Dr. Sebastian Benz
Tax Partner, Düsseldorf
“I am a leading German tax lawyer, advising on standalone tax matters, tax-based corporate transactions and complex company reorganisations. I am innovative, economically-minded and direct in the advice I give to clients.”
Education and qualifications
As head of the firm’s Germany tax practice and the Knowledge and Learning Partner for Germany, Sebastian is widely acknowledged for his tax proficiency in Germany. Sebastian specialises in tax-related advice in group restructurings in the context of M&A projects, strategic reorganisations and tax-optimised succession planning. He includes the tax expertise from the Linklaters tax network as well as legal advice from other parts of the firm. His advice starts with planning but also includes the defence in tax audits and before Tax Courts.
Sebastian has led on a number of major German and cross-border, tax-focused transactions. Highlights include advising:
- Funke Mediengruppe on its reorganisation from a large Mittelstand collection of partnerships and corporations into a single corporate, and subsequently on Funke’s acquisition of Axel Springer’s regional newspapers, TV programme guides and women’s magazines
- The owners of two large German Mittelstands companies in setting up the right structure to minimise German inheritance tax.
- Deutsche Börse on its (aborted) merger with NYSE Euronext and on the acquisition of Eurex Zürich, a Swiss derivatives exchange
- IKB Deutsche Industriebank on the government rescue and restructuring, as well as on the subsequent sale to Lone Star, a private equity house
- Intermarché, a subsidiary of TM Enterprises, on the disposal of publicly listed SPAR Handels-Aktiengesellschaft to EDEKA Zentrale and on the separate disposal of SPAR’s logistics portfolio to IVG Immobilien
Sebastian lectures in corporate tax law at the Westfälische Wilhems University of Münster and has written extensively on tax issues for a variety of publications. These include:
- Erschaftsteurreform (about Germany’s inheritance tax law), with Prof. Dr. Jens Blumenberg and Prof. Dr. Georg Crezelius, C.H. Beck, March 2017
- “Empfehlungen zur Umsetzung der Maßnahmen zum BEPS-Projekt von OECD/G20 in Deutschland”, Internationales Steuerecht, iStR 4/16, (written for the special committee of the Economic Council of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)), with Prof. Dr. Stephan Eiliers
- “Die BEPS-Arbeiten der OECD/G20 und der EU: Ein Zwischenbericht”, with Dr. Julian Böhmer, 2016
- “Das Anti Tax Avoidance Package (ATA-Paket) der EU-Kommission zur Umsetzung der BEPS-Maßnahmen in der EU”, with Dr. Julian Böhmer, 2016
Sebastian is chair of Förderkreis der Kölner Dommusik, a charity which supports the Cologne Cathedral choirs, a primary school attached to the cathedral and provides music scholarships to young people.
Education and qualifications
Sebastian studied law at the Universities of Constance, Bonn and Freiburg and completed his doctorate at the University of Bonn.