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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Germany > Compliance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Compliance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Compliance clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Clients value Baker McKenzie’s ‘pragmatism’ and ‘excellent responsiveness’. They benefit from the uncomplicated cross-border cooperation, with the German group being the compliance centre for the EMEA region, and from the good teamwork with colleagues from public, antitrust and IT law. Particularly noteworthy is the practice group’s development of the so-called Compliance Cockpit, a system using a self-programmed algorithm which carries out global risk analyses and checks the status of compliance management systems; it was put to use in the review and revision of a chemical company’s global compliance management system. In another highlight, the group assisted a company from the automotive industry with the introduction of a compliance training system and with the implementation of compliance training courses in a number of countries. Andreas Lohner is regarded as ‘top in compliance matters’. Nicolai Behr, who contributed significantly to the development of the Compliance Cockpit, made partner. Thomas Grützner joined Latham & Watkins LLP.

Clifford Chance covers a wide range of areas, with a particular focus on preventive advice in the areas of anti-corruption and money laundering, financial sanctions and export controls as well as tax compliance and healthcare. The client base is similarly diverse and the practice has an excellent reputation among peers. The work often has interfaces to tax, corporate, employment and data protection law, among others, and the cooperation on both a national and international level works very well. The highly regarded Heiner Hugger heads the German white-collar, regulatory and compliance group and has extensive experience in the field; most recently, he advised various companies on anti-corruption compliance issues in connection with invitations addressed to foreign officials. In addition, he and his team advise a number of industrial groups and banks on compliance measures concerning an intended entry into an Iranian business under EU and US financial sanctions, as well as on conducting business with other sanctioned countries. Peter Dieners is also recommended.

Norbert Nolte’s strong team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has an excellent reputation in the market and covers all areas of compliance consulting, from planning through to due diligence and contract drafting. The group has a cross-practice approach based on close cooperation with colleagues from areas such as corporate, antitrust and tax law; its ability to leverage its international network also makes it a popular choice with clients. It assists national and international companies from various sectors with issues relating to matters regarding antitrust compliance and investigations and with the development, implementation and monitoring of appropriate compliance programmes. Recently, the team acted for Airbus Defence and Space in connection with a criminal complaint filed by the Federal Ministry of Defence in Austria. Other clients include BSN medical and Axel Springer. Marius Berenbrok is also recommended. Tobias Larisch joined Latham & Watkins LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLPhas an extensive network of experts at its disposal’. The compliance group, which includes specialists from the automotive, life sciences, technology, media and communications industry groups, is recognised for its ‘situational advice’. It has seen an increase in mandates from financial institutions. The group has experience in building and implementing global compliance systems, including the development of policies, processes and the implementation of whistleblowing structures, as well as business partner compliance. It is also praised for its ‘very good’ in-house training. Désirée Maier, who is ‘particularly good’, made partner and most recently conducted a compliance management system adequacy audit at a group of companies. Sebastian Lach leads the practice and is also noted.

Boutique firm Pohlmann & Companyis a real force in the specialist field of compliance’. Clients appreciate the ‘professional and at the same time personal cooperation’ as well as the ‘very good industry knowledge’. The range of services includes support in setting up, implementing and testing the effectiveness of compliance management systems, as well as advising board members on how to deal with compliance problems. The team can also draw on expertise in environmental and real estate law. The firm’s good network with the US is showcased by a renewed instruction as an independent monitor; the ‘outstanding’ Andreas Pohlmann and his team were appointed German counsel to the monitor (VW monitor Larry Thompson who was appointed by US authorities) to advise in particular on compliance-related issues in German law. Horst Schlemminger is assisting an environmental management company with ensuring compliance with all regulations when rehabilitating an industrial site. In another highlight, Thomas Preute, who is recognised for ‘providing responses and identifying problems swiftly’, is conducting an M&A compliance due diligence for a private equity firm. Anita Schieffer joined from Siemens and Christian Beer and Julia Kahlenberg were promoted to the partnership. Eric Mayer moved to GSK Stockmann.

