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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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Arbitration (including international arbitration)

Index of tables

  1. Arbitration (including international arbitration)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  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


Cases handled by the Baker McKenzie arbitration team often relate to Asia; for example, Heiko Haller is representing a German company in disputes concerning an Asian company’s failed pharmaceutical concept. He also acts for a financial institution in disputes relating to a transaction in the renewable energy sector. In addition, the practice has a focus on representing clients in arbitration proceedings in the areas of plant construction, energy and post-M&A. Jörg Risse, who is recommended by clients and regularly acts in settlement negotiations and arbitration proceedings, is representing a German company in arbitration proceedings before the German arbitration institute DIS in a dispute regarding the termination of a joint venture agreement. Günter Pickrahn and Ragnar Harbst are also recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s ‘technically extremely impressive’ conflict resolution group has a strong international focus. Personnel changes include the departure of the well-respected Christian Duve, with Michael Rohls taking over responsibility for the banking and finance sector, although he also has energy expertise. For example, he represented a company in the energy and environment sector in arbitration proceedings concerning the repayment of compensation for an infrastructure project abroad. Boris Kasolowsky, who has ‘vast experience’, was made up to global co-head of the international arbitration group. Daniel Schnabl recently made partner. Principal associate Borbála Dux joined Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in October 2018.

Allen & Overy LLP is recognised for its ‘excellent preparation and conduct of negotiations’. The group works closely with other practice areas and has particular expertise in energy and post-M&A disputes. For example, it successfully represented various international companies from the energy sector in proceedings before the German arbitration institute DIS, and recently successfully defended Privinvest in an ICC arbitration against Greece in connection with damages payments. In the shipbuilding sector, it is representing an international company in various parallel proceedings. Counsel Mia Ramb is part of the core team and has been involved in a number of highlights. Former practice head, the ‘outstanding’ Daniel Busse, left to establish his own firm.

Clifford Chance has a strong new generation of arbitrators and represents a wide range of companies in such cases. The practice group’s long-standing clients include Volkswagen, Metro and the European Central Bank. Post-M&A disputes accounted for a large part of its recent work: for example, practice head Michael Kremer is representing an automotive supplier in challenging a transaction. The ‘commended’ Tim Schreiber is another central figure; he was involved in a high-volume ICC arbitration in connection with the termination of oil and gas contracts and allegations of expropriation. Moritz Keller, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in August 2018, has further bolstered the team.

CMS has an experienced arbitration team that is particularly visible in investment arbitration proceedings and which regularly handles a large number of transnational and high-volume disputes. Klaus Sachs is recognised by competitors as ‘an excellent arbitrator’ and was most recently appointed as such in ICSID cases concerning high-value matters. Dorothee Ruckteschler heads the firm’s international arbitration practice and has particular expertise in corporate and energy litigation, as well as being a frequent arbitrator. Recently, she was appointed as presiding arbitrator in disputes between a Turkish company and several American corporations. The team further expanded its Asia focus with Nicolas Wiegand’s move to Hong Kong. Tilman Niedermaier and Benjamin Lissner joined the team.

Gleiss Lutz provides ‘a high-quality service’; the arbitration practice focuses on post-M&A litigation as well as on the annulment of arbitral awards in Germany and the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards at a national and international level. Stephan Wilske represented a life sciences sector company in international arbitration proceedings concerning contractual disputes and claims for damages. He is also experienced in investment arbitration proceedings and is often appointed as arbitrator, as is practice head Stefan Rützel. The latter was recently appointed a party arbitrator in arbitration proceedings. Lars Markert joined Japanese law firm Nishimura & Asahi in April 2018.

Hengeler Mueller’s ‘prompt and competent advice’ also extends to the representation of clients, often from the energy and pharmaceutical sectors, in arbitration proceedings. Philipp Hanfland, for example, who is valued for his ‘outstanding legal expertise’, successfully defended a biotech company in proceedings concerning contractual claims. In another highlight, the highly regarded Carsten van de Sande and counsel Susan Kempe-Müller represented a foreign conglomerate in ICC arbitration proceedings with a value in the hundreds of millions. The ‘very goodHenning Bälz and the ‘efficientMarkus Meier are also central figures within the team. Peter Heckel retired.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s litigation and arbitration practice has a broad industry expertise. It usually represents clients in international arbitration proceedings and benefits from the firm’s well-integrated network. Both Inken Knief and Karl Pörnbacher are particularly well versed in the energy and life sciences sectors. Counsel Thomas Pieper is also qualified as a US lawyer and is therefore familiar with the country’s regulations. Daniel Flore made partner in January 2019.

Latham & Watkins LLP was involved in Germany’s longest arbitration proceedings to date lasting over ten years, in which the team defended both Daimler and Toll Collect against the Federal Republic of Germany. In another highlight, the firm was able to utilise its network when the experienced Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert collaborated with the London office to represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in an ICSID arbitration of the World Bank against claims brought by construction company Hochtief concerning the construction of an airport in Saudi Arabia. Christoph Baus is also recommended. Markus Rieder joined Gibson Dunn in November 2019.

Dispute resolution boutique Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte has particular strength in arbitration proceedings, where it has notable expertise in the offshore industry and plant construction. Inka Hanefeld, who is also vice president of the international court of arbitration ICC, is one of Germany’s most respected arbitrators. Together with Jan Heiner Nedden, she represented two offshore companies in international proceedings before the German arbitration institute DIS, each with very high amounts in dispute. Heiner Nedden has a solid track record as an arbitrator: he recently acted as chairman in a price adjustment procedure between a municipality and an energy company. Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is also recommended.

