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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 > Compliance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Compliance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Jan Ehling - AGS Legal
    • Christian Rosinus - AC Tischendorf Rechtsanwälte

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The ‘very good’ team at Baker McKenzieis one of the best contacts for compliance in Munich’. It acts for national and international clients in internal investigations and provides assistance with the implementation of compliance structures and advice on money laundering prevention, anti-corruption measures and sanctions alongside antitrust and data protection compliance issues. The ‘very experienced, well-connected and pragmatic’ Thomas Grützner provides ‘hands-on advice’ and acted for a manufacturer in internal investigations covering sanction violations, and a DAX30 company in internal investigations into anti-corruption matters concerning a defence project. Andreas Lohner, who ‘never loses sight of the essentials’, advised a German defence company on country-specific compliance standards for the deployment of intermediaries in defence procurement. Other highlights included Franz Clemens Leisch’s advice to a German real estate and capital management company on money laundering matters following various property purchases, and his assistance of a German consumer goods industry player with internal investigations concerning customs offences, tax evasion and fraud.

Clifford Chance acts for a broad client base including pharmaceutical and medical device companies alongside financial services, automotive, service and insurance sector players in a similarly diverse range of matters. This scope spans from preventative advisory work to money laundering and anti-corruption issues while also regularly handling risk analysis and compliance system implementations alongside Iran sanction issues. Peter Dieners advised a pharmaceutical company on business compliance issues and assisted the client with risk assessments and the implementation of a compliance management system. Heiner Hugger acted for a German automotive group in criminal compliance matters pertaining to special allowances granted to a member of the executive committee, and assisted a German bank with compliance measures stemming from its intended Iran market entry. In other work, the team advised an international insurance group on anti-money laundering compliance measures against the background of a major real estate transaction, and assisted a medical device manufacturer with its worldwide implementation of internal investigation standards, while a pharmaceutical company instructed the team with a corruption risk analysis and the implementation of preventative anti-corruption measures. David Pasewaldt was made counsel in May 2017.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s multi-disciplinary approach enables the compliance team to work in close co-operation with the firm’s white-collar crime, corporate, antitrust, tax and employment law practices, which is particularly beneficial when handling internal and external investigations alongside compliance due diligence and compliance system implementation mandates. In view of this, a manufacturing group instructed five partners, including Tobias Larisch, to assist with the optimisation and the partial re-design of a worldwide compliance management system, including employment-related aspects pertaining to an internal investigation into domestic and international sales practices. The team also acted for a plastics industry company in an internal investigation, spanning several group companies, into criminal tax law matters and assisted the client with its subsequent tax authority reporting. In other work, Marius Berenbrok provides an international logistics company with compliance due diligence advice. Norbert Nolte is recommended and Ferdinand Fromholzer moved to Gibson Dunn in June 2016.

The ‘competent and solution-oriented’ team at Pohlmann & Company is ‘one of the top contacts for compliance issues’; its senior partners are praised for their ‘long-standing expertise, professionalism and high-quality work’, while clients also appreciate the team’s ‘deep knowledge of foreign markets’ alongside its ‘quick assessments of the client’s business risks’. Advising well-known companies such as Bosch and Petrobras, the practice handles a wide range of environmental, corporate, commercial and foreign trade law compliance work: Horst Schlemminger advised Environmental Management Solutions on environmental regulations compliance in light of the renovation of Honeywell’s large industrial estate in Hanover, and assisted the chemical company Celanese on water pollution compliance issues in a German industrial park. The ‘very practical and reliable’ Eric Mayer, who moved to GSK Stockmann in December 2017, advised Vetter Pharma on foreign trade law and export control issues. Clients consider Nicole Willms as ‘excellent’ and Andreas Pohlmann as a ‘strong personality’, who ‘successfully guides clients through projects and complex situations’; together they assisted VTG with its compliance management system review. Thomas Preute is also recommended and Stephan Petri joined the team in September 2017 from the Bochumer Gea Group.

As well as its internal investigation expertise, the ‘very good’ team at White & Case LLP frequently reviews compliance management systems and distribution models, assists with matters pertaining to international corruption prevention, financial sanctions and embargoes and handles due diligence mandates in the context of IPOs, corporate acquisitions and financings. This wide-ranging expertise is routinely called upon by manufacturing groups, financial services providers and companies from the IT, entertainment and service sectors. The team led by Karl-Jörg Xylander, which includes Nils Clemm and the ‘very solution-oriented’ Constantin Lauterwein, who were appointed local partner in 2017, has recently suffered a number of substantial losses: white-collar crime lawyer Jürgen Klengel left in February 2017 to work independently at Kanzlei Klengel while, in 2016, local partner Ole Mückenberger left the firm to open an office in Frankfurt for the criminal law boutique Tsambikakis & Partner Rechtsanwälte. Börries Ahrens is now at Allen & Overy LLP.

