Karsten Kühnle

Head of Frankfurt
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Karsten Kühnle

Karsten Kühnle

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Karsten Kühnle is a corporate and M&A lawyer based in Frankfurt.

He concentrates on corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, commercial agreements, and general corporate matters such as corporate governance and compliance. Karsten has particular experience in carve-out transactions and international joint ventures acting for global businesses and German mid-sized companies. He is one of the leading lawyers for all kind of matters pertaining to the European Stock Corporation (Societas Europaea, SE) and cross-border transactions, as well as reorganizations (mergers, conversions and split-offs). 

Karsten works for corporates active in transport and logistics, automotives, chemicals, industrial manufacturing, consumer sectors, as well as the retail industry. Clients describe him in Legal 500 as 'very close to the client, always reachable, foresighted proactive legal advice which can be easily put into practice and is given without too many "if then" provisos.', 'Very pragmatic, focused and proactive advice', and 'the team's service orientation is outstanding. Super responsive. Always reachable. Highly flexible and uncomplicated.'

He benefits from secondments with one of the world's leading investment banks and a leading European corporate business where he obtained additional insights into M&A transaction making and supported the legal department in day-to-day operations. Karsten joined the practice in 2006, having previously worked as a research and teaching assistant for corporate law and civil law at the University of Greifswald.

Professional experience

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Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald

  • Rechtsanwalt (German qualified lawyer)
  • Karsten has been recognized as one of Germany's best lawyers / recommended lawyer for corporate law by German Handelsblatt and Legal 500 for 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
  • Listed as recommended lawyer for M&A in JUVE Handbook 2022/2023: "He has a good intuition & pragmatic answers that help me in decision making."
  • In 2021, he was ranked in Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer (formerly Acritas Stars) for compliance, automotive and logistics with client feedback: "His client focus, coupled with a healthy pragmatism and a good sense of where the risk lies with us when it comes to answering legal questions."
  • Spin Offs and Carve Outs – FINANCIER WORDLWIDE – Panelist Roundtable, May 2023
  • EU taxonomy pushes corporate portfolio restructuring, Börsen-Zeitung of 11 February 2023
  • Separating the useful...from the harmful, in results, FinanzWissen für Unternehmen, February 2022 edition
  • Bridging the valuation gap in times of uncertainty – Norton Rose Fulbright M&A Outlook 2023
  • Carve-outs: a trend that also triggers prejudices, Finance magazine of 28 November 2022
  • Comments in English on Article 86 seqq.  (cross-border conversions) of Directive (EU) 2019/2121 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 as regards cross-border conversions, mergers and divisions.  Published in August 2021 in the commentary series (Nomos, Beck, Hart) Internationales und Europäisches Wirtschaftsrecht (IEWR) / International and European Business Law (IEBL), editors:  Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Kindler and Prof. Dr. Jan Lieder
  • Ongoing comments on corporate law issues (as regards German limited liability companies) in Dr. von Göler Anwaltskommentare (online commentary)
  • The raising popularity of multi-national carve-out transactions – Norton Rose Fulbright M&A Outlook 2022 
  • Joint ventures: Market analysis on success factors and outlook for 2021 (NRF study and publication)
  • Due diligence obligations regarding human rights are on the advance - summary of current developments, C.H. Beck Newsdienst Compliance (together with Michael Wiedmann) Newsdienst 2020, 210119
  • Who is afraid of the Supply Chain Act (together with Michael Wiedmann), Deutscher AnwaltSpiegel, edition no. 16 of 5 August 2020
  • Contracts with former board members (together with Oliver Polster), NWJ-aktuell 10/2020, page 19
  • Co-determination not mandatory - Lean supervisory board in case of change to an SE remains disputed, FAZ of 24 October 2018 /no. 247, page 16
  • Dax-listed corporations screen their supply chains: Human rights in the focus of financial reports - companies lag behind (together with Michael Wiedmann), BZ of 28 July 2018
  • EU strengthens protection for whistleblowers - New directive puts German government under pressure - Reduced penalties for effective compliance systems still missing (with Michael Wiedmann), Börsen-Zeitung of 15 May 2018, page 9
  • Acid test for acquisitions abroad, Markt und Mittelstand, April 2007 edition, page 36 et seqq.
  • The fairytale of an escape into the European stock corporation (together with Kai Krüger), BZ of 25 March 2017 /no. 60
  • Ruling of the district court of Frankfurt on taking foreign employees into account in the application of the Co-Determination Act, C.H. Beck Newsdienst Compliance 2015, 22030
  • Ruling of the district court of Berlin on the limitation of co-determination to domestic establishments, C.H. Beck Newsdienst Compliance 2015, 22101
  • "News" on the conflict-of-laws qualification of creditor-protecting matters in the insolvency of a foreign front company (together with Dirk Otto), IPRAX 2009, 117
  • The acquisition of a company undergoing insolvency procedures – Opportunities and particularities of contract drafting (together with Nico Abel), M&A-Review 7/2009

Frankfurt Bar Association

  • German
  • English