Commercial litigation in Germany
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The dispute resolution group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has a good reputation in the market, particularly in relation to claims with numerous claimants as well as in disputes with antitrust, corporate and white-collar crime aspects. Rolf Trittmann heads the practice and is well versed in the automotive sector among others. Roman Mallmann is a key contact for post-M&A, energy and plant engineering proceedings, while Martina de Lind van Wijngaarden has particular expertise in cross-border disputes. Daniel Schnabl, Thomas Kreifels and Boris Kasolowsky are other key figures of the team.
Traditionally strong in antitrust disputes, Gleiss Lutz's practice is also experienced in commercial proceedings, particularly in the automotive, health and real estate sectors. The team is frequently involved in product liability proceedings as well as financial and corporate disputes. Practice head Stefan Rützel has an excellent reputation in the market. His team also includes antitrust expert Ulrich Denzel and Andrea Leufgen, who is experienced in post-M&A and joint venture conflicts. Eric Wagner is also a key contact, who assists clients with contracts as well as with contentious matters.
‘Stefan Rützel rightly is one of the leading lawyers in the market.‘
Hengeler Mueller's dispute resolution team is experienced in representing large German and foreign companies and particularly acts for clients in post-M&A and corporate disputes, class actions as well as in relation to warranty claims and liability issues. While the group works consistently across practices, the team recently intensified its cooperation with the white-collar crime team. Markus Meier is considered an 'expert in his field' and Philipp Hanfland is well versed in court as well as in arbitration proceedings and alternative dispute resolution. Johanna Wirth is an experienced contact for companies from the energy, financial and telecoms sectors, while Carsten van de Sande focuses on the automotive and technology industries.
Other key lawyers:
Porsche Automobil Holding SE
Bank J. Safra Sarasin
Deutsche Bank AG
Deutsche Telekom AG
TÜV Süd AG
Google / YouTube
- Represented a provider of logistics services and storage and materials handling technology in connection with a liability case abroad and possible coverage claims against the insurer.
- Defense of Linde against legal challenges raised against the squeeze-out determined at the extraordinary general shareholders’ meeting.
- Represented a Deutsche Bahn group company in connection with the enforcement of repayment claims and claims to future adjustments to long-term electricity distribution contracts with an energy provider.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP is a sought-after address for corporate and commercial disputes and also frequently advises on professional liability and D&O proceedings. Besides its focus on insurance disputes, the team also has expertise in representing consultancy and auditing firms in complex restructuring disputes. Wolf Bussian heads the German dispute resolution practice, which welcomed Anna Masser from Jones Day in February 2020, and particularly focuses on disputes in the financial services sector, while Marc Zimmerling is the main contact for commercial and corporate conflicts. Jan Erik Windthorst covers contentious banking and financial matters as well as post-M&A and corporate disputes, which often include cross-border aspects. The client base is predominantly composed of international companies from various sectors.
The dispute resolution team at Baker McKenzie impresses with deep sector expertise in the energy, infrastructure and plant engineering industries. The firm also has longstanding experience in the pharmaceutical sector. The matter portfolio frequently includes post-M&A disputes, often in relation to the Asian region. Heiko Haller, who jointly leads the practice with Frankfurt-based Günter Pickrahn, recently joined the Düsseldorf office to act as a key contact for industry clients there. Also notable are Jörg Risse and Ragnar Harbst, who both have experience in proceedings in the infrastructure sector.
Heiko Haller; Günter Pickrahn
Clifford Chance continues to hold a strong position in the market with a dispute resolution practice that is frequently instructed by national and international clients alike. Under the leadership of the experienced Michael Kremer, the group assists with contractual, insolvency and antitrust disputes and was recently increasingly active in proceedings in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The latter two areas are particular focuses for Moritz Keller, while counsel Jan Conrady covers disputes pertaining to infrastructure projects as well as in relation to national and international industry plants. Christine Gärtner joined from Latham & Watkins LLP in June 2019 and strengthens the team particularly in the field of corporate disputes. Uwe Hornung has expertise in directors' liability matters, while Tim Schreiber is well versed in post-M&A disputes.
