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Germany > Industry focus > Telecoms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: telecoms
  2. Regulatory
  3. Transactions
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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    • Tobias Bosch - Noerr
    • Martin Geppert - Juconomy Rechtsanwälte
    • Sven-Erik Heun - Bird & Bird
    • Thomas Mayen - Dolde Mayen & Partner
    • Joachim Scherer - Baker McKenzie
    • Thomas Tschentscher - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Baker McKenzie is considered ‘one of the best firms in Germany’ for telecoms matters, with a clear focus on regulatory matters. The Frankfurt-based group led by practice head Joachim Scherer is particularly experienced in implementing new business models, which is showcased by assisting clients with the implementation of connected car services in numerous jurisdictions. On over-the-top services, the group recently assisted some OTT platform and service providers with data protection and telecoms matters concerning a product with personal language assistance, while broadband and frequency development matters particularly included frequency regulation matters and frequency coordination procedures. Another one of the group’s strengths is advising on regulations concerning the identifiability of users, particularly concerning data retention. Telefónica, Colt and Iridium are core clients. Counsel Caroline Heinickel is the name to note for cyber security matters.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer mainly acts on regulatory and antitrust matters in the telecoms sector, while also covering transactions. A core instruction in the regulatory area is advising Vodafone’s German branch on mobile as well as fixed network matters; for example, it assisted the client with the regulation of mobile and interconnection charges, vectoring 2, frequency and layer 2 bitstream access. Other highlights included advising United Internet on the acquisition of webhosting company Strato by Deutsche Telekom and representing telecom providers in patent disputes, with standard essential patents being a major focus. Furthermore, Norbert Nolte regularly assists 1&1 telecom, for example concerning injunctive relief enforcement claims for Deutsche Telekom’s new hybrid connections and concerning telecoms, corporate and labour law matters concerning the integration of Versatel into the 1&1 group. The group has further expertise in M2M communication with a particular focus on the automotive sector. Counsel Danielle Herrmann left for Neuland legal; Frankfurt-based Thomas Tschentscher leads the group.

In the telecoms sector, Noerr is particularly known for its transactional capabilities, while extending its regulatory practice as evidenced by increasingly acting on standard bidding procedures, broadcasting law and representation in regulatory procedures. The group assisted the Africa Internet Group with several financing rounds totalling over €300m, and advised Bertelsmann on the worldwide call for tenders for the outsourcing of WAN services. On the regulatory side, advising Inmarsat on a contract with the Lufthansa Group concerning the provision of broadband services was a highlight. The group’s expertise in connection with media law is showcased by advising the German society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights (GEMA) on negotiations concerning the cable retransmission remuneration and representing the client in related disputes. In other work, it continued advising NFON on contracting cloud-based telephone services. Microsoft and Easynet Global Services are also clients. Hanno Schaper and Sebastian Schürer made associated partner. Tobias Frevert handles commercial and transactional work, while Tobias Bosch is experienced in handling regulatory matters.

Bird & Bird offers ‘extremely good industry knowledge and technical understanding’ and advises both landline and mobile telecoms clients and convergent

services providers. The group is particularly well positioned in the high technology area, with transactions an important pillar of the practice next to regulatory matters relating to IT and data protection matters. An example is Hans Peter Leube’s advice to Deutsche Beteiligungs AG on the investor Warburg Pincus’ investment in inexio. Core clients are Telefónica, 450 Connect, HSH Nordbank and Verizon. Practice head and ‘all-rounderSven-Erik Heun is ‘always up to date’ and offers ‘extremely practical recommendations’.

Jens Neitzel’s group at CMS is increasingly active handling regulatory work, with particular expertise in network access and outsourcing project matters. Cisco Systems retained the group for assistance with the introduction of new business models, platforms and services and counsel Daniel Hofmann advised Ecostar, which is part of the Hughes Network, on satellite communications matters. Contentious work includes representing EWE TEL in appeal proceedings against the regulatory order Vectoring I; and representing Vodafone Kabel Deutschland in litigation against Telekom Deutschland concerning the allegedly improper increase of fees for the shared use of cable ducts as well as in numerous administrative proceedings against cities and municipalities concerning the laying of telecommunication lines. In 2017, advice on subscriber lines increased; in this area, 1&1 Versatel was advised on monthly and non-recurring charges and EWE TEL was represented in proceedings against the September 2016 regulatory order and the subscriber line standard offer process.

Boutique firm Dolde Mayen & Partner is one of the top firms for regulatory advice in the telecoms sector and representation in litigation. In 2017, regulatory advice rendered to long-term clients Deutsche Telekom, Telekom Deutschland and T-Systems International made up the lion’s share of the group’s work. For example, it represented the industry giants before the Federal Network Agency, in particular concerning regulatory orders, standard bidding procedures, order and payment procedures and frequency issues. Thomas Mayen’s group also handles administrative proceedings, sometimes before the Federal Administrative Court, and is also part of the range of consulting services.

Jones Day has a ‘flexible approach and gives practical recommendations with clear guidelines’ primarily on regulatory matters, while also acting in relation to data protection matters. ‘Very experienced’ practice head Holger Neumann represented Verizon in numerous regulatory and administrative proceedings, with the main focus being regulatory orders, the regulation of alternative subscriber network operators and interconnection and mobile termination rates. The group continued representing Deutschlandradio in litigation against the Federal Network Agency before the Administrative Court of Cologne concerning the newly regulated charges for the transfer of FM radio signals according to the Telecommunications Act. The firm’s international positioning came in handy for drone producer DJI Innovations, which was advised on compliance matters concerning the German and European telecoms regulation as well as on product safety and frequency and aviation regulation. Associate Martin Wortmann has ‘very good analytical skills’; of counsel Wolfgang Büchner left for Memminger LLP in July 2017.

