Rising Stars

Financial services: litigation in Germany

A&O Shearman

A renowned address for disputes in the financial services sector, A&O Shearmanacts across the entire range of national and cross-border financial disputes that arise from the use of fintech, blockchain and artificial intelligence, among others; particularly experienced here are practice head Marc Zimmerling as well as Wolf Bussian and Jan Erik Windthorst, who represent several leading German financial institutions and foreign banks in numerous large disputes. Other cornerstones are mass and collective proceedings as well as cross-border matters, for which Anja Schelling is one of the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Marc Zimmerling

Other key lawyers:

Wolf Bussian; Jan Erik Windthorst; Julia Becker; Anja Schelling; Nicolas Gillen


‘Jan-Erik Windthorst: We really enjoyed being advised by him and greatly appreciate his expertise, experience and attention to both the small details and the bigger picture.’

‘Nicolas Gillen: An outstanding senior associate whose knowledge, thoughtfulness and calm approach in the face of great pressure continue to impress us.’

‘Wolf Bussian and Anja Schelling: Extraordinarily competent litigators who make working together extremely pleasant, even on a personal level. In our experience, the response times clearly stand out from other law firms – promised deadlines are met without exception.’

Key clients

Deutsche Bank AG

Aloys Wobben Foundation (AWS)

Uniper SE

KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft

Work highlights

  • Defending a large commercial bank against claims arising from the tax revaluation of securities loans (so-called cum-cum transactions).

  • Advising and representing a leading German energy company in proceedings against a European state.

  • Advising and representing a leading international auditing firm in connection with damages claims arising from the performance of annual and consolidated financial statement audits at a global payment services company.


Linklaters primarily acts for national and international banks: practice head Alexandros Chatzinerantzis and Christian Schmitt, who particularly focuses on defending banks against damages claims and cum-ex-related advice, are among the key contacts. Various clients from the automotive, energy and healthcare sectors further rely on the team's experience in complex sanctions and fine proceedings, in enforcing damages claims and in contractual disputes.

Practice head(s):

Alexandros Chatzinerantzis

Other key lawyers:

Christian Schmitt


‘Very good understanding of proceedings and courts; good understanding of legal issues, detailed work on the facts; very targeted work on the case; pleasant to work with.’

‘The Linklaters team has a profound understanding of various business areas of an investment bank and the market and can therefore easily classify disputes and advise on individual aspects. Advice is comprehensive and balanced and takes into account relevant risk categories (such as business and reputational risk).’

‘Christian Schmitt: He has extensive specialist knowledge, solid market expertise and the necessary regulatory skills and advises us very well. His strengths lie in clear, well-structured advice, while not only focusing on the actual question but also fully examining related areas and problems. This is particularly important as we require a correct classification for our risk assessment.’

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing Steinhoff International Holdings NV in shareholder lawsuits in connection with allegations of alleged accounting irregularities; also represented the company in an investor model case before the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court.

  • Successful defense of Erste Abwaltungsanstalt AöR (EAA) against Portigon AG’s attempt to shift its cum-ex tax liabilities of over €1 billion to the EAA.

  • Defending VISA against antitrust removal, injunction and damages claims brought by almost 300 banks in relation to the allowance of direct customer fees in a four-party payment card procedure.

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz is considered a renowned advisor to established banks and financial services providers, including private equity houses, hedge funds, family offices and asset managers, which find themselves confronted with financial disputes. However, the group also acts in civil proceedings and liability matters in connection with cum-ex and cum-cum; here, practice head Stefan Rützel is one of the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Rützel

Other key lawyers:

Andrea Leufgen; Lukas Schultze Moderow; Florian Wagner


Numerous financial services providers and banks regularly rely on SERNETZ • SCHÄFER to fend off complex lawsuits, including mass proceedings, which are often handled by Jens von Rüden and Manfred Wolf, as well as in KapMuG proceedings, damages claims and cum-ex and cum-cum cases; Ferdinand Kruis is particularly experienced in the latter area. Helge Großerichter, who is extremely adept in banking law disputes, and Peter Balzer, whose expertise includes banking and capital markets law as well as banking regulatory issues, jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Helge Großerichter; Peter Balzer

Other key lawyers:

Ferdinand Kruis; Jens von Rüden; Manfred Wolf; Niklas Bartmann


‘The Munich team is outstanding in banking disputes, especially our colleagues Kruis and Großerichter.’

‘Overall, an outstanding practice that stands out from the competition: a legally excellent team with unusually broad litigation experience, lean structures and correspondingly fair prices. In my opinion, the first address for complex financial litigation in Germany.’

‘Strong client orientation. Very high level of legal expertise. Very pragmatic, creative and innovative conflict solutions. Very high level of initiative in the interests of the clients.’

‘Ferdinand Kruis and Helge Großerichter: Extremely smart, experienced, fast and think economically and pragmatically. Pleadings and court appearance are of highest quality. Reports provide clear and helpful statements. 11 out of 10 points.’

‘Helge Großerichter: Is particularly characterised by an outstanding strategically oriented focus in advising clients and designing solutions; broad expertise and experience in banking law issues; very sound, precise and convincing arguments; extraordinarily addressee-oriented communication and negotiation, which can quickly win over even demanding conversation partners.’

‘Ferdinand Kruis: particularly characterised by broad expertise and experience in banking law issues; very practice-oriented advice on banking law topics that can quickly be implemented into concrete solutions within your own company; very sound and addressee-oriented argumentation and negotiation; very high flexibility for time-critical processes.’

Key clients

Bayern LB

Bundesverband der Banken

UniCredit Bank AG

Hamburg Commercial Bank AG (früher: HSH Nordbank AG)

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG, pbb

Hypo Real Estate

Wirecard Bank

Volkswagen Bank

WealthCap Fonds Gruppe

LBS Bausparkasse

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive advice to Wirecard Bank as a result of the Wirecard scandal, including legal representation.

  • Representation of several major banks pertaining to the challenge of contribution decisions issued to the credit institutions for the European Single Resolution Fund through annulment actions before the European Court (amount in the double-digit million range).

  • Representation of Hypo Real Estate in an investor model case due to allegedly false ad hoc reports before the financial crisis.

Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner

Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner primarily assists with high-profile and high-volume disputes in connection with cum-ex, cum-cum and cum-fake transactions, but is also active in contentious insolvency cases; Marcus van Bevern, who leads the German team and acts as arbitrator and referee, is particularly visible here. Alexander Kröck and Carolin Sabel left the firm in September 2023 to found dispute resolution boutique Kröck Sabel Köppel Dispute Resolution.

Practice head(s):

Marcus van Bevern

Wendelstein Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB

Wendelstein Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB is regularly instructed by credit institutions as well as large companies and institutional investors and is particularly visible in large financial derivatives and capital market disputes in connection with the Wirecard insolvency as well as with cum-cum and cum-ex transactions; Frank Fischer, who is experienced in financial and tax disputes, is one of the key contacts in this context. He jointly leads the practice with Karl Thomas Koenen, who primarily applies his financial expertise in securities disputes, and Moritz Meister, who is experienced in banking, finance and tax disputes.


‘For over ten years now, the practice has established a name and a position in the market that can compete with teams of leading international and German law firms in every respect. This not only applies to the outstanding expertise and size of the practice, but also to its exceptionally good network at international level.’

‘The practice has in-depth expertise in disputes relating to dividend arbitrage issues at the interface with criminal law. Particularly noteworthy is the extraordinary collegiality and responsiveness when working together.’

‘Frank Fischer: An excellent lawyer and strong negotiator, both in and out of court. He is also characterized by outstanding leadership qualities, which have a decisive influence on collegial cooperation within the team, including with employees that don’t work in law. His special understanding of cross-border issues and his very good international network should also be emphasised.’

‘Very knowledgeable in the financial sector, familiar with a wide range of products and topics.’

‘Moritz Meister: Finds the right arguments, strong in court.’

‘Frank Fischer: Good negotiator.’

‘Frank Fischer: Great litigation lawyer, very smart, dynamic and highly professional. A winner who devotes himself to every client with everything he has. Top lawyer!’