Financial services: regulatory in Germany

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP's banking supervisory law team led by Alexander Behrens is an integral part of the firm's international capital markets practice led by Martin Scharnke. This cooperation leads to particular expertise in product-related supervisory law and consequently to regular instructions on derivatives, securitisations and structured financings. The team is also well versed in advising financial services providers on Brexit-related matters such as licence applications for offices based in Germany. Banks also instruct the practice to assist with fintech issues and M&A. In September 2018, counsel and financial regulatory lawyer Janis Petrowsky joined the practice from Linklaters, while counsel Dennis Kunschke joined DLA Piper as partner in December of the same year.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Behrens; Martin Scharnke

Other key lawyers:

Frank Herring; Stefan Henkelmann; Janis Petrowsky

Key clients

Arkea Banking Services

Cerberus Capital Management

Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (Helaba)

Lloyds Bank

Mizuho Financial Group

Morgan Stanley


Standard Chartered

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Société Générale


Volkswagen Bank

Volkswagen Financial Services

Volkswagen AG

Annerton Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Since its spin-off in January 2020, Aderhold Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH's Banking and Financial Services group has been operating under the name Annerton Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH with two German offices, one in Berlin and one in Munich. Aderhold's Luxembourg office led by Charles Krier also joined the new entity. The new firm continues to focus on financial supervisory law, fintech, payment services and digital economy, which leads to regular instructions from national and international companies alongside start-ups. In Munich, main contacts include founding partners Peter Frey and Christian Walz (both banking supervisory law), Frank Müller and Matthäus Schindele (both banking and capital markets law) as well as Berlin-based salary partner and fintech expert Susanne Grohé.

Practice head(s):

Charles Krier; Peter Frey; Christian Walz; Frank Müller; Matthäus Schindele; Susanne Grohé

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's 'reliable and solution-oriented' team is led by the 'pragmatic and knowledgeableMarc Benzler, who is well versed in the establishment of banks and the set-up of branch offices (including those in a Brexit context) as well as in assisting financial services providers with compliance matters and issues pertaining to the banking union and ECB banking supervision. Mandates concerning the regulation of derivatives and financial market infrastructure as well as transactional and contentious matters alongside regulatory investigations also form part of the team's portfolio.

Practice head(s):

Marc Benzler

Other key lawyers:

Gregor Evenkamp


Very good knowledge of the matter.

Key clients

Barclays Bank

Bundesverband deutscher Banken (BdB)

Citigroup Inc.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

LCH Limited

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Royal Bank of Scotland

UBS Limited

Work highlights

  • Support to the Royal Bank of Scotland on approval procedures concerning the founding of two branches in Frankfurt to secure the continuous access to the payment infrastructure of the Eurozone.
  • Support to LCH Limited on the assessment of potentially criminal sanctions and other risks on the continuation of post-Brexit clearing-activities in Germany.
  • Advice to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) on the development of an effective risk management including compliance and money laundering feature in the follow-up of the formation of a securities trading bank in Frankfurt.


Banks as well as financial and payment services providers regularly instruct CMS to advise on Brexit-related matters alongside structuring issues and the establishment of institutions, including licensing. In other work, the team handles administrative proceedings and disputes with and against BaFin, the ECB and the Compensatory Fund of Securities Trading Companies (Entschädigungseinrichtung der Wertpapierhandelsunternehmen, EdW), while also assisting clients with the digitalisation of bank products and compliance issues. Andrea München, who is admitted as a qualified German lawyer as well as Avocat à la Cour in Luxembourg, jointly heads the team with Joachim Kaetzler.

Practice head(s):

Joachim Kaetzler; Andrea München

Key clients

VTB Bank (Europe) SE

Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH covers a broad spectrum of regulatory matters, leading to regular instructions from credit institutions, securities service providers, payment service providers and increasingly from unregulated companies. These clients receive advice on Brexit-related matters as well as on licensing and owner control proceedings and on payment services regulatory law issues. In other work, the team demonstrates its fintech experience in advising German and international corporations and fintech providers on regulatory structuring issues, licence applications and on negotiating and drafting cooperation agreements. Foreign fintechs also instruct Mathias Hanten's team to assist with entering the German market. White-collar crime expert Alexander Heist left the firm in September 2018 to found Heist Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mBH.

Practice head(s):

Mathias Hanten

Other key lawyers:

Hannes Bracht


‘Well connected to other practice areas such as IT.’

‘The team’s expertise includes a variety of business models including financial services providers and payment transactions.’

‘Mathias Hanten is a very pleasant, long-term and personal point of contact.’

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advises high-calibre clients in the financial services industry, such as banks and other financial services providers, as well as unregulated companies on the full range of financial market supervisory law. This includes M&A and portfolio transactions, bank restructuring and other financial market stabilisation measures as well as fintech matters. Alexander Glos has particular expertise in banking union-related work, while Thomas Emde receives regular instructions from banks to assist with the investigation of internal conflicts and potential breaches of duty. Gunnar Schuster and Markus Benzing are other key members of the team and handle a wide range of financial market supervisory law. In January 2020, the team will be joined by regulatory lawyer Holger Hartenfels from Deutsche Bank.

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz's focus lies on transactional matters and issues at the interface with other practice areas, which are handled in cooperation with the respective teams, while also advising German and international banks and financial services providers on Brexit-related relocations and regulatory compliance issues. Assisting with regulatory remuneration requirements of the CRD IV Directive is another strength of Helge Kortz's team.

Practice head(s):

Helge Kortz

Other key lawyers:

Maximilian von Rom

GSK Stockmann

GSK Stockmann provides its clients, including several banks and asset managers, with a wide range of banking regulatory law advice. This includes classic banking regulatory matters such as those pertaining to the UCITS Directive, AIFM, MiFID II, the Anti-Money Laundering Amendment, PSD 2 and capital requirements, but the team also provides assistance with the Brexit-related relocation of business divisions to Germany and Luxembourg (where clients benefit from the strong cooperation with Andreas Heinzmann's Luxembourg-based team), including associated regulatory and capital markets law matters. Transactional mandates and sectoral digitalisation issues, such as consumer authentication models, are also part of the team's workload. The last-mentioned segment was further strengthened by the arrival of fintech expert Tobias Riethmüller in January 2019, who was previously at Schiedermair Rechtsanwälte, while the team also received a boost when Okko Hendrik Behrends joined from DLA Piper in November of the same year. He has particular expertise in representing banks before the Administrative Board of Review of the European Central Bank and before European courts. Robert Kramer and Timo Bernau jointly head the team from Munich. German and international banking regulatory expert Peter Scherer passed away in February 2019.

Practice head(s):

Robert Kramer; Timo Bernau; Andreas Heinzmann

Other key lawyers:

Tobias Riethmüller; Oliver Glück

Key clients

Commerzbank AG

Continental AG

Siemens AG

solarisBank AG

Allianz Capital Partners (ACP)

TBF Global Asset Management GmbH

Deutsche Finance Group

Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG

IK Interessengemeinschaft Kreditkarten

Work highlights

  • Advice to the solarisBank AG on different new cooperations with other regulated and non-regulated actors from the sector of credit and payment transactions as well as from the sectors of expenditure, brokering and management of crypto-assets.
  • Advice to the Allianz Capital Partners (ACP) regarding the adequate regulatory governance-structure for the ACP-business, the granting procedures of BaFin as well as ongoing advice on supervisory law.
  • Advised TBF Global Asset Management GmbH on compliance topics regarding supervisory law including MAR-issues.

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller covers a broad spectrum of regulatory work, including transactions-related matters and associated ownership control proceedings as well as the implementation of legislative provisions (such as CRR and MiFID II), the investigation of compliance-related matters and fintech and Brexit-related issues. In the last segment, the team advises banks and financial services providers on the establishment of subsidiaries and branch offices in Germany. The team is also experienced in handling major proceedings against the SRB (Single Resolution Board) and BaFin. Key members of the team include Dirk Bliesener and Christian Schmies, who both handle a wide range of banking and financial supervisory law, as well as compliance expert Sven Henrik Schneider and financial market regulation specialist Carl-Philipp Eberlein, who made partner in January 2019. Thomas Paul retired.

Other key lawyers:

Dirk Bliesener; Johannes Adolff; Carl-Philipp Eberlein; Alexander Rang; Christian Schmies; Sven Henrik Schneider; Stefan Krauss

Key clients

Aareal Bank AG


Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

EBA Clearing

Dexia N.V./S.A.

Tencent Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advice to the Aareal Bank AG on the acquisition of all shares of the Düsseldorfer Hypothekenbank AG from the Bundesverband Deutscher Banken e.V.
  • Legal representation of Portigon AG in a lawsuit against SRB at the European Court of Justice concerning the bank levy.
  • Advice to different US, British and out-of-Europe financial institutions on the post-Brexit positioning of the company and regulatory structures of business in Germany and Continental Europe.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Working in conjunction with various other offices and practice groups, Hogan Lovells International LLP's team is well equipped to guide financial sector players through national and cross-border matters such as business formations and the development of financial products as well as restructurings and liquidations. This work also incorporates matters pertaining to MiFID II, MiFIR, PRIIPs and BMR, Brexit-related issues (such as the establishment and relocation of business units and strategic projects), preventive measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing as well as financial sanction compliance and contentious matters. The team is also experienced in fintech and advises financial services providers as well as technology companies on related matters, which are an area of particular expertise for team head Richard Reimer.

Practice head(s):

Richard Reimer

Other key lawyers:

Tim Oliver Brandi; Jochen Seitz

Key clients

BP Europa SE

Bundesverband der Zahlungs- und E-Geld-Institute (BVZI) e.V.

Deutscher Sparkassenverlag

First Data GmbH

Norddeutsche Landesbank (NORD/LB)


VR Payment GmbH

Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg – Förderbank

Volkswagen Financial Services AG

Volkswagen Bank GmbH

Deutsche Finanzagentur

Work highlights

  • Advice to BP Europa SE on the restructuring of the Europe-wide fuel card business to meet the requirements of the new PSD 2-standard.
  • Advised the NRW.BANK on a legal dispute with the Single Resolution Board (SRB) concerning the annual contributions to the Single Resolution Funds.
  • Support to the provider of e-commerce solutions First Data GmbH on the successful application for granting of a permission as an e-money-institution by BaFin.

Latham & Watkins LLP

While Latham & Watkins LLP's strength in dealing with matters at the intersection with corporate and M&A leads to regular transaction-driven instructions from financial services companies, and Markus Krüger has been driving forward the firm's fintech M&A and fintech investments offering, the team also advises on MiFID II, Brexit and compliance matters (including regulatory proceedings). These three last-mentioned segments are areas of particular expertise for the 'pragmaticAxel Schiemann. The team's integrated offering is not least based on its strong cooperation with the firm's capital markets and tax law practices.

Practice head(s):

Markus Krüger; Axel Schiemann


Very attuned team; knowledge is divided between multiple minds.

Due to its enormous network the client can rest assured that all aspects are perfectly handled even across practices.

Key clients

Apollo Global Management LLC

BillFront Ltd.

Bundesverband deutscher Banken (BdB)

Central Bank of Egypt


Deutsche Bank AG

Evercore Inc.


La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)

Toscafund Asset Management LLP

Work highlights

  • Advice to Evercore Inc. on the planning of a Brexit-strategy including the formation of a corporation based in Frankfurt, which reflects the range of services of the British society.
  • Advice to the Beteiligungsgesellschaft Hg on the purchase of a share in the MediFox-Gruppe as well as on the acquisition of Mobility Concept; both purchases required the consent of BaFin.
  • Advice to La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) on the purchase of General Atlantics und H.I.G. Capitals Beteiligung an FNZ; this included the advice on associated regulatory risks and the coordination of official permits in Great Britain and Germany.  


Linklaters' client base includes banks and other financial services providers, who instruct Andreas Steck's team to assist with matters pertaining to Brexit and the MiFID II financial directive as well as with M&A, restructuring and other strategic issues, while also advising large corporations on a wide range of regulatory matters. Handling digitalisation work constitutes another central pillar of the practice, which leads to regular fintech and blockchain-related instructions. Managing associate Florian Reul, who has been heading the German fintech practice since December 2018, is the main contact for this segment. The team is also experienced in insurance supervisory law with Andreas Dehio being one of the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Steck

Other key lawyers:

Andreas Dehio; Frederik Winter; Kurt Dittrich; Sven Schelo; Florian Reul

Key clients

IG Group Holdings


Daiwa Capital Markets Europe Limited

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (NORD/LB)

Commerzbank AG

Clearmatics Technologies


ADAC Autoversicherung

Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein

Work highlights

  • Advice to the supervisory board of the Deutsche Bank AG in the course of the assessment of the merger between Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG
  • Advice to the Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (NORD/LB) on restructuring and recapitalisation.
  • Advised AXA on the sale of the Pro bAV Pensionskasse AG to the Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe.

Mayer Brown LLP

Mayer Brown LLP's regulatory workload is handled in close cooperation with the firm's banking and finance, capital markets and corporate teams, which leads to particular expertise in dealing with matters at these intersections. Much of its work pertains to the global derivatives regulation (EMIR), benchmarks, MiFIR and MiFID II, payment services, the European banking union and bank restructurings. In addition, the team advises on various Brexit-related and transactional matters, while also assisting banks and fintechs with digitisation projects. Patrick Scholl heads the 'very experienced and professional' team, which includes senior counsel and banking and capital markets expert Berthold Kusserow. He joined in February 2019 from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Scholl

Other key lawyers:

Martin Heuber; Berthold Kusserow


Very good knowledge of the matter.

‘Reliable and solution-oriented.

Key clients

DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale (DekaBank)

Deutsche Bank AG

Bankenverband deutscher Banken e.V.

Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW)

Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking

Hamburg Commercial Bank AG

Bayerische Landesbank (BayernLB)

Deutscher Derivate Verband (DDV)

Unicredit Bank AG

Commerzbank AG

Work highlights

  • Advised the Bankenverband deutscher Banken e.V. on the establishment of a market-wide documentation standard for banking associations as well as the implementation of margin conditions, which are in accordance with the EMIR-regulation.


Noerr's interdisciplinary structure enables the team to advise clients comprehensively on various financial services industry matters, whereby banking regulatory requirements, including contentious proceedings, form part of the team's workload just as much as financial market infrastructure and transactional matters. In addition to its broad focus, the team has particular expertise in payment services regulatory law, financial regulation and AML compliance, while also advising on digitalisation projects in the financial sectors, and on fintech matters. Jens Kunz and Thomas Heitzer jointly head the team.

Practice head(s):

Jens Kunz; Thomas Heitzer

Other key lawyers:

Torsten Fett; Martin Haisch; Kai-Michael Hingst


The team led by Frank Schäfer at SERNETZ • SCHÄFER is predominantly known for its litigation experience but has also been increasingly active in advising on the acquisition of banks and acquisitions of regulated companies operating in the financial sector. The team's clients, including credit institutions, financial services institutions and capital management companies as well as manufacturing companies, private equity funds, stock exchanges and family offices, also benefit from the firm's close contacts to BaFin.

Practice head(s):

 Frank Schäfer

Other key lawyers:

Peter Balzer; Jörg Mimberg; Thomas Eckhold


Competent, reliable and enthusiasticly delivering advice.

Practical, fast solutions on a high legal standard.

Has first-class contact to the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, which enables a very efficient and successful conclusion of the matter.

Key clients

Grovepoint Capital LLP

Hamburg Commercial Bank AG

Work highlights

  • Legal representation of the Hamburg Commercial Bank AG in a lawsuit filed by mainly international bondholders concerning the valuation of bonds.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing's client base primarily consists of technology-based start-ups and international financial institutions, which receive regular advice on branch office and licensing issues as well as various compliance matters. Fintech matters, including licensing procedures and the cooperation with established banks, are frequently handled in cooperation with the firm's TMT practice. Peter Seemann heads the team, which includes 'highly competent' banking supervisory and investment lawyer Anna Izzo-Wagner. She 'stands out for her extensive and profound knowledge and enjoys the full trust of her clients'.

Practice head(s):

Peter Seemann

Other key lawyers:

Anna Izzo-Wagner; Volker Baas; Lea Maria Siering


Provides quick responses and proactive advice.

Anna Izzo-Wagner is a technically very competent contact who considers matters comprehensively and in detail. She manages to deliver her legal assessment suitable to the recipient as well as adequately and promisingly representing her clients in negotiations with third parties.’ 

Volker Baas is very helpful and attentive.

Key clients


3Red Partners LLC

Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., Zweigniederlassung Frankfurt am Main

Exporo AG

Rabo Trading GmbH


Concardis Payment Group GmH

Number26 GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advice to the Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., Zweigniederlassung Frankfurt am Main on all regulatory matters concerning compliance and payment transactions.
  • Legal representation of 3Red Partners LLC in a court procedure with the German Eurex stock exchange concerning the regulations on high frequency trading.
  • Advice to the online platform Exporo AG on general regulatory matters.

Waldeck Rechtsanwälte PartmbB

Waldeck Rechtsanwälte PartmbB's team stands out for its 'extensive knowledge, great commitment and customer friendliness' and demonstrates particular expertise in securities supervision law, while also advising on licensing issues, Brexit-related matters, outsourcing issues and money laundering prevention. In addition, the team represents clients, including several banks and trading platforms, in litigation, including proceedings before authorities such as defence proceedings against various fines and other administrative sanctions. 'Very solution-oriented strategistJan Liepe and 'structured negotiatorHendrik Pielka jointly head the practice and 'complement each other perfectly'.

Practice head(s):

Jan Liepe; Hendrik Pielka

Other key lawyers:

Christian Faßbender; Marcus Blankenheim; Jens-Holger Petri


The team is always available and has high technical expertise.

Solution-orietend and finds practical solutions even in difficult constellations.

It is generally characterised by an extremely modernly structured and focused partnership.

One-stop advice.

Thematically, the group covers a broad spectrum and always considers lateral contexts.

Very pleasant to work with.

Key clients

Bankhaus Scheich Wertpapierspezialist AG


BfV Bank für Vermögen AG

Comdirect Bank AG

Commerzbank AG

Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH

equinet Bank AG

Hellwig Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH



Renell Wertpapierhandelsbank AG

Development Company for Israel (Europe) GmbH

Development Company for Israel (International) Limited

Work highlights

  • Legal representation of the Comdirect Bank AG on the enforcement of claims resulting from the processing of card-bound payments within the Maestro-card payment scheme against EURO Kartensysteme GmbH.
  • Advice to different financial services institutions on the restructuring of blockchain-technology-based business schemes including permission queries.
  • Legal representation of a major shareholder of a quoted company in the successful defence of sanctioning proceedings by the BaFin concerning the alleged violation of voting rights notification obligations.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP's European banking regulatory practice is led by Prague-based David Plch and stands out for its 'brilliant cooperation' with offices in London and the Nordic countries. In Germany, 'strong negotiatorHenning Berger is the key figure, who, together with his team, provides comprehensive advice on issues pertaining to the banking union and the ECB as well as Brexit. Instructions in the last-mentioned segment include advice to financial services providers on potential relocations and the adjustment of business activities. In other work, the team, in conjunction with its M&A, corporate and litigation colleagues, also handles various interdisciplinary matters, including contentious ones. Banking supervisory lawyer Andreas Wieland joined KPMG Law Germany in October 2018.

Practice head(s):

David Plch; Henning Berger


Extremely experienced and highly competent.

‘Good combination of technical and litigious advice.

Henning Berger possesses a high degree of creativity.

Key clients

Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW)

Nordea Bank Abp

SoftBank Vision Fund

Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (Helaba)

Bayerische Landesbank (BayernLB)

Bundesverband deutscher Banken (BdB)

Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB)

Bundesverband der Deutschen Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken (BVR)

Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)

Work highlights

  • Legal representation of the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and the VR-Bank Rhein-Sieg eG in proceedings at the European Court of Justice against the Single Resolution Board concerning the calculation of the ex-ante-contributions to the single resolution fund.
  • Advised the Nordea Bank Abp on regulatory matters with regards to the direct supervision by the European Central Bank after the relocation of the Nordea Bank Abp headquarters from Sweden to Finland, as well as with regards to the partial sale of its shares to the Baltic banking group Luminor.