johannes wirtz Mobile

Johannes Wirtz, LL.M. (London)

Partner Germany

About Me

As partner in our Finance & Financial Regulation Group in Frankfurt, I advise our national and international clients on banking regulatory issues and finance law.

During the years working at Bird & Bird, I gained profound knowledge about the more and more regulated financial market and its trends. With this experience I am focussing my daily work on regulatory issues regarding credit institutions, financial services institutions, payment service providers, e-money institutions and investment funds (managers). Hereby, I am specialised on advising my clients on the interdependence of regulation and digitalisation, in a world changed by disruptive technologies, with the financial industry being no exception. Therefore, my advisory focus concerns fintech, insurtech and regtech companies as well as their investors on various matters from regulation through investment structures to ownership control.

As one of the first lawyers assisting with a license application under the EU crowdfunding regulation, I am experienced on licensing, registrations and alternative structures staying outside the perimeter of regulation, as well as on anti-money laundering laws, including the connection with anonymous products.

My work encompasses broad multi-jurisdictional and cross-border work for various industry sectors but especially financing matters. A particular focus of my work is project financing in relation to renewable energy and infrastructure projects, including FTTH networks, as well as Leveraged Buyouts (LBOs). This regularly involves debt funds and their regulatory environment or relates to questions on the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) and the acquisition of distressed loan portfolios.

As a member of our Finance & Financial Regulation Group, I am actively staying up to date through my engagement in thought advancing, sector-focussed and academic writing on crypto-currencies and crypto-financing methods. I contribute to the discussion by regularly publishing scientific articles as well as blogging for our website and in industry news updates.
Experience
  • Secondment to our Sydney Office where I worked on banking and payment regulatory issues also with a focus on the Australian crypto-market.
  • Advised on the German Anti-Money Laundering legislation and providing ongoing advice on all matters of German and European banking supervision law as well as on the supervision of payment services. Advised on the development of new products and complementary offers.
  • Infront ASA: Advising Oslo-listed Infront ASA, the leading market data and trading solution provider in the Nordics, on its acquisition of the German vwd Group, a leading Europe-wide provider of information and IT solutions for the investment industry, including banking regulatory assessment of the target and coordination of the ownership control procedure with BaFin.
  • A German Bank: Advised on the launch of a new banking product, which combines a bank account with a mobile app solution and a debit card; the product sets new standards regarding merging electronic payment services, mobility and safety.
  • CONCEDUS: We advised German start-ups 8Pitch and CONCEDUS regarding the design and set up of a digital platform to issue security token that are based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). The advice encompassed the design of contract documentation regarding financial services and platform licence agreements. It took into account the complex regulatory framework governing digital assets and crypto depository services in Germany.
  • CONCEDUS: We advised the German investment company CONCEDUS on the submission of one of the first applications (possibly the first) for authorisation as a crowdfunding service provider under the EU crowdfunding regulation to BaFin. As soon as the EU Crowdfunding Regulation came into force on 10 November 2021, the application was submitted.
  • European investment firm: We advised on the permission application as investment firm at BaFin following the effects of Brexit and subsequent passporting notification from Germany to Italy. We also prepared the contractual documentation for the cross-border service and KYC.
  • Mediarex Enterprises Limited and its subsidiary Socios Services Limited: Advising on the regulatory aspects of 'Fan Tokens' being made available to German residents, including the trading functionality of such 'Fan Tokens'.
  • Further advice on the provision of a co-branded card product, including licensing of a mobile payment app, issuance of credit cards, payment processing for credit cards and processing of a loyalty program.
  • Techstars: Advised the US-based startup accelerator on several matters of different types, including formation of an investment fund, support with the registration process at the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), preparation of investment documentation for limited partnerships and the tax structuring of the alternative investment fund.
  • SevenVentures GmbH: Advised on media investment in insurtech company Clark.
Education

Studied

  • Legal studies at the University of Bonn and the second state examination in Cologne
  • Legal clerkship with stations at major law firms, legal departments, courts and the finance authority as well as at a law firm in the USA (focus: cross-border matters)
  • Degree of Master of Laws with a specialisation in Banking and Finance Law in a postgraduate programme at the University of London under the academic direction of Queen Mary University of London and University College London

Admissions

  • Admitted to the German bar

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