Marco Wilhelm stands out for his "tactically intelligent negotiation skills" and his "outstanding professional knowledge"
Legal 500 EMEA 2016


Marco Wilhelm is a partner in the Frankfurt office of Mayer Brown's Corporate practice and head of the German bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring group. He advised debtors and creditors on financial and operational restructurings in distressed situations or in insolvencies. Furthermore, his practice focuses on national and international mergers and acquisitions, (M&A), joint venture, corporate and commercial matters.

He has extensive experience in representing and advising companies (including both internationally operating groups and family owned businesses), banks, financial investors, insolvency practitioners as well as public authorities. He is the standing legal counsel to several US, Asia and German based companies that are inter alia active in the automotive, glass, chemical, paper, food, trade and consumer industries. Marco is the author of several articles and essays on themes relating to insolvency, restructuring, corporate and commercial law and is a regular speaker on these matters.

Before joining Mayer Brown and subsequently to his degree in business administration, Marco worked several years for the utility company STEAG in Essen exercising various business management responsibilities.

Spoken Languages

  • German
  • English


Restructuring, Refinancing, Bankruptcy & Insolvency (selection)

  • Advised Big Four accounting firm as security trustee in the insolvency proceedings of an real estate investor (German Stock Corporation) and several of its issuer of notes including filing of claims, enforcement of security, rights and obligations of a trustee and avoiding self administration.
  • Advises international investment bank as creditor and as member of creditors’ committee of insolvent IVG Immobilien AG in self-administration proceedings, including in relation to the filing of claims, the preparation and content of an insolvency plan, insider trading and defense against challenge claims.
  • Representing KPMG as liquidators of certain Lehman Brothers companies in Asia (Lehman Brothers Asia Holdings Ltd., Lehman Brothers Asia Ltd., Lehman Brothers Futures Asia Ltd., Lehman Brothers Securities Asia Ltd.) in connection with the insolvency of Lehman Brothers Bankhaus AG in Germany as well as advising on possible claims for compensation against the Deposit Protection Fund of the Association of German Banks.
  • Provided insolvency and restructuring advice to a bank in the financial crisis and the insolvency of its debtor, a company in the metal-working industry, including advising on issues such as standstill and waiver agreement with debtor warrant, subordination, debt equity swap, management buy out and liquidation of collateral in an insolvency proceeding as well as defense against challenge claims.
  • Provided legal advice to the sourcing, logistic, distribution and retailing Asia based Li & Fung group and suppliers procured by Li & Fung in the insolvency proceedings of the Arcandor group, DWW Woolworth Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG and Neckermann and acted as administrator of a supplier pool as well as trustee.
  • Acting as a member of the creditors' committee for Arcandor AG and Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH in one of Germany's biggest insolvency proceeding in history.
  • Advised a leading German company in the wood industry regarding the refinancing and restructuring of the group including mezzanine structures.
  • Advised a trustee regarding master documents for contractual trust arrangements (CTA) in various structures, including insolvency remote certificate and insolvency law equivalency certificate.
  • Represented a leading European tissue producer on its inaugural EUR 275 million offering of senior secured (high yield) notes pursuant to Regulation S and Rule 144A and on the listing of the notes on the Euro MTF market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in the course of the financial restructuring. Furthermore, advising on the following EUR 52 million tap offering and the subsequent refinancing by way of offering of €450,000,000 3.750% senior secured (high yield) notes.

M&A Distressed, M&A and Joint Ventures (selection)

  • Advised MacLean-Fogg Company on the sale of its Presswerk Krefeld affiliate to HANNOVER Finanz as new equity investor and majority shareholder as part of a management buy-out.
  • Advised a listed international chemicals company on the sale of its German and Austrian subsidiaries.
  • Advised Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) on the acquisition of a majority of shares in Fraport Cargo Services GmbH (FCS), including a Joint Venture structure.
  • Advised on the acquisition of Sequa Automotive Group by a PE-Investor (involved countries: Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Tunesia, USA).
  • Advised the leading European tissue paper manufacturer WEPA group on the purchase of its competitor Kartogroup. This cross-border distressed M&A transaction involved the acquisition of Kartogroup group companies in Germany, France and Italy out of a special Italian insolvency proceeding (Concordato Preventivo (CP)). It was for the first time ever that CP proceedings were used in a transaction with cross-border context.
  • Advised French medical diagnostic company in a distressed M&A transaction that involved the purchase of Profos AG's assets out of insolvency. Legal advice included formation and implementation of joint venture structure with other investors, followed by the acquisition of the shares of the other investors.
  • Advised Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group on acquisition of a minority interest in miacom Diagnostics GmbH in Düsseldorf as well as on the conclusion of a cooperation agreement.
  • Advised the German subsidiary of the automotive supplier Lear Corporation, USA, on the acquisition of GHW Grote & Hartmann GmbH & Co. KG, a leading European manufacturer of electrical wiring and components for motor vehicles.

