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

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. IT and outsourcing: information technology (including contracts)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Torsten Kraul - Noerr
    • Alexander Molle - Gleiss Lutz

Who Represents Who

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Considered one of the ‘absolute market leaders in Germany’, Bird & Bird’s IT practice stands out for its ‘understanding of specific sectors, very good knowledge of client-specific features’ and the ‘good coordination also in cross-border matters’. The eight-partner team, whose ‘manner is always professional, polite and goal-oriented’, often advises on digital matters and in 2017 again saw many mandates in the context of Industry 4.0: It assisted a British software company with the development of a platform for the international distribution of software solutions and maintenance and further advancement of the products and also continuously advises a high-end automotive corporation on the digital transformation process. In traditional IT law the team surrounding practice head Alexander Duisberg often handles large IT projects, acts in IT disputes and additionally has longstanding experience in licence agreements. The diverse client portfolio includes SAP, Workday and adidas. The ‘outstanding’ Henriette Picot ‘always contributes to a positive atmosphere, but in case of disagreements also demonstrates the strength to enforce key points’. Lennart Schüßler was promoted to partner.

CMS particularly stands out for its strong focus on digitalisation topics across industries and the team led by the renowned Sebastian Cording has deep expertise in IoT platforms, Fin-, Med- and InsureTech and digital innovation products. It recently often advised on smart contracting solutions, the automatisation of production capacities, the connected car and blockchain projects. Apart from the firm’s digital business group the IT practice also continues to handle traditional IT matters and in 2017 focused particularly on high-volume technology transactions and software projects. Recent highlights include assisting Sharp Electronics with an SAP project and the introduction of smart energy solutions; advising German insurer AXA on the joint venture Meine Gesundheit with CompuGroup Medical regarding the establishment of digital solutions for the healthcare insurance sector; and also acting for the credit insurer Euler Hermes and the financial services provider Eos in IT matters in connection with the sale of the joint subsidiary Bürgel Wirtschaftsinformation to the Italian credit bureau CRIF. The team also covers IT procurement, copyright disputes and licence and contract IT matters. Other clients include eBay, Ströer and Siemens.

Noerr increasingly focuses on digital matters, but also continues to handle traditional IT matters with a ‘high level of expertise’ and provides its international client base with ‘good and business-oriented results both at partner and associate level’. The team led by the ‘well-versed’ Thomas Thalhofer recently demonstrated its regulatory, transactional and contractual law expertise in mandates surrounding the digitalisation of business processes in the agricultural, finance and automotive industry, addressing questions about blockchain, IoT platforms and digital IT infrastructure as well as large complex IT projects and IT disputes. It advised a leading automotive manufacturer on the digitalisation of ordering processes with the integration of electronic signatures; assisted an international medical device manufacturer with the conception and implementation of an electronic market place for apps; and prepared and negotiated cooperation agreements with an international agricultural machinery manufacturer in the area of smart farming for a DAX corporation. Peter Bräutigam is well regarded and Torsten Kraul is also recommended.

Osborne Clarke clearly is amongst the first addresses both for domestic and international clients seeking IT law advice: Drawing on a very broad practice, the eight-partner team is active in traditional IT licence and transactional matters, but is also increasingly gaining a reputation in the digital segment, particularly in the finance, pharma, PropertyTech and automotive industry. Recently the recognised Konstantin Ewald represented Gameforge in landmark proceedings regarding the right of revocation for virtual currency; Ulrich Bäumer regularly assists L&T Infotech with digitalisation projects; and Hendrik Schöttle advised mantro on the market launch of a smart home device for consumption control in the household and Vorwerk on the international rollout of an IoT device in 11 countries. Clients also sought out the team for numerous IT-driven M&A transactions, including FUNKE Digital regarding a majority share in Media Partisans and software company Mindjet concerning the sale of a business division in four European jurisdictions. Besides various Indian and US companies, such as Motorola Mobility, the client portfolio also includes Ferrero Deutschland and Sixt. Marc Störing was promoted to partner.

