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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 > Insurance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Advice to insurers

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: advice to insurers
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Wessel Heukamp - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Winfried Schnepp - CMS
    • Jan Schröder - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Daniel Wilm - Hengeler Mueller

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Anne Fischer - Allen & Overy LLP

Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP has extensive expertise in corporate and M&A work as well as insurance supervisory and capital markets law matters. The team is particularly active in the transactional space and frequently involved in many headline deals, which includes Jan Schröder’s and counsel Anne Fischer’s advice to the Frankfurter Leben Group on its acquisition of a majority shake in ARAG Lebensversicherung; this constituted the first-time sale of an entire run-off life insurer by a German insurance group to a run-off platform and thus it took on particular significance in the market. In the non-life sector, the team advised AXA Liabilities Managers on the acquisition of a reinsurance portfolio from Provinzial Rheinland. Hochrhein Internationale Rückversicherung also received advice on the acquisition of a reinsurance portfolio, while Schweizer Lebensversicherungsgruppe received assistance with issues pertaining to the cross-border sale of insurance products in several EU member states. In the internal group restructuring space, the team has been acting in a cross-border merger of insurance holding groups. Jan Erik Windthorst was elevated to the partnership and Alexander Behrens joined the team in March 2017 from Mayer Brown LLP.

Much of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s work pertains to corporate and M&A-related matters alongside insurance supervisory law and contractual issues, which frequently include cross-border elements. Team head Wessel Heukamp advised the Viridium Group on the acquisition of Mannheimer Lebensversicherung’s life insurance portfolio from Protektor, and assisted another insurer with a winding-up and reorganisation plan. With notable experience in the regulatory sector, which now also includes Brexit strategy planning capabilities, the team advised AIG and Lloyds, among others, on Brexit strategy matters, while assisting various insurers of the German Zurich Group with Solvency II issues concerning capitalisation and group structure. With the ability to call on colleagues from the banking and finance departments, Patrick Cichy and Lars Westpfahl advised a major German insurance group on the loan financing of Germany’s second largest online travel portal. Gunnar Schuster is recommended.

Clifford Chance has corporate law assistance at its core and is able to draw on extensive expertise in cross-border mergers, internal restructurings and transactions. Thomas Krecek advised Legal&General on the sale of its German insurance portfolio to Canada Life by means of a portfolio transfer. Frequently acting related to real estate law, the team advised Allianz Real Estate as part of the joint venture between Allianz Group and Hammerson on the acquisition of Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin. Other key areas of strength stem from the team’s regular co-operation with the tax, banking and capital markets practices, leading to regular instructions on investment and fund structuring. Stefan Bruder was made counsel.

DLA Piper’s handling of instructions is based on a tight co-operation with the corporate and employment teams, which results in a particular strength dealing with matters at this interface, while handling pension insurance mandates, frequently including life insurance and product design elements, constitutes an increasingly significant portion of the practice’s workload. Recently, the team advised the Baloise Group on the sale of a closed life insurance portfolio held by the German branch of Basler Leben to the Frankfurter Leben Group, and on the sale of a 100% stake in the German insurance brokerage group Assekuranz Herrmann to the German Artus Group including related due diligence. In other work, Gunne Bähr assisted a client from the pension insurance sector with regulatory and contractual issues including executive board obligations in the face of the zero-interest rate environment. Jan Eltzschig is recommended.

Gleiss Lutz’s client portfolio includes several well-known national and international insurance groups, such as Allianz Deutschland and Munich Re, which receive regular advice on M&A transactions and restructurings alongside antitrust, corporate and insurance supervisory law matters including compliance. Team head Ingo Brinker advised ERV on antitrust matters, while Munich Re instructed Michael Arnold and Tobias Harzenetter with corporate matters and issues arising from the 2017 annual general meeting. As another significant element of the practice, the group is well versed in advising national health insurance companies: Versicherungskammer Bayern receives regular corporate and insurance supervisory law advice, while AOK Baden-Württemberg routinely instructs the team with tenders in the medicinal products and provision of aid sectors, and WMF BKK has been receiving health insurance law advice. Other key member of the team include Hansjörg Scheel and Maximilian von Rom.

