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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 > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Arbitration (including international arbitration)

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: arbitration (including international arbitration)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Arbitration (including international arbitration) 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


The ‘outstanding’ arbitration team at Baker McKenzie is best known for its expertise in the construction, plant engineering and infrastructure sectors and frequently handles post-M&A disputes with representations in the Asiatic region on the increase. Recently, Günter Pickrahn advised an Asian manufacturing conglomerate on several post-M&A arbitrations. When dealing with infrastructure matters, the team is well versed in handling energy sector work, as demonstrated by representing the claimants Steag and EVN in an ICC arbitration against a general contractor consortium associated with the Japanese firm Hitachi; the dispute concerned construction delays of the coal-fired power station in Duisburg-Walsum and subsequent additional costs and was handled by Pickrahn, Jörg Risse and the ‘very experienced and pragmaticRagnar Harbst. Heiko Haller is recommended.

CMS puts significant emphasis on investment arbitrations with Klaus Sachs frequently acting as chairman or arbitrator. Other work pertains to corporate disputes, joint ventures and M&A, most notably in the industrial plant engineering and energy sectors. As another key individual of the team, Dorothee Ruckteschler represents clients before national and international arbitral tribunals and demonstrates particular expertise in acting in contentious corporate purchase agreement matters and shareholder disputes.

With a focus on cross-border disputes, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is particularly active in the financial sector but also acts for a number of international manufacturing companies. As a recent highlight, Boris Kasolowsky represented the State General Reserve Fund of Oman (SGRF) against the state of Bulgaria. The dispute resulted from actions taken by the Bulgarian central bank which led to the collapse of the Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB), Bulgaria’s fourth largest bank, rendering SGRF’s stake in CCB worthless. In other significant work, Rolf Trittmann acted for an international pharmaceutical company in DIS mediation and subsequently in DIS arbitration proceedings pertaining to the extraordinary termination of a long-term supply contract with its distribution partner, and Michael Rohls represented an energy and environmental sector player in an LCIA arbitration regarding the repayment of compensation for an infrastructure project in Russia. The team also represents an increasing number of clients in IP arbitrations and recently acted for a company in a dispute over royalty payments for alleged patent infringement. Christian Duve is recommended.

Allen & Overy LLP’s strength lies in dealing with investment protection and energy law matters but the ‘reliable and good’ team is also well equipped to guide clients through commercial arbitration proceedings. As a highlight for the former, Daniel Busse represented two international investors in an investment protection proceeding against Greece, claiming damages in the hundreds of millions of euros for breaches of the investor protection contract. In the energy law space, counsel Silke Justen receives regular instructions covering disputes between joint venture partners, general contractual disputes and contentious insurance matters and has particular expertise in handling price adjustment claims. The team’s client roster also includes a number of shipping industry players.

Handling post-M&A instructions forms the cornerstone of Gleiss Lutz’s arbitration practice, which is experienced in party counsel and arbitrator work. Stefan Rützel acted as an arbitrator in a UNCITRAL arbitration over the failed acquisition of an aluminium plant in Montenegro, while Stephan Wilske represented the insolvency administrator of the German company Unionmatex Industrieanlagen in an ICSID arbitration pertaining to investments made in Turkmenistan for five underlying grain milling complexes. Following an internal reorganisation, Tobias Boecken and Detlef Schmidt are now also part of the arbitration team, while Wolf Heinrich von Bernuth left the firm to work independently at Von Bernuth Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH. Lars Markert is recommended.

Handling party representation and arbitrator instructions, Hengeler Mueller’s Henning Bälz and Johanna Wirth have been representing Deutsche Telekom and Toll Collect in arbitration proceedings pertaining to the German truck toll system and its delayed start including contract infringements and IP matters. In other significant work, Markus Meier filed an arbitration claim for a German client to enforce payments following a private equity transaction, and Carsten van de Sande acted for a German bank in a DIS arbitration pertaining to tax refund claims. In ICC arbitration, Philipp Hanfland defended a biotechnology company against claims under a co-operation and licensing agreement. Peter Heckel is described as ‘excellent’.

The ‘efficient and flexible’ team at Hogan Lovells International LLPprovides advice of excellent quality and is very experienced in the plant engineering sector’. Predominantly acting as party counsel, the team has a strong profile for CEE region mandates with a focus on Poland, and is adept at handling damage claims and contractual disputes including supply chain disputes in the automotive industry. Recommended individuals include Karl Pörnbacher, who frequently represents clients in international infrastructure and energy arbitrations, and counsel Inken Knief.

Latham & Watkins LLP focuses on party representation mandates and demonstrates particular expertise in large-scale cross-border arbitration proceedings. Recent work includes representing Daimler Financial Services in a dispute with the Federal Republic of Germany on matters pertaining to the introduction of a toll system for trucks, and acting for a German technology company in a post-M&A arbitration against a market leader in the automotive supply sector. An Asian pharmaceutical company instructed the team to act in two DIS arbitrations based on a shareholder dispute. Equally noteworthy, Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert represented the transnational steel group ArcelorMittal in an ICSID investment arbitration against Egypt. Other key individuals include Markus Rieder and the recommended Christoph Baus.

Burkhard Schneider heads the team at Clifford Chance, which is noted for its ‘broad industry knowledge’ and its strength in dealing with contentious post-M&A and contractual work including damage claims. Sebastian Rakob, who also acts as arbitrator, represented a real estate fund company in an ICC arbitration concerning a hotel lease. Jan Conrady and Oliver Seyd were made counsels.