SSW Schneider Schiffer Weihermüller’s highly regarded practice comprised of 17 IT experts primarily based in Munich advises domestic and international clients on the entire spectrum of regulatory, transactional and licence law IT matters. The team surrounding Isabell Conrad and Jochen Schneider was recently able to expand its international reach with increased mandates from the US and Japan and strengthened inbound-business from various European countries. The firm’s diverse portfolio ranges from traditional IT software contracts, IT security and open source to Industry 4.0-related matters such as IoT and cloud computing: The team advised Anywhere.24 on several IT projects and cloud models; assisted an international IT provider in the finance industry with a software project and an international joint venture; and represented a software provider in contract negotiations with public and non-public contracting authorities. Besides IT procurement the practice also has significant expertise in distribution matters and troubled IT projects.

Taylor Wessing remains an established and ‘always practically oriented’ firm in the IT sector, which not only advises its diverse domestic and international client base on matters related to the digital economy but also continues to handle traditional IT matters such as SAP implementations, software licences and complex IT projects. While the team’s expertise ranges from Industry 4.0 matters such as IoT platforms, digitalisation strategies, eCommerce and cyber security, the team led by the well regarded Axel von dem Bussche was also able to gain a foothold in the HealthIT and FinTech sectors, such as advising FinTech start-up Number26 on IT matters. Other recent clients include Japanese conglomerate Mitsui regarding the implementation of cyber security measures and the establishment of various social networks in 40 jurisdictions, MediaMath concerning the European service rollout and Villeroy & Boch in the course of the digitalisation strategy of the entire company. On the contentious level the team represented a health insurer in proceedings around the right to inspection and Toshiba Europe in proceedings against the Central Organisation for Private Copying Rights (ZPÜ) surrounding the payment of royalties for laptops. Clients also include Xing, Redbubble and FRAPORT. Stefan Alich left the firm in June 2017 for an in-house position at Facebook.

Baker McKenzie’s IT practice provides its domestic and international client base in the finance, automotive and technology sectors with ‘good industry expertise and cross-border advice at the touch of a button’. While the team based in Frankfurt and Munich continues to focus on traditional IT and digital matters, particularly the digitalisation of the health and finance sectors have gained in importance for the practice. FinTech expert Holger Lutz, who in July 2017 took over as practice head together with co-head Michael Schmidl from Wolfgang Fritzemeyer, advised a Swiss technology corporation on the establishment of an account management app. Other highlights included assisting a developer of investment management software solutions with a procurement procedure and the subsidiary of a leading German automotive manufacturer regarding the structuring and introduction of an electronic wallet. A US technology company sought the firm’s advice on eCommerce and German remote-purchase law in connection with virtual reality glasses. At the intersection with corporate law the team also advises Dassault Systèmes on the €220m acquisition of the software company CST group.

As part of the IPMT practice, Hogan Lovells International LLP also provides a ‘good service level’ in IT matters with a focus on industrial companies in the healthcare, automotive, consumer goods and telecoms sectors. Recently the team regularly advised on SaaS (software as a service) contracts, technology-driven transactions and joint ventures, digital health and the connected car. Marcus Schreibauer assisted Diebold Nixdorf, a provider of IT solutions for the finance and trade industries, with a joint venture with the Chinese IT company Aisino. Stefan Schuppert is recommended and Nils Rauer is the contact for IT-related copyright disputes.

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte combines ‘very good expertise’ and ‘practically oriented advice’ with a ‘very high service level’ and a ‘consistently good price-performance ratio’. While open source structures, software licences and IT contract law continue to form part of the firm’s portfolio, the team led by Martin Schweinoch increasingly focuses on the digitalisation of the economy, including IoT, FinTech, cloud computing and e-business. Significant highlight matters include advising a leading German company on instrument clusters and a company in the automotive industry regarding the development of modular control units for the electric drive of cars. On the contentious level the team is defending Telekom Deutschland against the damage claims of a system house due to alleged breach of contract in connection with the performance of telecommunications services and antitrust violations. Other clients include Gamesrocket, Expedia and Microsoft. Julian Westphal and Oliver Bühr are both ‘excellent lawyers’ and Matthias Orthwein is noted for his ‘good industry expertise and understanding of products’.

