For over three decades Krohn Rechtsanwälte has focused 'very successfully' on 'high-quality and serious' advice to the food industry and related sectors, such as food supplements, animal feed, tobacco and cosmetics, as well as advice on food matters at the intersection with pharmaceuticals, medical products and biocides. The firm advises its numerous longstanding domestic and international clients from start-ups to multinational listed market leaders on a wide range of topics, from product development, questions regarding packaging and labelling to product advertising. The representation of clients in disputes with authorities, court cases, including legal fines and criminal proceedings, as well as advice on crisis management and compliance management also make up a significant part of the practice. Due to the team's broad expertise clients additionally benefit from the presence of corporate, contractual, employment and trade mark lawyers, among others. Carl von Jagow has 30 years' experience and particular expertise in the tobacco sector; Moritz Hagenmeyer is lawyer and barrister with a 20-year track record; and Tobias Teufer has been specialising in food and unfair competition law for 15 years. All three key partners are considered 'respected colleagues', who are recognised for their 'great and in-depth expertise'.
Consumer goods and food law in Germany
- A leading branded food manufacturer in Germany: Judicial enforcement of injunctive relief and claims for damages due to the imitation of the packaging design by an international food manufacturer when it entered the German market.
- A big brand manufacturer: Comprehensive advice on food and trademark law due to the new obligations to label the origin of food
- A large manufacturer of nutritional supplements: Advice and representation vis-à-vis the responsible food control authority on the accusation of marketing unauthorized novel foods (Novel Food Ordinance) as well as the delimitation of the drugs that require authorization.
Considered 'leading' in its field, the 'very active' boutique KWG Rechtsanwälte has a comprehensive product-based approach with 'excellent legal expertise' and a 30-year track record exclusively in food law and consumer goods law. The firm has close ties with clients in the retail space, particularly in food retail and with manufacturers of food with animal origins, including the meat, fish, egg and milk industries, but also large bakeries and fruit and vegetable producing and processing companies. The 11-strong team's spectrum of expertise ranges from public commercial administrative law to civil, competition, trade mark and criminal matters as well as product crisis management. The firm's EU accredited international network, which it founded 20 years ago, benefits clients in cross-border matters; for a decade the firm has also had an office in Brussels which fosters close ties with the European Commission and the European Parliament. Most recently the team saw an increased demand for the implementation of hygiene concepts and official new regulations in connection with the Covid-19 crisis. Key figure Markus Grube is often recognised as 'good point of contact' by peers, because he is 'well connected, always on the go and has uncontested legal expertise'. He heads the practice together with Gerd Weyland who is well versed in both domestic and international food law.
'Highly respected' boutique Meisterernst Rechtsanwälte is 'one of the biggest players' in food law. The firm's impressive portfolio consists of both longstanding and new clients which seek the team's advice on various matters ranging from product conception and distribution, regulatory questions, and advertising and marketing activities to product liability and recalls as well as the representation in legal proceedings. Due to the close integration of food law and pharma law, which forms the second pillar of the firm's practice, a particular focus lies on food supplements, biocide regulations, and the differentiation between food, pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic products. The 9-strong team led by the experienced founding partners Andreas Meisterernst and Christian Ballke is also able to draw on the expertise of natural scientists at its sister company RDA Scientific Consultants GmbH, including in food-related crisis situations. Another differentiating factor is the team's regular representation of clients in food, competition and public law disputes, including at court, in some cases going as far as the European Court of Justice, and numerous landmark decisions. Clients such as international corporations from the US regularly seek the firm's advice on entering the European market and EU-wide strategies.
Other key lawyers:
'' Top law firm in food law. '
' In Germany we recommend Andreas Meisterernst .'
- Queisser: Constant advice and representation on all questions of food law and pharmaceutical law; Ongoing representation at authorities and in court in the area of food monitoring as well as in disputes under competition law; two ECJ proceedings (regarding amino acids and B vitamins).
- Milupa: Ongoing advice and representation in connection with legal issues relating to baby and toddler food; Representation in competition law disputes.