Other key lawyers:
‘A very good, very competent and very likeable team. The cooperation is always highly professional and very pleasant at the same time.‘
‘Sebastian Rakob is an absolute expert! Absolutely competent and very likeable.‘
Cargolux Airlines International S.A.
Moravia Steel A.S.
L´Oréal Deutschland GmbH
MAN Truck & Bus B.V
- Advised Cargolux on the claims by 700 claimants against multiple domestic and international airlines of the air freight cartel.
- Enforcement of damage claims for Nokia against Google im connection with the Android decision by the EU commission.
- Represented Metro in connection with the enforcement of damage claims.
Hogan Lovells International LLP impresses with a broad practice that assists with disputes related to trade, antitrust and corporate law as well as with class actions and arbitration. The team consciously positions itself with specific expertise in the automotive, life sciences, consumer goods, plant engineering and energy industries. The litigation group is headed by the market-renowned Tanja Eisenblätter, while Karl Pörnbacher leads the arbitration practice. Olaf Gärtner is experienced in corporate disputes, while Detlef Hass is also well versed in insolvency disputes. Jürgen Johannes Witte is another key contact, who - inter alia- has 20 years of experience in D&O liability matters.
Tanja Eisenblätter; Karl Pörnbacher
Other key lawyers:
‘Hogan Lovells is one of the leading firms in the market. The team is friendly, accessible and very professional.‘
‘Strengths of the team are the excellent legal knowledge as well as the punctual and precise advice. The group delivers a pragmatic overall approach and complete transparence. All of these elements allow to build a close cooperation between client and lawyers.‘
‘Tanja Eisenblätter, with the support of Michael Penners, analyses legal documents of other firms with a never seen attentiveness; she consequently discovers all weaknesses and finds the perfect argumentation.‘
‘Detlef Hass is a very committed lawyer, who deeply and comprehensively acquaints himself with the matter and manages to get the best results for his clients even against resistance in difficult positions.‘
- Represented a rail company in connection with antritrust damage claims proceedings.
- Continued separate representation of Air Canada and Korean Air in various damage claims proceedings due to the air freight cartel decision.
The dispute resolution practice at Latham & Watkins LLP is a renowned address for complex individual and class actions. The group frequently advises and defends clients in corporate, post-M&A and bonds-related disputes and often utilises its international firm network. Christoph Baus heads the practice and is well versed in trade and antitrust proceedings as well as in arbitration. Christine Gärtner joined Clifford Chance in June 2019 and Markus Rieder, another experienced contact for corporations and financial institutions, joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in January 2020.
‘The litigation team led by Christoph Baus does an excellent job.‘
‘One of the best team for German civil disputes. The group is strategically superb and even more brilliant in court.‘
‘Christoph Baus has a strategic instinct that allows him to preemptively and unerringly identify the opposition’s response.‘
Hamburger Hochbahn AG
Clerical Medical Investment Group
- Represented Daimler in a coordinated securities class action in the US concerning the alleged manipulation of exhaust systems in diesel vehicles.
- Represented Air Berlin in a damage claims action against Etihad, a former shareholder.
- Represented Liberty Global and Unitymedia in damage claims proceedings against Deutsche Telekom in connection with fraudulant practices regarding the use of cable channels.
Linklaters' dispute resolution practice behind experienced litigator Alexandros Chatzinerantzis packs a punch in representing corporations from the automotive, energy, health, life sciences and manufacturing industries in national and international disputes. The close cross-practice cooperation is particularly visible in antitrust-related damages claims. Rupert Bellinghausen and Kirstin Schwedt are experts in post-M&A disputes, while Christian Schmitt focuses on assisting with financial proceedings.