Juconomy Rechtsanwälte has a broad practice covering both regulatory matters and litigation. The boutique firm is particularly noted for its ‘very practice oriented’ advice, with Jens Schulze zur Wiesche ‘unreservedly recommended’ for his telecoms competition and antitrust law expertise. Fourteen member organisations of German Broadband Association (BREKO) were represented by Martin Geppert in a claim against the Vectoring II decision of the Federal Network Agency. Peter Schmitz assisted 01051 Tellecom with lobbying measures anfd comments regarding the continuation of call-by-call and preselection, as well as NGN migration and an NGN interconnection agreement with Deutsche Telekom. Another highlight was representing several municipalities and districts in proceedings for access claims under the DigiNetzG, the legal framework regulating the development of digital high-speed networks.

Beiten Burkhardt focuses on advising clients on mobile services, mobile communications sales and data protection matters. The ‘technically brilliant’ Matthias W. Stecher, who co-leads the practice together with Mathias Zimmer-Goertz, recently assisted DIMOCO Europe with numerous telecoms law issues, with mobile payment matters playing a significant role. Verifox retained the group for regulatory and distribution law matters. Claudio G. Chirco made partner.

Greenberg Traurig Germany’s telecoms practice, headed by Christoph Enaux, focuses on the connection between real estate and telecoms law, but is also regularly consulted for regulatory issues concerning antitrust and media law matters. For example, it advised numerous housing associations on cable and broadband strategy issues and assisted the federal association of German housing and real estate enterprise registered associations (GdW) with issues concerning the positioning of the housing industry and the structuring of lobbying activities for the charging rules for shared use of in-house infrastructure, as set out in the legal framework regulating the development of digital high-speed networks. Niklas Conrad made counsel.

In the telecoms sector, Hengeler Mueller is particularly rated for transactions: Albrecht Conrad assisted freenet with the acquisition of a stake in Swiss telecoms provider Sunrise Communications, which also included handling questions concerning the Swiss frequency allocation. He was also lead advisor of mobilcom-debitel on the establishment of a strategic partnership with Capita Customer Services through the outsourcing of business processes in customer service. Regulatory matters are covered by Wolfgang Spoerr, who recently represented Tele Columbus in a dispute with the media authority of Berlin-Brandenburg concerning feed-in tariff conditions.

Loschelder’s telecoms group led by Raimund Schütz mainly handles feed-in contracts and data protection issues. For example, it is representing broadcasting corporation ARD in litigation against Vodafone Kabel Deutschland and Unitymedia, and in administrative proceedings against Unitymedia to establish an obligation to conclude paid feed-in contracts. Vodafone retained the group for data protection matters and a medium-sized telecoms company relied on the team for the contractual, telecoms and state aid aspects of the operation and acquisition of Wireless Local Loops and for broadband coverage support matters.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP continues advising on contractual and transactional matters, while recently noting an increase in regulatory work. The group led by Ralf Weisser and Wolfgang von Frentz mainly acts for media companies on digitalisation matters: For example, it represented ProSiebenSat.1 in preliminary injunction proceedings against Exaring concerning dissemination matters in connection with waipu.tv, particularly regarding the distinction of IPTV in closed cable networks with OTT services. Another highlight was representing Deutschlandradio in litigation against Unitymedia concerning the continued payment of cable feed-in tariffs. Claus Färber made counsel.

In the telecoms sector, Morrison & Foerster LLP focuses on contractual and regulatory matters, while also handling acquisitions. Unify retained the group led by Andreas Grünwald concerning the regulatory framework for the legal classification of an OTT service, handling corresponding procedures before regulators in over 30 countries. 1&1 Telecom and Tele Columbus are core clients.

Led by Kornelius Kleinlein, Raue LLP’s group focuses on providing regulatory and antitrust advice to telecoms companies. It is particularly experienced in handling Federal Network Agency proceedings in the regulatory area. The German Vodafone retained the group to handle administrative litigation against the 2016 approval of subscriber line lease fees, while the group also represented the client in litigation against Telekom Deutschland concerning the interim charge of higher fees. In another matter, the group continued representing DIVICON Media in litigation against the first regulatory order of 19th December 2014.

TCI Rechtsanwälte advises IT and telecoms companies on regulatory matters and frequently handles market access matters. Stephan Schmidt continued representing several text message providers in litigation against Vodafone concerning the permissibility of business models consisting of text message routing. The group regularly advises CallOne, dtms and 1&1 Versatel on telecoms and contractual issues, and assisted Lebara with the implementation of new regulatory requirements for prepaid providers.

At Taylor Wessing, telecoms sector work is handled as part of its TMT practice. The group led by Axel von dem Bussche is particularly experienced in handling issues relating to telecoms and data protection law, while Detlef Klett also handles industry-specific IT law matters.

In the telecoms sector, White & Case LLP increasingly focuses on regulatory work, while also handling transactions. For example, it advised the minority shareholders and the supervisory board of inexio on the sale of shares to Warburg Pincus; in the context of this transaction, the group also assisted the supervisory board of inexio Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation with adapting the investment and shareholder agreement. Norbert Wimmer is the name to note.

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