- Edeka South Bavaria: Advice and representation in connection with official complaints in the area of food law; Counseling and forensic work; also representation in competition law disputes.
'Renowned boutique' Meyer Rechtsanwälte covers the entire spectrum of food law matters from product launches and marketing strategies to unfair competition disputes and regulatory topics for a broad client base ranging from smaller companies and start-ups to larger well-known corporations. A particular distinguishing feature of the practice is the strong interplay between legal advice and scientific advice driven by the sister company meyer.science, combined also with communications and crisis consulting. The firm's portfolio consists primarily of longstanding clients, not only all across the food industry but increasingly in related areas such as cosmetics, drugs and animal feed. The advice often takes place at a European or global level, where the firm is well positioned with its international network. The 'highly visible' Alfred Meyer, who has 30 years' experience, heads the 10-strong team which was bolstered with two new arrivals at junior level in mid-2019 and mid-2020.
' Top tier law firm in this sector. '
With its long track record in this space, Zenk Rechtsanwälte's food law and consumer goods practice constitutes a strong pillar of the firm's service offering. The team has 'broad bench strength', is 'well connected' and 'plays in the Champions League', according to clients and peers. Its longstanding client base ranges across all sectors of the food industry, from drinks and confectionary to organic products and frozen products, and also covers new product categories, including novel foods and foods for special medical purposes. The team additionally advises packaging manufacturers and companies in the cosmetics, animal feed, pharmaceutical and tobacco sectors. Besides classic food production clients, other producers and the heavy industry, the portfolio also contains some prominent names in the wholesale and retail space. The firm's advice covers product development and implementation, marketing and commercialisation as well as product complaints and unfair competition proceedings with an increasing focus on crisis management, including recalls and NGO campaigns. Due to Covid-19 the practice recently also saw more demand for advice in connection with the infection protection law. The 'highly praised' Stefanie Hartwig, Carsten Oelrichs and Sonja Schulz are the key figures in the team, which in October 2020 gained a partner who will expand the adjacent IP practice.
' The competence in food law is absolutely state-of-the-art in Germany and hardly comparable in other units. '
' High level of competence. Very committed and always “to the point”. Fast and reliable. '
' Clearly ahead; demanding mandates; important player. '
' Sonja Schulz is an excellent colleague with extensive and well-founded expertise, who guarantees a comprehensive consulting perspective with a 360-degree view. '
' Stefanie Hartwig succeeds in formulating the highly complex areas of the HCR, which are also subject to European law, in an understandable way for managing directors. '
'Carsten Oelrichs: Solution-oriented and very competent. Provides excellent technical advice and has an extensive network in many industries. Working together is always fun. '
' A very special recommendation for the following colleagues: Carsten Oelrichs and Stefanie Hartwig. '
Axxence Aromatic GmbH
Bayerischer Brauerbund e.V.
Frostkrone Tiefkühlkost GmbH
Imex-Lykos Obst, Gemüse,Südfrüchte, griechischeSpezialitäten, Import &Großhandel GmbH
Kiwa Deutschland GmbH
Like Meat GmbH
L.W.C. Michelsen GmbH
Regal Springs AG Deutschland
Resínas Sinteticas, S.A. DE C.V.
Sanomed Gesundheits- und Sportnahrungsmittelherstellung GmbH
Unilever Deutschland Holding GmbH
Verband Aromenindustrie e.V. (DVAI)
- Coca-Cola GmbH: Constant and comprehensive advice on food law, in particular on product developments, marketing issues, and complaints.
- Iglo GmbH: Comprehensive food law advice on product developments, labeling and advertising, complaints and strategic projects (such as the first introduction of Nutri-Score).
- Unilever Germany Holding GmbH: General advice on food law.
Danja Domeier has been advising the food, cosmetics and consumer goods industries for 25 years with experience in in-house roles and at large international firms; since 2013 she runs her own firm domeierlegal. A traditionally important segment of her practice is in the drinks sector, while she is also increasingly active in health-related food, food supplement and innovative food matters. Domestic and increasingly international clients (such as from Switzerland, Italy, Turkey and Eastern Europe) seek her advice on a comprehensive catalogue of topics which include product launches, questions surrounding the composition and labelling of products, unfair competition and administrative issues, as well as criminal and administrative offences. Another focus is crisis consulting, including compliance questions, product recalls, and most recently matters related to the Covid-19 crisis.