In addition to acting for the various parties, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s team is also appointed as arbitrators: the highly regarded Ulrike Gantenberg was recently appointed as arbitrator in proceedings between an investor and a state in connection with claims arising from a bilateral investment agreement. On the party representation side, she acts together with Wolfgang Kühn, who is experienced in corporate law, for a device manufacturer in the enforcement of claims from an arbitral award in the US. In another highlight, Daniel Froesch is representing an electronics manufacturer in international arbitration proceedings. Elke Umbeck is also recommended.

Linklaters’ dispute resolution team is regarded as ‘very good’, with the arbitration group’s main strengths in the areas of post-M&A, investment protection and contract disputes. It was involved in the Toll Collect arbitration proceedings representing the German government. Arbitration specialist Alexandros Chatzinerantzis is increasingly sought out for his energy sector expertise. Kirstin Schwedt, who has experience in the healthcare, industry and insurance areas, is representing a leading German pharmaceutical company in the enforcement of claims against an international company, with one of the issues being the payment of reservation fees.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH does ‘excellent work’; the German law firm, which has offices in Europe and Asia, focuses its arbitration practice on investment matters and the energy sector, but also has expertise in commercial disputes. Under the leadership of the experienced Richard Happ, the group achieved a favourable outcome for PreussenElektra, an E.ON subsidiary: the arbitral tribunal ruled that the client did not have to pay the Belgian nuclear fuel tax of €321m. In addition, Jutta Wittler has considerable expertise in international construction arbitration proceedings. Christoph von Burgsdorff and up-and-coming senior associate Georg Scherpf are also recommended. Borbála Dux joined Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in October 2018.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP is particularly known for its expertise in representing investors and governments in connection with investment protection agreements; a high-profile example is its long-standing representation of the Federal Republic of Germany, in a dispute where power company Vattenfall is demanding billions in damages. Arne Fuchs, who recently made partner, has a focus on commercial arbitration proceedings: for example, he is representing a southeastern state in ad hoc investment arbitration proceedings. The group benefits from the firm’s strong international network and also has experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The frequently recommended Sabine Konrad, who acts both as party representative and arbitrator, left for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in September 2019.

Noerr’s sizeable conflict resolution group has a wide range of experience representing parties before arbitral tribunals: for example, the team is representing an insolvency administrator in the assertion of claims arising from a supply contract. In another highlight, the notable Anke Meier, who is experienced in commercial and investment arbitration proceedings, is defending a solar technology company in proceedings in accordance with ICC rules. Other arbitration clients include VNG-Verbundnetz Gas and GAM. Practice head Michael Molitoris and Meier often act as arbitrators. Morris Besch also has a considerable caseload in the area and Meike von Levetzow made partner.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP provides ‘very good advice’ and is instructed in energy, post-M&A and investment arbitration proceedings. Siegfried Elsing, who is regarded as ‘a luminary in the field of dispute resolution’, and rising talent Nicholas Kessler are representing a state in an Uncitral investment arbitration initiated by two investors from Asia. Other work includes representing a power plant in a proceeding. Newly appointed partner Karsten Faulhaber was also significantly involved in this case; like Elsing, he frequently acts as an arbitrator.

White & Case LLP is valued by clients for its ‘full reliability’ and is specialised in liability, energy and post-M&A litigation. ‘Enormously experienced’ practice head Markus Burianski acts for an Asian solar cell manufacturer in arbitration proceedings concerning long-term supply contracts with a value in dispute of more than $130m. In other work, the representation of Indian investors in arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Yemen was extended by a second instruction, which was terminated at the end of 2017 in favour of the clients. Alexandra Diehl, who is experienced in IP and investment arbitration, joined as local partner from Clifford Chance in February 2018.

Dispute resolution boutique Borris Hennecke Kneisel is ‘highly experienced and competent in the field of party representation’. The group has particular experience in post-M&A, energy and plant construction matters; the name partners are also frequently appointed as arbitrators. The ‘very competent’ Christian Borris, for example, was appointed chairman in an ICC arbitration between Chevron and the state of Romania. Rudolf Hennecke, who ‘always gives strategic advice’, and Sebastian Kneisel, who is ‘prompt, precise and goal oriented’, are also recommended.

DLA Piper has traditionally had a strong focus on post-M&A arbitration, but has recently also seen an increase in energy and D&O liability disputes. Daniel Sharma is defending a global corporation concerning the payment of compensation for damages following corruption claims, and is representing a conglomerate in arbitration under ICC rules. Frank Roth and Christian Schneider are defending an insurer in a multiparty arbitration regarding a W&I insurance product. Counsel Friederike Landauer also has outstanding expertise in international arbitration proceedings. The practice was strengthened in November 2017 by the addition of counsel Sebastian Schneider, who joined from Latham & Watkins LLP.

At Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB, the group has a focus on representing parties in disputes relating to post-M&A, plant construction and energy law. In addition, the firm frequently works for German automobile manufacturers. Regular arbitration work is also a pillar of the practice. Gert Brandner and Klaus Gerstenmaier, who are experienced in corporate law, are singled out; other key team members include Hans-Georg Kauffeld and Roland Kläger.

Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP has a strong focus on arbitration relating to energy and plant matters as well as on investment litigation, frequently leveraging the firm’s international ties; the experienced Patricia Nacimiento, together with a London colleague, is representing a US IT firm in post-M&A litigation. Thomas Weimann, who has a great deal of experience in dealing with industrial clients, is defending a defence company in two arbitration proceedings. Consultant Sylvia Schenk’s expertise in the field of human rights is increasingly called upon.

Highly regarded’ law firm Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner has a well-established arbitration team with experience in the energy, and banking and finance sectors. For example, Alexander Kröck and the ‘dedicated’ Annett Kuhli defend an international energy company in arbitration proceedings before the German arbitration institute DIS against a claim for adjustment of the remuneration of a long-term gas storage contract; the duo are also regularly appointed as arbitrators. On the banking and capital markets side, the group benefits from Marcus van Bevern’s previous in-house experience with a German bank; clients value his ‘expertise’. Recently, he acted as a party-appointed arbitrator in DIS proceedings between disputants from the financial sector.

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘very good’ arbitration team deals primarily with post-M&A, investor-state and energy disputes and is well integrated into the international practice group. Jan Schäfer is particularly appreciated by clients for the ‘convincing logic in his line of argument’ and is also recognised by peers as ‘one of the leading arbitrators’. The group represented ESPF Beteiligungs and InfraClass Energie 5, among others, in an investment dispute against the Italian Republic concerning the reduction of the feed-in rate for solar power.

Conflict resolution specialists, Wach + Meckes LLP’s arbitration work is particularly notable for post-M&A and shareholder disputes, while the team’s expertise in the energy sector and plant construction is also frequently in demand; in addition, the firm’s client portfolio is becoming increasingly international. Frank Meckes and Tom Petsch are representing a communications company in ICC arbitration proceedings in connection with a dispute regarding longer-term trade and supply agreements. Karl Wach is regarded as ‘technically very well versed’ and, like Meckes, is regularly appointed as arbitrator, most recently in proceedings concerning a contract dispute. Associate Gebhard Bücheler left the firm in mid-2017 to found arbitration boutique Seven Summits Arbitration.

Beiten Burkhardt’s dispute resolution practice consists of a group of specialised lawyers: Holger Peres focuses his arbitration work on the hotel and leisure industry, while Ralf Hafner specialises in the automotive and energy sectors. The latter recently represented an automotive service provider in arbitration proceedings concerning retroactive purchase price adjustment claims and valuations of company shares. In other work, the group was involved in the long-standing Toll Collect arbitration proceedings on the side of the Federal Republic of Germany. It attaches great importance to cross-practice group cooperation, frequently collaborating with its criminal, labour, corporate and M&A practices.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s arbitration practice is experienced in the areas of post-M&A, IT and automotive, in particular with a US focus; for example, Richard Kreindler divides his time between New York and Frankfurt and is a member of the newly established German arbitration institute’s council for arbitration. He recently represented a mining company in a financial dispute regarding its exit from a joint venture. The group also acted for several energy companies.

Pinsent Masons Germany LLP is ‘particularly well positioned for handling complex cases’. The arbitration group focuses on the fields of information and manufacturing technology, energy and life sciences. Thanks to its close cooperation with the firm’s international offices the team is also well positioned to handle cross-border conflicts. ‘Strong negotiator and the success-oriented’ Ulrich Lohmann defended a development finance institution against a Chinese company in an ICC arbitration. Sibylle Schumacher is recognised by clients for her ‘strong experience, pragmatism and always to-the-point advice’, and is a regular arbitrator in addition to her party representation work.

Taylor Wessing is known for its competence in commercial and corporate litigation with a focus on major projects and industrial plant construction, on which Wolfgang Gruber is particularly focused. Practice head Philipp Behrendt represented a consumer goods distributor in arbitration proceedings against an industrial client and defended a textile manufacturer in ICC arbitration proceedings. In the latter case, he is supported by salary partner Donata von Enzberg, who is also conducting two ad hoc arbitrations in the maritime industry. Axel Boesch left the firm in January 2019.

Commercial litigation

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation
  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 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


The ‘very good’ and broad dispute resolution group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has remarkable litigation experience and, above all, a strong market reputation in class actions and class action litigation, not least due to the continued representation of Volkswagen in a large number of cross-border product-related civil actions and the representation of insurer Scottish Widows in a planned sample declaratory judgment action. Rolf Trittmann, whose ‘expertise and speed’ are appreciated by clients, is experienced in the automotive sector and is representing various car manufacturers in disputes abroad. For example, he defended, together with principal associate Martin Mekat, an automobile manufacturer in a dispute concerning the termination of a distribution and license agreement in Iran. In matters related to antitrust law, Roman Mallmann represented an international truck manufacturer against claims for damages. The group also saw some noteworthy team changes: Simone Kämpfer joined in February 2018 from Thomas, Deckers, Wehnert & Elsner strengthening the synergies between the civil law practice and the criminal law area, where her expertise lies. Daniel Schnabl made partner. Thomas Kreifels, Boris Kasolowsky and Martina de Lind van Wijngaarden are a central part of the team. Thomas Kreifels, Boris Kasolowsky and Martina de Lind van Wijngaarden are a central part of the team. Principal associate Borbála Dux joined Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in October 2018.

Clients value Gleiss Lutz’s dispute resolution practice for the team’s ‘well-coordinated cooperation in all facets, from complex technical to commercial issues’ and its ‘high level of service’. In addition to its experience in capital markets and corporate disputes, the firm also has a strong antitrust practice with which it frequently collaborates. Ulrich Denzel’s team assisted voestalpine, as chief witness, in connection with proceedings initiated by the German Federal Cartel Office regarding the stainless steel cartel. The group also works hand in hand with the compliance practice: practice head Stefan Rützel is a member of the team that advised the Volkswagen supervisory board on legal issues relating to the emissions scandal. He also acted for Daimler in defending antitrust damages claims. Andrea Leufgen is also recommended.