Uniper Energy Sales GmbH
Noerr recently experienced growth not only on professional level due to various promotions, but also in relation to its client base. The firm is frequently involved in disputes pertaining to trade, corporate and antitrust law and has experience in the automotive, pharmaceuticals, health and energy industries as well as in the insurance and reinsurance sectors. Anke Meier and Oliver Sieg jointly head the practice, which also includes the automotive sector-experienced Michael Molitoris, Christine Volohonsky and Meike von Levetzow, who is well versed in antitrust tort litigation. Matthias Stupp is another key contact.
Anke Meier; Oliver Sieg
Christian Weller von Ahlefeld
Insolvency Administrator to P+S Werften GmbH
Michael Woodford MBE and Paul Hillman
- Represented DAF Trucks against damage claims raised in Germany due to the truck cartel.
- Represented the German holding company of POCO Einrichtungsmärkte in a shareholder dispute between two joint venture partners of POCO.
The dispute resolution practice at White & Case LLP has broad expertise in the energy and natural resources, technology and automotive sectors. Led by Markus Langen, the team frequently acts for a client base composed of corporations, but also states. Langen is mainly experienced in banking and corporate proceedings, while Thomas Burmeister utilises his expertise in energy law and Christian Wirth also acts as mediator. Christian Theissen, who is another well-versed contact for contractual and liability issues, made equity partner in January 2019.
Other key lawyers:
Kornelia Gless-Kieserling – Bremer Stiftungsstreitgerman
systaic AG, systaic cells GmbH, systaic Technologies GmbH
WGF Westfälische Grundbesitz und Finanzverwaltung AG u.a. Konzerngesellschaften
u.a. Amprion GmbH, Open Grid Europe, Energienetz Mitte, Westfalen Weser Netz
EnBW Baden-Württemberg AG
- Comprehensive advice to Facebook, including on liability matters and consumer class actions.
- Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg in proceedings against an action by Deutsche Bahn to assume additional costs for the construction of the large railway project Stuttgart 21.
- Representation of RWE Generation in an action against Uniper Kraftwerke and RuhrEnergie regarding the termination of a long-term electricity distribution contract from a yet to be constructed power plant.
The broad dispute resolution practice at CMS packs a particular punch in class actions, antitrust proceedings and disputes related to climate change. Due to the strong network of the firm, the group frequently acts in cross-border disputes. The team is jointly led by Matthias Schlingmann, who focuses on international trade matters among others, and experienced post-M&A and D&O litigator Claus Thiery. On the contrary, Torsten Lörcher focuses on the energy and pharmaceuticals sectors. The group is also strongly involved in arbitration and product liability matters.
Matthias Schlingmann; Claus Thiery
Other key lawyers:
Torsten Lörcher; Tilman Niedermaier
Farzanegan Fars Holding Group
Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción, S.A.U.
DLA Piper impresses with a diverse dispute resolution team that can access expertise in areas such as insurance, energy, automotive, real estate, IT and IP whenever necessary. A strong focus of the practice is on disputes related to D&O insurances and Thomas Gädkte is particularly experienced in this field. Practice head Ludger Giesberts represents clients in proceedings before EU courts, German administrative courts as well as civil courts. The team also includes Wolfgang Jäger, who has 20 years of experience and frequently acts in criminal proceedings, particularly related to the prosecution of civil damages claims for corporations against criminal offenders, as well as Frank Roth, who is well versed in trade disputes as well as in all kinds of national and international arbitration proceedings.
Other key lawyers:
‘The short response times of the team and the availability of competent lawyers is noteworthy.‘
- Monitoring counsel for a global industrial insurance company regarding the claims for D&O liability made by the insolvency administrator of an automotive supplier due to payments after the company went insolvent.
Wach + Meckes LLP
Munich-based dispute resolution boutique Wach + Meckes LLP focuses on assistance with disputes pertaining to trade, capital markets, corporate and energy law. The group regularly advises on liability issues and has further experience in real estate disputes. Karl Wach is well versed in national and international trade and commerce as well as distribution matters, while Frank Meckes focuses especially on disputes related to corporate transactions. In addition to Tom Petsch, Robert Straubmeier and counsel Henning Krauss also cover corporate disputes.