DLA Piper’s IPT practice frequently handles large IT projects and advises on cloud computing, eCommerce and the connected car. The team led by Jan Geert Meents recently assisted IT service management company Proversia with its German market entry in the course of its acquisition of the ITO (infrastructure technology outsourcing) and MWS (mobility workplace services) business from Hewlett Packard Germany; advised a gas company on IT security matters regarding the renewal of its remote control and communications technology; and handled IT law matters in connection with a research project on smart cities for a German higher education institution. Thomas Jansen and counsel Britta Hinzpeter left for Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek in July 2017, while Sylvia Ebersberger already joined as counsel from White & Case LLP in 2016.

In IT matters Gleiss Lutz’s international client portfolio that spans various industries receives an ‘all-round carefree package, particularly in cross-border mandates’: Besides the close integration with the procurement and corporate practices, the team led by ‘very good and flexible’ practice head Stefan Weidert is particularly active in matters around Industry 4.0, and here especially regarding autonomous driving, eCommerce and troubled IT projects. It recently advised chain saw and motor equipment manufacturer Stihl on contract law matters for a dealer platform; assisted the largest IT services provider in the statutory health insurance sector gkv informatik with a master agreement for the introduction of IP telephony for its customers and the client itself; and handled the development and operation of a disease-related platform for the association of public health insurers AOK Bundesverband. Another client is Bosch concerning software matters, particularly in connection with the acquisition of ITK Engineering. Other clients include Blizzard Entertainment, eBay and GEMA, the German society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction. The team, which is noted for its ‘expertise and high availability’, also includes counsel Alexander Molle, who impresses with his ‘broad and deep range of knowledge’.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s IT practice continues to expand: After lateral partner hires in 2016 Thomas Jansen and Britta Hinzpeter also joined from DLA Piper in summer 2017, who particularly strengthen the team with regards to data protection, IT transactions and contract law. The practice already saw an increased workload in these areas before the new arrivals: It advised Thalia, Hugendubel and Weltbild on the sale of the tolino system by Deutsche Telekom to Rakuten Kobo and Datagroup on the acquisition of the SAP and application management services of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Germany. It also assisted tesa scribos with the introduction of a product authentication system at a global petroleum company and provided VDE with advice on an electronic content platform. At the intersection with procurement law, the practice also assists numerous administrative districts with the preparation and execution of tender procedures for the expansion and operation of an NGA (next generation access) broad band infrastructure. Other clients include FinnAir, DekaBank and Autobahn Tank & Rast.

As ‘top advisor’ in IT law Heymann & Partner Rechtsanwälte has ‘very good industry expertise and excellent availability’: The three-partner practice dedicates itself to the entire spectrum of traditional IT matters, including advice on software licence, project and system integration contracts, and particularly often acts for clients in the banking and financial sector, such as Broadridge and Cardprocess. Apart from the finance industry the team also advised SmartRecruiters on an electronic recruitment platform with a large German industrial company, carried out an expert opinion for Advancis Sofware & Services about possible delivery obligations regarding the client’s IT security solutions and an expert opinion on smart metering for a leading energy supplier. Numerous technology-driven transactions and advice at the intersection with procurement law complete the firm’s portfolio. Thomas Heymann ‘keeps an eye not only on the legal aspects but also the economic needs of the client’.

Very good’ IT boutique TCI Rechtsanwälte acts on the side of providers and users and offers its primarily domestic, British and US client base ‘explanations that are comprehensible also for legal laymen’ on the entire spectrum of IT matters. The ten-partner practice, which is also noted for its ‘pleasant manner’ and ‘quick response times’, saw numerous mandates in the contract and project business, in disputes and at the intersection with procurement law; a particular highlight was Markus Schmidt’s advice to the Senate Department for Finances of the State of Berlin in a dispute due to a failed IT project. He also continues to represent the Federal Ministry of the Interior in contentious proceedings around the admissibility of IP address storage by website operators. Other clients include Aareon and Aareon Germany in contractual matters and SaaS solutions; an IT system house regarding a project with a DAX company for the transition and rollout of ITSM core processes; and a logistics service provider concerning the introduction of ERP software and the development of a B2B internet platform. Christian Welkenbach ‘focuses on what’s important’ and has ‘sound experience in IT law’; Carsten Gerlach is also recommended.

Besides contract and project-related work in traditional IT law matters White & Case LLP’s IT team also covers digital hot topics such as FinTech, connectivity and cyber security, where it advises in particular domestic and international clients in the automotive, finance and energy sectors. In 2017 the practice led by Jost Kotthoff saw an impressive amount of transactional work in the technology sector, especially stemming from Germany, the US and Russia. In close collaboration with the firm’s corporate and IP practice the team recently assisted Berlin software company Autonomos with its acquisition by TomTom and the payment service provider Equens with the strategic merger with the payment and transactional service provider Worldline. On the contractual level the firm also acted for the state capital Wiesbaden in negotiations of amendments to the existing out-of-home media contract with Wall and Paper Union was a client in proceedings around the distribution of defective ERP software. Martin Munz is a key figure.

In the context of its IT practice Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB not only focuses on the entire spectrum of classic IT matters but also digital topics and in 2017 saw numerous mandates in the segments of FinTech, InsureTech and autonomous driving: A particular highlight was advising Hella Aglaia Mobile Vision on partner and distribution contracts and licence models for a driving assistance software. On the transactional level the team led by Florian Schmitz also assisted the energy supplier Trianel in connection with the sale of an online platform for the distribution of EEG (Renewable Energy Law) services, and Samsung Electronics with the global sale of the Samsung Printing Solutions business to Hewlett Packard. The firm also demonstrated its public procurement expertise in its advice to International Game Technology regarding two public tenders for the procurement of lottery terminals and services. Michael Heise was promoted to partner.

Domestic and international clients and public authorities benefit from Graf von Westphalen’s ‘good service level’ in traditional IT matters and those related to Industry 4.0. In recent highlights the team advised an international agricultural and technology association on software and licence matters in connection with the automated, digital interaction of driverless devices in the agricultural industry; assisted a global consulting firm with the execution of a global master services agreement with an acoustics hearing aid manufacturer; and handled an IT service contract regarding distribution software for a French healthcare technology provider. Other clients were Max-Planck-Gesellschaft concerning eProcurement and open source research developments and jewellery company AMOR regarding an ongoing project for introducing SAP. Stephan Menzemer, who also advises on ‘out-of-the-box ancillary legal matters’, leads the nine-partner practice.

Also in IT matters Greenberg Traurig Germany advises at an ‘extraordinarily high service level’, not least due to its ‘outstanding network and the exceptionally good industry expertise’ of the four-partner team. Besides longstanding experience in technology-driven transactions and traditional matters such as software licence contracts, the focus of the practice increasingly is on the digital economy, as recent matters in FinTech, InvestTech and eHealth show. A recent highlight was advising Foxxum on SaaS contracts for the client’s smart TV portal. The client portfolio also includes the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Tristan Capital Partners and Vonovia. Viola Bensingerunderstands how to put emphasis on the fundamental aspects of a matter in a special manner and thereby accelerate implementation’, senior associate Carsten Kociok stands out for his ‘legal and technological expertise’ and ‘hands-on mentality’ and Christoph Enaux is also recommended. Niklas Conrad was promoted to counsel.

In line with the progressive digitalisation of the economy Heussen’s IT practice increasingly focuses on advice surrounding Industry 4.0 and in 2017 particularly matters related to FinTech, MedTech and autonomous driving played an important role. However, the team led by Hermann Waldhauser also continues to advise on traditional contractual and transactional IT matters, such as assisting a leading Geman automobile manufacturer with software purchases and IT security, a machine manufacturer with the implementation of a customer platform and cloud storage provider Cyando regarding interference liability. Another regular client is Infolytics concerning software licences and distribution contracts and Industria sought the firm’s advice on an SAP project. The client portfolio also includes Kärcher, The DigiTale and Schölly Fiberoptic.

Jones Day’s expertise in traditional IT law consists of procurement capabilities, contractual law and software copyright. In recent highlights the team led by Undine von Diemar advised software company Cylance on contractual matters related to the distribution of cloud-based artificial intelligence IT security solutions, acted for computer manufacturer Cray in an IT procurement procedure and assisted the German kitchen device manufacturer Rational with IT law matters in connection with an international partner network and a connected cooking platform. Clients also increasingly seek the firm’s advice on FinTech and MedTech matters. Former of counsel Wolfgang Büchner retired.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s IT advice guarantees a ‘practical and pragmatic execution’ of mandates, not least due to the ‘excellent expertise of all lawyers’. Under Wulff-Axel Schmidt’s lead the team advises mid-sized and DAX companies and public authorities ‘at a very high level’ on large complex IT projects, licence law disputes and eCommerce: The ‘technically outstanding’ Michael Rath assisted household and commercial appliances manufacturer Miele with the rollout of a global ERP platform and a global CRM system and Maximilian Dorndorf advises ThyssenKrupp Elevator on SaaS contracts, software developments and licence contracts. Other highlights included assisting Peek & Cloppenburg with a software development and hosting contract for a supply chain management software solution and advising Infosys on the provision of IT services to its customers. The team also often acts at the intersection between procurement and telecoms law.

Full service firm Oppenhoff & Partner is noted for its IT law expertise and its ancillary expertise at the intersection with other practice areas: Besides longstanding experience in advising on large IT projects, software licence contracts and IT disputes the firm’s portfolio also includes transactional matters. In recent highlights the team advised Deutsche Post on the sale of nugg-ad to Zalando and technology provider optivo to Episerver. Jürgen Hartung also assists various domestic and international clients with legal issues around mobile apps.

Reed Smith is recognised as ‘very strong firm’ both in the traditional IT law and digital IT matters. The practice led by the ‘excellent’ Andreas Splittgerber and Philipp Süss focuses on areas such as FinTech and virtual reality at the same as covering software development projects, technology-driven projects and licence matters. In close collaboration with the liability law practice it recently advised a global manufacturer of printers on its strategic orientation regarding 3D printers; assisted Mega Particle with the structuring and distribution of virtual reality solutions for casinos; and handled various software development projects with leading aircraft manufacturers and airlines for a software company specialised in virtual reality solutions in the area of aviation. On the transactional level, the team also advised Rakuten Kobo on the acquisition of the Tolino technology platform and the technology partnership with Deutsche Telekom’s Tolino alliance.

In the course of the continued digitalisation IT/IP boutique Vogel & Partner was able to expand its traditional technology savvy client base to numerous traditional mid-sized companies and besides traditional IT law matters now frequently advises on Industry 4.0 matters, including IoT, eHealth, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving. In recent highlights, the team assisted information technology service provider for banks GFT with a troubled IT project; advised Blackroll on app users’ terms of use and licence agreements; and a leading international chemistry corporation on its group-wide digitalisation strategy. The team surrounding the renowned Rupert Vogel also often advises at the intersection with trademark, competition and copyright law.

avocado rechtsanwälte impresses its primarily domestic client base with its ‘pragmatic approach’ and ‘deep industry expertise’ and ensures them that ‘success and business interests are always paramount’. Also in 2017 the team focused led by the ‘pragmatic and efficient’ Jan Peter Voß focused first and foremost on traditional IT project work: It advised a federal association on IT law issues in connection with a communication platform, assisted the IT service provider Brandt & Partner with an IT project implementation and represented Media Frankfurt in contractual matters related to digital advertisement systems, amongst others. The regular representation of clients such as Heraeus Holding and Deutsche Telekom in IT disputes also adds to the firm’s continuous workload. The client portfolio furthermore includes the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Football League (DFL).