Hengeler Mueller’s strength lies in advising on corporate and insurance supervisory matters, while, in co-operation with the Brussels office, the team is also adept at handling antitrust matters, leading to regular instructions from Allianz, RheinLand Versicherungsgruppe and Talanx, among others. In regulatory work, the team receives a steady flow of Solvency II-related instructions, while also having expertise in fund law as recently demonstrated in advising an international asset manager on the structuring of fund products for insurance companies. In other highlights, Daniel Wilm assisted Protektor Lebensversicherung with the spin-off of its run-off life insurance business into a legal entity for the purpose of sale, and Kai-Steffen Scholz advised Wüstenrot & Württembergische on the group-wide implementation of an employee share programme for employees and sales representatives. AXA Group, Continentale Krankenversicherung and Generali Deutschland received general corporate and insurance supervisory law advice, while the team also represented the former in court proceedings following a squeeze-out, and assisted Baloise with setting up a digital insurance business in Germany.

Handling corporate and M&A work constitutes a key area of Hogan Lovells International LLP’s expertise with the team demonstrating particular experience in cross-border restructurings. Dealing with insurance supervisory law, governance, liability and coverage matters are other core strengths. The team assisted Generali Deutschland with restructuring matters pertaining to a cost reduction programme, and Allianz Global Investors received advice on a global outsourcing project. Christoph Küppers and Christoph Louven are the main contacts.

Linklaters provides a broad range of services with a specialism in corporate and insurance supervisory law alongside M&A transactions and banking law. Highlights included Frederik Winter’s advice to AGI on structured fund products, and assisting SV SparkassenVersicherung with the structuring of bundling vehicles for real estate investments. In other work, the team led by Wolfgang Krauel acted for Allianz Global Investors in the acquisition of 80% of an onshore wind farm portfolio from PNE Wind, and assisted Bayerische Versorgungskammer with the structuring of investment vehicles and regulatory investment tax reform matters. Also in the regulatory space, the team advised a major German life insurance company on Solvency II-related issues, while, in different work, Athene Deutschland Lebensversicherung received corporate and employment law advice. Other clients include Helvetia und Hannover Re.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s expertise incorporates transactional and insurance supervisory law capabilities alongside distribution law and brokerage know-how, leading to regular instructions on outsourcing, capital raising, risk mitigation techniques and capital investment matters, among others. As highlights in the transactional space, Eva-Maria Barbosa advised Hyperion Insurance on the acquisition of a majority stake in Euroassekuranz Versicherungsmakler, and assisted Wüstenrot & Württembergische with the acquisition of 75% of the shares in treefin. In the regulatory space, the team provides regular advice to the Compre Group, frequently including corporate law elements. The team is also well versed in carrying out risk assessments of warranty & indemnity policies as demonstrated by Andreas Börner’s advice to an insurance company with regards to a transaction. He also advised China Re on regulatory matters pertaining to the operation of its reinsurance business in Germany. Recently promoted partner Sven Förster has been advising a reinsurance company on a reinsurance claim review for a liability case.

Bach Langheid Dallmayr is well versed in dealing with insurance supervisory and distribution law alongside contractual matters. The team advises several insurance companies on regulatory group structuring issues and the introduction of products alongside reinsurance and compliance matters. Martin Schaaf along with life and accident insurance expert Joachim Grote advised a German life insurance company on regulatory matters, and together with Theo Langheid, Grote assisted another insurance company with product design issues in the nursing care insurance sector. Tobias Britz was elevated to the partnership, while Eva-Maria Goergen, who is experienced in the international property insurance industry, left the firm in October 2016 to open Ince & Co Germany LLP’s second German office in Cologne.