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's large dispute resolution group represents clients, often national and international corporations, in a broad spectrum of disputes with particular focus on assisting with class actions as well as energy and capital markets-related matters. Elke Umbeck, Thomas Wambach and Ulrike Gantenberg jointly head the team, in which Daniel Froesch is another experienced key contact. Sebastian Jungemeyer is noted for his 'exceedingly deep litigation and legal know-how'.
Elke Umbeck; Thomas Wambach; Ulrike Gantenberg
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Froesch; Sebastian Jungmeyer
‘Goal-oriented and highly qualified lawyers willing to settle.’
‘Johan Schneider is exceptional.’
- Continued representation of Albrecht in appeal proceedings.
- Assisted a group of companies with the enforcement of damage claims against the annual auditor.
With advisory expertise in the full spectrum of dispute resolution, Norton Rose Fulbright positions itself well in the market. While practice head Jamie Nowak specialises in corporate and contractual proceedings, Sven Förster focuses on the insurance sector and Christian Wolf on the banking industry. However, the group cooperates closely across practices as well as offices and therefore advises a client base mainly composed of international corporations, often from the technology, pharmaceuticals and energy sectors, as well as financial institutions. With the arrival of Alexander Cappel from Clifford Chance in December 2018, the team expanded its white-collar crime capabilities.
‘The team has excellent industry knowledge, a high response capacity and doesn’t lose the plot even in heated legal disputes.‘
‘A technically excellent and pleasant team with an interdisciplinary advisory approach.‘
‘Jamie Nowak understands how to explain difficult matters and classify success prospects of proceedings very well.‘
‘Sven Förster is an impressive dispute resolution expert and a brilliant litigator. He stands out from his competitors not only because of his niche expertise, but also due to his meticulous and detail-oriented approach, while always keeping track of the matter.‘
‘Christian Wolf argues precisely and in a solution-oriented manner.‘
‘Nikolas Smirra is a valued advisor.‘
AIG Europe Ltd.
Prüfungsverband deutscher Banken e.V.
Credit Suisse International
Schreck-Mieves / Balfour Beatty
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd.
Ishida Co. Ltd.
- Represented Schreck-Mieves against damage claims in connection with the rail cartel.
- Represented AIG Europe regarding damages in connection with a warranty & indemnity insurance.
- Represented Credit Suisse against damage claims by a borrower.
SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalte AG's strength lays in corporate-related disputes. The team regularly advises on resolution defects, approval and M&A proceedings, but also on contractual conflicts. The client base is predominantly composed of corporations, banks and managers. The practice is led by Jochem Reichert and also includes Thomas Liebscher, Stefan Zeyher and Christoph Nolden, who all have a strong corporate law background.
‘SZA is a firm that is very focused on its client’s requests and strongly counts on their partner’s commitment. This has the big advantage that partners always fully understand the matter and implement projects purposefully.‘
‘Stefan Zeyher attracts attention as a very committed partner. He quickly delivers requested solutions, which are legally always of highest quality and practical. His professional approach has significantly contributed to our pleasant cooperation and a very convincing result.‘
Deutsche Bank AG
Dr. Michael Jaffé als Insolvenzverwalter
Prof. Dr. Helmut Merkel
Dr. Jürgen Großmann
- Representation of Volkswagen in damage claims by investors due to the alleged violation of disclosure obligations.
- Defense of Bilfinger’s former CEO regarding the alleged breach of duty in connection with the establishment of an effective compliance system.
- Representation of former managers of Hypo Real Estate (HRE) against claims by shareholders.
Instructions for Taylor Wessing's dispute resolution practice often include corporate as well as energy law aspects and are frequently related to China. Due to its interdisciplinary team, the practice is well-positioned: in addition to trade and distribution conflicts, the group also covers shareholder and post-M&A disputes and mainly assists corporations from the automotive, life sciences, construction and energy sectors. Philipp Behrendt, who advises on product liability matters among others, heads the practice. Frank Koch and Olaf Kranz focus on corporate disputes.