Highly professional and service-oriented’ boutique Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte has international arbitration at its core and focuses on commercial and contractual disputes. Founding partner Inka Hanefeld, who is regarded as ‘one of the best arbitrators in Germany’, also acts as party counsel, most notably in contentious plant engineering, energy and post-M&A matters. The recommended Jan Heiner Nedden recently acted as arbitrator in several proceedings that involved state participation, while the ‘very experiencedNils Schmidt-Ahrendts handles the largest proportion of party counsel instructions. The ‘smartFriedrich Rosenfeld was elevated to the partnership.

Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB specialises in representing clients, most notably from the automotive sector, in commercial disputes including contentious post-M&A matters, which are frequently coupled with claims for damages, but the team is also well versed in handling arbitrator mandates. Key individuals include Gert Brandner, Klaus Gerstenmaier and Rolf Winkler.

Well versed in handling contractual disputes, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek acts for a broad client base including various companies in the energy, plant and mechanical engineering sectors. With Wolfgang Kühn, Walter Eberl and Ulrike Gantenberg as the main contacts for arbitrator instructions, a recent highlight includes acting in an ICC arbitration between a contracting authority and a construction consortium. As a highlight on the party representation side, Gantenberg defended a European manufacturer of offshore wind turbines against a wind farm operator claiming contractual penalties. In other significant work, Elke Umbeck and Stefan Bretthauer represented an energy supplier in a DIS arbitration procedure on damage claims and the price adjustment from a leasing agreement.

Linklaters has impressive international reach and specialist expertise in handling corporate and commercial disputes including the enforcement of payment claims, and contentious post-M&A matters. Team head Rupert Bellinghausen has been representing an international industrial services provider in post-M&A proceedings for damage claims over a breach of warranty. Acting as arbitrator, Wilhelm Haarmann handled ICC arbitration procedures between two insolvency administrators. Christian Schmitt was elevated to the partnership; Alexandros Chatzinerantzis and Klaus Saffenreuther are recommended.

In international arbitration, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is a regular fixture on investment arbitrations and energy sector disputes. As a notable highlight, Richard Happ represented the energy company Vattenfall in an ICSID arbitration against the Federal Republic of Germany on the nuclear phase-out, which caused the expiration of permits for older power plants including those in Brunsbüttel and Krümmel, which are operated by the client. Also in ICSID arbitration, he acted for another energy company in a conflict concerning regulatory issues, while Volker Steimle represented a multinational company in an ICC arbitration against a former distributor. Jutta Wittler is the main contact for construction law disputes.

Representing clients in international commercial arbitration constitutes the key element of McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP’s ‘recommendable’ practice. Sabine Konrad, who frequently advises investors and governments on investment protection issues and represents them in investor-state arbitrations, acted for several state banks, including Landesbank Baden-Württemberg and HSH Nordbank, in an investment arbitration procedure against Spain. Also having notable expertise in the energy and infrastructure sectors, she represented the plaintiff, a European construction company, in ICC proceedings pertaining to an infrastructure project against an Italian company and defended the same client against a counterclaim. Thomas Hauss and Boris Uphoff are also recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP frequently handles contentious energy, construction and post-M&A matters alongside disputes on long-term supply contracts and insolvency law issues. Newly promoted partner Nicholas Kessler has been representing the seller of an IT company in post-M&A arbitration proceedings under DIS rules, dealing with the validity of alleged supplementary agreements in the share purchase agreement, and also acted for a German investment company in ICSID arbitration proceedings on the reduction of the feed-in rate against Spain. In ICC arbitration, Kessler and Siegfried Elsing acted for the founder of an American online platform against the purchasers of the platform. The ‘very experienced’ Karsten Faulhaber is recommended.

Markus Burianski’s team at White & Case LLP has been representing several groups of Indian investors against the Republic of Yemen alongside Yemeni ministries and state-owned companies in a dispute over damage claims; the opposition brought the claims following the client’s termination of several oil, gas and construction contracts due to the deteriorating security situation in the country. Other work pertains to long-term supply contracts and post-M&A disputes, most notably in the energy sector.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP stands out for its expertise in handling corporate and commercial disputes, frequently acting for national and international energy companies. Senior counsel Thomas Buhl represented EdF International in an ICC arbitration against the German state of Baden-Württemberg pertaining to a share buyback and allegations of having received aid in violation of European law. In other significant work, Richard Kreindler represented Agfa-Gevaert on corporate and commercial issues in several ICC arbitration procedures, and defended a state-owned oil company based in the Middle East against claims made in connection with a failed oil exploration project.

Praised for its ‘straightforward and comprehensive advice’, the team at DLA Piper has a strong profile for handling damage claims alongside contentious post-M&A and contractual matters. In ICC arbitration, Daniel Sharma defended a large international company against damage claims, and in DIS arbitration, he defended a German company against claims for damages based on a terminated supply contract. In other significant work, the team acted for a company in an ICC post-M&A arbitration. Other key individuals include Thomas Gädtke and counsel and international arbitration specialist Friederike Landauer. Stefan Dittmer moved to Dentons.

As well as its expertise in handling investment disputes, Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP also receives a steady flow of contentious contractual, commercial and corporate instructions, which frequently feature construction and energy law elements. Thomas Weimann represented the Japanese Hitachi Group in an ICC arbitration against a German-Austrian energy consortium in defence against claims of delays, deficiencies and unachieved targets for the construction of the German coal power plant in Duisburg. Also in ICC arbitration, Patricia Nacimiento represented a client in commercial matters pertaining to the termination of a construction contract, while the ‘very experienced’ Mathias Wittinghofer has been representing a European logistics company, the plaintiff, in a post-merger dispute under DIS rules.