Corporate and Commercial (selection)

  • Advised a listed international chemicals company in connection with several international restructuring projects including several capital increases in kind.
  • Advised a leading European tissue paper manufacturer on implementation of a SE holding structure, accretions, as well as on implementation of a succession model for the next generation restructuring measures pursuant to the German Transformation Act.
  • Liquidation of an investment subsidiary of a German bank.
  • Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to an international glass manufacturer, including warranty and product liability issues, supply, consignment stock, toll manufacturing and other types of agreements.
  • Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to the German affiliates of a listed US automotive supplier, including advice on warranty and product liability issues, recalls, supply, warranty, development, consignment stock, license, service, logistics, joint venture and other types of agreements. 
  • Ongoing commercial law advice to a leading tire manufacturer including warranty and product liability issues, recalls, supply, warranty, license, service, worldwide logistic and other agreements.
  • Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to a premium listed food company including drafting general terms and conditions, advice on warranty issues, supply and other agreements.
  • Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to a listed international chemical company.
  • Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to a family owned sawmill group.


Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Second State Law Examination (bar exam)

First State Law Examination, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

University of Bochum, Doctor's Degree (PhD in Law)

Legal Clerkship (Referendariat), Frankfurt am Main and London

Academy of Business and Administration, Business studies, Bochum

Apprenticeship as industrial clerk, Steag AG, Essen


  • Frankfurt am Main, Germany


  • INSOL International
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V. (AmCham)
  • Gesellschaft für Restrukturierung TMA Deutschland e.V. (Association for Restructuring TMA Germany)
  • Düsseldorfer Vereinigung für Insolvenz- und Sanierungsrecht e.V. (Düsseldorf Association for Insolvency Law and Restructuring)
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Insolvenzrecht und Sanierung im DAV (Working Group for Insolvency Law and Restructuring of the DAV)
  • Verein zur Förderung der Rechtswissenschaften e.V. (Association of the Advancement of Legal Science)
  • Deutscher Anwaltverein (DAV) e.V. (German Lawyers´ Association)
  • "Recommended lawyer" in the area of Restructuring – Legal 500 Deutschland 2012-2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • "Recommended lawyer" in the areas of Corporate and M&A – Legal 500 Deutschland 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • "Frequently recommended lawyer" in the area of Restructuring – JUVE Handbook 2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018
  • "Frequently recommended lawyer" in the area of M&A – JUVE Handbook 2011/2012, 2010/2011, 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018
  • "Frequently recommended lawyer" in the area of Corporate – JUVE Handbook 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018
  • "Highly regarded lawyer" in the area of Restructuring and Insolvency – IFLR 1000 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • "Marco Wilhelm demonstrates good legal understanding, possesses good contacts and is always committed." – IFLR 1000 2018
  • "calm and constructive as creditor representative" (competitor) – JUVE Handbook 2016/2017
  • Marco Wilhelm excels with his "tactically intelligent negotiating skills". – Legal 500 Deutschland 2017
  • "tactically intelligent negotiation skills" – Legal 500 Deutschland 2016 
  • "outstanding professional knowledge" – Legal 500 Deutschland 2016
  • "acts with empathy, has negotiating skills and professional competence" – Legal 500 Deutschland 2015
  • "very client-focused" – Legal 500 Deutschland 2015
  • "He is a role model for customer orientation, responsiveness and the willingness to approach every problem" – Legal 500 Deutschland 2014
  • "Prudent strategist" (client) – JUVE Handbook 2012/2013
  • "Knowledgeable and innovative" (competitor) – JUVE Handbook 2011/2012
  • EMEA Legal 500 Guide 2009 classify him as "very thorough"