‘The team is professionally and technically well equipped. The communication within the team is perfect; even in the case of several different key contacts, everyone has the same level of information. The legal assistance is contentually always excellent and in its scope always as required.‘
‘The team members distinguish themselves through high commitment and far-sighted thinking.‘
Air Berlin PLC & Co. Insolvenzverwalter Dr. Lucas Flöther
Becker Marine Systems (BMS)
- Defense of BMS against damage claims and the enforcement of own claims in a cross-border dispute with numerous parties.
- Defense of Volkswagen against consumer actions in connection with the diesel scandal.
The dispute resolution expertise at WilmerHale ranges from representation in proceedings at the interface between civil and regulatory issues to liability and corporate proceedings as well as IP disputes. Also noteworthy is the team's activity for several social media companies in proceedings that involve competition and data protection issues. Dispute resolution expert Vanessa Wettner is particularly well versed in civil and capital markets matters. She jointly heads the practice with Stefan Ohlhoff and Hans-Georg Kamann, who are both experienced in antitrust and international trade law. The highly active Christian Schwedler made counsel at the beginning of 2019.
Vanessa Wettner; Stefan Ohlhoff; Hans-Georg Kamann
Other key lawyers:
Ulrich Quack; Christian Schwedler
‘Both Vanessa Wettner and Christoph Wiegand have expert know-how.’
Becton Dickinson B.V.
Bundesinnung der Hörakustiker KdöR
Bundesverband Öffentlicher Banken Deutschlands
Deutsche Bahn AG
Deutsche Telekom AG
Katjes Fassin GmbH & Co KG
- Represented Becton Dickinson against damage claims by a former distribution partner.
- Continued representation of Deutsche Bahn in a dispute with the State of Baden-Württemberg, the state capital Stuttgart and others regarding claims for further financing contributions for the urban development programme Stuttgart 21.
- Representation of Katjes, Krombacher, Schweppes and others regarding the enforcement of damage claims arising from the sugar cartel.
Arnold & Porter impresses with advisory and defence capacities in trade, corporate and competition-related disputes. where it represents a broad client roster composed of companies, law firms and financial services providers. Michael Weigel has 30 years of experience as a litigator and Klaus Eyber acts in court proceedings as well as in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. Both jointly lead the team, in which associate Maximilian Reichl is also highly active.
Michael Weigel; Klaus Eyber
Other key lawyers:
Lunkewitz, Bernd F.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Bird & Bird
Deminor Recovery Services Internationale Investoren
- Defended Bird & Bird against damage claims by Wölbern funds due to alleged incorrect advice in connection with financial instruments.
- Represented Deminor Recovery Services in connection with the enforcement of damage claims by numerous institutional investors against VW due to ad-hoc non-communication regarding the emissions scandal.
- Defended Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP against claims by the insolvency administrator of a former client in connection with alleged incorrect tax advice.
Eversheds Sutherland predominantly acts in trade, distribution and product liability proceedings. The team is able to utilise its strong international firm network and closely cooperates with the corporate and antitrust practice groups. Clients mainly stem from the automotive, industrial, health and financial services sectors. Joos Hellert heads the dispute resolution practice and also advises on compliance issues among other matters. Ralf-Thomas Wittmann and Fabian Volz specialise in insurance disputes. Counsel Stephan von Marschall joined from Taylor Wessing at the beginning of 2019.
‘A team between firm and client is always established. The group is business-oriented and easily approachable.‘
‘Joos Hellert is very pragmatic and speaks his client’s language due to his in-house experience.‘
- Represented Cor Sitzmöbel in the defense of damage claims against Reuter due to alleged distribution antitrust law violations.
- Assisted an international plant manufacturer regarding damage claims after a power plant fire.
The dispute resolution practice at Jones Day impresses with its broad positioning, which covers various sectors such as aviation, life sciences and energy, as well as various issues. In its predominantly cross-border matters, the group cooperates across offices. The dual leadership of the practice includes Dieter Strubenhoff, who is particularly well versed in corporate and trade disputes, and Johannes Willheim, who focuses on antitrust proceedings as well as arbitration. Anna Masser made partner at the beginning of 2019, but joined Allen & Overy LLP in February 2020. Counsel Jakob Hübert is also very active.
