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Berlin/Hamburg/Cologne, Dezember 2023 The commercial law firm YPOG appoints eight additional partners as of January 1, 2024: Sara Apenburg (Hamburg), Dr. Ferdinand Cadmus (Hamburg), Lukas Engels (Cologne), Dr. Michael Filipowicz (Berlin), Julian Solowjeff (Cologne) and Dr. Niklas Ulrich (Hamburg) as Associated Partners; Dr. Adrian Haase (Hamburg) and Dr. Sebastian Schwarz (Berlin) as Equity Partners.

Dr. Adrian Haase (37) and Dr. Sebastian Schwarz (39) are two genuine home-grown members of the firm. Both have been on board since the founding of the firm. Some of the new Associated Partners - Sara Apenburg (34), Dr. Ferdinand Cadmus (34), Lukas Engels (31), Dr. Michael Filipowicz (37), Julian Solowjeff (30) and Dr. Niklas Ulrich (35) - have also been with YPOG for many years.


Sara Apenburg (Hamburg) will further expand the IP/IT/Data Protection practice group. She will focus on advising on data protection law and IT and data security in the regulated sector, such as the implementation of the requirements of the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA). Her clients include large, internationally operating companies as well as small companies and start-ups, particularly from the IT and financial sectors.

"The areas of data protection and IT and data security in the regulated sector have been becoming increasingly important for years, especially for our core clients in the IT and financial sector. I am very pleased to be able to promote and further expand these areas as an Associated Partner at such an innovative and professionally excellent law firm as YPOG."

Sara Apenburg studied law in Kiel. She completed her legal clerkship at the Higher Regional Court of Schleswig, inter alia, in the IT and data protection practice group of an international law firm in Munich as well as in the chamber for commercial matters at the Regional Court of Kiel. Prior to joining YPOG, Sara Apenburg worked as a lawyer at Eversheds Sutherland in Hamburg and Baker McKenzie and CMS Hasche Sigle in Munich.


Dr. Ferdinand Cadmus (Hamburg) will develop YPOG's transaction practice in Hamburg. His focus will be on advising start-ups, growth companies and investors on M&A and venture capital transactions as well as venture debt transactions. In addition, he will continue to provide transactional support to companies with DLT-based business models in close cooperation with YPOG's regulatory and tax law team.

"The versatility and excellence of the YPOG transaction team as well as the trusting and sincere cooperation of its members make it possible to always stand by our clients as a competent and innovative advisor. I am very much looking forward to further expanding YPOG's transaction practice as an Associated Partner at the Hamburg office."

Ferdinand Cadmus studied law in Heidelberg and Munich and received his doctorate from the University of Hamburg. His legal clerkship at Hamburg's Higher Regional Court included stations at the consulting company Bain & Company and the German Chamber of Commerce in London. Before joining YPOG, Ferdinand worked for several years as an associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Hamburg with a focus on restructuring & insolvency.


Lukas Engels (Cologne) will drive the further development of the firm's practice in the areas of fund taxation and private clients at YPOG. His focus will be on advising private equity/venture capital and crypto funds as well as HNWI. He will also focus on the further development of the team as well as the training and further education of tomorrow's top tax advisors.

"I am very much looking forward to further developing our powerful and highly specialized team as an Associated Partner in the future and supporting the personal development of our individual colleagues. In order to continue to offer our clients holistic tax advice at the highest level, one of our tasks will be to keep on with implementing technical innovations in a timely and efficient manner into our work."

Lukas Engels studied tax law at the University of Applied Sciences for Finance in Nordkirchen, which is part of the tax administration of the state of North-Rhine Westphalia.  After that, he worked as a tax officer for the financial administration of North-Rhine Westphalia auditing individual and private companies as well as primarily capital companies.  Lukas Engels also finalized the executive Master-class "LL.M. Unternehmenssteuerrecht" at the University of Cologne.


Dr. Michael Filipowicz (Berlin) combines expertise in private funds and transactions, along with experience in handling complex international mandates. With this diverse skill set, Michael Filipowicz will further strengthen and expand YPOG's fund structuring, M&A, and venture capital practice as well as play a key role on advising at the increasingly important interfaces between funds and transaction, such as fund restructurings, fund secondary transactions, and the consolidation of asset managers.

“YPOG's strength lies in our unique range of fund and transaction advice, which enables us to provide comprehensive advice to our clients. As an Associated Partner at YPOG, I am very much looking forward to contributing to the further integration and internationalization of our funds and transactions practice.”

Michael Filipowicz studied law at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg and the University of Hong Kong. After completing his law degree, he worked as legal counsel at ubitricity, an e-mobility start-up. He earned a doctorate degree at the Humboldt University of Berlin and completed his legal traineeship in Berlin. Prior to joining YPOG, Michael Filipowicz worked as an Associate at Linklaters in Berlin for several years. As part of the Linklaters Digital Economy Group, he also advised on the design of novel business models and projects in the energy sector.