Clients benefit from Kantenwein Zimmermann Fox Kröck & Partner’s ‘corporate and tax law expertise’, which frequently comes into effect when handling post-M&A disputes and contentious joint venture matters, among others. Clients also appreciate the team’s ‘high commitment’ and ‘reliable and personal approach’ as well as its ‘expertise in the national arbitration market’. Alexander Kröck delivers ‘impressive work’ and is ‘one of the few arbitrators who knows how to handle complex technical issues’; ‘he acts with prudence and with pragmatic and meaningful solutions in mind’ and demonstrates particular expertise in corporate and contractual matters. ‘Good communicator’ Annett Kuhli, who is now a board member of the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), is ‘very dedicated and always well prepared’. Thomas Kantenwein is also recommended.

Benefiting from its international network, King & Spalding LLP’s ‘strong and reliable’ team is a regular fixture on post-M&A and investor-state arbitrations, most notably in the energy sector. Team head Jan Schäfer, who ‘works hard for his clients’ and ‘is very experienced in investment protection proceedings’, is increasingly active as arbitrator; his clients also appreciate his ability ‘to quickly familiarise himself with new issues and to put on excellent finishing touches’. In recent work, the team represented a number of German and Austrian investors in investor-state proceedings before the World Bank, and acted for KS Invest and TLS Invest in an investment dispute over the reduction of feed-in rates for solar power.

The ‘good’ team at Noerr handles party representation and arbitrator mandates and expanded its pool of partners by elevating Julia Sophia Habbe to the partnership. As another key individual of the team, Anke Meier focuses on national and international trade and investment arbitration.

Wach + Meckes LLP is a ‘strong niche law firm’ with ‘renowned arbitrators’. With a focus on commercial and corporate disputes, the team handles a number of national and international post-M&A disputes, frequently pertaining to the energy, oil and gas sectors alongside the financial and plant engineering industries. Key individuals include Karl Wach, who ‘knows his cases in every detail and is always well prepared at hearings’, and Frank Meckes.

Having party counsel and arbitrator capabilities, Beiten Burkhardt puts significant focus on energy and automotive sector work. As a party representation highlight, the team acted for the plaintiff, the Federal Republic of Germany, against Toll Collect, Daimler and Telekom in arbitration proceedings for damages and contractual penalties and subsequently defended the client against claims for operator compensation brought by Toll Collect. Holger Peres heads the team, which includes Ralf Hafner. Salaried partner Erik Ehmann moved to the auditing firm ATG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft Steuerberatungsgesellschaft GmbH.

Dispute resolution boutique Borris Hennecke Kneiselmanaged to establish itself in the German and international arbitration scene in a very short time’, while clients also single out the team’s ‘short response times’ alongside its ‘pragmatic and efficient approach’. As well as its expertise in corporate and post-M&A disputes, the team also includes ‘three excellent arbitrators’, who ‘conduct proceedings with dedication and passion’: Christian Borris, who clients regard as ‘one of Germany’s leading arbitrators’, ‘works thoroughly and does not shy away form asking unpleasant questions’, Rudolf Hennecke is noted for his ‘calm and persistent approach’, while Sebastian Kneisel ‘combines efficient and strategic thinking with the necessary economic understanding’.

Mark Hilgard heads the team at Mayer Brown LLP, which has a wealth of expertise in handling post-contractual M&A disputes alongside contentious plant engineering sector and energy law-related work, acting as party representative as well as arbitrator.

Predominantly utilising his arbitration expertise in commercial and distribution law disputes, Taylor Wessing’s Philipp Behrendt has been representing a German manufacturer of textile equipment in ICC proceedings for alleged faulty textile equipment in the non-woven textile product sector. Key individuals include Axel Boesch, who represents clients before national and international arbitration tribunals and is increasingly active as a mediator, Jan Curschmann and Peter Bert.

Commercial litigation

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Rupert Bellinghausen - Linklaters
    • Uwe Hornung - Clifford Chance
    • Thomas Kreifels - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Markus Meier - Hengeler Mueller
    • Stefan Rützel - Gleiss Lutz
    • Rolf Trittmann - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation 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


Best known for handling large-scale international mandates including class actions and liability matters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been representing Volkswagen and its subsidiaries Audi, Porsche and Skoda in several product-related civil actions in various jurisdictions. In equally significant work, the team successfully defended the energy supplier RWE in climate liability proceedings against allegations brought by a Peruvian Andean resident that the company had caused the melting of a glacier in the Andes by CO2 emissions. In co-operation with the antitrust team, Roman Mallmann defended a German food and semi-luxury items producer against several antitrust claims for damages due to alleged quota and territorial agreements in Europe. In similar work, the team defended ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik against damage claims brought by Deutsche Bahn together with regional transport companies and superstructure material buyers. Boris Kasolowsky, Christian Duve, Thomas Kreifels, Martina de Lind van Wijngaarden and Rolf Trittmann are recommended. Antitrust expert Michael Esser moved to Latham & Watkins LLP.

As well as its expertise in capital markets and corporate litigation, defending against antitrust damage claims constitutes a central pillar of Gleiss Lutz’s practice. Recently, Andrea Leufgen defended HeidelbergCement against damage claims brought by the Belgian company Cartel Damage Claims for antitrust violations. In equally noteworthy work, Detlef Schmidt represented E.ON in proceedings against the Federal Republic of Germany including the states of Bavaria and Niedersachsen, claiming damages for the forced shutdown of two nuclear power plants as a result of the government’s decision to phase-out nuclear power. Infineon instructed Stefan Rützel’s team to act in an insolvency law dispute, while defending SKF in a lawsuit brought by Senvion regarding the supply of faulty bearings for rotors used in wind turbines constitutes another significant matter. Stephan Wilske and Gerhard Wegen are recommended; Wolf Heinrich von Bernuth left the team to found the boutique VON BERNUTH Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

Hengeler Mueller provides ‘a very high service level and keeps deadlines reliably’. Noted for its ‘structured and convincing arguments’, the team has a strong profile for class actions, including antitrust damage claims, and for liability claim enforcements in the automotive sector. In recent work, the team defended the sugar producer Nordzucker against damage claims following antitrust procedures, while Markus Meier and Gerd Sassenrath have been representing Porsche Automobil Holding in several prominent proceedings including the defence against dieselgate-related damage claims, various corporate disputes and in criminal proceedings against former board members. Together with Philipp Hanfland, Meier has also been representing the car manufacturer in legal actions brought by investors regarding emissions manipulation allegations resulting in falling stock prices. In other work, Hanfland defended a real estate company against claims made in connection with a loan agreement. Other clients include Uber and Sal. Oppenheim. Henning Bälz and Carsten van de Sande are recommended. Vanessa Wettner moved to WilmerHale.

Allen & Overy LLP’s strength lies in handling corporate litigation such as disputes over business acquisitions and insolvencies, and in defending against antitrust damage claims and professional liability claims. Marc Zimmerling continues to represent KPMG in litigation with the Arcandor insolvency administrator over the assets of the retail and tourism group Arcandor; the dispute concerned damage claims for the alleged provision of incorrect restructuring advice. In equally significant work, Benedikt Burger acted for the Spanish pump manufacturer ESPA Group in corporate disputes with former co-shareholders and managing directors of its German subsidiaries. Wolf Bussian and team head Daniel Busse are recommended.

CMS is particularly active in corporate and post-M&A litigation, insolvency appeals and liability disputes. Claus Thiery and Dorothee Ruckteschler are well versed in handling matters of the latter, while insolvency appeals are predominantly handled by Frank Grünen, who also has solid expertise in the energy sector. Other key figures include Torsten Lörcher and Matthias Schlingmann; the latter acts in several Iran-related proceedings before the courts of the European Union.

Clifford Chance’s ‘very experienced and competent’ dispute resolution team has substantial expertise in post-M&A and antitrust disputes alongside litigation in the financial, capital markets, energy and plant engineering sectors but is also increasingly active in D&O matters. The recommended Michael Kremer defended Moravia Steel against damage claims brought by Deutsche Bahn pertaining to the rail cartel, and, similarly, defended KONE against claims for damages from cartel agreements before the Regional Court of Berlin, Hanover and Düsseldorf. In other work, the team represented a software company in a dispute over the possible ineffectiveness of a brand acquisition, and Uwe Hornung defended the law firm Gleiss Lutz against damage claims brought by Stefan Mappus, former minister president of the state of Baden-Württemberg, before the Regional Court of Stuttgart and the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart with regards to the alleged violation of third-party protection obligations. Burkhard Schneider heads the team which includes newly promoted counsel Jan Conrady. Counsel Stefan Kirsten left the firm to found Kirsten. Risk & Disputes and Heiko Heppner moved to Dentons.

Described as a ‘reliable partner providing an excellent service level’, Hogan Lovells International LLP handles a broad range of contentious matters including commercial, corporate and contractual litigation and is particularly well versed in product liability. With equally broad industry knowledge, the team frequently deals with automotive, transport and life sciences sector work, among others. Recently, Detlef Haß defended Air Canada against damage claims brought by DB Barnsdale for the alleged air cargo cartel, and represented Volkswagen in an interim proceeding against two suppliers following a delivery stop and a threat to halt all production of several key components. Jürgen Johannes Witte is one of the team’s key figures.

Benefiting from its international network, the ‘outstanding’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘always available’ and ‘capable of putting itself in the client’s position’. The team has substantial expertise in corporate and banking litigation, while its antitrust capabilities were strengthened by the arrival of Michael Esser from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. ‘Excellent and strategically clever litigatorChristoph Baus represented Achim Ahrendt, liquidator of the two funds Deutsche S&K Sachwerte Nr. 2 and S&K Real Estate Value Added Fondsgesellschaft, in asserting claims against 3,700 individual investors and the S&K funds initiators. In co-operation with the corporate department, the team also acted for Hamburger Hochbahn in appeal proceedings pertaining to a holding company’s financing responsibilities. Markus Rieder represented a major European bank in several legal challenges and appeals filed in Germany and Austria following a company merger and related restructuring. Carsten Witzke, the ‘strategic and prudentSebastian Seelmann-Eggebert and the ‘strategically thinking’ Volker Schäfer are recommended. Finn Zeidler moved to Gibson Dunn.

Much of Linklaters’ work pertains to corporate and post-M&A disputes but the team also handles various contentious insolvency-related matters. In a recent highlight, the frequently recommended Rupert Bellinghausen defended an international industrial services provider against damage claims for breach of warranty as part of a post-M&A arbitration. Alexandros Chatzinerantzis is another key figure of the team, which includes recently promoted partner Christian Schmitt.

Noerr frequently handles bank and capital markets-related litigation alongside contentious product liability and insurance law matters. Christine Volohonsky has been representing an international trading group in various contentious issues pertaining to a joint venture, and acted for Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig before the Court of Appeals in London for payment claims from derivatives. Stefan Blum defended Sal. Oppenheim against several damage claims brought by investors for alleged faulty investment advice provided on Oppenheim-Esch fund matters, while team head Michael Molitoris represented various companies of an international automotive supplier in product liability proceedings for airbags including recall negotiations and recourse claims. Other key individuals include Oliver Sieg and newly promoted partner Sophia Habbe.

Having specialist expertise in the financial, automotive and energy sectors, the ‘goal-oriented’ team at White & Case LLP is particularly active in cross-border litigation. Recently, Christian Wirth and counsel Ulrich Carlhoff represented a bank in several proceedings where insolvency administrators asserted avoidance claims on non-performing restructuring loans amounting to several million euros. Another bank instructed the team to defend against damage claims pertaining to a life insurance package. In other work, the practice represented the state of Baden-Württemberg in a procedure before the Administrative Court of Stuttgart, defending the client against claims brought by Deutsche Bahn for the reimbursement of additional costs incurred by the construction project Stuttgart 21, and assisted the insolvency administrator of Infinus with the enforcement of shareholder loans totalling €320m. Markus Burianski and the ‘extremely competent and very experiencedMarkus Langen are other key members of the team. Local partner Katharina Kendziur moved to Lutz | Abel Rechtsanwalts GmbH and Daniel Eckstein was appointed a judge at the Regional Court of Berlin.

Baker McKenzie routinely deals with construction and plant engineering sector instructions alongside post-M&A disputes, frequently including cross-border elements with Asia, and has notable experience in matters related to compliance, product liability and energy law. Utilising this expertise, Heiko Haller acted for an auditing firm in a potential liability case pertaining to the assessment of an onshore wind farm portfolio. In other work, he has been representing a bank in proceedings related to the financing of a power plant project. Axel Hamm is acting for a group of companies in the energy sector in a dispute over the construction of solar systems, and Peter Stankewitsch represented a company from the aluminium production sector in a dispute over the delivery of defective production equipment. Key individuals include Jörg Risse, Ragnar Harbst and team head Günter Pickrahn.

Clients appreciate DLA Piper’s ‘uncomplicated co-operation and comprehensive advice’ on commercial and contractual disputes, which frequently stand in relation to D&O, insolvency law and compliance. Daniel Sharma represented a client in damage claim proceedings against a former subcontractor before the Regional Court of Stuttgart. Counsel David Buntenbroich, who stands out for his ‘excellent legal analysis’, is recommended along with Thomas Gädtke and team head Ludger Giesberts. Stefan Dittmer moved to Dentons.

Post-M&A and corporate litigation constitutes a central pillar of Wach + Meckes LLP’s practice but the team is also experienced in D&O liability alongside banking and capital markets disputes. Praised for its ‘strategic approach when preparing for trial’, the team acts for a broad client base including a number of national and international private equity firms, service companies and manufacturing groups . The ‘strong and tenacious’ Karl Wach, who stands out for ‘his extensive forensic experience’, is recommended along with Frank Meckes.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s ‘very competent’ practice frequently works in conjunction with the antitrust and finance departments when handling contractual and commercial disputes, and is experienced in acting in post-M&A disputes and D&O claims alongside matters related to construction and insurance law. Sebastian Jungemeyer has been acting for a foreign mail-order business in the entertainment sector in asserting payment claims, while Stefan Osing represented AXA in liability proceedings against several architects, engineers and construction companies. HANSAINVEST Hanseatische Investment instructed the team to assert warranty claims as part of a purchase and construction contract for a large construction project in Düsseldorf. Clients single out Ulrike Gantenberg and Elke Umbeck. Martin Karwatzki and Christopher Marx were made salaried partners.

Kantenwein Zimmermann Fox Kröck & Partner provides ‘thorough advice and demonstrates a high level of commitment’. The ‘tactically savvy and assertive’ team is ‘a real alternative to big law firms’, and, thanks to its multidisciplinary approach, is well equipped to guide clients through finance, accounting and tax-related disputes. The ‘highly competent’ Alexander Kröck ‘focuses on the main issues and is a first-class lawyer with great business know-how’. Clients also praise his ‘analytical approach and his confident negotiation style’. The ‘very balanced and solution-oriented’ Marcus van Bevern is ‘particularly adept at handling finance and bankruptcy disputes’, while the ‘very friendly, charismatic and dedicated’ Annett Kuhli ‘always delivers sensible results’ and is noted for her ‘broad tax law expertise’.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s client base includes insurance companies, banks and large corporations: in recent work, Sven Förster assisted an insurance services provider with negotiations on damages that had occurred from a warranty and indemnity insurance, and Clemens Rübel has been representing an automotive supplier in cross-border patent infringement proceedings concerning automobile headlights. Team head Jamie Nowak defended a European distribution company of a global electronics company against damage claims filed for an alleged deficient control system.

SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG has corporate litigation at its core but also handles capital markets and insolvency-related disputes. The team defended the car manufacturer Volkswagen against damage claims brought by investors and in related capital markets disputes following the alleged infringement of disclosure obligations concerning dieselgate, and defended Vossloh against damage claims brought by Deutsche Bahn for alleged illegal antitrust agreements. Stephan Harbarth, Marc Löbbe and Jochem Reichert are recommended. Stefan Zeyher was elevated to the partnership and Florian Schumacher was made counsel.

