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  1. IT and outsourcing: information technology (including contracts)
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As one of the leading IT practices in Germany, Bird & Bird’s eight-partner group provides clients such as Deutsche Postbank, Infosys and ProSiebenSat1 with ‘phenomenal expertise’ regarding large-scale IT projects, transactions and contracts, as well as in contentious IT matters. Alexander Duisberg and his renowned team continute to focus on digital topics, which has recently led to an increased number of instructions in the fintech and automotive sectors. Highlights in 2016 included advising a leading automotive manufacturer on intelligent car systems and complex IT projects, assisting insurance company Generali with IT contracts pertaining to its Generali Vitality projects and representing BITKOM, Lenovo, Motorola, Sony Mobile and Western Digital in legal proceedings concerning copyright fees on PCs and other storage media. Henriette Picot is recommended.

CMS’ broad IT practice delivers ‘top performances at adequate prices’ and continues to advise on a substantial number of software projects, big-ticket IT transactions, licensing, security and contractual matters. Alongside its great reputation for core IT advice, the department, led by the highly regarded Sebastian Cording, also attracts particular praise for its expertise in the digital sector – the firm’s digital business group assists clients with the full array of digital transformation processes, connected car issues, e-health, cloud services, fintech and digital innovations. The team recently defended Eyeo in a proceeding brought by ProSieben, Axel Springer, RTL, Die Zeit, Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Spiegel Online concerning the legitimacy of ad blocks. Other key clients include Intel, Siemens and Amazon. Reemt Matthiesen was promoted to the partnership.

Noerrclearly is one of the best firms for IT advice’ and ‘always achieves very good results, often even before the deadline’. The team, whose ‘humanity and expertise are perfectly harmonised’ assists IT companies, end-user corporations and financial institutions – such as Microsoft, Nash Technologies and Spotify – with licensing, contractual and transactional IT matters, and digital market issues; additionally, the group is ‘highly recommended’ for IT advice related to media regulatory and telecoms matters. In recent work, the team authored an expert opinion on the central legal issues of digitalisation and Industry 4.0 for the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and is continuing to assist Deutsche Börse with contractual matters concerning a multi-jurisdictional software project. Joachim Schrey has ‘very sound expertise’, Daniel Rücker is ‘at the top level technically’ and Peter Bräutigam is ‘an absolute expert’; practice head Thomas Thalhofer is also recommended.

Osborne Clarke’s ‘pragmatic and commercially minded’ IT team stands out for its ‘responsiveness, proactive information about developments’ and ‘high expertise’ in advising on traditional IT and security, plus new issues associated with Industry 4.0 concepts, such as cloud computing. In recent cutting-edge work, the team assisted longstanding client Ferrero with IT compliance related to various marketing activities, advised A.T.U. Auto Teile Unger on an IT system implementation, and acted for cloud services provider Cornerstone on Demand on a large-scale project with a DAX30 company. Other key clients include giropay, Google and numerous high-profile clients in the healthcare and insurance sector. Ulrich Baumgartner ‘easily grasps the characteristics and challenges of a company and quickly provides possible solutions’. Ulrich Bäumer, who is ‘an expert for IT contracts of all kinds’, ‘manages to explain complex technical concepts to laymen’. Konstantin Ewald is also highly regarded.

SSW Schneider Schiffer Weihermüller´s ‘outstanding’ IT practice is comprised of ‘legal experts, who advise with passion and based on deep industry knowledge’. The group’s expertise spans matters such as IT contracts and licensing, procurement, transactions and cloud computing, as well as advice on the entire range of digital IT issues; in 2016, open source and IT security emerged as additional focus areas. While the practice is traditionally focused on German corporations, both on the customer and provider side, it has been handling an increasing number of IT instructions by international clients, notably from Japan, Switzerland and UK. Other fields of expertise include e-commerce and contentious copyright matters in the software industry. Isabell Conrad is highly recommended along with Jochen Schneider and Frieder Backu, who is ‘very motivated and delivers very accurate legal advice’.

Taylor Wessing provides traditional and digital IT advice ‘at the highest level’, making it one of the first destinations for national and international IT service providers or manufacturers and end users in the public sector, corporate space and financial services. In recent highlights, ‘talented’ practice head Axel von dem Bussche and his team assisted Fraport with several IT service agreements related to the establishment of a trading platform, advised TriStyle Group on negotiations of an ERP project and acted for Black Forest Destillers on IT matters pertaining to its sale of majority stakes in the Monkey 47 gin brand to Pernod Ricard. The group also assisted the Federal Ministry of the Interior with tender procedures for the electronic passport (ePass 3.0) and expanded its activity in fintech and healthcare IT. Thanos Rammos and Paul Voigt were promoted to the partnership.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘excellent’ team provides ‘pragmatic advice that takes industry particularities into account and leads to absolutely practical solutions’. The group handles a variety of traditional and digital IT issues and has notable experience in e-commerce, fintech and cybersecurity matters: recent work includes assisting a pharmaceuticals company with contractual matters concerning the launch of an online shop and representing a German football club in a contractual dispute with an e-payment service provider. Wolfgang Fritzemeyer and the ‘outstandingMatthias Scholz, who is ‘an exceptionally charismatic and pragmatic negotiator’, head the team; Julia Wendler is ‘very knowledgeable’.

DLA Piper’s ‘deep industry knowledge and solution-oriented advice’ appeals to high-profile clients across various sectors, particularly to technology companies, large media corporations such as ProSiebenSat1, and automotive clients such as Tesla Motors. Led by Jan Geert Meents, the highly regarded team focuses on contractual, licensing and transactional issues relating to international IT projects and has been particularly active in assisting European and US clients with cloud computing, online business models, online shop roll-outs and smart car technologies. Jan Pohle gives ‘fast and competent advice’.

As part of the international IPMT practice, Hogan Lovells International LLP’s German IT team mainly assists established companies as well as innovative start-ups in the automotive, life sciences, financial services and insurance sectors with the entire spectrum of traditional and digital IT matters. Recent work includes several large-scale, cross-border IT projects, software licensing and maintenance agreements as well fintech mandates and connected car issues. Contentious work included representing Nagravision as joint plaintiff in criminal proceedings concerning the card sharing for illegal access to pay-TV services. Marcus Schreibauer heads the German cybersecurity practice and Stefan Schuppert is the key contact for software and licensing matters. Henrik Lehment and Alexander Reetz were appointed as counsel.

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte’s ‘outstanding’ IT team applies its ‘high expertise’ to a multitude of high-profile domestic and cross-border matters: the group advised Berendsen on an ERP system implementation in several German and European subsidiaries, advised GetYourGuide on e-commerce issues, and assisted Emeran Capital Partners with complex software licensing and open source structures related to the acquisition of Matrix42. Other clients include SCHUFA Holding, FMS Wertmanagement and De’Longhi Deutschland. Oliver Hornung impresses clients with his ‘deep legal expertise, industry knowledge and business acumen’, and Matthias Orthwein stands out for his ‘sound knowledge and negotiating skills in IT processes’.

Gleiss Lutz’s broad IT expertise encompasses e-commerce, software audits, IT transactions and procurement as well as contentious IT matters. In recent highlights, the group advised technology company Brainlab on numerous licensing and development agreements and assisted insurance community AOK with new tender processes pertaining to voice telephony; the team has a rapidly growing practice in IT carve-outs. The client roster includes Deutsche Telekom, TomTom and Bertelsmann. Stefan Weidert is an expert in e-commerce, IT transactions and troubled IT projects; counsel Alexander Molle is also recommended.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s growing practice handles traditional IT matters as well as working at the interface between IT and IP, telecoms, media and procurement law. Notably, the group advised tesa on software solutions related to process standardisation. Recent transactions include assisting Datagroup with the acquisition of SAP and application management services from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Stephan Witteler is highly regarded; Frank Hollstein joined from Simmons & Simmons LLP and Philip Kempermann made partner.

Heymann & Partner Rechtsanwälte’s ‘competent and diligent’ IT team combines ‘foresight and uncomplicated advice’ with ‘distinct industry knowledge’. The group is especially experienced in advising medium-sized companies and large domestic corporations on contractual, licensing and transactional IT matters: Lars Lensdorf, who has ‘a pragmatic approach’ and ‘technical expertise’, recently advised Broadridge Deutschland on SWIFT service agreements with REWE, Heineken and DZ Bank. The ‘very experienced and knowledgeable’ Thomas Heymann is also recommended, as is the ‘very motivated’ Moritz Hüsch, who has ‘strong negotiating skills’.

Oppenhoff & Partner handles domestic and cross-border IT issues, mainly in the traditional IT field, but also, recently, an increasing number of open source, cloud computing and e-commerce matters. Highlights in 2016 included advising Zurich on a large-scale software project in the general insurance sector and representing a German chemicals manufacturer in a dispute related to a failed SAP project. Other clients include Coca-Cola and Airport Research Center. Jürgen Hartung and Michael Abels are the key contacts.

TCI Rechtsanwälte is an excellent ten-partner boutique that combines ‘high industry knowledge and a business-oriented approach’. The practice mainly advises medium-sized IT service providers and customers on complex IT projects, cloud computing, SaaS and contentious matters. Other areas of expertise include the public sector, where it advises numerous public authorities and recently assisted the Federal Ministry of the Interior with EVB-IT (IT procurement) contracts; it also represented the State of Berlin in legal proceedings related to a failed IT project. Andreas Stadler ‘advises at the highest level, always on time and in full knowledge of current case law’.

White & Case LLP’s broad IT practice is well regarded for advising providers and customers – mainly in the financial services, automotive and insurance sectors – on the entire spectrum of contractual and licensing matters, IT projects, connected car issues, fintech and M2M communication. The group has been representing Paper Union as plaintiff in a legal proceeding concerning the delivery of faulty ERP software and assisted with the implementation of its online shop. Martin Munz and Jost Kotthoff are recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has a strong focus on transactional and contentious matters in the IT sector, as well as on IP-related IT issues: fields of expertise include licensing, hardware and software development, systems integration, e-commerce, fintech and IT procurement. Jochen Dieselhorst heads the practice, which recently advised Ströer on IT issues related to its acquisitions of and InteractiveMedia CCSP. Clients also include EQT, HP and Puma.

Heussen has ‘very good IT know-how’ and mainly assists renowned medium-sized providers and customers on the entire spectrum of traditional IT issues, but is equally adept in advising on Industry 4.0. Hermann Waldhauser and his team assisted a US fashion manufacturer with SaaS contracts, advised Colibri Software on an escrow agreement with the State of Bavaria and also handled numerous fintech, cleantech and medical technology matters. The ‘very competent’ Mark Münch ‘always delivers concrete solutions’.

Jones Day has ‘deep expertise’ in IT matters and produces ‘exceptionally good work’, notably in transactions and cloud-related mandates. Headed by the recommended Undine von Diemar, the group continues to advise cloud services provider on contract negotiations with various customers and recently advised supercomputer manufacturer Cray on IT tender proceedings. Of counsel Wolfgang Büchner and Ted-Philip Kroke are other names to note.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s ‘very good’ IT team combines longstanding experience in traditional IT matters with deep expertise in the digital segment. Since opening its first German office in November 2014, the group has seen a steady increase in IT instructions from high-profile US technology companies, particularly related to transactions, distribution and media law. Other work included assisting Foxxum with SaaS contracts for its smart TV portal. Key clients include HBO and Toshiba. Viola Bensinger is recommended.

Latham & Watkins LLP is frequently involved in cross-border IT transactions: notable work in 2016 included advising Deutsche Postbank on the sale of e-payment provider Postbank P.O.S. Transact to EVO Payments International, assisting Atlas Copco with IT issues related to its acquisition of the vacuum unit of Oerlikon, and advising Spectrum Equity on its acquisition of a minority stake in online services provider Jimdo. Counsel Thies Deike is the name to note.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s clients receive ‘first-class advice at a very fair price’, producing ‘pragmatic and feasible solutions’. The ‘very competent and well-versed’ IT team assists with licensing, contracts, complex IT projects, e-commerce, telecoms and procurement matters. Recent highlights include advising arvato Systems on several IT projects, such as infrastructure issues concerning the e-health card. Michael Rath shows ‘legal and technical competence’ and is recommended along with Maximilian Dorndorf.

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Legal Developments in Germany

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Press Releases in Germany

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