DLA Piper’s compliance team has extensive expertise in advising international companies on the implementation of compliance programmes and on the subsequent training of employees. It is also increasingly involved in reviewing existing data protection systems in connection with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and has also noted an increasing number of instructions concerning reputation management. Christian Schoop is well versed in the development of compliance management systems and has a considerable client portfolio; he recently assisted an insurance group with alleged tax evasion and lack of notification in numerous jurisdictions, a process that required smooth coordination. In addition, he recently advised a company on the introduction of a tax compliance system. Jürgen Taschke also enjoys a very good market reputation, and is experienced in handling white-collar criminal defence issues. Senior associate Daniel Zapf led advice on several matters; for example, he was instructed by a German company to advise on the update and extension of anti-money laundering compliance.

Gleiss Lutz always provides ‘adequate, accurate and prudent risk assessments’, and is valued by clients for its ‘impressive industry knowledge’ and for providing ‘real value for money’. The group is experienced in directors’ liability issues, investigations and crisis management as well as the pharmaceutical and medical, media, consumer goods and increasingly automotive sectors. Thanks to the firm’s full service offering, internal investigations can be handled comprehensively, with particular emphasis on areas touching upon antitrust law, but also increasingly upon data protection. Christian Steinle assisted BuyIn, a strategic procurement joint venture of Deutsche Telekom and Orange, with bribery allegations against the telecoms supplier ZTE. Eike Bicker stands out for his ‘precise advice with an eye for the essentials and the client’s needs’; he advised Deutsche Beteiligungs AG on compliance issues relating to M&A transactions, and assisted Merz Pharma with export control matters. Marcus Reischl stands out for his ‘extraordinary commitment and sound legal expertise’.

With ‘a good feel for the essentials and economic concerns’, Noerr advises a range of clients on the development and implementation of compliance management systems, and routinely carries out relevant reviews and adjustments. Recently, a team led by practice head Torsten Fett advised the supervisory board of Deutsche Börse on suspicions of insider trading. In other work the group assisted with the creation and design of a money laundering compliance system for Deutsche Bahn. The ‘very good’ Lars Kutzner was instructed by several airlines, and, in a separate matter, advised an energy company on an internal investigation centred on misconduct by a subsidiary’s management board. Martin Schorn, who is highly regarded by clients, carried out a money laundering risk analysis for a private equity company. Fabian Badtke, Christian Pelz and Bärbel Sachs are also recommended.

White & Case LLP has great expertise in assisting with strategic and contentious matters in the areas of compliance and internal investigations, and acts for a wide range of national and international clients. Karl-Jörg Xylander, the ‘commemded’ practice head, is experienced in advising on criminal law as well as corporate and tax law; recently, he assisted an automotive supplier with the revision of corporate and global compliance guidelines. He also advised a steel industry company on the introduction of a money laundering compliance programme in view of the revised money laundering act. Nils Clemm, who is experienced in white-collar criminal law, advises a number of financial institutions. Constantin Lauterwein recently assisted a bank with sanctions compliance issues and trained employees on conducting business with Iran. Camill Carl Sander left the firm to work as legal counsel at Volkswagen.

With its large and diversified team, CMS is well positioned in the market and can offer specialist advice on antitrust, tax and labour law issues. In addition to general compliance advice, practice head Harald Potinecke focuses on the introduction and implementation of compliance management programmes, including the organisation and implementation of worldwide ombudsperson and reporting systems. He assisted a foreign construction company with the implementation of such a programme and also advised on the development, implementation and execution of a comprehensive training programme. Petra Schaffner and Joachim Kaetzler are also experienced contacts. Counsel Laura Görtz joined the group from Noerr.

