Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Haarmann,
the Trusted Advisor

Wilhelm Haarmann is an attorney-at-law, a certified tax advisor and a certified public auditor with many years of experience in national and international tax, corporate and transaction law and in arbitration as well as on the supervisory board or board of directors of companies in various sectors, of different sizes and in different forms (domestic/foreign, family-owned or broadly diversified listed companies). He continues to act as an active consultant in the fields of his special knowledge and experience. He is a trusted advisor to numerous companies and their shareholders.

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Haarmann

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Haarmann
Attorney-at-Law, Certified Public Auditor, Certified Tax Advisor


Advising companies or their owners in complex tax situations: Structuring with regard to tax, in particular income and/or inheritance tax, in order to gain legal certainty and optimization; tax audits, appeals, appeals to the tax court, appeals to the Federal Fiscal Court, appeals to the Federal Constitutional Court, advice on submissions to the European Court of Justice, advice on Advanced Pricing Agreements and on mutual agreement procedures as well as international tax arbitration proceedings.

Advising global groups and their executive bodies, medium-sized companies and their owners and associated families, private equity funds and investment banks on the preparation and implementation of company acquisitions and sales, restructurings, capital measures and financing as well as on disputes between companies, shareholders and corporate bodies.

Acting as arbitrator or chairman of an arbitration tribunal in arbitration proceedings in accordance with the rules of the DIS or other international rules of procedure as well as in ad hoc arbitration proceedings; acting as counsel in arbitration proceedings and acting as mediator.

Acting as a member of the supervisory board, board of directors or advisory board of various types of companies in Germany and abroad as well as advising wealthy individuals or families as a “trusted advisor” in legal and tax matters and with regard to their assets.


Numerous supervisory board and board of directors mandates at listed companies (e.g. SAP AG/SE for 30 years; in some cases also as chairman) and at family businesses.

Advising international groups as well as companies, private equity funds and investment banks and the boards of these companies on numerous and sometimes very large and complex transactions (e.g. for Vodafone’s takeover of Mannesmann), restructurings, transformations, relocations, financing and capital measures.

Advising companies of all kinds, their shareholders or their executive bodies on corporate governance issues.

Advice on often complicated situations of a legal, factual and/or human nature in family businesses and with regard to their continuation over generations, foundation solutions, restructuring and relocations, IPOs or the sale of companies or shares in them.

Numerous consultations with domestic and foreign companies and their shareholders in tax representation before tax authorities (including the Federal Central Tax Office), in difficult tax audits and in litigation before the tax courts, the Federal Fiscal Court, the Federal Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice as well as in mutual agreement proceedings.

Acting as arbitrator in approx. 80 different arbitration proceedings under various rules of procedure, in some cases as chairman.

The majority of activities were internationally oriented. Knowledge as an auditor of accounting and valuation issues was always incorporated into the advice provided.


Wilhelm Haarmann has built up a considerable network due to his professional activities and various functions and memberships:
Supervisory board, board of directors or advisory board functions at various companies: Oldenbourg Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, SAP AG/SE (from 1988 – 2018), E-2000 AG, Mannesmann AG/Vodafone AG/Vodafone GmbH, iXos AG, Depfa-IT-Services AG/Aareon AG, CinemaxX-AG, VWD-AG, Celesio AG, OBO Bettermann GmbH & Co. KG (the latter still active)

International Fiscal Association, Germany, Board member (since 1998, still active)

International Fiscal Association, Bavaria, Chairman of the Board (since 1995, still active)

Member and then Chairman of the Tax Committee of the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany (1995 – 2013)

Member of the Board of the BVK, German Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (2005 – 2009)

Frankfurt Arbitration Circle, member and organizer (since 2018, still active)

World Economic Forum (Davos meeting), member (1993 – 2007)

ERT – Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable member (since 2008)

Frankfurt Society for Trade, Industry and Science (member still active)

Unionclub Frankfurt (member still active)

Member of the International Bar Association (Tax Group) (since 1988, still active)

Member of numerous other professional organizations and associations

Due to the various tasks and functions over the course of my life and my access to many people, including at ministerial and board level in companies, I have a great deal of empathy and understanding of complex legal, economic, factual and human issues and contexts, which make it possible to find solutions in such situations. This experience also comes into play in activities involving solutions in difficult tax or legal situations or in unavoidable disputes in the civil and corporate law or tax area.


2022 to 2024
Active in own law firm “HAARMANN Law, Tax & Arbitration” in Kronberg i.T. (near Frankfurt/Main); temporarily working for approx. 1.5 days a week as managing director of a family-owned pharmaceutical and cosmetics company in Thuringia.

2019 to 2022
Partner at the US law firm McDermott Will & Emery with office in Frankfurt/Main.

2013 until the end of 2018
Partner at the English law firm Linklaters with an office in Frankfurt/Main.

2006 to 2013
Founding partner of HAARMANN Partnerschaftsgesellschaft in Frankfurt/Main.

1987 until the end of 2005
Founding partner of Haarmann, Hemmelrath & Partner, initially working in the Munich office (until July 1993), then in Frankfurt/Main (multidisciplinary law firm of lawyers, tax advisors and auditors with associated auditing and tax consulting company) with ultimately 9 offices in Germany and 14 offices outside Germany, 3 of them in East Asia.
Also lecturer at the University of Bamberg until 2000.
Appointed honorary professor at the University of Bamberg in 2000.

1979 to 1987
Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co (now KPMG) with office in Munich, from 1983 as partner. During this time, appointed certified tax advisor and certified public auditor after passing examinations.

1977 to 1979
Arthur Young & Co (predecessor company of Ernst & Young) with office in Frankfurt/Main, appointment as lawyer.

1976 to 1977
Doctoral student in Münster (Westphalia); doctorate (Dr. jur.) in 1979.

1974 to 1976
Legal clerkship in Bielefeld; 2nd state examination at the Judicial Examination Office of the Ministry of Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf.

1969 until the end of 1973
Studied law and business administration in Münster (Westphalia) and Freiburg (Breisgau). First state examination in law at the Judicial Examination Office at the Higher Regional Court of Hamm (Westphalia).

1968 to 1969
Military service in the air force (Pinneberg and Rheine-Hopsten).

1960 to 1968
Secondary school: Albrecht-Dürer-Gymnasium (school teaching ancient languages), Hagen (Westphalia).

1956 to 1960
Elementary school: Parkschule, Hagen (Westf.).

1950 to 1956
Birth and childhood in Hagen (Westf.).

German, married, one daughter, lives in Kronberg/Taunus, Hesse, Germany.


Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Haarmann
HAARMANN Law, Tax and Arbitration

Parkstr. 20
61476 Kronberg i. T.

E-Mail: wilhelm.haarmann@haarmann.com
Tel: +49-171-5117800

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