Julian Solowjeff (Cologne) will be an associated partner at YPOG, helping to shape and expand the area of corporate tax law. The focus of his work is on providing tax advice to medium-sized and large companies in national and international matters. In addition to tax structuring advice and defense advice, his advisory activities also include advice on special international issues, in particular CFC taxation. His clients include family businesses, large companies and listed corporations.

"At YPOG, we have a team with a unique spirit in the area of corporate tax law. Creativity paired with enormous commitment and personal team spirit does not only facilitate the daily common work, but has a positive effect on client work as well. I am therefore delighted to have the opportunity to actively expand and shape our corporate tax law practice together with our renowned individuals Ulrich Prinz, Michael Wendt, Andreas Kortendick and Florian Oppel. This unique opportunity in combination with an always motivated and committed team makes the daily work at YPOG so exceptional and interesting for me."

Julian studied economics with a focus on tax law at the Corporate State University Baden-Württemberg and Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg. Before joining YPOG, he worked as Associate at Flick Gocke Schaumburg and previously as Manager at EY.


Dr. Niklas Ulrich (Hamburg) will further develop the areas of investment regulatory law and financial services within the Funds and Regulatory & Finance practice groups. He will focus on advising fund managers, investors and securities institutions on regulatory issues relating to registration and licensing procedures, cross-border advisory and management structures, investor regulatory law, compliance, ownership control procedures and transactions.

"The regulatory requirements for the various market participants in the investment sector are constantly growing and are becoming significantly more complex due to the interplay between national and EU law. I am very much looking forward to guiding our clients through this regulatory jungle together with our team in my role as Associated Partner and to firmly anchoring our law firm at the forefront of the market."

Niklas Ulrich studied law in Göttingen and completed his practical legal training in the district of the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main. Before joining SMP, he served as a research assistant to Prof. Dr. Spindler and worked at Willkie Farr & Gallagher as well as at Pöllath + Partners.


Dr. Adrian Haase (Hamburg) will drive forward the expansion of YPOG's transaction practice and strengthen the Hamburg office in particular. His focus is on advising strategic investors, financial investors and start-ups on venture capital and M&A transactions as well as on corporate law issues.

"The German and European venture capital ecosystem plays a significant role in the success of the business location - not only directly, but also as a marketplace for innovation, talent and vision. Being able to help shape this future as an advisor and confidant to entrepreneurs and investors fills me with pride and motivates me every day. YPOG reflects the agile and tech-savvy aspirations of its clients in an impressive way and I look forward to helping shape the firm as an equity partner."

Adrian Haase studied law at Bucerius Law School (Hamburg), Humboldt University (Berlin) and Stellenbosch University (South Africa). His legal training included stints at a large international law firm and at the First Circuit Court of O’ahu (Honolulu, Hawai’i). After that, he was a research fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (Berlin) as well as a visiting research fellow at the University of Parma (Italy) and at Harvard Law School. Before joining YPOG, he worked for several years at SMP and Flick Gocke Schaumburg.


Dr. Sebastian Schwarz (Berlin) will continue to promote and expand the firm's advisory practice in the areas of fund investments and fund taxation. In recent years, he has established advising institutional investors on investments in alternative assets such as private equity and venture capital funds, infrastructure funds and debt funds as an important pillar of the firm's fund practice. He also advises German and international fund managers comprehensively on tax issues and supports start-ups in restructuring and setting up employee participation programs.

"I am very pleased to be part of a highly committed and dynamic team at YPOG, characterized by professional excellence, client orientation as well as close collegial cooperation and genuine team spirit. Challenges are increasing for both institutional investors and fund managers, especially in international setups. Fund structures are becoming larger and more complex, market conditions are shifting, new regulatory and tax laws are coming into force and supervisory and tax authorities are scrutinizing new and old issues. Supporting current and future clients in my new role as partner together with a great team at YPOG is a fantastic outlook and motivation for 2024 and the years to come."

After his studies at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Connecticut, Sebastian Schwarz worked as a research assistant at a tax law chair and subsequently as an associate at Flick Gocke Schaumburg. Prior to his work at YPOG, he joined SMP [in 2017] when the law firm was founded.


The partnership is taking leave of Dr. Jörn Wöbke (55), who, like Dr. Thomas Töben (68), will leave the firm on December 31, 2023. Thomas Töben will remain with the firm as Of Counsel.


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About us

YPOG is a law firm specialized in tax and business law, active in the core fields of Funds, Tax, Banking + Finance, and Transactions. The team at YPOG represents a broad client base, which ranges from emerging technology companies and family-run SMEs to large corporations, as well as private equity, and venture capital funds. YPOG is one of the leading advisors for venture capital, private equity, and fund structuring in Germany. The firm and its partners have been recognized nationally and internationally by JUVE, Best Lawyers, Legal 500, Focus, Chambers and Partners as well as Leaders League. Today, YPOG has more than 120 experienced lawyers and tax specialists and a notary, in three offices, located in Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne.