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Bird & Bird

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Antitrust - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird’s strength lies in antitrust litigation, but the firm is also well versed in distribution antitrust, merger control and IP-related matters, such as representing Nokia in a patent dispute with Apple, which also involves questions of market dominance. The team surrounding practice head Jörg Witting also advises Mastercard on German legal aspects in the context of damage claims proceedings in the UK and represents a consortium of health insurance companies in connection with antitrust aspects in proceedings against the Federal and State Government Employees Retirement Fund. Other clients include adidas, Bayerischer Rundfunk and John Deere.

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Trade and distribution
Trade and distribution - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird

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.

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Germany: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A: Corporate - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird’s corporate group advises clients in close collaboration with colleagues from other practice groups such as antitrust, labour, IP and IT. In 2016 and 2017, corporate housekeeping instructions, in addition to some reorganisations, were on the group’s agenda. For example, the group advised ENTRADE Energiesysteme on its annual general meeting of 2016 and on corporate governance matters, next to ongoing corporate advice. On the contentious side, the group represented a company in a case concerning shareholder meetings. In the technology and media sector in particular, the practice has a strong network and a broad client base. New clients include Forward Engineering, a specialist in lightweight construction for the automotive and machinery industries, Menzies Aviation and TomTom. Peter Veranneman leads the group from Düsseldorf, where Stefan Gottgetreu is also recommended. In Frankfurt, Kai Kerger made partner in May 2017.

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M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m)
Corporate and M&A: M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m) - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird is particularly successful handling cross-practice and cross-border instructions. For example, the group advised the Japanese wholesaler Sojitz on the acquisition of Solvadis, a marketing and distribution service provider of basic and specialty chemicals, together with other practice groups and offices. Another 2016 highlight was advising SpeedCast, a provider of satellite communications and network services, on the acquisition of the Maltese company Wins from Eutelsat and Techinvest. The group also advised PostNL on several transactions in Germany and cooperated with other offices when assisting with acquisitions of German subsidiaries. Within the seven partner-strong group, Peter Veranneman, Alexander Schröder-Frerkes and Stefan Münch are recommended, while Kai Kerger joined the partnership in May 2017.

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Germany: IT and outsourcing

Data protection
IT and outsourcing: data protection - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird’s ‘pragmatic and legally outstanding’ data protection lawyers ‘make clients very happy’, not least due to the ‘high level of expertise and acute business sense’. As ‘one of the best data protection practices in Germany’ the team advises an impressive number of IT corporations and DAX 30 companies on the entire spectrum of data protection matters, cybersecurity and corporate binding rules (CBR). It recently gained adidas as a new client in connection with various cross-border data protection projects. Other regular clients are blood glocuse meter manufacturer Dexcom regarding international data transfer and data protection matters related to variable tech and mobile and cloud solutions and Audi concerning big data matters. The portfolio furthermore includes Huawei, Levi’s, Microsoft and SAP. The ‘extraordinarily smart’ Fabian Niemann has a ‘deep understanding of European data protection law’ and ‘the quality of his advice is first-class in all regards’; Lennart Schüßler, who was promoted to partner, ‘can also always be reached in times of crises’.

Leading individuals

Fabian Niemann - Bird & Bird

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Information technology (including contracts)
IT and outsourcing: information technology (including contracts) - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

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.

Leading individuals

Alexander Duisberg - Bird & Bird

Henriette Picot - Bird & Bird

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IT and outsourcing: outsourcing - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird

Also in outsourcing matters Bird & Bird’s IT team is ‘always available, reacts with high flexibility and has mastered the subject within an extremely short amount of time’; both providers and customers benefit from the firm’s ‘impressive’ expertise. It advises companies in the consumer goods, technology and media sectors on the outsourcing of business processes, IT outsourcings and data protection aspects and often handles matters with a cross-border element. Alexander Duisberg is widely recognised.

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Germany: Industry focus

Industry focus: energy - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird

Led by René Voigtländer, Bird & Bird’s energy group includes 11 partners acting on regulatory and transactional instructions. The practice head has been advising energy and water supplier EWV on corporate, regulatory and procurement matters pertaining to the merger of one of its subsidiaries with another distribution system operator. Düsseldorf-based Matthias Lang continues assisting Amprion with supplementary proceedings to the planning approval for the construction of a very-high-voltage line. Christian Kessel acts for several subsidiaries of a large energy company on contract law issues, for example for a grid connection system. Falkon Capital and 8.2 Consulting are new clients. In Frankfurt, Kai Kerger made partner in May 2017.

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Healthcare and life sciences
Industry focus: healthcare and life sciences - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird

Boris Kreye’s Munich-based team at Bird & Bird continues focusing on procurement and antitrust matters as well as disputes concerning competition, patent and drug advertisement issues. For example, Alexander Csaki wrapped up representing a health insurance provider in litigation concerning the legitimacy of open-house contracts before the European Court of Justice. Patent litigation examples are representing Edwards Lifesciences in an infringement action concerning synthetic heart valves and representing Ratiopharm in patent infringement proceedings and nullity claims against AstraZeneca concerning the fulvestrant drug. A medical product manufacturer retained the group for competition and pharmaceutical advertising law advice concerning the legitimacy of distribution models for pharmaceutical products and related software, which also included compliance advice. Other clients include Merck, Fisher & Paykel and Sanofi. Patent lawyer Christopher Maierhöfer made partner and trademark expert Jana Bogatz made counsel.

Next generation lawyers

Alexander Csaki - Bird & Bird

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Industry focus: telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird

Transactions - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

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

Leading individuals

Sven-Erik Heun - Bird & Bird

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Germany: Intellectual property

Patent litigation
Intellectual property: patent litigation - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird’s team grew significantly with the arrival of Felix Harbsmeier and Felix Landry, both previously patent attorneys at Uexküll & Stolberg, and the partner promotion of Christopher Maierhöfer. The practice surrounding the renowned Christian Harmsen stands out from competitors due to its work in connection with antitrust and pharmaceutical law. Highlights included representing Edwards LifeSciences in patent infringement proceedings around heart valve prostheses against Boston Scientific and acting for Valeo in several patent infringement proceedings, such as against Mitsubishi regarding alternating current generators and other competitors concerning ultrasound transducers. Broadcom was a client in connection with disputes with Asus and Invensas. With its strong international expertise the team advised Fisher & Paykel on patent infringement proceedings in the medical devices sector, including coordinating the procedures in the UK and the US. The firm also continues to be very active in the telecoms sector: Oliver Jan Jüngst and Matthias Meyer represented Nokia and NSN in multiple patent infringement proceedings against Apple, which were concluded with a settlement and a licence agreement over several years. Boris Kreye led the advice to Technicolor in patent infringement proceedings around the UMTS standard. A client in the area of utility model law was Nestlé in connection with espresso machines.

Leading individuals

Christian Harmsen - Bird & Bird

Oliver Jan Jüngst - Bird & Bird

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Trade marks and unfair competition
Intellectual property: trade marks and unfair competition - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

Design law - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird continues to focus on contentious proceedings with trade mark and competition law aspects, but also increasingly advises strategically on international trade mark and design portfolios, which involve coordination across multiple jurisdictions, such as giving comprehensive advice to eos (Evolution of Smooth). Recent highlights in the trademark area include Uwe Lüken’s representation of Anson’s Herrenhaus as plaintiff in a dispute with ASOS and the representation of Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverband (the German Savings Banks Association) in cancellation proceedings at the German Federal Court. In the area of competition law Joseph Fesenmair acted for AUDI in various disputes with the German environmental and consumer protection NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe for the implementation of the German energy labelling ordinance for cars; notably AUDI also sought the firm’s advice on design matters, such as the development of cooperation agreements, design development contracts and the defence of design rights against imitators at several higher regional courts. In another highlight Richard Dissmann represented L’Oréal in a series of disputes, such as on advertisement statements and special claims on product packaging. Adidas and Deutsche Telekom are also clients. The practice is led by Christian Harmsen and bolstered its competition law expertise with the arrival of Niels Lutzhöft from Gleiss Lutz. Jana Bogatz was promoted to counsel.

Leading individuals

Richard Dissmann - Bird & Bird

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Germany: Media

Media: Entertainment - ranked: tier 6

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird’s media law practice particularly focuses on copyright disputes, digital matters in connection with IT law and comprehensive advice to the sports industry, where the team recently saw increased media anti-trust matters. In recent highlights it advised the Bavarian radio (Bayrischen Rundfunk) on anti-trust matters in the area of sports marketing, continues to represent BITKOM, Lenovo, Motorola, Sony Mobil, Western Digital and Verbatim in proceedings regarding the copyright levies for storage media and regularly assists a media company with online-based transactions. The client portfolio also includes Philip Morris. Joseph Fesenmair leads the practice, which was able to strengthen its media regulatory expertise with the arrival of Niels Lutzhöft from Gleiss Lutz in July 2016.

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Germany: Public sector

Planning and environment
Public sector: Planning and environment - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird

Matthias Lang in Düsseldorf and René Voigtländer in Munich, together with three other lawyers form the environmental and planning law practice group at Bird & Bird. In addition to the ongoing energy, construction and water planning approval procedures for Amprion and Aluminium Oxid Stade, among others, Matthias Lang frequently advises on environmental law matters in connection with company acquisitions. Furthermore, he advises an international chemical company on obtaining an emissions control authorisation for a new chemical plant and a fire protection company on chemical law on an ongoing basis. René Voigtländer is specialised in disposal and waste instructions, which most recently emerged from unlawful waste storage on own or on a neighbouring piece of land on the part of car suppliers.

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Public procurement
Public sector: Public procurement - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird’s public procurement practice operates in a variety of industries. Port sector work includes Jan Byok’s advice to a public law institution on an idea competition and the planning of the subsequent Europe-wide award and approval of pioneering space development concepts for port areas. A highlight for IT lawyer Guido Bormann was advising a software provider on the procurement of licences and software products for the entire federal administration. Byok also assists a container terminal and logistics group with placing orders in a publicly funded research and development project to automate container operations with straddle carriers. Alexander Csaki mainly acts for health insurance companies; for example, he advised a public health insurance company concerning the admissibility of open house models as set forth in a European Court of Justice ruling.

Leading individuals

Heiko Höfler - Bird & Bird

Jan Byok - Bird & Bird

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Further information on Bird & Bird LLP

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Legal Developments by:
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    Earlier this month, we reported that the list of gTLD applications would be published on 13 June 2012. "Reveal Day" has arrived and the list of gTLD applications has been published on ICANN's website. Please click here to download a PDF copy of this list for your review.
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