Gerstberger Products & Law
Gerstberger Products & Law opened its doors in July 2019 when Ina Gerstberger, who was previously at Gowling WLG, set up her own firm with 20 years' experience under her belt. The practice has a strong focus on regulatory, unfair competition and contractual matters - often with cross-border elements - in connection with food, animal feed and cosmetics, although Gerstberger also regularly draws on her background in the pharma and medical device sector and her scientific knowledge. She additionally has niche expertise regarding tobacco products. Besides advising various distributors of food supplements and special foods, recent clients in the novel food and additives category included some start-ups focusing on edible insects. Hot topics such as the distribution of CBD oils are also part of the portfolio. Recently, Gerstberger saw an increased demand for advice on biocide and chemicals legislation due to Covid-19, but also numerous new clients in the clothing industry.
'' Extremely competent in the areas of food law, competition law as well as questions of delimitation to related areas of law such as medical device law and pharmaceutical law. Always open and fair exchange on an equal footing. Objective and very competent argumentation. '
'Ina Gerstberger always represents the client in his own way with clarity and openness. She always deals with the client, his concerns and his environment, and works with the client to develop an optimal and truly sustainable strategy. In doing so, she always looks outside the box and advises clients on purely legal, disputed issues. '
' The proactive advice service offered by Dr. Gerstberger advises the client on the development of new products, advertising campaigns, etc. so that legal problems do not arise in the first place. '
' Ina Gerstberger is a brilliant lawyer. She is meticulously careful and deals with the specifics of every angle on every subject. As well as dealing with food law, she has a deep understanding of feed law and several other areas (cosmetics, etc.). '
' What sets Ina Gerstberger apart from others in this field is her strong scientific background, which enables her to analyze problems not only from a legal point of view, but also from a scientific point of view. In areas like food and feed, this is what makes the difference between a lawyer and a good lawyer. '
' Ina Gerstberger is not only very competent in clarifying the legal situation and in presenting possible solutions, but also works very quickly and extensively with the client without long waiting times. '
' Dr. Gerstberger has a particularly high level of expertise, among other things, in matters of health claims and novel food. I particularly appreciate the excellent availability of Dr. Gerstberger, the direct contact with her and her extremely quick responsiveness (not only) in urgent cases. I also rate her skills as very high in general competition law issues in the life sciences. '
' Dr. Gerstberger is excellently able to see facts from the company's point of view and is therefore very competent in providing advice with pragmatic solutions. When it comes to judicial representation, I appreciate her high level of commitment to “get the most out of it”. Your legal briefs and statements get to the heart of the problem and are very convincing. '
' In legal disputes with the law firms of the other side, considerable differences in quality and fairness to the law firm Gerstberger became apparent. Dr. Gerstberger's arguments are highly skilled, but always fair and with integrity. Law firms on the other side did not always adhere to these requirements and rather aimed at an economically good mandate. '
' Efficient and effective way of working, quick professional and personal contact. '
'' Comprehensive regulatory knowledge of the product categories dietary supplements and medical devices in Germany, DACH, EU and globally. '
' Dr. Ina Gerstberger is unbeatable in the field of food law, medical products, cosmetics and ancillary areas. Especially in the enforcement and defense of rights against competitors and associations. '
' Ina Gerstberger is experienced, safe, fast, reliable. '
Federation for Nutritional Mushroom Distributors e.V.
- Federation for Nutritional Mushroom Distributors: Advice on the conception of a consumer survey on the significant consumption of Coriolus versicolor mushroom and preparation of a statement on the BVL list of substances expanded to include mushrooms, which was drawn up with the cooperation of the German, Austrian and Swiss authorities.
- Spanish seafood company: External legal department in connection with the pan-European product distribution.
- Canadian tea and coffee company: Advice on the import and distribution of teas in the EU as well as coordination of corresponding advisory services in numerous other international jurisdictions.