Clients appreciate Hengeler Mueller’s ‘excellent level of service and prompt, competent advice’; the team has experience in representing clients in post-M&A, corporate, banking, finance and capital market disputes, which increasingly extend across multiple jurisdictions. The team also has strong ties with the antitrust practice. A long-standing highlight is the representation of Porsche in several Investor Sample Procedure Act proceedings – an area where the group is particularly experienced – concerning claims for damages in connection with the emissions scandal. Philipp Hanfland, who has ‘outstanding legal expertise’, recently acted for an Asian company in claims for damages. Other clients include Vodafone Kabel Deutschland, Uber, Toll Collect and Linde. Markus Meier is ‘one of the best and best-known litigators in Germany’; Carsten van de Sande and Johanna Wirth are also recommended.

Allen & Overy LLP has a strong focus on professional and directors’ liability, where it is a popular choice for management consulting and accounting firms. As part of an international firm, the group is also well positioned to handle cross-border conflicts. Litigation expert Marc Zimmerling advised a leading international insurer of a now insolvent manufacturer in connection with possible D&O liability claims and also represented a German bank in defending against actions for rescission by various shareholders. Benedikt Burger joined Bird & Bird in October 2017.

Instructions handled by Baker McKenzie’s dispute resolution practice often have a reference to antitrust and corporate law as well as a connection to Asia. The group has extensive expertise in post-M&A disputes, construction and plant disputes and in the energy sector; for example, Heiko Haller, who made equity partner, represented a Spanish bank in a dispute pertaining to the financing of a power plant project and also works for a construction company in pre-litigation negotiations relating to an energy project in South America. Jörg Risse, who is ‘a good choice for litigation’, and Ragnar Harbst acted for an IT company in a dispute concerning an IT project. The experienced Günter Pickrahn is also recommended.

While Clifford Chance’s strength in litigation has traditionally been in banking and plant construction, the firm now handles a strong caseload of antitrust litigation and D&O instructions. For example, the group defended MAN in follow-up proceedings concerning claims for damages in connection with the truck cartel. In another notable highlight, the ‘expert’ Michael Kremer representated a supervisory board in a dispute concerning the client’s involvement in the diesel emissions scandal. Volkswagen, Siemens and Kone are other clients. Uwe Hornung is ‘a very experienced litigator’, while Sebastian Rakob and counsel Jan Conrady are also recommended.

CMS’ dispute resolution team has extensive expertise in the areas of post-M&A and corporate law, but also in D&O liability and conflicts in the energy sector. The firm has a good international network and the practice has seen an increase in sanction-related proceedings, often involving Iran. Recently, Claus Thiery represented a private equity firm in a post-M&A aviation dispute. His representation of Prof. Dr. Roland Berger was recently expanded to include an additional mediation procedure. Matthias Schlingmann, an expert in the energy sector, defended an operator of solar parks in a number of parallel proceedings. Tilman Niedermaier made partner and is regarded as ‘promising’ by competitors.

Hogan Lovells International LLP has strong industry expertise and a team of experienced lawyers; several of the partners based in Germany also hold senior positions in the firm’s global litigation and arbitration management structure. Life sciences expert Tanja Eisenblätter represented the subsidiary of an international pharmaceutical company in a landmark case against a competitor. In addition, Detlef Haß and his team are still involved in the follow-up lawsuit against Air Canada concerning claims for damages arising from the alleged air freight cartel. Jürgen Johannes Witte and Olaf Gärtner are also singled out. Counsel Christian Zerr moved to Graf von Westphalen in September 2017. Ingo Kühl was made up to counsel in January 2018.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s fully integrated international approach is a strength of the team, which is always able to offer a wide range of legal representation services to suit the case at hand. The group often acts on banking, corporate and antitrust law disputes; it reached an amicable settlement in a long-standing family dispute after taking over the representation of Robert Tönnies. In addition, highly regarded practice head Christoph Baus represents an airline in a matter concerning a claim for damages under insolvency law. Christine Gärtner, who is experienced in corporate law, also has a good track record. The group was further strengthened by the arrivals of Thomas Grützner, who is experienced in litigation and compliance instructions and joined from Baker McKenzie in October 2018, and data protection expert Tim Wybitul, who was previously at Hogan Lovells International LLP. Carsten Witzke left for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in October 2018. Markus Rieder joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in November 2019.

Linklaters has strong expertise in disputes in the energy and banking sectors and positions itself in the market with a broad team; practice head Rupert Bellinghausen has experience in D&O insurance issues and directors’ and officers’ liability as well as in antitrust matters, while Alexandros Chatzinerantzis is experienced in energy and insolvency disputes. The latter represented energy producer Uniper in proceedings against the alleged unjustified termination of a supply contract in which the Essen Regional Court ruled in favour of the client. Kirstin Schwedt and Christian Schmitt are also recommended.

Noerr’s team has ‘strong expertise’ in national and international litigation and the practice, which handles a wide range of work, is frequently instructed in insurance, banking and capital markets disputes. Oliver Sieg and his team, which is ‘strong in insurance disputes’, successfully represented, among others, the former CEO of Olympus Michael Woodford and his colleague Paul Hillmann in coverage litigation before the English High Court in connection with a German D&O insurance policy. The group is also involved in numerous proceedings for Deutsche Bank. Stefan Blum defended a company against a claim for damages. Michael Molitoris and Christine Volohonsky are other names to note and the firm’s newly opened office in Hamburg was strengthened by the addition of former White & Case LLP litigator Matthias Stupp; in addition, the group made up a number of new partners at the beginning of 2018.

Clients value White & Case LLP’s ‘fast and flexible processing times’ and ‘absolute reliability’; the group has strong expertise in insolvency, energy and automotive litigation, often in cases that require interdisciplinary cooperation and good international networking. Thomas Burmeister acted for a group of network operators in proceedings against the German Federal Network Agency regarding interest rate fixing by the regulatory authority, and Markus Burianski represented a company from the automotive industry in a number of disputes. In another highlight, Christian Wirth, who is esteemed for his ‘solution-oriented approach’, defended a network service provider in court proceedings. Matthias Stupp left for Noerr in May 2017. Alexandra Diehl joined from Clifford Chance as local partner in February 2018.

DLA Piper frequently represents clients in insolvency and D&O disputes. Thomas Gädtke, who focuses on the aforementioned areas, successfully acted for two former board members of an insolvent company in litigation concerning alleged board liability. He also represented a former board member of a market research institute in a board liability case regarding an alleged breach of organisational duties. Practice head Ludger Giesberts and Frank Roth are also noted. Sebastian Schneider was made up to counsel. Former counsel Jan Bunnemann left the firm to found Fey Hill Bunnemann, which focuses on energy and insolvency law.

Wach + Meckes LLP has a reputation as ‘a top litigation boutique’ and is regularly recommended by major law firms in conflicts of interest; it specialises in various forms of dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. The team also has particular expertise in commercial and corporate litigation. Frank Meckes is an experienced litigator; he is representing a former member of a group in D&O liability and coverage litigation. Together with the ‘very experienced’ Karl Wach, Meckes also defended a group of companies in an M&A dispute. Of counsel Henning Krauss, who joined the firm from Bub Gauweiler & Partner, is representing an investor in the assertion of claims for damages. Corporate lawyer Robert Straubmeier joined in August 2018 from now-defunct law firm Nachmann. Tom Petsch is also recommended.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek is ‘responsive, competent and very professional’ in dispute resolution, frequently handling matters that concern energy and capital markets law, while also active in mass proceedings. Clients can rely on a large team that operates from a number of offices. In recent work, the practice successfully defended the descendants of Aldi’s heir Berthold Albrecht in appeal proceedings. The highly regarded Daniel Froesch represented stock corporation AllfinA & Cie. against an action for damages with an amount in dispute in the double-digit millions. The ‘very reliable’ Sebastian Jungemeyer claimed a profit participation for a pharmaceutical company against business partners. Elke Umbeck is another key figure in the team. The group is growing and has seen several partner appointments. Additions include Vera Randel from the now dissolved Cologne-based transaction boutique Corso, Michael Pauli from avocado rechtsanwälte and Stephan Nikschick from FPS.

Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner’s dispute resolution team is well positioned for conflicts that arise in the energy and banking sectors. Recent highlights include representing the founder of a company in the telecoms sector in a shareholder dispute, valued at €500m. In another matter, it defended an international group in a dispute concerning liability for tax misrepresentation. The experienced Alexander Kröck is also active in matters touching upon antitrust law. Annett Kuhli and Marcus van Bevern are other key names. Clients also benefit from the fact that some of the firm’s lawyers are also qualified as tax advisers and auditors.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s dispute resolution team is valued by clients for providing ‘outstanding legal advice with a sense and understanding of legal issues’. With an extensive international network, the team can handle national and cross-border disputes in a wide range of practice areas, including insurance, banking and intellectual property. Practice head Jamie Nowak is ‘an exceptional talent in the market’; he focuses on industries including technology and transport. Sven Förster is also noted.

SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts AG covers the entire spectrum of dispute prevention and arbitration, including the preparation of court disputes and litigation. The group has expertise in disputes with a general reference to commercial law, including in connection with M&A and, among other things, disputes over defects in the area of corporate law. The group also acts on matters relating to the Diesel scandal: it advises Volkswagen on claims for damages by investors. In addition, the group also has strong expertise in the area of D&O liability disputes, underlined by its activities in a recent series of instructions. Bayern LB and Deutsche Bank are among its long-standing clients. Practice head Jochem Reichert and Thomas Liebscher are key members of the team. Stephan Harbarth is now vice president of the Federal Constitutional Court.

Taylor Wessing’s dispute resolution practice is particularly experienced in commercial and distribution litigation as well as corporate litigation. In cases spanning several jurisdictions, the group benefits from the firm’s international presence as well as good interdisciplinary cooperation. Tim Wünnemann and Volker Herrmann, who was a new arrival from Squire Patton Boggs in May 2017, advised Hanon Systems on a dispute regarding suppliers in distress to secure supply chains in the automotive industry. In other work, Carsten Müller represented another client from the sector in a separate claims, and practice head Philipp Behrendt is defending, together with Donata von Enzberg, an energy company in various conflicts. Martin Knaup made salary partner.

WilmerHale’s dispute resolution practice’s case portfolio often touches upon civil law and regulatory issues. The strongly interdisciplinary team focuses on banking and capital markets, liability issues in product liability and warranty cases, corporate disputes and intellectual property. Co-head Hans-Georg Kamann defended, together with Vanessa Wettner, a manufacturer of medical technology against alleged claims for damages. Both also represented the Federal Government in summary proceedings initiated by Germania Fluggesellschaft at the Berlin Regional Court in connection with the €150m bridge loan granted by the client to insolvent airline Air Berlin. Highly regarded co-head Stefan Ohlhoff acts for the Federal Association of German Public Banks with regard to claims for damages arising from the fees for EC card payments. Ulrich Quack is another name to note.

At Bird & Bird, the dispute resolution team covers litigation, product liability and arbitration, with an increasing industry focus on the automotive and energy sectors, frequently on the defendant side. Practice head Jiri Jäger, who is experienced in the enforcement of claims for damages and guarantees, is representing Abellio in pursuing claims concerning the faulty construction of a workshop hall. Benedikt Burger, who is experienced in settling disputes, joined from Allen & Overy LLP in October 2017; he acted for Espa Germany in connection with the enforcement of payment and compensation claims against former co-partners and managing directors. Christian Kessel is ‘a generally preferred choice in automotive litigation’. Other changes at a personnel level include another the arrival of counsel Philipp Egler in November 2017 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and promotion to counsel of Michael Zavodsky and Lea Noemi Mackert.

Clients appreciate the ‘great pragmatism and business acumen’ of Eversheds Sutherland’s dispute resolution practice. The group often handles litigious corporate and antitrust cases, and is experienced in D&O liability cases and banking disputes. Joos Hellert represented Philip Morris, among others, in disputes with distribution partners arising from the introduction of IQOS. The client portfolio also includes Turkish Airlines, Burger King and Securitas. The group has expanded recently and was strengthened by the addition of insurance expert Ralf-Thomas Wittmann from Grooterhorst Rechtsanwälte and a number of associates joining from leading law firms.

Firmly integrated into the global partnership, Jones Day’s German practice covers the full range of commercial and contractual disputes, and is experienced in arbitration and product liability cases. The group also provides preventive advice and represents clients in conflicts in the fields of energy, planning, construction and infrastructure projects. Highly regarded practice head Dieter Strubenhoff, together with antitrust lawyer Jürgen Beninca (a new addition from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in July 2017), defended a group of companies in a dispute concerning the prosecution of antitrust claims for damages. In addition, Strubenhoff was involved in several arbitration proceedings. Johannes Willheim represented an energy company in negotiations with a competitor regarding mutual claims. Anna Masser, who made partner in January 2019, is also singled out.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is experienced in acting for companies from the energy and plant construction sectors; the dispute resolution team, which is also known for its arbitration and product liability expertise, often works in a cross-practice manner. In high-profile work, it is representing Volkswagen in mass proceedings in the context of the diesel scandal. Stephan Bausch and Anne Caroline Wegner are noted. Sabine Kröger made partner and Borbála Dux joined the team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in October 2018.

Clients value SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte’s ‘good processing times’ and ‘the expertise and competence of its lawyers’, who are particularly active in the area of commercial and distribution law disputes in both national and international cases. Practice head Arndt Tetzlaff, who is recognised for his ‘controlled litigation’, represented, among others, a manufacturer of steam pressure treatment equipment for vehicles in an international trade dispute. Ikea and Schufa Holding are also longstanding clients. Oliver Korte and Christoph Meyer are other key names; Sabine Kröger made partner.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has experience in representing international companies, investment funds and banks, but also increasingly handles IP and IT disputes. The practice group also focuses on tactical and strategic conflict prevention planning. It is led by Britta Grauke, who is also experienced in German and international procedural law. She successfully defended a bank against claims at several instances.

Financial services: litigation

Index of tables

  1. Financial services: litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

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

Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP’s team has strong industry expertise in the banking and finance sector, with particular emphasis on the synergies between dispute resolution and internal investigations. It benefits from the good interdisciplinary cooperation at both national and international level, and is well positioned to deal with complex cases. Together with the firm’s tax law team, for example, the group handles the civil law processing of various cum/cum and cum/ex transactions. Wolf Bussian regularly defends various credit institutions in disputes, including the representation of a number of banks in the enforcement of claims in the hundreds of millions. Jan Erik Windthorst, who is particularly experienced in internal investigations and regulatory audits in the financial industry, is another key figure in the team.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s dispute resolution practice is valued by clients for its ‘high level of service and industry knowledge’ in the banking and finance sector. Following the departure of Christian Duve, who became self-employed, the team is now led by Michael Rohls. Drawing on his extensive experience, he represented a major bank in a case concerning the extent to which a bank can enter into swap agreements with an international company. He is also a member of the team defending Bayerische Landesbank in litigation concerning repayments and interest payments for various financing transactions. Arbitration expert Boris Kasolowsky represented the Republic of Albania in an ICSID arbitration against the Anglo-Adriatic Group in connection with Albania’s foreign investment legislation.

Hengeler Mueller has an ‘excellent’ market reputation for handling disputes in the financial services sector, not least due to its good networking and positioning in the representation of banks, private equity funds and financial institutions. The group has strong experience handling Invester Sample Procedure Law procedures; in recent work, it represented Deutsche Bank and, under the lead of ‘good tacticianMarkus Meier, Porsche in this space. Arbitration experts Henning Bälz and counsel Ralf Willer represented Achmea Holding before the German state courts under the bilateral investment agreement between the Netherlands and the Slovak Republic. Philipp Hanfland, appreciated for his ‘very strategic approach’, is defending a bank in a variety of cross-border disputes.

Linklaters is ‘very good’ for litigation; it acts for national and international banks, and has particular experience in directors’ liability suits and capital market disputes. Among its longstanding clients are Barclays Bank and Bayern LB. The group recently represented the latter in the defence of two lawsuits brought by Bluewaters Communications Holdings. Klaus Saffenreuther, who focuses on banking and finance matters, defended other banks against claims for damages, while Robert Henrici is experienced in capital markets-related conflicts. Alexandros Chatzinerantzis and Christian Schmitt are also central figures in the practice.

Clifford Chance’s dispute resolution team defends clients against claims for damages and contract disputes, and represents them in tax proceedings and internal investigations. The main contact is the experienced Burkhard Schneider, who focuses on securities and banking disputes as well as on contract drafting and management. Recent work includes representing a bank in a number of banking supervisory proceedings. The group, which also includes senior associates Sibylle Haas and Paul Hauser, assists various clients with legal questions concerning cum/ex and cum/cum transactions.

Gleiss Lutz’s dispute resolution practice, which is recognised for its ‘high quality performance’, handles disputes in various areas of the financial services industry. In addition to advising banks, hedge funds and asset managers, the group positions itself well in the market with a solid private equity team. In cooperation with the tax practice, dispute resolution head Stefan Rützel acted for a bank in claims concerning cum/ex transactions, one of many instructions in this area. Andrea Leufgen also has great expertise in the area of banking litigation; she is defending Heta Asset Resolution in appeal proceedings against Bayrische Landesbank.

Noerr represents and defends a wide range of clients in credit investment and security proceedings, as well as in the areas of bank liability and payment transactions. Hans Christian Kirchner acts for a number of national and international credit institutions; for example, he represented Berlin Hyp in defending claims regarding processing fees in loan agreements with entrepreneurs. Deutsche Bank is another longstanding client. The group is representing Berliner Sparkasse, a branch of Landesbank Berlin, in long-running litigation relating to multiple claims, including defending against alleged claims for damages from transactions with Russia. Matthias Stupp joined from White & Case LLP in May 2017. Daniel Latta, Kolja Dörrscheidt and Stefan Blum are also names to note.

Boutique firm SERNETZ • SCHÄFER focuses on banking, capital markets and corporate law, and ‘offers legal advice at the highest level’. It is regularly instructed by major private banks, federal state banks and state institutions. The group works exclusively for financial institutions in individual disputes and model cases. Under the leadership of the experienced Helge Großerichter, the firm represented, among others, FMS Wertmanagement in litigation against the settlement unit of Hypo Alpe Adria regarding the repayment of a bond affected by an embargo. The client portfolio also includes UniCredit Bank and numerous Sparkassen (savings banks), Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken (cooperative banks). Frank Schäfer is regarded as ‘a luminary in the field’, while Andreas Höder and Ferdinand Kruis are recognised as ‘technically excellent’.

Latham & Watkins LLP has experience in advising and representing banks and shareholders in investment and insolvency disputes. Christoph Baus heads the conflict resolution practice and is particularly experienced in capital investment law and in assisting with mass proceedings. Together with restructuring and insolvency expert Frank Grell, he acted for insolvency administrator Achim Ahrends and S&K Real Estate Value Added Fondsgesellschaft in the enforcement of claims against numerous individual investors. In cooperation with the antitrust practice, Baus defended Deutsche Bank against claims for damages and recourse arising from alleged infringements of antitrust law through the application of uniform dealer fees. Christine Gärtner and Volker Schäfer are also recommended.

White & Case LLP has comprehensive expertise in representing banks, financial institutions and insurance companies in various legal disputes as well as in insolvency law disputes, and makes use of good cross-practice synergies. The group represented a major bank in several proceedings brought by insurance companies. The ‘flexible and fastChristian Wirth successfully acted for a credit rating agency in connection with the enforcement of a remuneration claim. Markus Langen, who is particularly experienced in liability issues and defence in class actions, represented a German bank in various proceedings. The client portfolio also includes Credit Suisse, Nord/LB and UniCredit.

In addition to the firm’s proven industry expertise in the financial services sector, clients of Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner also benefit from the additional qualifications of some team members as auditors and tax consultants. The group covers the entire spectrum of litigation, from representing banks, initiators and prospectus publishers in liability matters to asserting and defending claims. The central figure in this area is Marcus van Bevern, who has in-house experience with two German credit institutions in addition to litigation expertise. He recently acted for an investor in the restructuring of several special purpose entities and represented a bank in litigation against various insurance companies. Stefan Hackel also deserves special mention.

Mayer Brown LLP has access to a well-connected global network of specialist banking and finance lawyers, and can therefore advise on the full range of dispute resolution. The German practice, which has a clear focus on litigation in the financial services sector, acts for investment banking companies, private equity funds and insurers. Jan Kraayvanger, who focuses on disputes in the financial services sector, recently acted for an insurer in damages litigation in connection with cum/ex transactions;he was also part of a team that represented a private equity firm in a judicial review.

Clients value Waldeck Rechtsanwälte PartmbB’s practice for its ‘high professional standard’ and ‘above-average performance’; it acts for domestic and foreign banks in disputes in the field of banking and capital markets law, in connection with stock exchange and over-the-counter securities transactions, and takes the regulatory environment into consideration when advising on civil and commercial law issues. Christian Faßbender focuses on commercial and corporate as well as capital markets law and provides ‘creative solutions’; he led representation of Capitell Vermögensmanagement in a model case concerning prospectus errors and the sale of participations in Hannover Leasing 193. In other work, Marcus Blankenheim defended Commerzbank in numerous disputes. Jan Liepe and Hendrik Pielka are regarded as ‘outstanding in all areas’.

