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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 > Dispute resolution > Arbitration (including international arbitration) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: arbitration (including international arbitration)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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The ‘outstanding’ arbitration team at Baker McKenzie is best known for its expertise in the construction, plant engineering and infrastructure sectors and frequently handles post-M&A disputes with representations in the Asiatic region on the increase. Recently, Günter Pickrahn advised an Asian manufacturing conglomerate on several post-M&A arbitrations. When dealing with infrastructure matters, the team is well versed in handling energy sector work, as demonstrated by representing the claimants Steag and EVN in an ICC arbitration against a general contractor consortium associated with the Japanese firm Hitachi; the dispute concerned construction delays of the coal-fired power station in Duisburg-Walsum and subsequent additional costs and was handled by Pickrahn, Jörg Risse and the ‘very experienced and pragmaticRagnar Harbst. Heiko Haller is recommended.

CMS puts significant emphasis on investment arbitrations with Klaus Sachs frequently acting as chairman or arbitrator. Other work pertains to corporate disputes, joint ventures and M&A, most notably in the industrial plant engineering and energy sectors. As another key individual of the team, Dorothee Ruckteschler represents clients before national and international arbitral tribunals and demonstrates particular expertise in acting in contentious corporate purchase agreement matters and shareholder disputes.

With a focus on cross-border disputes, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is particularly active in the financial sector but also acts for a number of international manufacturing companies. As a recent highlight, Boris Kasolowsky represented the State General Reserve Fund of Oman (SGRF) against the state of Bulgaria. The dispute resulted from actions taken by the Bulgarian central bank which led to the collapse of the Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB), Bulgaria’s fourth largest bank, rendering SGRF’s stake in CCB worthless. In other significant work, Rolf Trittmann acted for an international pharmaceutical company in DIS mediation and subsequently in DIS arbitration proceedings pertaining to the extraordinary termination of a long-term supply contract with its distribution partner, and Michael Rohls represented an energy and environmental sector player in an LCIA arbitration regarding the repayment of compensation for an infrastructure project in Russia. The team also represents an increasing number of clients in IP arbitrations and recently acted for a company in a dispute over royalty payments for alleged patent infringement. Christian Duve is recommended.

Allen & Overy LLP’s strength lies in dealing with investment protection and energy law matters but the ‘reliable and good’ team is also well equipped to guide clients through commercial arbitration proceedings. As a highlight for the former, Daniel Busse represented two international investors in an investment protection proceeding against Greece, claiming damages in the hundreds of millions of euros for breaches of the investor protection contract. In the energy law space, counsel Silke Justen receives regular instructions covering disputes between joint venture partners, general contractual disputes and contentious insurance matters and has particular expertise in handling price adjustment claims. The team’s client roster also includes a number of shipping industry players.

Handling post-M&A instructions forms the cornerstone of Gleiss Lutz’s arbitration practice, which is experienced in party counsel and arbitrator work. Stefan Rützel acted as an arbitrator in a UNCITRAL arbitration over the failed acquisition of an aluminium plant in Montenegro, while Stephan Wilske represented the insolvency administrator of the German company Unionmatex Industrieanlagen in an ICSID arbitration pertaining to investments made in Turkmenistan for five underlying grain milling complexes. Following an internal reorganisation, Tobias Boecken and Detlef Schmidt are now also part of the arbitration team, while Wolf Heinrich von Bernuth left the firm to work independently at Von Bernuth Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH. Lars Markert is recommended.

Handling party representation and arbitrator instructions, Hengeler Mueller’s Henning Bälz and Johanna Wirth have been representing Deutsche Telekom and Toll Collect in arbitration proceedings pertaining to the German truck toll system and its delayed start including contract infringements and IP matters. In other significant work, Markus Meier filed an arbitration claim for a German client to enforce payments following a private equity transaction, and Carsten van de Sande acted for a German bank in a DIS arbitration pertaining to tax refund claims. In ICC arbitration, Philipp Hanfland defended a biotechnology company against claims under a co-operation and licensing agreement. Peter Heckel is described as ‘excellent’.

The ‘efficient and flexible’ team at Hogan Lovells International LLPprovides advice of excellent quality and is very experienced in the plant engineering sector’. Predominantly acting as party counsel, the team has a strong profile for CEE region mandates with a focus on Poland, and is adept at handling damage claims and contractual disputes including supply chain disputes in the automotive industry. Recommended individuals include Karl Pörnbacher, who frequently represents clients in international infrastructure and energy arbitrations, and counsel Inken Knief.

Latham & Watkins LLP focuses on party representation mandates and demonstrates particular expertise in large-scale cross-border arbitration proceedings. Recent work includes representing Daimler Financial Services in a dispute with the Federal Republic of Germany on matters pertaining to the introduction of a toll system for trucks, and acting for a German technology company in a post-M&A arbitration against a market leader in the automotive supply sector. An Asian pharmaceutical company instructed the team to act in two DIS arbitrations based on a shareholder dispute. Equally noteworthy, Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert represented the transnational steel group ArcelorMittal in an ICSID investment arbitration against Egypt. Other key individuals include Markus Rieder and the recommended Christoph Baus.

Burkhard Schneider heads the team at Clifford Chance, which is noted for its ‘broad industry knowledge’ and its strength in dealing with contentious post-M&A and contractual work including damage claims. Sebastian Rakob, who also acts as arbitrator, represented a real estate fund company in an ICC arbitration concerning a hotel lease. Jan Conrady and Oliver Seyd were made counsels.

Highly professional and service-oriented’ boutique Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte has international arbitration at its core and focuses on commercial and contractual disputes. Founding partner Inka Hanefeld, who is regarded as ‘one of the best arbitrators in Germany’, also acts as party counsel, most notably in contentious plant engineering, energy and post-M&A matters. The recommended Jan Heiner Nedden recently acted as arbitrator in several proceedings that involved state participation, while the ‘very experiencedNils Schmidt-Ahrendts handles the largest proportion of party counsel instructions. The ‘smartFriedrich Rosenfeld was elevated to the partnership.

Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB specialises in representing clients, most notably from the automotive sector, in commercial disputes including contentious post-M&A matters, which are frequently coupled with claims for damages, but the team is also well versed in handling arbitrator mandates. Key individuals include Gert Brandner, Klaus Gerstenmaier and Rolf Winkler.

Well versed in handling contractual disputes, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek acts for a broad client base including various companies in the energy, plant and mechanical engineering sectors. With Wolfgang Kühn, Walter Eberl and Ulrike Gantenberg as the main contacts for arbitrator instructions, a recent highlight includes acting in an ICC arbitration between a contracting authority and a construction consortium. As a highlight on the party representation side, Gantenberg defended a European manufacturer of offshore wind turbines against a wind farm operator claiming contractual penalties. In other significant work, Elke Umbeck and Stefan Bretthauer represented an energy supplier in a DIS arbitration procedure on damage claims and the price adjustment from a leasing agreement.

Linklaters has impressive international reach and specialist expertise in handling corporate and commercial disputes including the enforcement of payment claims, and contentious post-M&A matters. Team head Rupert Bellinghausen has been representing an international industrial services provider in post-M&A proceedings for damage claims over a breach of warranty. Acting as arbitrator, Wilhelm Haarmann handled ICC arbitration procedures between two insolvency administrators. Christian Schmitt was elevated to the partnership; Alexandros Chatzinerantzis and Klaus Saffenreuther are recommended.

In international arbitration, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is a regular fixture on investment arbitrations and energy sector disputes. As a notable highlight, Richard Happ represented the energy company Vattenfall in an ICSID arbitration against the Federal Republic of Germany on the nuclear phase-out, which caused the expiration of permits for older power plants including those in Brunsbüttel and Krümmel, which are operated by the client. Also in ICSID arbitration, he acted for another energy company in a conflict concerning regulatory issues, while Volker Steimle represented a multinational company in an ICC arbitration against a former distributor. Jutta Wittler is the main contact for construction law disputes.

Representing clients in international commercial arbitration constitutes the key element of McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP’s ‘recommendable’ practice. Sabine Konrad, who frequently advises investors and governments on investment protection issues and represents them in investor-state arbitrations, acted for several state banks, including Landesbank Baden-Württemberg and HSH Nordbank, in an investment arbitration procedure against Spain. Also having notable expertise in the energy and infrastructure sectors, she represented the plaintiff, a European construction company, in ICC proceedings pertaining to an infrastructure project against an Italian company and defended the same client against a counterclaim. Thomas Hauss and Boris Uphoff are also recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP frequently handles contentious energy, construction and post-M&A matters alongside disputes on long-term supply contracts and insolvency law issues. Newly promoted partner Nicholas Kessler has been representing the seller of an IT company in post-M&A arbitration proceedings under DIS rules, dealing with the validity of alleged supplementary agreements in the share purchase agreement, and also acted for a German investment company in ICSID arbitration proceedings on the reduction of the feed-in rate against Spain. In ICC arbitration, Kessler and Siegfried Elsing acted for the founder of an American online platform against the purchasers of the platform. The ‘very experienced’ Karsten Faulhaber is recommended.

Markus Burianski’s team at White & Case LLP has been representing several groups of Indian investors against the Republic of Yemen alongside Yemeni ministries and state-owned companies in a dispute over damage claims; the opposition brought the claims following the client’s termination of several oil, gas and construction contracts due to the deteriorating security situation in the country. Other work pertains to long-term supply contracts and post-M&A disputes, most notably in the energy sector.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP stands out for its expertise in handling corporate and commercial disputes, frequently acting for national and international energy companies. Senior counsel Thomas Buhl represented EdF International in an ICC arbitration against the German state of Baden-Württemberg pertaining to a share buyback and allegations of having received aid in violation of European law. In other significant work, Richard Kreindler represented Agfa-Gevaert on corporate and commercial issues in several ICC arbitration procedures, and defended a state-owned oil company based in the Middle East against claims made in connection with a failed oil exploration project.

Praised for its ‘straightforward and comprehensive advice’, the team at DLA Piper has a strong profile for handling damage claims alongside contentious post-M&A and contractual matters. In ICC arbitration, Daniel Sharma defended a large international company against damage claims, and in DIS arbitration, he defended a German company against claims for damages based on a terminated supply contract. In other significant work, the team acted for a company in an ICC post-M&A arbitration. Other key individuals include Thomas Gädtke and counsel and international arbitration specialist Friederike Landauer. Stefan Dittmer moved to Dentons.

As well as its expertise in handling investment disputes, Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP also receives a steady flow of contentious contractual, commercial and corporate instructions, which frequently feature construction and energy law elements. Thomas Weimann represented the Japanese Hitachi Group in an ICC arbitration against a German-Austrian energy consortium in defence against claims of delays, deficiencies and unachieved targets for the construction of the German coal power plant in Duisburg. Also in ICC arbitration, Patricia Nacimiento represented a client in commercial matters pertaining to the termination of a construction contract, while the ‘very experienced’ Mathias Wittinghofer has been representing a European logistics company, the plaintiff, in a post-merger dispute under DIS rules.

Clients benefit from Kantenwein Zimmermann Fox Kröck & Partner’s ‘corporate and tax law expertise’, which frequently comes into effect when handling post-M&A disputes and contentious joint venture matters, among others. Clients also appreciate the team’s ‘high commitment’ and ‘reliable and personal approach’ as well as its ‘expertise in the national arbitration market’. Alexander Kröck delivers ‘impressive work’ and is ‘one of the few arbitrators who knows how to handle complex technical issues’; ‘he acts with prudence and with pragmatic and meaningful solutions in mind’ and demonstrates particular expertise in corporate and contractual matters. ‘Good communicator’ Annett Kuhli, who is now a board member of the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), is ‘very dedicated and always well prepared’. Thomas Kantenwein is also recommended.

Benefiting from its international network, King & Spalding LLP’s ‘strong and reliable’ team is a regular fixture on post-M&A and investor-state arbitrations, most notably in the energy sector. Team head Jan Schäfer, who ‘works hard for his clients’ and ‘is very experienced in investment protection proceedings’, is increasingly active as arbitrator; his clients also appreciate his ability ‘to quickly familiarise himself with new issues and to put on excellent finishing touches’. In recent work, the team represented a number of German and Austrian investors in investor-state proceedings before the World Bank, and acted for KS Invest and TLS Invest in an investment dispute over the reduction of feed-in rates for solar power.

The ‘good’ team at Noerr handles party representation and arbitrator mandates and expanded its pool of partners by elevating Julia Sophia Habbe to the partnership. As another key individual of the team, Anke Meier focuses on national and international trade and investment arbitration.

Wach + Meckes LLP is a ‘strong niche law firm’ with ‘renowned arbitrators’. With a focus on commercial and corporate disputes, the team handles a number of national and international post-M&A disputes, frequently pertaining to the energy, oil and gas sectors alongside the financial and plant engineering industries. Key individuals include Karl Wach, who ‘knows his cases in every detail and is always well prepared at hearings’, and Frank Meckes.

Having party counsel and arbitrator capabilities, Beiten Burkhardt puts significant focus on energy and automotive sector work. As a party representation highlight, the team acted for the plaintiff, the Federal Republic of Germany, against Toll Collect, Daimler and Telekom in arbitration proceedings for damages and contractual penalties and subsequently defended the client against claims for operator compensation brought by Toll Collect. Holger Peres heads the team, which includes Ralf Hafner. Salaried partner Erik Ehmann moved to the auditing firm ATG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft Steuerberatungsgesellschaft GmbH.

Dispute resolution boutique Borris Hennecke Kneiselmanaged to establish itself in the German and international arbitration scene in a very short time’, while clients also single out the team’s ‘short response times’ alongside its ‘pragmatic and efficient approach’. As well as its expertise in corporate and post-M&A disputes, the team also includes ‘three excellent arbitrators’, who ‘conduct proceedings with dedication and passion’: Christian Borris, who clients regard as ‘one of Germany’s leading arbitrators’, ‘works thoroughly and does not shy away form asking unpleasant questions’, Rudolf Hennecke is noted for his ‘calm and persistent approach’, while Sebastian Kneisel ‘combines efficient and strategic thinking with the necessary economic understanding’.

Mark Hilgard heads the team at Mayer Brown LLP, which has a wealth of expertise in handling post-contractual M&A disputes alongside contentious plant engineering sector and energy law-related work, acting as party representative as well as arbitrator.

Predominantly utilising his arbitration expertise in commercial and distribution law disputes, Taylor Wessing’s Philipp Behrendt has been representing a German manufacturer of textile equipment in ICC proceedings for alleged faulty textile equipment in the non-woven textile product sector. Key individuals include Axel Boesch, who represents clients before national and international arbitration tribunals and is increasingly active as a mediator, Jan Curschmann and Peter Bert.

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