In her firm Hüttebräuker Rechtsanwälte Astrid Hüttebräuker offers clients more than 20 years' experience in food law and related practice areas as well as in litigation. Her expertise lies in connection with the delimitation of food to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and covers everything from product conception and composition to product classification, labelling and advertising. She also advises on topics such as sustainability and food safety, has experience with product recalls and demonstrates expertise in various current matters such as food supplements, the consumer information act and health claims. Clients regularly seek her advice in connection with crisis preventation. Due to Hüttebräuker's niche expertise in CBD and other health-related food she is also involved in various court proceedings about food for special medical purpose (FSMP). Longstanding and newer clients include food manufacturers, drug stores, large pharmaceutical corporations and teleshopping companies.
Dirk Rossmann GmbH
MCM Klosterfrau Vertriebs GmbH
- Dirk Rossmann GmbH: Advice on a variety of topics in the area of ROSSMANN quality brands.
- MCM Klosterfrau GmbH & Co. KG: Representation in proceedings against a consumer center before the Cologne Higher Regional Court on the subject of maximum levels for vitamins / minerals.
- MBG International Premium Brands GmbH: Representation in proceedings before the LG Hamburg on the subject of mandatory deposits.
Boutique cibus Rechtsanwälte was founded in April 2018 by former KWG Rechtsanwälte lawyers and focuses exclusively on food, animal feed and animal by-product law with longstanding expertise regarding meat products, among others. The firm's comprehensive advice ranges from product labelling and approval to crisis management and the representation of clients in sanction and administrative proceedings. Recently, the team also handled some novel foods matters, such as in connection with beneficial insects as snack product. The client portfolio primarily includes manufacturers but also some trade partners. Clemens Comans concentrates mainly on the core practice around products of animal origin but also has expertise regarding vegetarian and vegan products as well as additional knowledge concerning online trade with food and feed. Sascha Schigulski has longstanding experience in the meat sector, while Manuel Immel has niche expertise in feed law. Christian Weigel, who was previously working at the Association of German Mineral Sources (VDM), joined the firm in July 2019 and was able to expand the service offering to the drinks industry.
Fressnapf Holding / Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH
Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherungs AG
- Fressnapf Holding / Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH: Comprehensive advice on feed law.
- German sea: Ongoing advice on food law.
- Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherungs AG: Permanent advice and legal representation, especially in recourse proceedings in the food and feed sector, for example compensation for damages after a public product recall.
CMS' international consumer products sector group led by Heike Blank advises various clients in the consumer goods sector on a broad range of topics including food law. Specifically the team handles food labelling, unfair competition and increasingly novel food matters, while at the same time representing clients in complaints by authorities. Cosmetics manufacturers and retailers are also part of the portfolio which shows a growing practice on retail side. A recent niche focus has been advice on hemp products alongside the firm's diverse expertise in related fields such as plant protection law. Sustainability is another central topic among the more recent work highlights, including advice to consumer good manufacturers on issues around recycling, plastic and CO2.
Other key lawyers:
Gleiss Lutz' food law practice focuses in particular on advice in emergency situations with high damage potential and the preparation of legal opinions in connection with fundamental legal questions. Trade mark and unfair competition expert Andreas Wehlau has 25 years' experience in food law with a noteworthy track record advising tobacco manufacturers. The firm's client portfolio also consists of domestic and often international food producers, including those in the spirits segment, companies in the cosmetics industry and nationwide associations. Due to the good synergies with the IP practice, many highlights are anchored at the intersection between food law and IP, but the team also handles health claims and nature and environment protection matters.
Genossenschaft Deutscher Brunnen
Voelkel Fruchtsäfte Gemüsesäfte
- Leading European confectionery manufacturer: Advice on clean labeling, primary ingredients and QUID.
- Leading European smoothie manufacturer: Advice on health claims, novel food and additives.
- JUUL: Tobacco law advice and competition law litigation.
Noerr provides trade and industry clients with ongoing advice on consumer goods law, food law and food-related product law, where regulatory questions, unfair competition and distribution matters, contract design and criminal sanctions form the core segments of the firm's service offering. Evelyn Schulz, head of the Food & Feed department in Dresden, is the central figure for food law advice and also has expertise in the tobacco and cosmetics sectors as well as at the intersection with pharmaceutical law. She furthermore dedicates herself to hot topics such as the distribution of cannabis and CBD products. This practice in Dresden is complemented by the main focus of the Munich-based team in non-food product compliance matters, which often revolves around product recalls.
Other key lawyers:
Schutzverband Dresdner Stollen e.V.
Procter & Gamble
- Large European retail company: Comprehensive advice and representation in the food and non-food sector, both in stationary retail and digitally.
- Important German mail order pharmacy: Advice on various food law issues, including warnings (and protective letters) regarding cannabidiol products (dietary supplements), official proceedings regarding cannabidiol products; Advice on various collaborations, especially in the area of digital platforms.
- Leading global name for home appliances: Coordination and advice on major global consumer goods recall.
REINHART Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB
Boutique REINHART Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB in Munich specialises in advice to the food and cosmetics sector and revolves around founding partner Andreas Reinhart, who has 20 years' experience in this field, and Stephanie Reinhart, who has additional expertise in feed law. Against this background the firm has been providing ongoing advice to manufacturers and trade companies since 2017, including local entities, start-ups and mid-sized companies as well as some global corporations. The focus lies in primarily on producers of finished goods, although the portfolio also contains some manufacturers of intermediates and additives. The advice ranges from product development, labelling and advertisement to the defense of clients against public authorities and at court. Recently, the practice also saw an increase in biocide matters.
At Forstmann Büttner the 'well known' Thomas Büttner in Frankfurt gives advice regarding food and health-related food supplements with 'longstanding legal expertise' and also regularly handles matters at the intersection with pharmaceutical law, such as in connection with delimitation issues and health claims. The advice includes unfair competition questions, trade mark and contractual matters but also the representation of clients in proceedings by public authorities and in criminal matters. Clients include domestic, European and US companies in the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics and medical device industries.
GvW Graf von Westphalen
With historic origins in advising the grain industry GvW Graf von Westphalen continues to act for a loyal and longstanding client base consisting of manufacturers, trading companies and associations in food and feed law matters as well as retail questions. Ronald Steiling, who has additional expertise in animal protection matters, and Carsten Bittner are the key figures in Hamburg. Both have strong experience in representing clients at the administrative courts, while Bittner also regularly acts in arbitration proceedings. Other segments of the practice concern advice on dealing with media in food law crises and unfair competition matters.
Alnatura Produktions- und Handels GmbH
Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG
- Alnatura Produktions- und Handels GmbH: Advice in litigation with dm-drogerie markt GmbH & Co KG.
- Bavarian dairy associations: Successful representation in EGC proceedings in which a decision of the European Commission was declared null and void, which was directed against the established system of independent milk quality tests in Germany; Support in the appeal proceedings that the Commission has now initiated.
Since the firm was founded 35 years ago, IP boutique Harmsen Utescher has been offering IP-related services in food law, including advice on labelling, food regulatory requirements, unfair competition matters and in connection with novel foods and health claims. More recently the representation of clients at court has also become an important segment of the practice. The client portfolio ranges across various sectors and includes branded companies and retail. Till Lampel is the key figure.
- Intersnack Group GmbH & Co. KG: Comprehensive advice in the field of food law.
- Newlat GmbH: Constant advice on food law labeling in relation to Drei Glocken and Birkel products, recently also Buitoni.
- Almdudler lemonade A. & S. Klein GmbH & Co. KG: Comprehensive advice on food law.
Hogan Lovells International LLP's strength lies especially in advising the consumer goods sector, often in matters with international aspects. The firm is active in the retail, cosmetics, fashion and luxury goods as well as consumer electronics segments, and to a lesser extent in the food industry. The driving force of the team's activity is the firm's strong practice in IP, trade and distribution law, and product-based advice, which includes product safety and product liability issues. Accordingly, clients regularly seek advice on IP matters, the launch, labelling, marketing and distribution of products, regulatory questions and frequently for the representation in administrative and civil disputes. Trade and distribution experts Thomas Salomon and Florian Unseld, among others, are part of the firm's global consumer goods group.
British American Tobacco
H & M Hennes & Mauritz
Home Shopping Europe
LGE / LG Display
Shop Apotheke Europe
- Several international premium beverage manufacturers: Advice on commercial contracts of all kinds, restructuring and development of sales systems as well as contract negotiations with large German retailers.
- Several leading consumer and electronics manufacturers: Advice on various aspects of product compliance, product liability and product safety.
- Schwartau works: Organization of declaration tests and approvals in 23 countries inside and outside the EU; In addition, ongoing advice on product launches (including marketing) and contracts with suppliers and distributors.
King & Spalding LLP focuses on advice centred around health-related food and assists clients in regulatory, trade mark and unfair competition matters, delimitation questions and in court proceedings. Head of the German life sciences practice Ulf Grundmann is also co-head of the global food and beverages industry group. Clients include not only leading manufacturers of pharmaceutical and cosmetics products as well as food supplements but also large international players in the typical food industry, including numerous prominent beverage producers. Due to the firm's international orientation, the advice is often multi-jurisdictional with particular expertise in comparing US and EU law. Since 2019 the German practice works closely together with the firm's new Brussels office.
Pfizer Consumer Healthcare
Dr. Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co.KG
Teva Deutschland GmbH
Teva Pharmaceuticals B.V.
Deutsche Homöopathie-Union DHU-Arzneimittel GmbH & Co. KG (DHU)
Famous Brands GmbH
Chemische Fabrik Kreussler Co. GmbH
VSM Geneesmiddelen B.V.
SGF International e.V.
Eckes- Granini Group
Truw Arzneimittel Gmb
- Pfizer Consumer Healthcare: Advice on pharmaceutical, medical device, food and competition law and on the development of new food supplements for the EU.
- Dr. Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co.KG: Representation in proceedings for the delimitation of drugs / food, especially in connection with the pharmaceutical substances Ginkgo biloba and Pelargonium.
- German Homeopathy Union DHU-Arzneimittel GmbH & Co. KG (DHU): Representation in competition law proceedings relating to homeopathic medicinal products.
KOZIANKA & WEIDNER Rechtsanwälte
KOZIANKA & WEIDNER Rechtsanwälte focuses, on the one hand, on advice regarding pharmaceuticals, medical devices and cosmetics and, on the other hand, advice surrounding health-related food, particularly food supplements, foods for special medical purposes and novel foods. Michael Weidner has been handling pharmaceutical and food law matters for almost 25 years and has niche expertise in complex delimitation matters. The firm's comprehensive advice covers the entire product cycle: from product development, questions of regulatory status and content requirements to approval, registration and notification procedures as well as advice on distribution channels and advertisement. The service offering furthermore includes the defense of products against warnings issued by competition authorities and other complaints by authorities in and out of court.
At Squire Patton Boggs the 'very experienced' Christofer Eggers in Frankfurt has been advising the food sector for 30 years, almost exclusively in connection with branded products. He primarily focuses on trade mark, unfair competition and regulatory matters, but recently has also been increasingly active in connection with antitrust proceedings. Clients stem from various segments of the food industry with a particular focus on spirits, breweries and drinks manufacturers, including domestic family companies and start-ups as well as large international corporations. Eggers' niche expertise in indications of geographic origin was most recently successfully put into action in the case of his client BALEMA against Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico di Modena at the German Federal Court of Justice and European Court of Justice for the approval of German balsamico; vinegar products from Germany can now continue to be distributed under the term balsamico.
Beam Suntory Deutschland GmbH
Campari Deutschland GmbH
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli GmbH
Fuchs Gewürze GmbH
Krombacher Brauerei Bernhard Schadeberg GmbH & Co. KG
Schweppes Deutschland GmbH
Zott SE & Co. KG
- Andros Germany: Support in the context of the lawsuit on the sugar cartel.
- Ankerkraut GmbH: Advice on food and trademark law issues.
- BALEMA GmbH: Lawsuit on the question of whether there may be German balsamic vinegar (BGH and ECJ).