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Germany > Trade and distribution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Trade and distribution
  2. Foreign trade law
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Trade and distribution 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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The recommended eight-strong sales and distribution team at Baker McKenzie receives a steady flow of mandates from international companies in the automotive, fashion and consumer goods industries. Recently, team head Ulf Wauschkuhn advised key names such as Allianz Deutschland and Amazon EU on various commercial and contractual law matters. Handling litigation constitutes another key element of the practice as demonstrated when the team represented Coty and Novartis Pharma in contentious distribution law issues. The recommended Katharina Spenner assisted Adidas with distribution and contract issues and acts as main contact for Amer Sports Finance Oy. Johannes Teichmann is another key member of the team; he acted for Daimler, among others.

Singled out for its ‘very high service level’, CMS’s team led by Robert Budde assists a number of German SMEs alongside leading automotive industry players with the full spectrum of commercial and distribution law. The client roster includes long-standing client Porsche, who regularly instructs Markus Schöner with distribution and distribution antitrust law matters. In other work, Gerald Gräfe advised Kärcher on the establishment of a joint venture with the French Tokheim Service Group in order to manage the sales and maintenance of car wash facilities in Europe and Africa. New client Bitburger Braugruppe retained the team to advise on the termination of all commercial agency agreements and the standardisation of worldwide distribution contracts. Ulrich Becker and Florian Block were elevated to the partnership in January 2017.

Clients appreciate Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘excellent service level’ and ‘high-quality advice’ when handling contentious and non-contentious matters for predominately international clients but the team is also noted for its deep expertise in manufacturing sector work. Considered by many as ‘a leading expert for automotive distribution matters and automotive sector work in general’, team head Patrick Ayad provides ongoing advice to a global automotive supplier, and recently represented the same client in arbitration proceedings pertaining to the termination of a long-term development and serial supply contract. Thomas Salomon is particularly active for companies in the food, consumer goods and energy sectors, while Jörg Schickert focuses on life sciences-related mattes. Counsel Florian Unseld, who is in the process of establishing the commercial sector department in Düsseldorf, is also recommended.

Noerr’s commercial and distribution law team is noted for its strong national client base and its ‘service-oriented’ approach. Recently, franchise expert Karsten Metzlaff represented Wax in the City against an Austrian franchisee in a dispute about the extraordinary termination of a franchise contract. In Frankfurt am Main, Albin Ströbl predominantly acts for automotive sector players in various commercial and distribution law matters, while compliance advice is becoming increasingly important in the foreign trade law space. Bärbel Sachs advised an international compressor manufacturer on compliance and customs law issues, and, together with Christian Pelz, she also advised SIG Sauer on issues pertaining to alleged illegal arms deliveries. Internal changes include Sylvia Kaufhold’s and Tilmann Walz’s departure to work independently and Tom Billing’s elevation to the partnership.

Praised for its ‘very good legal knowledge and great experience’, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s team led by Volker Steimle has substantial expertise in dealing with matters in the automotive, electrical engineering, textile and chemical industries, while logistics sector work is predominately handled by Essen-based Maximilian Dorndorf. Recent work includes assisting Fiege Logistik with various logistics contracts and Frank Gutsche’s advice to Würth Elektronik on the standardisation of its international distribution system. Other key individuals include Steffen Gaber, who acted for Südwesttextil, and expert for distribution antitrust law matters Anne Wegner, who acts as main contact for Fiat and Harley-Davidson.

Frequently acting for international automotive, technology, life sciences, retail and consumer goods sector players, Osborne Clarke scores highly with clients for providing an ‘excellent service’ and ‘good value for money’. The renowned Uwe Brossette, who specialises in sales concepts and contract negotiations, advised Volkswagen and Audi Partner Association (VAPV) on the development of new commercial vehicle sales and service concepts as well as the preparation of new dealer agreements. As another highlight, the team in Hamburg led by the recommended Carsten Dau assisted a car manufacturer with the structuring of an international distribution system. The team in Munich increased its bench strength by adding Thomas Grünvogel from CMS.

Clients appreciate Taylor Wessing’s ‘very high service level’ and ‘fair price-performance ratio’, which leads to a steady stream of instructions from renowned companies, most notably from the automotive, aerospace and plant engineering sectors alongside consumer goods, life sciences and insurance industries. Apart from its sector expertise, clients also benefit from the team’s cross-border capabilities including its Italian desk which is led by Benedikt Rohrßen. With Peter Hofbauer in the lead, the team advised FC Bayern München on a revision of the general sale and purchase conditions and assisted the client with a review of the legal product requirements for its fan article range. Stefanie Ritter left for an in-house role at a pharmaceutical company, while Heiko Franke is now a partner in Martin Rothermel’s team.

DLA Piper predominantly acts for international companies such as Sixt Leasing, Domino’s Pizza and Levi Strauss & Co. alongside Hyundai Motor and Nintendo in various commercial and distribution law matters. The team advised Columbus McKinnon on purchasing, sales and distribution contracts while also assisting the client with contentious distribution law matters. ‘Very good and pragmatic’ team head Thilo von Bodungen is ‘very pleasant to work with’ and noted for his ‘excellent understanding of economic requirements’.

With ‘great understanding of clients’ business needs’, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Rolf Trittmann advised an automotive group on the restructuring of its sales department with regards to subsequently bookable functions. In other work, the seven partner-strong team assisted Boehringer Ingelheim with the worldwide implementation of distribution contracts, and represents clients in arbitration proceedings pertaining to the termination of importer contracts.

Gleiss Lutz attracts clients with its ‘fast response times’ and ‘a very good understanding even of the most complex business segments’. Led by Ulrich Denzel, the team advises on all aspects of commercial and distribution law and demonstrates particular strength related to antitrust law. Altenloh, Brinck & Co. instructed the practice to assist with contractual matters pertaining to supply and sales relationships, while companies including Booking.com and Asics retained the team to act in antitrust complaint proceedings. Ingo Brinker and Eric Wagner are recommended.

Bird & Bird is an internationally recognised player for commercial and distribution law work and handles a number of high-profile instructions in Germany such as defending claims of a tier 1 supplier against an insurance company in a worldwide recall case. The ten-strong team has broad industry knowledge in the automotive, energy, insurance and telecommunications space. Recently, Christian Kessel advised Kautex Textron on drafting terms and conditions, while Fabian Niemann assisted Dexcom with various distribution law matters.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner’s team predominately acts for German clients and is noted as being ‘highly experienced, efficient and reliable’. Highly recommended Cologne-based partners Christian Genzow and Sven Köhnen are well versed in advising on the full spectrum of commercial and distribution law and are particularly experienced in dealing with automotive sector work. This leads to a steady flow of instructions from well-known brands including Citroen, Honda, FIAT and KIA. Jan Henning Martens was elevated to the partnership.

The ‘highly competent’ team at Graf von Westphalen provides ‘excellent advice’ and is noted for its ‘quick response times’. The highly visible Raimond Emde specialises in insurance distribution law and is also active in international arbitration. Other areas of expertise include advising clients from the motorhome and caravan sectors, while handling foreign trade work constitutes another central pillar of the practice. Team head Lothar Harings is frequently recommended for the latter and routinely advises clients, including Aurubis, Celanese and GE Healthcare, on customs and export law mattes. Johan van der Veer and Hartmut Henninger were promoted to the partnership.

Led by Reinhard Siegert, the team at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek handles a wide range of commercial and distribution law matters but also provides distribution antitrust law advice. With particular expertise in the automotive sector, the teams acts for a number of renowned manufacturers, including Audi, and various suppliers. On the retail side, the team acted for the food retailer Netto in matters pertaining to a purchasing co-operation.

The five-strong team at Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB is noted for its expertise in commercial, distribution and distribution antitrust law and acts for a number of automotive suppliers, medical device manufacturers and companies from the engineering and textile industries, among others. Christian Aufdermauer was made partner and Rolf Winkler is recommended.

Orth Kluth Rechtsanwälte predominately advises on commercial agent and distribution antitrust law matters while also assisting companies with logistics and distribution contract work. Clients include a number of pharmaceutical, food and consumer goods industry players. Christiane Hoffbauer and team head Kai-Michael König are recommended.

With offices in Berlin and Hamburg, SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte assists German SMEs and international clients with contentious and non-contentious commercial and distribution law matters. As a highlight, the team advised an US-Irish provider of a digital vehicle merchandising platform on German market entry matters.

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Legal Developments in Germany

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • LAG Düsseldorf: Dismissal with immediate effect valid in response to threat

    Anyone who seriously threatens their employer or superior should expect to be dismissed with immediate effect. This was confirmed by a ruling of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Düsseldorf [Regional Labour Court of Düsseldorf] from June 8, 2017 (Az.: 11 Sa 823/16).
  • Tax evasion: Only voluntary disclosure affords protection from severe penalties

    Anyone who has been caught for tax evasion should expect to be faced with severe penalties. Voluntary disclosure is the only way of returning to a state of normal tax affairs and avoiding penalties.
  • GSK Update: AIFM Marketing in Germany - The clock is ticking for U.S. and other non-EU fund managers

    Our GSK Update informs about the impact of recent German investment fund legislation (UCITS V Implementation Act) for AIF managers, who are not domiciled in the EU (“non-EU-AIFM”) and who seek to market AIF shares in Germany in accordance with applicable German investment fund law under the EU-AIFM Directive (2011/61/EU).
  • GSK expands Luxembourg presence with a new tax partner

    Opened at the beginning of March 2016, GSK Stockmann + Kollegen continues to expand its Luxembourg office. Mathilde Ostertag recently joined the Luxembourg team of Equity Partners Dr. Marcus Peter, Andreas Heinzmann and Dr. Philipp Mößner as Local Tax Partner.
  • EIA - Strengthening the role of the public

    Among other things, the recent amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act has broadened the rights of (what is termed) the "affected public". The affected public consists primarily of various citizens' initiatives pursuing environmental or public-health purposes. It may for instance file an appeal against a negative decision at the screening stage (i.e., a decision according to which the given project does not require the issuance of an EIA report), and seek its annulment in court. The affected public has been granted a stronger voice also in subsequent procedures in which the fate of a building project is being decided: zoning proceedings and the proceedings on the issuance of a building permit. Taken together, these legislative changes may make it more difficult to implement projects which require an EIA report; in particular, the length of permission proceedings may be substantially extended.
  • New Top Level Domains – Noerr expert warns against trademark infringements

    On June 13, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published the names of those who have applied for a new top level domain the ending of which may be geographic, such as "munich", industry identification such as "insurance" and even all trademark names and company descriptions such as "canon" and "adidas".
    - Noerr
  • No obligation to set up filtering systems in order to prevent copyright violations

    ECJ, decision of February 16th, 2012, ref. C-360/10 – SABAM
  • Further ECJ Ruling concerning NGO’s right of action under German environmental law

    For the second time within a short period of time, the non-governmental organisations right to challenge administrative decisions under German law is going to be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In January 2012, the German Supreme Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) referred a case to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling concerning the NGO’s right of action.
  • Lessons in Cross-Border M & A Transactions

    The fundamental advice for international business transactions is obvious and easy to understand: different countries have different laws, business habits and cultures. These differences may range from minor nuances, such as lengthy French business lunches or unusual Spanish office hours, to significant legal roadblocks, such as strict European employment laws.
  • Priority rental rights in insolvency

    Parties to rental contracts for commercial premises often agree priority rental rights. In practice, this concept is used to cover a whole series of legal structures. These range from fixed options for the tenant to a promise made by the landlord as a business policy that if any additional premises become available, they will be offered to the tenant. In 2010 the Berlin Court of Appeal issued a ruling on such priority rental rights in insolvency; the decision has recently been published.

Press Releases in Germany

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to