FPS has longstanding experience in traditional contract and licence law advice to clients in particular on the supply side, but was recently also able to gain several clients in the other core area Industry 4.0. Here the team led by Christoph Süßenberger assisted Samson with a project for the agile development of software in the areas of digitalisation and Industry 4.0. Other clients include Microsoft regarding liability law matters in connection with the development and use of artificial intelligence, Deutsche Börse regarding the acquisition of a FinTech start-up, and on the contentious level the firm represented software development association BSA and various developers in IT compliance proceedings against a marketing company. Katy Ritzmann left for GSK Stockmann.

GSK Stockmann’s broad IT expertise encompasses Industry 4.0 matters such as IoT, autonomous driving and FinTech, but also IT procurement law and the implementation of complex IT software projects. Practice head Jörg Kahler recently advised HOWOGE as contracting entity in a large IT project contract; represented Panorama Fashion Fair Berlin in connection with a failed IT project and assisted Pro Potsdam with the procurement of a new real estate IT system. Other clients include Ryanair in contentious IT proceedings and Datagroup. Katy Ritzmann strengthened the team with her arrival from FPS.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s IT practice ‘can also handle larger projects well’ and is particularly well versed in technology transactions, system implementations and software and development contracts. Recently the team surrounding counsel Thies Deike and Christian Engelhardt advised CVC Capital Partners on IT law aspects in connection with the acquisition of a majority share in sports betting supplier Tipico. The client portfolio also includes Siemens, Daimler Financial Services and Rockaway Capital.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP’s IT team is noted for its ‘high level of expertise, very good industry knowledge and a very conscious use of resources’. The ‘competent advisors’ form part of the firm’s TMT industry group, frequently act for telecommunication providers and media corporations and also handle IT aspects of transactions, such as assisting Unister with the sale of the eBusiness company following the insolvency of the client and advising Cuneo on the purchase and sale of shares in various internet companies. Besides transaction-related advice the team also handled various matters for Deutsche Telekom, including cooperation agreements with Inmarsat regarding the European Aviation Network. The client base furthermore includes RTL, Signa Retail and Celanese. Ralf Weisser, who has ‘excellent industry and technical expertise’, and recently promoted counsel Claus Färber, who is noted for his ‘very good selbstbewusst qualifications’, are ‘recommended without reservation due to their engagement’.

von Boetticher Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB’s ‘business-oriented and professional’ approach benefits domestic and international industry companies across various sectors, who seek the firm’s ‘reliable, thorough and confident’ advice on the entire spectrum of traditional IT matters and questions surrounding novel IT business models and the digital transformation. Also in 2017 the practice around the ‘extraordinarily good’ Angelika Hoche and Jens Horstkotte handled numerous contentious IT proceedings: It represented Yahoo! EMEA out of court and in court regarding the implementation of the right to be forgotten and acted for Scandlines in disputes with SAP and Capgemini. At the non-contentious level clients include Spin Digital Video Technologies concerning the global rollout of a novel video technology and a plant manufacturer regarding various development cooperations for a new manufacturing technology. Matthias Bergt was promoted to partner.

Waldeck Rechtsanwälte PartmbB’s ‘strong’ team is primarily known for its longstanding outsourcing expertise, but also gives ‘quick, legally well thought out and practical’ advice on IT procurement procedures, IT disputes and licence and contract law matters. Recently the firm assisted a provider for eTicket solutions with contract negotiations with a Dutch transport company, advised a ITK provider in connection with tenders of different districts for the initiative Mehr Bandbreite für Deutschland (Higher Bandwidth for Germany) and represented Hyrican in a dispute around copyright charges for PC systems. Other clients include PSI in various IT projects around Industry 4.0 solutions in the area of airport systems, logistics and warehouse management and a automotive supplier regarding the global introduction of an ERP system. Jens-Holger-Petriknows what a company needs’.

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