Dieter Strubenhoff; Johannes Willheim
Other key lawyers:
Anna Masser; Jakob Hübert
Barings Real Estate Advisers GmbH
Gazprom Export LLC and PJSC Gazprom
INTERNET CORP. FOR ASSIGNED NAMES & NUMBERS (ICANN)
Vossloh AG (Vossloh Cogifer S.A.) vs Voestalpine
- Representation of Barings Real Estate Advisers in German court proceedings for the payment of outstanding contingency fees and proceedings surrounding an injunctive relief.
- Representation of Trumpf Medical regarding the enforcement of product liability and contract breach by Dräger.
- Representation of ICANN regarding the enforcement of claims to injunctive relief against EPAG in connection with duties under the registrar accreditation agreement.
Munich-based firm Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner has particular experience in settling disputes in the energy and banking sectors. Recently, the team has mainly acted in shareholder disputes, but generally covers a broad array of trade-related disputes. Practice head Alexander Kröck additionally focuses on the automotive and insurance industries. Annett Kuhli is another experienced contact and Marcus van Bevern specialises in disputes in the financial services sector.
‘Kantenwein has a young, dynamic and “belligerent” team with experienced lawyers.‘
‘Marcus van Bevern is a prime example for a solid and highly effective litigator. He pursues his client’s interests in a circumspect and straightforward manner in the best possible way.‘
- Out-of-court advice to a wealthy private individual regarding a shareholder dispute in the telecoms sector.
- Representation of an investor community in a shareholder dispute between the shareholders of an internet platform about the exit process.
- Representation of an insurance company in connection with a multi-layer dispute in several jurisdictions.
In addition to its established arbitration and product liability practices, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH also regularly represents clients in litigation. Here, the group has particular experience in proceedings related to the energy and plant engineering sectors as well as in representing corporations against a multitude of plaintiffs. Richard Happ and Stephan Bausch head the practice group. The latter acts in both banking and finance as well as in trade and corporate disputes. Jutta Wittler is an expert in contentious matters in the plant engineering area and Borbala Dux-Wenzel is the key contact for antitrust tort litigation, investment and insurance law.
Richard Happ; Stephan Bausch
- Representation of the hospital Hochtaunuskliniken in several proceedings.
SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte is particularly experienced in trade and distribution law, where it receives instructions for both national and international proceedings. Furthermore, the dispute resolution team increasingly focuses on its cooperation with the M&A and real estate practices of the firm, in order to be well equipped for post-M&A conflicts. Practice head Arndt Tetzlaff regularly advises on tort law and Oliver Korte has expertise in wholesale and foreign trade as well as in the food and medical products sectors. Sebastian Graf von Wallwitz is another key contact.
‘Very competent and individual advice from the team. Furthermore, the group impresses with a high degree of practice-orientation and good knowledge of the company.‘
‘Oliver Korte has a very efficient approach and smart, clear negotiation management. He always delivers excellent performances.‘
Hanwha Q Cells
GEHE Pharma Handel GmbH
Home Away Inc.
Telekom Deutschland GmbH
Signal Iduna Gruppe
- Representation of an international steel trading company in proceedings for ascertaining the damage claims obligation resulting from the supply with already installed, faulty steel pipes.
- Defense of damage claims against a real estate investor in connection with a real estate project in Berlin.
- Assisted Telekom in damage claims proceedings totalling several million due to alleged antitrust law infringements.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's dispute resolution expertise is predominantly located in corporate, insolvency and competition law, while additional focuses lay on IP and IT conflicts. The client base is composed of national and international corporations as well as banks. Britta Grauke heads the practice and covers a broad spectrum herself, including procedural and capital markets law in addition to the aforementioned areas. She is supported by associate Marcus Kaiser.
Other key lawyers: