From SMP to YPOG: Business law firm with new name and expanded partner base

The team of the commercial law firm, which previously operated under the name SMP, with its offices in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne, is today launching under the new name YPOG and a new corporate identity. The dynamic development of the last few years and the strategic expansion of business areas are the main reasons for the new corporate identity. The new name YPOG, in conjunction with the new claim ‘Partners of Gamechangers’, is intended to put the entire team as well as the clients in the foreground. “Since its foundation, our firm has developed rapidly and dynamically beyond all our expectations. With steadily growing structures and a large number of renowned clients, it is now time for us to take this next big step,” says Helder Schnittker, Co-Managing Partner. “With our new external appearance, we can also express even better that we want to use the opportunities of digitalization in the future to expand our range of consulting services beyond the offerings of a classic law and tax consulting firm,” adds Jörn Wöbke, Co-Managing Partner.

At the same time, YPOG is expanding its partner base:

Frederik Gärtner is appointed Equity Partner
With the launch under its new name YPOG, the law firm adds Frederik Gärtner to its group of Equity Partners. Gärtner joined the transaction team at the Berlin office of predecessor firm SMP in September 2018 as an Associated Partner. He has diverse experience on both the law firm and corporate side, as well as being a co-founder of the legal tech company CONNY. Prior to that, he was in-house counsel at Berlin-based FinTech Raisin. He started his legal career at Hengeler Mueller. During his time as Associated Partner at YPOG’s predecessor firm SMP since 2018, he was involved in significant advisory mandates such as the sale of Data Artisans to Alibaba, the exit of Allcyte to Exscientia, as well as advising FinTech unicorn Trade Republic, among others. “As former in-house counsel as well as founder, Frederik has an excellent understanding of our clients’ needs,” said YPOG partner Benjamin Ullrich. “With his expertise in venture capital, M&A, FinTech and corporate law, he has already been a great asset to us over the past three years. Frederik’s combination of entrepreneurial experience, specific industry knowledge and legal skills is likely to be unique,” adds YPOG partner Tim Schlösser.

Matthias Kresser becomes Associated Partner
Matthias Kresser is appointed Associated Partner at YPOG. Since joining SMP in 2020, he has advised investors, startups and other companies on venture capital transactions (with a focus on venture debt), other equity and debt financings, M&A transactions and general corporate law matters. At YPOG, Matthias Kresser is establishing a Banking & Finance practice group which – in line with YPOG’s profile – will have a focus on venture debt financings, other loans for startups, scaleups and growups as well as credit lines for venture capital funds (so-called capital call facilities). Matthias Kresser studied law in Mannheim and at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). During his time at SMP, he advised, among others, IDnow on the acquisition of Wirecard Communication Services out of insolvency, Magazino, Quantum-Systems, SellerX and Next Gen Foods on closing venture debt financings, various VC funds on financing rounds, as well as the shareholders of sofatutor on the sale to Emeram Partners. Until 2020, Kresser was a Principal Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Hamburg. From this time, he has many years of experience in advising investors and companies in crisis situations and insolvencies. Among others, Kresser advised the Air Berlin Group in the run-up to insolvency and on the filing for insolvency, the BARTEC Group on its financial restructuring, Hamburg Commercial Bank AG on a liability management exercise in connection with hybrid capital instruments issued by it, and OSRAM Licht AG on the sale of its Siteco lighting business.

About YPOG
YPOG is a boutique law firm for tax and business law which is active in the core fields of Tax, Funds, Corporate, Litigation and Transactions. The attorneys and tax specialists at YPOG represent 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 has become one of the leading players 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 and Chambers and Partners. Today, YPOG has more than 70 experienced lawyers and tax specialists in three offices in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.

Author: Federica Tiefenthaler