Arbitration (including international arbitration) in Germany
Cases handled by the Baker McKenzie arbitration team often relate to Asia; for example, Heiko Haller is representing a German company in disputes concerning an Asian company’s failed pharmaceutical concept. He also acts for a financial institution in disputes relating to a transaction in the renewable energy sector. In addition, the practice has a focus on representing clients in arbitration proceedings in the areas of plant construction, energy and post-M&A. Jörg Risse, who is recommended by clients and regularly acts in settlement negotiations and arbitration proceedings, is representing a German company in arbitration proceedings before the German arbitration institute DIS in a dispute regarding the termination of a joint venture agreement. Günter Pickrahn and Ragnar Harbst are also recommended.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s ‘technically extremely impressive’ conflict resolution group has a strong international focus. Personnel changes include the departure of the well-respected Christian Duve, with Michael Rohls taking over responsibility for the banking and finance sector, although he also has energy expertise. For example, he represented a company in the energy and environment sector in arbitration proceedings concerning the repayment of compensation for an infrastructure project abroad. Boris Kasolowsky, who has ‘vast experience’, was made up to global co-head of the international arbitration group. Daniel Schnabl recently made partner. Principal associate Borbála Dux joined Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in October 2018.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP is recognised for its ‘excellent preparation and conduct of negotiations’. The group works closely with other practice areas and has particular expertise in energy and post-M&A disputes. For example, it successfully represented various international companies from the energy sector in proceedings before the German arbitration institute DIS, and recently successfully defended Privinvest in an ICC arbitration against Greece in connection with damages payments. In the shipbuilding sector, it is representing an international company in various parallel proceedings. Counsel Mia Ramb is part of the core team and has been involved in a number of highlights. Former practice head, the ‘outstanding’ Daniel Busse, left to establish his own firm.
Clifford Chance has a strong new generation of arbitrators and represents a wide range of companies in such cases. The practice group’s long-standing clients include Volkswagen, Metro and the European Central Bank. Post-M&A disputes accounted for a large part of its recent work: for example, practice head Michael Kremer is representing an automotive supplier in challenging a transaction. The ‘commended’ Tim Schreiber is another central figure; he was involved in a high-volume ICC arbitration in connection with the termination of oil and gas contracts and allegations of expropriation. Moritz Keller, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in August 2018, has further bolstered the team.
CMS has an experienced arbitration team that is particularly visible in investment arbitration proceedings and which regularly handles a large number of transnational and high-volume disputes. Klaus Sachs is recognised by competitors as ‘an excellent arbitrator’ and was most recently appointed as such in ICSID cases concerning high-value matters. Dorothee Ruckteschler heads the firm’s international arbitration practice and has particular expertise in corporate and energy litigation, as well as being a frequent arbitrator. Recently, she was appointed as presiding arbitrator in disputes between a Turkish company and several American corporations. The team further expanded its Asia focus with Nicolas Wiegand’s move to Hong Kong. Tilman Niedermaier and Benjamin Lissner joined the team.
Gleiss Lutz provides ‘a high-quality service’; the arbitration practice focuses on post-M&A litigation as well as on the annulment of arbitral awards in Germany and the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards at a national and international level. Stephan Wilske represented a life sciences sector company in international arbitration proceedings concerning contractual disputes and claims for damages. He is also experienced in investment arbitration proceedings and is often appointed as arbitrator, as is practice head Stefan Rützel. The latter was recently appointed a party arbitrator in arbitration proceedings. Lars Markert joined Japanese law firm Nishimura & Asahi in April 2018.
Hengeler Mueller’s ‘prompt and competent advice’ also extends to the representation of clients, often from the energy and pharmaceutical sectors, in arbitration proceedings. Philipp Hanfland, for example, who is valued for his ‘outstanding legal expertise’, successfully defended a biotech company in proceedings concerning contractual claims. In another highlight, the highly regarded Carsten van de Sande and counsel Susan Kempe-Müller represented a foreign conglomerate in ICC arbitration proceedings with a value in the hundreds of millions. The ‘very good’ Henning Bälz and the ‘efficient’ Markus Meier are also central figures within the team. Peter Heckel retired.
Hogan Lovells International LLP’s litigation and arbitration practice has a broad industry expertise. It usually represents clients in international arbitration proceedings and benefits from the firm’s well-integrated network. Both Inken Knief and Karl Pörnbacher are particularly well versed in the energy and life sciences sectors. Counsel Thomas Pieper is also qualified as a US lawyer and is therefore familiar with the country’s regulations. Daniel Flore made partner in January 2019.
Latham & Watkins LLP was involved in Germany’s longest arbitration proceedings to date lasting over ten years, in which the team defended both Daimler and Toll Collect against the Federal Republic of Germany. In another highlight, the firm was able to utilise its network when the experienced Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert collaborated with the London office to represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in an ICSID arbitration of the World Bank against claims brought by construction company Hochtief concerning the construction of an airport in Saudi Arabia. Christoph Baus is also recommended. Markus Rieder joined Gibson Dunn in November 2019.