Product liability

Index of tables

  1. Product liability
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  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


Hogan Lovells International LLP focuses on product liability and compliance consulting, and impresses with its strong industry expertise. The renowned Ina Brock is well versed in the life sciences sector; she defended a client against liability claims for the alleged improper certification of medical products. Matthias Schweiger, who has a similar focus, was also involved in this case. Sebastian Polly specialises in the automotive sector, where he represents various car manufacturers in product liability and safety cases, and advises on official investigations and recalls.

A strong pillar of Noerr’s dispute resolution practice is its expertise in product liability cases. The focus is on the automotive, food and life sciences sectors, and the firm’s full-service approach allows teams to be assembled across practice groups depending on the client’s demands. Recent work includes representing an industrial robot manufacturer in the defence against claims by an automotive industry supplier following a recall campaign. The team led by the experienced Michael Molitoris also represented Schreiner Group in recourse claims between automotive supply chain companies in connection with recall costs. Helmut Katschthaler and newly promoted partner Arun Kapoor are also noted.

BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR, which specialises in insurance and liability law, handles product liability cases brought both by insurance companies and directly by industry clients. The group is increasingly involved in cases pertaining to damage caused by autonomous machines. Practice head Rainer Büsken is well versed in pecuniary and personal losses, and recently acted for clients in the aircraft industry. Martin Alexander represented the German subsidiary of a Japanese company in a product liability case involving industrial robots. Carsten Hösker made partner.

Taylor Wessing is, arguably, the first choice for ‘international product liability cases’; the group covers a broad spectrum through its interdisciplinary cooperation, and is able to advise on product safety law and product recalls. The team is also working extensively on the topic of conflict prevention, where it is able to utilise new technologies. Henning Moelle, who is ‘recognised in the market’, is particularly well versed in the life sciences sector; he advised a defendant pharmaceutical manufacturer in a product liability case regarding damages and compensation payments. Other clients include Volkswagen and Grünenthal. Philipp Behrendt is also recommended.

CMS is experienced in handling recall actions, the defence against claims for damages and the enforcement of coverage claims against liability insurers, among other matters. Tobias Bomsdorf and his team have moved to the Frankfurt office, where they handle liability cases in the areas of industrial claims and product liability. His recent work includes representing an automotive supplier in a dispute relating to liability claims arising from the extraordinary termination of a supply agreement due to the delivery of defective products. Bomsdorf also acted in the defence of claims for an international manufacturer of electronic components in connection with serial damage.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer reports a high workload, not least due to its continuing representation of Volkswagen in numerous product-related civil cases. In other work, Moritz Becker represented a manufacturer of rail vehicles in a dispute concerning liability for defects in a local transport project. Thomas Kreifels, who is valued by clients for his ‘impressive expertise and very good negotiation strategy’, acted for an elevator and escalator manufacturer against claims for damages. Cross-border cases are also handled promptly.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner covers the full spectrum of product liability, from preventive advice to taking action in the event of product defects. The group is particularly experienced in product recalls, often with an international dimension, and benefits from the firm’s insurance law focus. Carsten Laschet and Tobias Lenz are recommended.

Gleiss Lutz benefits from the firm’s full service offering, which enables it to assemble team of lawyers with ‘excellent legal knowledge’ in product liability matters from the relevant specialist areas for each case. The group is experienced in providing preventive advice to clients, often from the life sciences and industrial goods sectors, as well as in litigation and product recalls. The ‘strategic and technically strong’ Eric Wagner is experienced in drafting contracts and is the central figure of the team; he represented a vehicle parts manufacturer in the defence against claims for damages following an international recall. He also advised foam manufacturer Eurofoam and all affiliated companies in the dichlorobenzene scandal, in which an increased concentration of the pathogenic substance dichlorobenzene was used in a plant manufacturing mattresses.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH advises on product recalls, product safety law obligations and insurance claims. Instructions frequently have an Asia reference and often concentrate on the areas of mechanical and plant engineering as well as the automotive sector. Volker Steimle, who is particularly experienced in supply and distribution contracts, advised a manufacturer of acoustic components on product safety liability risks. Together with counsel Guido Dornieden, Steimle also represented Same Deutz-Fahr in a product liability case. Other clients include Harley-Davidson and Transdev.

Osborne Clarke’s team has expertise in preventive counseling and product liability litigation, product-related compliance issues and recall support, and is instructed by companies in the automotive, medical device and digital business sectors. Thomas Grünvogel, who joined from CMS in March 2017, has a remarkable level of expertise; he frequently acts for the Schaeffler Gruppe in international product liability cases. Marcus Sacré acted for an international insurance company in various product liability cases involving an automotive supplier. Senior associate Christoph Pitzer is also very active.

The team at Reschlaw Legal Consultants Christiane Herzhauser handles product safety and product liability law as well as recall management and insurance matters for national and international companies. The group focuses on the mechanical engineering, automotive supply and consumer goods industries. Founding partner Philipp Reusch assisted a manufacturer of automotive parts with four product recalls with a total loss volume of €240m. In addition, Miriam Schuh advises on product liability cases in the medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics fields. Daniel Wuhrmann, who made partner in January 2019, is also noted..

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