Taylor Wessing is well versed in advising and representing clients in commercial, distribution and corporate litigation. Philipp Behrendt continues to advise EasyJet on disputes with Berlin Schönefeld Airport and Berlin Brandenburg Airport over opening delays and damages resulting from runway renovations, among other issues. In other work, Henning Moelle has been acting as international lead counsel for the pharmaceutical company Grünenthal in product liability claims for alleged birth defects caused by thalidomide. Dirk Lorenz heads the team, which includes Harald Bechteler.

Much of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s contentious work features antitrust and finance elements: antitrust expert Dirk Schroeder has been representing Otis in several proceedings, defending against antitrust-related damage claims brought by a number of plaintiffs including municipalities, transport companies and general contractors. As another significant matter, Thomas Kopp has been acting for the Republic of Argentina in several German court proceedings concerning foreign debt. Richard Kreindler is another key figure of the team.

Eversheds Sutherland acts in antitrust and competition law litigation alongside corporate and commercial disputes, frequently with practice head Joos Hellert in the lead: he represented a client from the luxury furniture sector in several sales antitrust law proceedings, and assisted a new client with a corporate dispute, including cross-border elements, pertaining to the inclusion of shares in a medical device company and related damage claims. An industrial machinery company retained the team to act in several disputes resulting from a restructuring, including the fulfilment of warranty claims, among other issues.

Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB receives regular instructions from automotive sector players on D&O liability matters, service contracts, post-M&A disputes and damage claims including recall actions. Gert Brandner heads the team, which includes Kai Graf von der Recke and recently promoted partner Hans-Georg Kauffeld.

Jones Day’s strength lies in dealing with matters connected with energy law, regularly representing energy sector clients in price revision proceedings alongside supply and post-M&A disputes. Financial institutions, investment companies and manufacturing groups also instruct the team, which is led by Johannes Willheim.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH predominantly represents manufacturing industry clients in a broad range of contentious matters, most notably in energy, antitrust, banking and capital markets law disputes alongside commercial, corporate and distribution law litigation. Stephan Bausch, Anne Caroline Wegner, Ulrich Theune and Richard Happ are recommended. Counsel Wilhelm Danelzik joined Andersen Tax & Legal.

Oppenhoff & Partner’s broad range of contentious work reflects an equally broad client roster, which includes investment and pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions and service providers,which the team frequently represents in corporate and post-M&A disputes, D&O liability proceedings and claims for damages. The ‘very experienced and competent’ Peter Klappich is particularly praised as ‘handling matters independently’, while clients also appreciate his ‘flexible approach and fast response times’. Other key individuals include the ‘reliable’ Vanessa Pickenpack, whose antitrust expertise leads to frequent antitrust damage claim instructions from plaintiffs and defendants, and Silvanne Helle.

Good’ law firm SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte represents its clients in commercial and distribution law litigation, frequently including cross-border elements, and in product liability proceedings. The ‘very efficient’ Oliver Hornung defended Telekom Deutschland against damage claims for the alleged breach of contract concerning the introduction of telecommunications services and antitrust violations. In other work, the team represented a health sector client in a dispute against a pharmaceutical company over sales agent indemnification payment claims, and acted for a wholesaler in claiming damages from the parent company of an Asian supplier for the deliberate deception of the origin of goods. Christoph Meyer and Arndt Tetzlaff jointly head the team.

Routinely acting on the defence side, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP focuses on representing banks and international companies in corporate, insolvency and competition law disputes. As a highlight, recommended practice head Britta Grauke acted for Ryanair in state aid proceedings.

Frequently working in conjunction with the corporate, compliance and regulatory departments, the strength of WilmerHale lies in handling matters at the intersection of civil law and the regulatory space. This includes antitrust civil litigation and related claims for damages but the practice also demonstrates expertise in handling contentious banking and capital markets matters alongside corporate litigation. Stefan Ohlhoff and the ‘very competent and pragmatic’ Ulrich Quack have been representing Deutsche Bahn in the assertion of claims for further financing contributions amounting to €1bn following additional costs incurred for the infrastructure project Stuttgart 21. To compensate for the team losing Christofer Eggers to Squire Patton Boggs and Klaus Schubert to K&L Gates LLP, the practice added Vanessa Wettner from Hengeler Mueller. Hans-Georg Kamann is another key figure of the team.

Financial services litigation

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: financial services litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Rupert Bellinghausen - Linklaters
    • Christian Duve - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Markus Meier - Hengeler Mueller
    • Stefan Rützel - Gleiss Lutz

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Jan Erik Windthorst - Allen & Overy LLP

Who Represents Who

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is best know for its cross-border capabilities and for handling large-scale instructions. Christian Duve has been representing a major international bank against an internationally operating company in a derivative dispute for alleged faulty advice provided on swap agreements. In conjunction with the corporate and finance departments, the team also advised several creditors of the former Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank International on the debt relief granted by the Austrian state of Carinthia and the Republic of Austria in 2016. In arbitration, the team represented the State General Reserve Fund of Oman (SGRF) against the state of Bulgaria in ICSID proceedings. The dispute resulted from actions taken by the Bulgarian central bank which led to the collapse of the Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB), Bulgaria’s fourth largest bank, rendering SGRF’s stake in CCB worthless. Norbert Nolte is another key figure of the team.

