Antitrust Office (Bundeskartellamt).
  • Investkredit Bank AG: Development of German leveraged buyout portfolio through the extension of numerous syndicated loans to private equity investors. Financing in the mid-cap sector, LBO and lease financing, as well as secured and unsecured lines of credit for acquisitions, in the form of both senior and mezzanine loans.
  • Mood Media (Canada): USD 140 million senior and second lien acquisition financing of Mood Media and subsidiaries and subsequent corporate restructuring.
  • Lone Star: Advising on the acquisition of Bankgesellschaft Berlin and IKB, particularly with regard to questions relating to corporate and capital market law, and government guarantees.


  • Legal studies at the University of Potsdam
  • Doctoral thesis on good and valuable consideration according to section 31 paragraph 1 of the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act (Wertpapierübernahmegesetz – WpÜG) in light of constitutional law (Die angemessene Gegenleistung nach § 31 Abs. 1 WpÜG im Lichte des Verfassungsrechts) summa cum laude at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.
  • Legal clerkship in Berlin and Vancouver.


  • Admitted to the German Bar in 2002
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'Michael's ability to manage a complex, multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary transaction from acquisition, to restructuring and refinancing, while consistently providing commercial advice and representing his client with the utmost integrity is absolutely world class'.

Aaron Maczonis, Cerberus Capital's Senior Vice President

'Michael brings a depth of knowledge and breadth of expertise in financial regulation to the table that is unrivalled in Germany. He combines real understanding of the legal framework with a willingness and ability to assess unconventional ideas to draw correct conclusions. To us as a Fintech enterprise this mind set is invaluable. He masters to give the client summaries of the most complex legal matters in a way that allows for a comprehensive overview and fact-based decisions at any time. Michael is my first choice for everything Fintech in a regulated environment.'

Axel Apfelbacher, niiio finance group's Chief Strategy Officer

'Michael does not shy away from asking the 'what if' or 'why not' questions thereby coming up with creative and practical solutions for complex problems'.

Christoph Baert, Mastercard's Europe Region Senior Regulatory Counsel

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