Gibson Dunn’s compliance practice is valued for its ‘very good industry knowledge and ability to build relationships of trusts’ with clients. It assists with anti-corruption, money laundering prevention and export control procedures, and also covers data protection compliance and crisis management. The client base consists primarily of DAX 30 and S&P 500 companies and benefits from the team’s experience in reviewing internal controls and compliance, and in compliance monitorships. For example, the group was instructed by Daimler to conduct internal investigations requiring multi-jurisdictional and cross-practice cooperation. Ferdinand Fromholzer, recognised for his ‘broad, valuable experience’, assisted a consulting firm with a compliance investigation. At partner level, the large team of experts includes Finn Zeidler, who was a new arrival from Latham & Watkins LLP in May 2017, and Benno Schwarz. Former prosecutor Ralf van Ermingen-Marbach joined the team in November 2018. Markus Rieder was a new arrival in November 2019 from Latham & Watkins LLP.

Hengeler Mueller has great expertise in advising on compliance violations, for example fraud, corruption, insider trading and market manipulation, but also insolvency offences, regulatory violations and sanctions violations. The firm works closely with other practice groups on regular cross-border instructions, and is active across a wide range of industry sectors. Vera Jungkind advises on the data protection obligations of a Department of Justice monitor under German law, while corporate law expert Maximilan Schiessl was instructed by a DAX 30 company to assist the supervisory board with antitrust allegations and with the compliance structure. In addition, Wolfgang Spoerr advises a number of banks on various issues and assisted, together with Jan Bonhage, Nord Stream 2 AG with questions pertaining to US sanctions and foreign trade law. Dirk Uwer is also recommended.

Within its internationally well-connected global investigations and white-collar criminal law group, Linklaters places particular emphasis on compliance requirements in the area of data protection and the numerous international regulatory changes that this area entails; however, it also advises on corporate compliance and on issues that have a relation to tax or antitrust law. The group carries out ongoing monitoring for Bilfinger, and regularly assists the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank with supervisory investigations and disputes. In addition, it acts for various banks in investigative proceedings concerning alleged cum-ex trading. The client portfolio also includes Beiersdorf, HSH Beteiligungs Management and Gesco. Practice head Hans-Ulrich Wilsing, antitrust lawyer Daniela Seeliger, data protection expert Daniel Pauly and litigator Robert Henrici are key figures in the practice.

The compliance team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has particular experience in advising board members and supervisory boards on corporate law issues, in particular fraud, corruption, money laundering, export controls and related sanctions. The group also benefits from good cooperation with the conflict resolution practice, especially in directors’ liability cases, and from a strong international network, which is particularly advantageous for US-related instructions. Practice head Bernd Mayer has a good reputation and advises Daimler on the ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice into the emissions scandal. He also assists a number of banks with compliance issues. The practice saw the departure of Lutz Zimmer.

Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP’s ‘highly specialised and focused’ compliance group provides ‘an outstanding level of service’. It covers the entire spectrum from the development and implementation of systems for compliance management and whistleblowing, through to asset tracing at home and abroad, and the defence of measures by supervisory authorities. Dirk Seiler, who is recognised in the market, has ‘the necessary knowledge of criminal procedural issues in preventive consulting for companies’ and is ‘equally result and cost-conscious’. In a cross-border instruction, he advised an automotive industry company on compliance issues. In addition, the team routinely assists Microsoft with preventive advice on the avoidance of criminal and reputational risks. Senior associate Enno Appel is valued for his ‘very pragmatic approach’.

Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘highly commended’ for its cooperation with clients. The integrated, cross-practice team is able to cover the full range of compliance issues, including advice on corruption prevention, antitrust law, data protection as well as sanctions and customs duties. A team of compliance and corporate lawyers are advising Stada Arzneimittel on an internal investigation into the alleged breach of a position of trust and breaches of executive board duties by former management. Tobias Larisch joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Finn Zeidler moved to Gibson Dunn. Former practice head Markus Rieder also joined Gibson Dunn in November 2019.

Taylor Wessing offers ‘a high level of service’ and positions itself well in the market with the firm’s full-service offering, and is particularly noted for compliance advice. While covering various sectors, it is particularly experienced in advising on data protection and human resources. The group advises a large e-commerce group on the development and implementation of GDPR compliance. Mike Goldammers is adept at China-related issues; he recently assisted a construction supplier with the development of a comprehensive China-related compliance management system, including on-site training and advice on privacy and antitrust issues. The team is led by Dirk Lorenz and supported by a number of data protection and labour law experts, including the notable Detlef Klett and Oliver Bertram. Jan-Patrick Vogel made salary partner.