Recognised for its broad offering, CMS advises national and international insurance companies and insurance brokers on issues related to entering the German market alongside product design, regulatory and M&A matters. Team head Winfried Schnepp advised Delvag on insurance supervisory, corporate and employment law issues pertaining to the merger with its subsidiary Delvag Rück, and assisted a private-customer insurer with insurance law matters concerning its entry into the German market. Similarly, JLT Risk Solutions has also been receiving German market entry advice and advice on setting up a German branch, while Lombard International Assurance receives regular assistance with product design matters. Insurance supervision law specialist Stefan Segger left the firm in October 2016 to open Ince & Co Germany LLP’s second German office in Cologne.

Standing out for its ‘extraordinary industry knowledge’, Noerr focuses on corporate and regulatory work, frequently acting for D&O insurers. Recently, practice head Thomas Heitzer advised an English D&O insurer on liability and coverage matters pertaining to a major damage claim, and the ‘very competentHelmut Katschthaler assisted a Swiss branch of a German liability insurer on coverage issues concerning a pecuniary damage liability insurance of a sports association. In other significant work, the team acted for a US insurance group in insurance supervisory, corporate and employment law matters related to its German branch. Tanja Schramm and Henning Schaloske joined Clyde & Co LLP in September 2016.

Insurance companies frequently instruct Oppenhoff & Partner with matters pertaining to insurance products alongside corporate and insurance supervisory issues but the team is also experienced in providing investment advice. Peter Etzbach advised Zurich Deutscher Herold Lebensversicherung on its co-operation with an asset management company including the introduction of a new insurance product, and assisted Arch Insurance with corporate and insurance supervisory issues. Generali Deutschland instructed the team to advise on several investments including promissory note loans, bonds and structured finance products. Rolf Koerfer and Hanno Goltz are also key individuals of the team, the clients of which include Hannover Rück and Prudential International Assurance.

Taylor Wessing’s team is particularly strong in insurance supervisory law and insurance agent matters including compliance. Recently, HUK-Coburg received advice on the implementation of the new requirements under distribution and commercial law, while advising insurances and reinsurances on run-offs constitutes another key element of the team led by Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn. She advised Crédit Agricole Assurances on the amendment to its sales co-operation with CreditPlus Bank and FCA Bank resulting from a business expansion.


Insurance litigation

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: insurance litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Björn Fiedler - Fiedler Cryns-Moll Jüngel
    • Thomas Gädtke - DLA Piper
    • Theo Langheid - Bach Langheid Dallmayr
    • Tobias Lenz - Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner
    • Björn Seitz - Bach Langheid Dallmayr
    • Oliver Sieg - Noerr

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Henning Schaloske - Clyde & Co LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Insurance 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Considered by many as ‘the market leader’ in insurance and liability law, Bach Langheid Dallmayr acts for an impressive client roster including several well-known national and international insurance companies and financial services providers, which the team routinely represents on the defence side. The team’s very broad expertise is based on several sub-specialisations. One such specialisation is in the liability sector which is led by Rainer Büsken, while Dirk-Carsten Günther is the main contact for property insurance matters and Stephan Hütt for health insurance. In product liability, the team frequently handles medical device-related work and assists clients, including a number of manufacturing companies, with product recalls. In this context, Martin Alexander and Carsten Hösker represented a medical device manufacturer in proceedings pertaining to blood donations. Björn Seitz and Bastian Finkel defended several D&O insurers against insolvency-related liability claims. Other key individuals include Theo Langheid and life and accident insurance expert Joachim Grote. Tobias Britz was elevated to the partnership.

CMS puts significant focus on large-scale liability and damage claims, including client representations in D&O proceedings featuring banking and insolvency law elements. Team head Winfried Schnepp continues to represent the city of Cologne in damage claim proceedings brought by several private lenders of art artefacts and estates before the Regional Court of Cologne for the collapse of the Cologne city archives.

Clients benefit from the close co-operation between DLA Piper’s insurance law team and the litigation and regulatory departments, resulting in particular strength in handling D&O-related coverage disputes, while the team was also able to further expand its pension insurance segment with the arrival of counsel Manuel Baroch Castellvi. This has led to an increase of instructions at the intersection of life insurance law and product design. Recently, Gunne Bähr advised an occupational pension provider on supervisory requirements and represented the client against a reimbursable member. In other significant work, the team acted in over 300 coverage claims under a tax consultancy liability insurance policy with regards to fund losses, and provided liability and coverage law advice to an insurance company, which arose from two lawsuits filed by insolvency administrators. Central figures include Christian Schneider and Thomas Gädtke.

With several regional offices, Dr. Eick & Partner Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB exclusively acts on the insurance side, representing its clients predominately in personal, property and indemnity insurance matters. Other areas of expertise include construction and architect issues, which are frequently dealt with by the recommended Hermann Schumacher, alongside motor vehicle and medical liability work. Other key members of the team include Michael Burmann and Rainer Heß.

The strength of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s team lies in handling liability and property insurance matters and in defending against recourse claims, which are frequently dealt with by Rüdiger Schnug, who acts for well-known clients such as Allianz and Atradius Kreditversicherung. In other work, Markus Rabe has been acting for an insurance company in matters pertaining to revoked life insurance contracts and loan agreements. The team also acts for policyholders in D&O and freelancer liability matters including financial loss liability insurance issues, which constitute another significant area of expertise. Michael Lauterbach and Herbert Palmberger are among the main contacts along with recently promoted salaried partner Martin Karwatzki.

Noerr stands out for its ‘excellent industry knowledge’, which, after Tanja Schramm’s and Henning Schaloske’s move to Clyde & Co LLP in September 2016, is predominately called upon by policyholders, while the team still maintains its close contacts with primary insurance and reinsurance companies. Oliver Sieg has been acting for an international energy company in asserting claims against fidelity insurance companies for unauthorised speculative transactions in the derivatives trading business. This competence in insurance, corporate and banking law proves to be a particular strength of the team, which is also played out in D&O, product liability and major damage sector work. In the latter segment, the team assisted an international company in the energy industry with the enforcement of a claim for damages to a hydroelectric power plant against a company and liability insurer. Thomas Heitzer heads the team, which includes the ‘very competentHelmut Katschthaler.

Thümmel, Schütze & Partner focuses on the representation of insurance companies, while also acting for insured companies and professionals, in predominately liability and fidelity insurance matters and has particular experience in the D&O sector. In the latter, the team acts for national and international insurance companies as monitoring, coverage and defence counsel for board members, managing directors and supervisory board members. Roderich Thümmel, Jens Haubold and Franck Schmidt-Husson are recommended, while product liability expert Susanne Kratzsch joined Dr. Kroll & Partner at the start of 2017.

Praised for its ‘profound knowledge’, Wilhelm Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB is ‘very pleasant to work with’ and has a specialism in acting for insured industry clients, which includes a number of energy, chemical and pharmaceutical sector players alongside construction and real estate clients, as well as reinsurance companies, in court and out-of-court liability and coverage proceedings with particular expertise in D&O insurance and product liability matters. The ‘creative, conscientious and always available’ Christian Becker, who clients also single out for his ‘good technical and strategic understanding’, represented an energy company in the assertion of claims amounting to tens of millions of euros under an assembly and business interruption insurance policy following damage to a power plant, while Mark Wilhelm and Lars Winkler represented Kraftwerksprojektgesellschaft SEK in assembly insurance proceedings. ‘Professional, solution-oriented and very assertive negotiator’ Christian Drave advised a company in the construction industry on liability and insurance law matters pertaining to a property damage. Fabian Herdter is ‘analytically outstanding’.

Defending tax and accounting firms against liability claims is a central pillar of Allen & Overy LLP’s practice. Marc Zimmerling advised and defended the auditing firm KPMG against claims for damages brought by the insolvency administrator for the assets of the trading and tourist group Arcandor of around €85m for alleged flawed restructuring advice. Acting for D&O insurers in liability disputes with former management bodies counts as another area of particular strength.

The ‘very competent’ team at bock legal Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwältendoes a very good job and provides comprehensive and forward-looking advice’, most notably on professional and D&O liability matters: recent examples include acting for the former manager of P+S Werften, and representing a German lawyer in recourse proceedings for supposedly insufficient advice on a corporate transaction. As another key element, the team frequently acts as coverage counsel for well-known clients including Allianz. The ‘eloquent’ Dirk Schmitz is praised as ‘understanding matters quickly’, while clients recommend Stefan Bank for contentious D&O issues with insolvency law elements.

In September 2016, Tanja Schramm and Henning Schaloske, previously at Noerr, opened Clyde & Co LLP’s German office in Düsseldorf. The new entity is considered to be ‘a good choice for D&O matters’ and benefits from good contacts with insurance and reinsurance companies on one hand and from the firm’s international network on the other. In recent significant work, the team acted as monitoring counsel for the D&O insurer CNA Insurance in a liability for damages proceeding against two members of the executive board of the SKW Stahl-Metallurgie Group with regards to expansion projects in Bhutan and Sweden. Handling professional and product liability work complements the range of services offered.

Benefiting from its cross-sectional insurance, corporate and criminal law competence, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner is well versed in handling D&O damage claims for clients on the insurance side and product liability matters for insurance companies and manufacturers. In the product liability space, Carsten Laschet acted for a construction company in a dispute with a supplier over several thousand construction projects. Equally noteworthy, he represented a D&O insurance company in liability and coverage proceedings against several managers. Tobias Lenz is recommended for insurance coverage matters.

Taylor Wessing assists several well-known clients, including insurance companies and banks, with matters arising from large-scale damages. This includes the representation of insurers in coverage and recourse proceedings with a focus on property, fire and construction damages as well as damages from cyber attacks but the team is also experienced in handling product liability, D&O and liability insurance work. Team head Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn represented ALBA Metall Süd Franken in coverage litigation against HDI Versicherung. Other clients include the ACE European Group and Chubb.

White & Case LLP frequently acts for companies and financial services providers in D&O liability and coverage matters alongside other legal proceedings for damages and has considerable clout in matters relating to corporate law. In recent work, Christian Wirth represented a company in a fraud case with respect to its fidelity insurance and enforced claims of €30m. Together with counsel Ulrich Carlhoff, he also represented a bank in its defence against claims for damages in the millions of euros stemming from a co-operation contract with a foreign insurance and a life insurance package.

Particularly active in northern Germany, Glauber & Partner represents several insurance companies, such as HDI Versicherung, Mecklenburgische Versicherung and KRAVAG Versicherung, in liability and insurance law litigation. The former two insurance clients also receive regular advice on major damages. Jan Glauber and Britta Hannemann are the main contacts.

Johannsen Rechtsanwälte focuses on the representation of insurance companies in insurance law and liability litigation. Oliver Meixner and Arno Schubach are the main contacts.

Meschkat & Nauert handles coverage and recourse litigation, mass procedures and traffic accident matters while also dealing with D&O and other liability work. Founding partners Norbert Meschkat and Ralf Nauert head the team from Gießen.

Good and professional litigation firmPatzina Lotz Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB is recommended for the representation of tax consultants, auditors, lawyers and notaries in liability and D&O proceedings. The ‘analytical’ René Matz is a ‘good and highly competent litigator’; he represented a consultancy firm in liability proceedings for alleged incorrect advice provided on a share deal, and a tax advisor from southern Germany in recourse proceedings, in defence against the allegation of having failed to highlight faulty documents and the necessary corrections in the plaintiff’s financial accounting. Thorsten Lotz assisted a lawyer in an office partnership with the assertion of damage claims amounting to €3m. Reinhard Patzina ‘gets to the heart of problems and provides compelling solutions’.


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