Praised for its ‘strong practical sense’, the ‘excellent’ team at Hengeler Mueller stands out for its expertise in capital markets disputes and has a strong profile for class actions. Recently, ‘very experienced litigator’ Markus Meier acted for Morgan Stanley in prospectus liability claims brought by approximately 400 investors concerning the open-ended property fund P2 Value, while Peter Heckel represented Deutsche Bank in a class action on the prospectus liability of Deutsche Telekom. Philipp Hanfland defended the same client against claims made in conjunction with the takeover bid for Deutsche Postbank, while the bank J. Safra Sarasin continues to receive assistance with matters pertaining to the sale of Cum-Ex products including the defence against investor claims and the assertion of insurance law compensation claims. Carsten van de Sande’s defence of a German financial institution against several investor claims for index-based financial products in Germany and Austria is equally noteworthy. Johanna Wirth is recommended.

Linklaters represents national and international banks in civil claims for damages, the assertion of loan repayment claims and D&O liability proceedings and defends them against claims for alleged miscounselling. Rupert Bellinghausen heads the team, which includes recently promoted partner Christian Schmitt.

Allen & Overy LLP demonstrates ‘deep business understanding’ and is recognised for its capabilities in relation to tax law. Wolf Bussian, who ‘is able to familiarise himself with complex matters remarkably well’, advised the National Bank of Canada on its role as an indirect shareholder of the German Maple Bank, which was investigated by tax authorities for alleged tax evasion. In other work, the team deals with disputes arising from tax assessments of security loans, financial and derivative transactions, tax refund claims and foreign currency receivables alongside prospectus liability claims. Daniel Busse is a key member of the team along with recently promoted partner Jan Erik Windthorst.

Clifford Chance represents German and international financial industry clients in financial, capital markets and liability proceedings and puts emphasis on internal investigations and increasingly on D&O disputes including insurance matters. In co-operation with the corporate team, Tim Schreiber continues to act for BayernLB in damage claims that arose from the acquisition of structured products. The team also represented Sparkasse KölnBonn against the city of Bonn in court proceedings concerning the assertion of a municipal guarantee following the failed financing of the World Conference Centre Bonn. Burkhard Schneider heads the team, which includes recently promoted counsel Oliver Seyd. Heiko Heppner moved to Dentons and Stefan Kirsten left the firm to found Kirsten. Risk & Disputes.

As well as its large banking client base, Gleiss Lutz also handles frequent instructions from private equity firms, hedge funds and asset managers. Stefan Rützel continues to represent HETA Asset Resolution in 11 separate civil court cases against a large number of institutional bondholders and their repayment claims totalling €2.3bn. In other work, Andrea Leufgen acted for the same client in a pay-back dispute with BayernLB amounting to €7bn.

The ‘very good litigation and banking law firmSernetz • Schäfer provides ‘an excellent service level’ and utilises its banking, investment and regulatory expertise to represent clients in individual proceedings, class actions and test cases. Ferdinand Kruis has been representing several regional building societies in proceedings pertaining to mass terminations of building loan contracts. In other work, ‘excellent litigator and outstanding lawyer with business know-how’ Andreas Höder, who ‘does not lack the necessary toughness’, and Fabian Dietz-Vellmer represented Deutsche Pfandbriefbank (formerly known as Hypo Real Estate) in damage claim proceedings against former board members, while the team also assisted the same client in a capital markets dispute over supposedly false ad-hoc announcements. Manfred Wolf is an ‘experienced and assertive negotiator’.

Frequently acting on the defence side, Latham & Watkins LLP represents a broad client base, including banks, investors, shareholders and insurance companies. Highlights included Christoph Baus’ representation of Clerical Medical Investment Group, a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group, in a number of lawsuits alleging miscounselling, and Markus Rieder’s representation of a major European bank in several appeal and appraisal proceedings filed in Germany and Austria following a merger and related restructuring. In co-operation with the firm’s New York office, he has also been assisting Deutsche Bank with investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice. Volker Schäfer and Christine Gärtner are recommended.

Acting for a number of well-known clients including Deutsche Bank and Sal. Oppenheim, Noerr has been representing the former financial institution in capital markets proceedings concerning alleged prospectus errors of the real estate fund IVG EuroSelect 14 (The Gherkin) with Hans Christian Kirchner, Kolja Dörrscheidt and team head Michael Molitoris in the lead. The latter bank instructed Stefan Blum to act in several defence proceedings against claims for damages brought by a number of investors for alleged erroneous investment advice related to the so-called Oppenheim-Esch funds.

White & Case LLP’s instructions by financial institutions are frequently insurance-related, as is Christian Wirth’s defence of a financial institution against claims for damages amounting to millions of euros, resulting from a co-operation agreement with an insurance company under a life insurance package. In a separate matter, Markus Langen acted for several German banks in their role as bondholders in a dispute with HETA Asset Management, the Austrian financial market supervisory authority (FMA) and the state of Carinthia over the winding-up of a European financial institution. Sonja Lang is a key member of the team.

Specialised in banking and capitals markets law, boutique Clouth & Partner excels at defending against liability claims pertaining to interest rate swaps and other derivative transactions. In this regard, name partner Peter Clouth and Peter Lindt represented Deutsche Bank in proceedings against the city of Pforzheim, which suffered large losses through swap transactions and subsequently filed a claim for damages based on insufficient information on such transactions.

Kantenwein Zimmermann Fox Kröck & Partner frequently represents shareholders and funds alongside national and international banks in the enforcement of claims such as damage claims for breaches of contracts, among other matters. Marcus van Bevern, Annett Kuhli and Alexander Kröck are the main contacts.

In conjunction with the banking team, Mayer Brown LLP’s dispute resolution practice represents a number of high-profile clients, including financial investors, national and international financial institutions, in actions for annulment, bearer bond disputes and contentious matters arising from comfort letters. Mark Hilgard heads the team, which includes Jan Kraayvanger.

The ‘extremely competent’ team at Waldeck Rechtsanwälte PartmbB stands out for its ‘sound, pragmatic and solution-oriented approach’ and is particularly active in defending against class actions, most notably in connection with capital markets law. This expertise was recently utilised in the representation of a major bank in two capital markets proceedings, while other highlights included defending a number of credit institutes against claims for damages for Cum-Ex transactions, and defending Commerzbank and comdirect bank against claims filed for irregularities in the global certificate held on a corporate bond. The latter two clients also instructed the team to assert claims for damages from mass counterfeit bank card fraud. Clients single out Marcus Blankenheim and the ‘reliable, goal-oriented and competent’ Christian Faßbender.

Product liability

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: Product liability
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Product liability 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


With an extensive roster of reputable clients, Hogan Lovells International LLP frequently handles complex product liability, product safety and product compliance proceedings. The team’s broad industry knowledge leads to a steady stream of instructions from automotive, chemical, electronics, energy and consumer goods industry players, which are frequently handled by Sebastian Polly, while Ina Brock and Matthias Schweiger, who was made partner in January 2017, are well versed in dealing with life sciences sector work including pharmaceutical and medical device-related matters. Among other work, this expertise was demonstrated by handling the worldwide defence of TÜV Rheinland and its affiliated companies against liability claims for the alleged improper certification of the French breast implants manufacturer Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP).

Noerr has a fine reputation in the market and is particularly rated for its automotive sector expertise: team head Michael Molitoris represented the German and EMEA companies of an international automotive supplier in a product liability procedure concerning passenger protection systems, including proceedings on recalls and recourse claims. The team also acted for another global automotive supplier in out-of-court negotiations and mediation with a car manufacturer for product liability and warranty claims on air conditioner condensers, and, with Thomas Klindt and associated partner Susanne Wende in the lead, the practice also assisted a home appliance manufacturer in a worldwide product recall. MAN Diesel & Turbo received advice on product liability matters including product recalls for the two business units Truck & Bus and Diesel & Turbo, while a major German toy manufacturer instructed the team to defend against recall requests brought by German and French market surveillance authorities for supposedly dangerous toys.

Bach Langheid Dallmayr’s team applies its insurance law expertise in contentious national and international product liability proceedings, predominately acting for insurers: Martin Alexander and Marcel Hohagen defended a liability insurer in several product liability proceedings in the food and animal feed industries, and, together with Rainer Büsken, Hohagen advised an industrial insurer on internationally marketed medical devices. Other work included advice on dioxin-contaminated animal feed and recalls.

With a focus on medical, pharmaceutical, food and manufacturing sector work, CMS’ Jens Wagner assisted the medical device manufacturer DePuy with matters pertaining to its voluntary recall of ADEPT and ASR hip implants, while, counsel Patrick Müller-Sartori has been handling a recall instruction for a food industry client. Harald Potinecke heads the team, which lost counsel Thomas Grünvogel to Osborne Clarke.

Manufacturing companies frequently instruct Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer with cross-border product liability litigation. Highlights included representing Volkswagen and several of its subsidiaries in a number of product-related civil claims, and advising various global companies on cyber-security and product liability matters pertaining to its digitalisation strategy.Thomas Kreifels and Moritz Becker are recommended.

Benefiting from the firm’s insurance law expertise, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner’s product liability team provides a broad range of services including assistance with product recalls, which frequently feature international elements. Carsten Laschet represented a company in a product liability dispute with a supplier in the context of several construction projects, while the ‘very experienced’ Tobias Lenz assisted a company with a worldwide recall.

Gleiss Lutz receives regular instructions from German manufacturing companies and health sector clients on medical device and industrial goods-related matters. Frequently, this includes product recalls and the assertion of product liability recourse claims, which are often dealt with by Eric Wagner.

Taylor Wessing is particularly active for companies in the consumer goods, pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors alongside the automotive industry. Philipp Behrendt has been representing a German manufacturer of textile equipment in an ICC arbitration for alleged faulty non-woven textile product equipment. In other significant work, Henning Moelle acted as international lead counsel for the pharmaceutical company Grünenthal in its international defence against product liability claims for alleged birth defects caused by thalidomide. Moelle’s expertise also includes product recalls.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH has significant expertise in the automotive, mechanical engineering, electronics, chemicals, textiles and logistics sectors. Recent highlights include Volker Steimle’s representation of an international manufacturer of tractors and combine harvesters in product liability litigation, and the representation of a manufacturer of electric tools before the regulatory authority in proceedings on product safety requirements. He also advised a motorcycle manufacturer on product liability and product safety issues.

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Legal Developments in Germany

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  • LAG Düsseldorf: Dismissal with immediate effect valid in response to threat

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    On June 13, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published the names of those who have applied for a new top level domain the ending of which may be geographic, such as "munich", industry identification such as "insurance" and even all trademark names and company descriptions such as "canon" and "adidas".
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    ECJ, decision of February 16th, 2012, ref. C-360/10 – SABAM
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    Parties to rental contracts for commercial premises often agree priority rental rights. In practice, this concept is used to cover a whole series of legal structures. These range from fixed options for the tenant to a promise made by the landlord as a business policy that if any additional premises become available, they will be offered to the tenant. In 2010 the Berlin Court of Appeal issued a ruling on such priority rental rights in insolvency; the decision has recently been published.

Press Releases in Germany

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