AGS Legal’s compliance practice acts mainly for companies from the real estate, plant engineering and mechanical engineering sectors, but also increasingly sees instructions in the IT and technology sector and in the financial industry. The group is valued for its cross-practice approach, which is reflected in the close cooperation of white-collar crime, labour and data protection lawyers. It is experienced in representing board members in compliance liability cases, internal investigations and in dealing with deliberate corporate damage. Practice head Jan Kappel combines civil and criminal law expertise and advised Vodafone on compliance systems and operational decisions. He also represented the former head of Volkswagen’s diesel engine development department in connection with internal investigations. Jan Ehling is representing hidden champions in a number of cases and is also experienced in handling investigations into breach of trust, corruption and fraud. Most recently, he assisted a public limited company with the processing of various breaches of duty in connection with a project abroad.

Dentons’ compliance team is well versed in advising on corporate governance issues as well as corporate reorganisations and restructurings. It also covers the review of existing compliance systems and whistleblowing management. Rainer Markfort primarily acts for clients in the construction and automotive sectors, while of counsel Christian Schefold advises a number of international groups from the automotive, healthcare and financial services sectors on the implementation of compliance management systems. Corporate lawyer Michael Malterer is the key contact for anti-corruption issues.

GSK Stockmann specialises in compliance advice in the areas of corporate and banking, and also has expertise in regulatory and data protection issues. It saw the addition of Eric Mayer, who joined from Pohlmann & Company in December 2017; he advised Vetter Pharma on the further development of a compliance management system. He also assisted Statkraft with compliance risk analyses for various pilot projects. Together with Christian Schmidt, Mayer heads the practice group, which includes counsel Gerhard Gündel as well as Harald Feiler, who was recently also appointed counsel.

KPMG Law Germany provides the full spectrum of compliance advice, covering everything from strategy development and the organisation of compliance systems to reviews and investigations. The group works closely with other practice groups as well as with the global compliance practice and benefits from its network with the auditing part of the firm. Konstantin von Busekist is regarded as a highly experienced consultant and has particular expertise in the area of management liability. In recent work, he undertook a group-wide risk analysis for Bilfinger concerning anti-corruption as part of a monitoring procedure in the US. He was also assisted a DAX 30 company with a group-wide risk analysis, in this case with reference to antitrust law, anti-corruption, money laundering and foreign trade law. In addition, he is advising Rewe on the conception and design of a business partner process. Ulrich Thölke focuses on internal investigations; a recent client was Apassionata. Bernd Federmann made partner in October 2018.

Simmons & Simmons LLP advises national and international clients on compliance issues, including all aspects of criminal, tax, litigation, civil, data protection and labour law. Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff also heads the litigation department of the firm and is adept at acting in criminal proceedings. Sascha Kuhn has a similar background; together with Pohlmann & Company, the group is part of the advisory team of Larry Thompson, the monitor appointed by the US Department of Justice concerning the emissions scandal. Kuhn also advised B. Braun on money laundering matters; assisted a Chinese group with European data protection law; and took over the external management of the GDPR compliance implementation for an insurance company.

Clients value WilmerHale’s ‘focused work and reliability’; the practice group has particular expertise in advising blue chip companies on compliance issues, ranging from anti-corruption, antitrust and competition law, environmental regulation and export control law through to investment and tax law. It also acts for supervisory boards in corporate governance matters and for banks in internal investigations. The ‘excellent’ team assists Daimler’s supervisory board with diesel emissions regulations, and advises another well-known automobile manufacturer on sales compliance matters. Roland Steinmeyer is recognised for his ‘excellent understanding of strategic and political issues’; he advises the supervisory board of a bank on claims for damages against former members. Jan Wendler made special counsel. Christian Crones is another key figure in the team.

Internal investigations

Index of tables

  1. Internal investigations
  2. Next Generation Partners: Interne Untersuchungen
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners: Interne Untersuchungen

  1. 1
    • Jan Ehling - AGS Legal

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Heiner Hugger - Clifford Chance
    • Norbert Nolte - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Internal investigations clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s cross-office and cross-practice team has a wealth of expertise in internal investigations in combination with compliance and white-collar criminal law; it is commissioned by a wide range of well-known clients for mostly complex cases. Airbus and Volkswagen, for example, are key clients. The group’s services include the coordination of numerous legal issues and contentious cases in several jurisdictions; the team advises in particular on the implementation of settlements reached in the US. Stephan Waldhausen assisted a DAX 30 company with an internal investigation into compliance violations by a member of the management of a subsidiary. The highly respected Simone Kämpfer, who joined from Thomas, Deckers, Wehnert & Elsner, acted for Meyer Werft in connection with internal investigations into allegations of possible breaches by a subcontractor. Meanwhile, Tobias Larisch left for Latham & Watkins LLP. Practice heads Norbert Nolte and Marius Berenbrok are also recommended. Daniel Travers joined the Düsseldorf team in November 2018 from criminal law boutique Krause & Kollegen.

Hogan Lovells International LLP continues to be strategically focused on internal investigations in the context of compliance and white-collar crime, and the ‘professional’ team has ‘extensive expertise’ in technical terms and across various industries. It is instructed by companies in cases such as antitrust, money laundering and sanction infringement allegations, but also in cases of alleged embezzlement, tax evasion, harassment and bullying. Due to the mostly cross-border nature of the investigations, they often also have a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribary Act (UKBA) reference. Practice head Sebastian Lach is well versed in handling criminal cases. Désirée Maier made partner at the beginning of 2018 and focuses exclusively on compliance and internal investigations with a focus on the life sciences sector. The team was also strengthened at the associate level.

Clifford Chance assists clients from a wide range of industries in both Germany-wide and cross-border internal investigations. The group works closely with other practice areas to investigate breaches and suspicions of embezzlement, corruption or money laundering. It is led by the experienced Heiner Hugger; in a recent highlight under his leadership, an internal investigation was conducted at a bank and its local capital management company with regard to possible cum-ex transactions and the analysis of tax and legal risks. In other work, the group acted for a trading company concerning the investigation of allegations of hidden commissions, conflicts of interest and IP law crimes. Marc Besen and Joachim Schütze, who are very well versed in antitrust law, advised an automotive supplier in connection with a preliminary investigation by the German federal cartel office. Ines Keitel, who recently made partner, is the name to note for questions concerning employment law matters. Counsel Jochen Pörtge left to become a partner at Pinsent Masons Germany LLP in October 2018.

Noerr’s ‘very good’ team is experienced in the planning and structuring of internal investigations, working closely with the firm’s corporate, employment and criminal law practice and delivering ‘pragmatic and legally sound results’. The group was instructed by a listed company to conduct a comprehensive internal investigation, including consultation with foreign advisors. In another highlight, it advised the supervisory board of Deutsche Börse on insider dealing allegations against the former CEO. Lars Kutzner recently assisted an airline with allegations made by a whistleblower during an internal investigation concerning violations of internal guidelines. Led by Torsten Fett, the group consists of a number of experienced lawyers, including Bärbel Sachs and Christian Pelz.

White & Case LLP’s team has strong expertise in both national and international investigations, often acting for automotive and financial companies. In addition, it benefits from a close cooperation with the labour, antitrust and corporate practices. Practice head Karl-Jörg Xylander is well versed advising on strategic and contentious matters, and representing clients in compliance and white-collar crime issues; he is conducting a number of internal investigations at various car companies, most recently in relation to alleged bribery. Nils Clemm acts for a financial institution in an internal investigation into alleged tax evasion, including representation before authorities. Tine Schauenburg and Constantin Lauterwein are other names to note.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘top compliance and internal investigation team’ advises clients primarily in the automotive, financial services, construction, logistics and consumer products sectors on international investigations, working closely with the public, antitrust and IT practices. Anahita Thoms, who was a new arrival from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in New York, is assisting an industrial company with internal investigations into breaches of sanction and export control law. Andreas Lohner also works for an international company in investigations related to cartel and corruption allegations. Thomas Grützner, who announced his move to Latham & Watkins LLP in August 2018, was instructed by a number of DAX 30 companies, for example for an internal anti-corruption investigation. Nicolai Behr joined the partnership.

DLA Piper’s internal investigations group consists of experienced criminal and compliance lawyers. It is a popular choice for cross-border work and is experienced in working with prosecutors as well as regulatory and investigative authorities. While dealing with all types of investigations – including audit issues, bribery and corruption, as well as fraud, money laundering, sanctions and anti-competitive conduct – the team also conducts internal investigations related to asset recovery and the preparation and response to cyber attacks. Christian Schoop is leading an internal investigation for an automotive company into a number of allegations and advises the client on government proceedings. Jürgen Taschke is assisting the supervisory board of a manufacturing company with corruption allegations and is conducting the criminal evaluation of the internal investigation.

Gibson Dunn is experienced in planning and conducting internal investigations into fraud, embezzlement and corruption, as well as external investigations. The practice’s case portfolio is often related to Central and Eastern Europe, the countries of the former Soviet Union and the MENA region. It is well integrated into the firm’s international network and can provide comprehensive legal crisis management through cooperation with other practice groups. Benno Schwarz is a member of the international team that conducts internal investigations for Daimler. In addition to his sound compliance expertise, clients also benefit from Michael Walther’s experience in antitrust law and Mark Zimmer’s employment law expertise. Additionally, with Ferdinand Fromholzer and Markus Nauheim’s corporate law expertise, the group has a very broad offering, not least due to the key addition of litigation attorney Finn Zeidler, who joined the firm in May 2017 from Latham & Watkins LLP.

Linklaters is instructed by credit institutions and national and international companies to conduct internal investigations, often relating to antitrust or tax law. For example, the group assisted the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank with investigations and disputes. Furthermore, practice head Hans-Ulrich Wilsing acts for KfW Bankengruppe in an internal investigation. Antitrust lawyer Daniela Seeliger is also very active: in addition to handling a number of compliance instructions, she is also assisting online travel and leisure retailer with the German federal cartel office’s sector inquiry in the area of internet comparison portals; Seeliger dealt with legal questions regarding the cartel office’s new competences in the area of consumer protection. Andreas Dehio and Christian Schmitt joined the partnership in May 2017.

Boutique firm Pohlmann & Company continues to enjoy a strong market reputation for its compliance advice, including internal investigations. Clients appreciate the ‘very good and professional service’ of the team, which is also experienced in environmental and real estate matters. Horst Schlemminger is conducting an internal investigation at a chemical industry company after a suspicion of fraud arose following the acquisition of a company. He also assisted a group of companies in the service sector during an internal investigation. Bosch is another client. Andreas Pohlmann, Thomas Preute and Thomas Lüthi are other central figures. Eric Mayer is now with GSK Stockmann.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP focuses on advising board members and supervisory boards on fraud, corruption, money laundering, export controls and related sanctions. The group has extensive experience in cross-border investigations, not least due to its good links with US-based colleagues. Bernd Mayer is advising Daimler on the ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice into the exhaust emissions scandal. He is also part of the international team conducting an internal investigation for a US-based pharmaceutical and biotech company. The group is able to draw on the firm’s conflict resolution practice – where Anke Sessler is the key name – and in recent work handled a joint internal audit of UniCredit Bank concerning cum-ex transactions. Jens König is also very active.

Allen & Overy LLP primarily acts for clients in the financial services sector on internal investigations in various areas such as anti-corruption, market manipulation, data protection, capital markets and banking supervision law. The group works closely with the tax law practice, particularly with regard to cum-ex transactions; recently, it conducted an internal investigation for a financial institution in connection with tax-motivated share transactions. The practice also saw an increased demand for antitrust and data protection assistance. The experienced Wolf Bussian’s team advised a bank on the coordination and execution of an internal investigation covering several jurisdictions. Jan Erik Windthorst, who is also singled out, increasingly dealt with the interactions between banking regulatory and litigation matters. He led an internal investigation at a financial institution, which required effective cooperation with antitrust and banking regulators.

CMS combines a broad practice with many years of expertise, and creates suitable teams depending on the instruction to assist corporations and DAX 30 companies with uncovering and clarifying infringements. The group was instructed by Atlas Elektronik, a subsidiary of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, to conduct internal investigations in connection with various acts of corruption. Counsel Patrick Müller-Sartori assisted a chemical company with the detection of compliance violations and subsequent proceedings. Joachim Kaetzler is an expert in the financial services sector, recently advising and representing a stock corporation in a matter pertaining to tax evasion allegations. The team also focuses on data protection matters; for example, it advised on the preparation of contractual data protection regulations and guidelines. Counsel Laura Görtz joined the team, which is headed by Harald Potinecke, from Noerr.

Clients value Gleiss Lutz for its ‘high level of commitment’ and ‘outstanding expertise’; the group is experienced in cross-border investigations, often in the pharmaceutical, medical, media, consumer goods, defence and automotive sectors, and ‘provides viable solutions for the management board’. It is also well versed in directors’ and officers’ liability issues. Most recently, the team conducted an internal investigation for Alno’s insolvency administrator and also reviewed directors’ liability and recourse claims. The good cooperation with antitrust lawyers was recently underlined by the successful conduct of an internal investigation for IsoBouw: the Federal Cartel Office ordered a search on suspicion of cartel violations concerning insulation materials; the proceedings ended with an acquittal in March 2018. The group also advises the supervisory boards of Volkswagen and Audi on a wide range of legal issues. Eike Bicker is considered to be ‘assertive’ and Christian Steinle, focuses on antitrust fine and damages proceedings.

Hengeler Mueller’s practice combines expertise in the areas of compliance, internal investigations and white-collar crime; it also works closely with other areas, such as criminal procedural law, corporate, antitrust, data protection and insolvency law. It is conducting internal and external investigations for the Robert Bosch group globally in connection with the alleged manipulation of nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles. In addition, Hans-Jörg Niemeyer’s team recently successfully completed the representation of Calsonic Kansei; following the EU Commission’s antitrust investigation, the firm defended claims for damages. Daniel Weiß assisted an international retail group with investigating suspected fraud. The group was strengthened at the senior associate level: Ralf Christian van Ermingen-Marbach, who has expertise in white-collar crime and internal investigations, joined from the Düsseldorf public prosecutor’s office. Dirk Uwer and Wolfgang Spoerr also deserve special mention.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is valued by clients for its ‘excellent service level’ and ‘very good industry knowledge’; it is experienced in conducting internal investigations, frequently at a cross-border level, for industrial and commercial companies as well as financial institutions. For example, the group assisted Stada with an investigation into possible misdemeanours. It also works closely with other practice groups and international colleagues. Thomas Schürrle is regarded as ‘a reliable, competent and skilful adviser and navigator’.

The ‘exceptionally good’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP advises on international law enforcement issues as well as white-collar crime issues, including conducting internal investigations. Dirk Seiler is ‘a wise strategist’ and has been instructed by a number of banks to conduct internal investigations, most recently in connection with the fight against money laundering. He also advises a chemical company on cooperating with the investigating authorities. Helmut Görling, who is ‘target-oriented and trustworthy’, assisted an industrial manufacturer with internal investigations, and defended the client against the enforcement of a foreign judgment in Germany. The group also conducts internal investigations with its own forensic team. Senior associate Enno Appel is recognised for his ‘outstanding expertise’.

Reed Smith LLP advises on compliance and corporate governance issues as well as internal investigations, and is often instructed by clients in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, energy and manufacturing industries. In this area, instructions often require antitrust law assistance, while other instructions frequently touch upon money laundering, abuse of power and fraud. Rolf Hünermann is the central figure in the team.

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