Dispute resolution boutique Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte has particular strength in arbitration proceedings, where it has notable expertise in the offshore industry and plant construction. Inka Hanefeld, who is also vice president of the international court of arbitration ICC, is one of Germany’s most respected arbitrators. Together with Jan Heiner Nedden, she represented two offshore companies in international proceedings before the German arbitration institute DIS, each with very high amounts in dispute. Heiner Nedden has a solid track record as an arbitrator: he recently acted as chairman in a price adjustment procedure between a municipality and an energy company. Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is also recommended.
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek
In addition to acting for the various parties, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s team is also appointed as arbitrators: the highly regarded Ulrike Gantenberg was recently appointed as arbitrator in proceedings between an investor and a state in connection with claims arising from a bilateral investment agreement. On the party representation side, she acts together with Wolfgang Kühn, who is experienced in corporate law, for a device manufacturer in the enforcement of claims from an arbitral award in the US. In another highlight, Daniel Froesch is representing an electronics manufacturer in international arbitration proceedings. Elke Umbeck is also recommended.
Linklaters’ dispute resolution team is regarded as ‘very good’, with the arbitration group’s main strengths in the areas of post-M&A, investment protection and contract disputes. It was involved in the Toll Collect arbitration proceedings representing the German government. Arbitration specialist Alexandros Chatzinerantzis is increasingly sought out for his energy sector expertise. Kirstin Schwedt, who has experience in the healthcare, industry and insurance areas, is representing a leading German pharmaceutical company in the enforcement of claims against an international company, with one of the issues being the payment of reservation fees.
Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH does ‘excellent work’; the German law firm, which has offices in Europe and Asia, focuses its arbitration practice on investment matters and the energy sector, but also has expertise in commercial disputes. Under the leadership of the experienced Richard Happ, the group achieved a favourable outcome for PreussenElektra, an E.ON subsidiary: the arbitral tribunal ruled that the client did not have to pay the Belgian nuclear fuel tax of €321m. In addition, Jutta Wittler has considerable expertise in international construction arbitration proceedings. Christoph von Burgsdorff and up-and-coming senior associate Georg Scherpf are also recommended. Borbála Dux joined Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in October 2018.
McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP is particularly known for its expertise in representing investors and governments in connection with investment protection agreements; a high-profile example is its long-standing representation of the Federal Republic of Germany, in a dispute where power company Vattenfall is demanding billions in damages. Arne Fuchs, who recently made partner, has a focus on commercial arbitration proceedings: for example, he is representing a southeastern state in ad hoc investment arbitration proceedings. The group benefits from the firm’s strong international network and also has experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The frequently recommended Sabine Konrad, who acts both as party representative and arbitrator, left for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in September 2019.
Noerr’s sizeable conflict resolution group has a wide range of experience representing parties before arbitral tribunals: for example, the team is representing an insolvency administrator in the assertion of claims arising from a supply contract. In another highlight, the notable Anke Meier, who is experienced in commercial and investment arbitration proceedings, is defending a solar technology company in proceedings in accordance with ICC rules. Other arbitration clients include VNG-Verbundnetz Gas and GAM. Practice head Michael Molitoris and Meier often act as arbitrators. Morris Besch also has a considerable caseload in the area and Meike von Levetzow made partner.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP provides ‘very good advice’ and is instructed in energy, post-M&A and investment arbitration proceedings. Siegfried Elsing, who is regarded as ‘a luminary in the field of dispute resolution’, and rising talent Nicholas Kessler are representing a state in an Uncitral investment arbitration initiated by two investors from Asia. Other work includes representing a power plant in a proceeding. Newly appointed partner Karsten Faulhaber was also significantly involved in this case; like Elsing, he frequently acts as an arbitrator.
White & Case LLP is valued by clients for its ‘full reliability’ and is specialised in liability, energy and post-M&A litigation. ‘Enormously experienced’ practice head Markus Burianski acts for an Asian solar cell manufacturer in arbitration proceedings concerning long-term supply contracts with a value in dispute of more than $130m. In other work, the representation of Indian investors in arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Yemen was extended by a second instruction, which was terminated at the end of 2017 in favour of the clients. Alexandra Diehl, who is experienced in IP and investment arbitration, joined as local partner from Clifford Chance in February 2018.
Borris Hennecke Kneisel
Dispute resolution boutique Borris Hennecke Kneisel is ‘highly experienced and competent in the field of party representation’. The group has particular experience in post-M&A, energy and plant construction matters; the name partners are also frequently appointed as arbitrators. The ‘very competent’ Christian Borris, for example, was appointed chairman in an ICC arbitration between Chevron and the state of Romania. Rudolf Hennecke, who ‘always gives strategic advice’, and Sebastian Kneisel, who is ‘prompt, precise and goal oriented’, are also recommended.
DLA Piper has traditionally had a strong focus on post-M&A arbitration, but has recently also seen an increase in energy and D&O liability disputes. Daniel Sharma is defending a global corporation concerning the payment of compensation for damages following corruption claims, and is representing a conglomerate in arbitration under ICC rules. Frank Roth and Christian Schneider are defending an insurer in a multiparty arbitration regarding a W&I insurance product. Counsel Friederike Landauer also has outstanding expertise in international arbitration proceedings. The practice was strengthened in November 2017 by the addition of counsel Sebastian Schneider, who joined from Latham & Watkins LLP.
At Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB, the group has a focus on representing parties in disputes relating to post-M&A, plant construction and energy law. In addition, the firm frequently works for German automobile manufacturers. Regular arbitration work is also a pillar of the practice. Gert Brandner and Klaus Gerstenmaier, who are experienced in corporate law, are singled out; other key team members include Hans-Georg Kauffeld and Roland Kläger.
Herbert Smith Freehills GmbH
Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP has a strong focus on arbitration relating to energy and plant matters as well as on investment litigation, frequently leveraging the firm’s international ties; the experienced Patricia Nacimiento, together with a London colleague, is representing a US IT firm in post-M&A litigation. Thomas Weimann, who has a great deal of experience in dealing with industrial clients, is defending a defence company in two arbitration proceedings. Consultant Sylvia Schenk’s expertise in the field of human rights is increasingly called upon.
Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner
‘Highly regarded’ law firm Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner has a well-established arbitration team with experience in the energy, and banking and finance sectors. For example, Alexander Kröck and the ‘dedicated’ Annett Kuhli defend an international energy company in arbitration proceedings before the German arbitration institute DIS against a claim for adjustment of the remuneration of a long-term gas storage contract; the duo are also regularly appointed as arbitrators. On the banking and capital markets side, the group benefits from Marcus van Bevern’s previous in-house experience with a German bank; clients value his ‘expertise’. Recently, he acted as a party-appointed arbitrator in DIS proceedings between disputants from the financial sector.
King & Spalding LLP’s ‘very good’ arbitration team deals primarily with post-M&A, investor-state and energy disputes and is well integrated into the international practice group. Jan Schäfer is particularly appreciated by clients for the ‘convincing logic in his line of argument’ and is also recognised by peers as ‘one of the leading arbitrators’. The group represented ESPF Beteiligungs and InfraClass Energie 5, among others, in an investment dispute against the Italian Republic concerning the reduction of the feed-in rate for solar power.
Wach + Meckes LLP
Conflict resolution specialists, Wach + Meckes LLP’s arbitration work is particularly notable for post-M&A and shareholder disputes, while the team’s expertise in the energy sector and plant construction is also frequently in demand; in addition, the firm’s client portfolio is becoming increasingly international. Frank Meckes and Tom Petsch are representing a communications company in ICC arbitration proceedings in connection with a dispute regarding longer-term trade and supply agreements. Karl Wach is regarded as ‘technically very well versed’ and, like Meckes, is regularly appointed as arbitrator, most recently in proceedings concerning a contract dispute. Associate Gebhard Bücheler left the firm in mid-2017 to found arbitration boutique Seven Summits Arbitration.
Beiten Burkhardt’s dispute resolution practice consists of a group of specialised lawyers: Holger Peres focuses his arbitration work on the hotel and leisure industry, while Ralf Hafner specialises in the automotive and energy sectors. The latter recently represented an automotive service provider in arbitration proceedings concerning retroactive purchase price adjustment claims and valuations of company shares. In other work, the group was involved in the long-standing Toll Collect arbitration proceedings on the side of the Federal Republic of Germany. It attaches great importance to cross-practice group cooperation, frequently collaborating with its criminal, labour, corporate and M&A practices.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s arbitration practice is experienced in the areas of post-M&A, IT and automotive, in particular with a US focus; for example, Richard Kreindler divides his time between New York and Frankfurt and is a member of the newly established German arbitration institute’s council for arbitration. He recently represented a mining company in a financial dispute regarding its exit from a joint venture. The group also acted for several energy companies.
Pinsent Masons Germany LLP is ‘particularly well positioned for handling complex cases’. The arbitration group focuses on the fields of information and manufacturing technology, energy and life sciences. Thanks to its close cooperation with the firm’s international offices the team is also well positioned to handle cross-border conflicts. ‘Strong negotiator and the success-oriented’ Ulrich Lohmann defended a development finance institution against a Chinese company in an ICC arbitration. Sibylle Schumacher is recognised by clients for her ‘strong experience, pragmatism and always to-the-point advice’, and is a regular arbitrator in addition to her party representation work.
Taylor Wessing is known for its competence in commercial and corporate litigation with a focus on major projects and industrial plant construction, on which Wolfgang Gruber is particularly focused. Practice head Philipp Behrendt represented a consumer goods distributor in arbitration proceedings against an industrial client and defended a textile manufacturer in ICC arbitration proceedings. In the latter case, he is supported by salary partner Donata von Enzberg, who is also conducting two ad hoc arbitrations in the maritime industry. Axel Boesch left the firm in January 2019.