DLA Piper’s cross-practice approach is based on a close co-operation with the firm’s antitrust, IT, tax, employment and white-collar crime departments. With data protection work on the increase, the team handles various issues pertaining to the collection, processing and use of personal data, which includes the implementation of company-wide compliance programmes and data protection audits. It also focuses on product compliance with relevant expertise in environmental protection, health and export control, which is frequently called upon by companies from the pharmaceutical, insurance and automotive sectors, whereas financial industry players routinely instruct the team with white-collar crime and other criminal law matters. The team is led by Ludger Giesberts and was augmented with the addition of counsel Florian Gero Kirstein, who joined in June 2016 from the public prosecutor’s office of Hamburg. Jürgen Taschke and Christian Schoop are noted for their expertise in internal investigations.

Gleiss Lutz provides a ‘good service level at fair prices’ and has particular expertise in handling matters at the intersection of compliance and governance alongside cross-border investigations, while antitrust compliance work constitutes another key element of the practice. Recently, Christian Steinle acted for Siemens in an internal investigation pertaining to antitrust proceedings by the Greek competition authority on infrastructure projects. Equally noteworthy, he advised an energy supplier on a compliance risk analysis and on the implementation of a compliance management system. In the M&A space, the ‘extremely competent’ Eike Bicker, who was made partner in July 2016, advised DBG Managing Partner on compliance issues arising from the intended acquisition of shares in KAISER Aluminium-Umformtechnik, and on the acquisition of the tools and machinery provider FRIMO. Hansjörg Scheel, Michael Arnold and the ‘well-connected’ Petra Linsmeier, who provides ‘pragmatic solutions’, are recommended.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘practical and assertive’ team acts for a broad client base from the manufacturing sector with a focus on automotive but its client roster also includes a number of life sciences, health and technology sector players. Regular instructions include assistance with compliance issues, such as business partner compliance, compliance system updates and implementations, internal investigations and whistleblower structures; issues relating to antitrust, product liability and public law are also frequently dealt with. Recently, practice head Sebastian Lach provided advice on corruption matters and other criminal risks. Jürgen Johannes Witte is another key member of the team, which lost counsel Markus Burkhardt to an in-house role at Amazon at the end of 2016. Dorina Bruns was made counsel in early 2017.

Providing a ‘first-class service’, Noerr regularly acts for listed companies, banks and manufacturing groups. With particular expertise in cross-border internal investigations, noteworthy instructions included advising a German listed company on an internal investigation with Lars Kutzner in the lead, and Christian Pelz’s assistance of a German mechanical engineering company with an internal investigation pertaining to suspected antitrust violations and the betrayal of company and trade secrets. In other work, the team represented a company in an administrative customs and energy tax audit. Team head Torsten Fett is singled out for his ‘ability to process complex and technical issues quickly’ and for his ‘in-depth knowledge and quick comprehension’, while clients appreciate the ‘pragmatic solutions’ provided by ‘client-oriented’ senior associate Laura Görtz. Sophia Habbe and Fabian Badtke were elevated to the partnership in early 2017.

There are no limits toCMS’ ‘motivation and efficiency’; clients, including various national and international automotive companies, financial services providers and DAX30 corporations, also praise the team’s ‘agile responsiveness in time-critical matters’. Noteworthy instructions included advising Volkswagen and Audi on dieselgate matters including a review of compliance and governance structures, and acting for a former board member of HypoVereinsbank (HVB) in Cum-Ex-related issues and an internal investigation. The ‘assertive and savvy’ Harald Potinecke assisted Augustinum Seniorenresidenz with an internal investigation following various property transactions, while the team advised Implenia on a compliance due diligence audit as part of an M&A transaction. Other key areas of expertise include handling criminal, antitrust and employment law compliance work alongside money laundering checks and product compliance matters including product recalls. Florian Block was elevated to the partnership in early 2017 and in August 2016, Thomas Sonnenberg joined the team from Sal. Oppenheim.

Gibson Dunn’s ‘highly professional and international’ team was able to gain momentum by adding Ferdinand Fromholzer from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in June 2016 and Finn Zeidler from Latham & Watkins LLP in May 2017. The team routinely represents companies, executives and public officials in national and international investigations, and frequently advises on anti-corruption and data protection compliance issues alongside money laundering prevention and export control procedures. In the data protection space, Michael Walther continues to advise an international hotel chain on an investigation by the German data protection authority, among other matters. Other key members of the team include Benno Schwarz, who clients single out for his ‘excellent Russia expertise’, and the ‘precise and practical’ Mark Zimmer.

Hengeler Mueller covers a wide range of compliance topics such as fraud, corruption and money laundering alongside antitrust and sanction violations. It is also well versed in assisting with worldwide internal investigations as demonstrated by acting for Robert Bosch in an internal investigation into allegations of diesel engine emission manipulations including criminal and product liability elements. Equally noteworthy, the practice advised an international provider of engineering and planning services on a compliance investigation into procurement violations and corruption issues, and assisted a client with an investigation by the World Bank on corruption and submission fraud. In sanctions-related work, Vera Jungkind and Dirk Uwer assisted several German and international companies with the expansion and resumption of their Iran business. Christoph Stadler advised C.Thywissen and De’Longhi on antitrust compliance. In early 2017, Fabian Alexander Quast was made partner.

Linklaters acts for banks and credit institutions alongside national and international companies in internal investigations and preliminary investigations and handles issues pertaining to money laundering, data protection and antitrust compliance. Daniela Seeliger advised Beiersdorf on antitrust compliance issues within the establishment of a worldwide compliance system. Hans-Ulrich Wilsing heads the team.

With significant emphasis on executive board and supervisory board-related work, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s corporate governance and compliance team frequently advises on tax compliance, fraud, corruption, bribery and money laundering matters alongside export control issues and related sanctions but it is also experienced in assisting with compliance audits, internal investigations and the implementation of compliance management systems. Team head Bernd Mayer assisted the supervisory board of UniCredit Bank with an internal audit pertaining to share transactions, including tax and criminal law aspects. The supervisory board of a German manufacturing company instructed the team to advise on allegations of bribery, while a US pharmaceutical and biotechnology company received assistance with internal investigations into its European sales and distribution practices. Lutz Zimmer provided a German food packaging company with general compliance advice.

WilmerHale stands out for its ‘quick response times and good banking industry knowledge’, leading to a steady flow of instructions from financial services providers and other blue-chips. Regular instructions deal with internal investigations with particular focus on anti-corruption, antitrust and export control. ‘Efficient’ counsel Jan Wendler, who ‘is very pleasant to work with and transparent in his communication’, assisted a financial sector player with internal investigations and crises management issues in light of allegations of assisting with tax evasion and money laundering. Daimler’s supervisory board retained Roland Steinmeyer on exhaust emission certification issues. Christian Crones and counsel Patrick Späth are also recommended.

The ‘small but specialised’ team at AGS Legal is noted for its ‘pragmatic approach and exemplary response times’ and praised as being ‘very experienced and putting its clients in the foreground’. Much of its work pertains to general compliance matters and internal investigations but clients also recommend the firm for its expertise in asset recovery and the prosecution of criminal offences. Jan Kappel is ‘practical, factual and efficient’ and Jan Ehling is also recommended.

With corporate compliance work at its core, Dentons is well versed in advising on acquisitions and restructurings and has expertise in dealing with data protection matters and internal investigations; the latter frequently features tax evasion, fraud and corruption elements. Key figures include Rainer Markfort and of counsel Christian Schefold. Anti-corruption expert Michael Malterer joined the team in July 2016 from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Providing antitrust compliance advice constitutes the cornerstone of Glade Michel Wirtz - Corporate & Competition’s practice, which frequently handles worldwide compliance system implementations and internal investigations. Recently, Markus Wirtz and Jochen Markgraf assisted a sanitary specialist wholesaler with the implementation of a compliance system for antitrust and anti-corruption, and, in similar work, handled the implementation of a compliance system in Germany and other international sites for a global engineering company. Christian Karbaum was made partner in February 2017.

With substantial experience in preventative compliance work, most notably in the areas of fraud, corruption, money laundering and breach of trust, the team at Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP is well versed in dealing with matters featuring criminal law elements. Recently, Helmut Görling acted for a German media company in a corruption, fraud and breach of trust proceeding, and represented the packing services provider Deufol in D&O liability claims. A financial services provider retained the team to advise on compliance measures to combat money laundering, while long-term client Microsoft Deutschland receives regular advice on general compliance matters with a focus on preventative measures to avoid criminal and reputational risks. In other work, Dirk Seiler assisted an international company with several internal investigations into criminal activities, which showcases the team’s expertise in that area.

Latham & Watkins LLP is best known for representing clients in money laundering and corruption proceedings, although it suffered a significant loss with Finn Zeidler’s move to Gibson Dunn in May 2017. Also well versed in covering preventative compliance advisory work, the practice frequently handles due diligence, M&A, capital markets, finance, data protection and antitrust-related issues which included an instruction by CVC Capital Partners; the team advised the private equity company on compliance matters arising from the acquisition of a majority stake in the Tipico Group. In the data protection space, counsel Ulrich Wuermeling acted for Schufa, Deutsche Bank and IMS Health, while Michael Esser is the central point of contact for antitrust issues. Christoph Engeler is dedicated to compliance work in the health sector.

The ‘good and innovative’ team at Simmons & Simmons LLP demonstrates ‘deep expertise’ in assisting national and international companies alongside financial services providers with matters featuring criminal, tax, data protection and employment law elements, while providing sanction advice constitutes another key portion of the team’s workload. ‘Excellent compliance specialist’ Sascha Kuhn, who ‘particularly plays to his strengths when handling inter-disciplinary matters’, advised the German subsidiary of a British company on embezzlement issues, and advised another client on European and US Iran sanctions. Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff is also recommended.

Working in conjunction with several other departments, Taylor Wessing handles compliance management system reviews, risk analysis and internal investigations alongside compliance instructions featuring issues pertaining to employment law, antitrust, IT, data protection, health and EU sanctions. Volker Baas continues to advise the German subsidiary of the Dutch Rabobank on the implementation of the group’s compliance guidelines. Key individuals include Dirk Lorenz and Andreas Haak. Andreas Wirth left to work independently.

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