Financial services: litigation in Germany

Allen & Overy LLP

With an impressive client roster composed of national and international banks,   asset managers, insurance companies and fonds, which are frequently represented in civil disputes, Allen & Overy LLP continues to be an established player in the financial services litigation sector. The team has particular expertise in matters related to cum/ex transactions and represents Deutsche Bank among others. Wolf Bussian is a well-versed advisor on disputes pertaining to capital markets as well as payment services and financial institutions in crisis. Jan Erik Windthorst is another key contact and jointly heads the team with Bussian; tax lawyer Gottfried Breuninger also supports the group when needed. Senior associate Anja Schelling specialises in banking and capital markets law.

Practice head(s):

Wolf Bussian; Jan Erik Windthorst

Other key lawyers:

Gottfried Breuninger; Anja Schelling; Nicolas Gillen

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller has a high reputation for its representation of financial services providers. The team particularly stands out for its expertise in representing banks in antitrust-related damages claims as well as in investor model cases. In close cooperation with the firm's white-collar crime practice, the group also advises on cum/ex-related proceedings. Markus Meier is a well-versed defender in banking and finance law matters and Philipp Hanfland mainly focuses on capital markets and insolvency disputes.

Other key lawyers:

Markus Meier; Henning Bälz; Philipp Hanfland

Key clients

Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG

Deutsche Bank AG

Work highlights

  • Continue to represent Deutschen Bank in the defense against actions in connection with the takeover offer for Postbank.
  • Represented Bank J. Safra Sarasin in various cases.

Linklaters

The dispute resolution team at Linklaters impresses with sector expertise and a close cooperation with its banking and banking supervisory law practices. The group assists an impressive client base comprised of banks, listed companies and financial services providers with directors' liability suits, capital markets and antitrust disputes. Alexandros Chatzinerantzis heads the team, which also includes banking and finance law expert Klaus SaffenreutherChristian Schmitt and Kerstin Wilhelm are other key contacts. Robert Henrici joined Covington & Burling LLP in May 2019.

Practice head(s):

Alexandros Chatzinerantzis

Testimonials

The team always provided robust and thorough strategic advice and were able to have their eye on detail but never losing sight of the bigger picture. Was very pleased with their work.

Key clients

BayernLB

Insolvenzverwalter einer internationalen Investmentbank

Barclays Bank PLC

Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie.AG & Co. KGaA

VISA

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's visibility in banking and tax-related proceedings has significantly increased over the past years. The team assists a financial services sector-focused client base, which consists of German private banks, state banks and insurance companies as well as European, US and Scandinavian banking groups and international asset managers and creditor groups. The advice spectrum ranges from insolvency disputes and product liability claims to contractual disputes, but also includes conflict prevention. Specific expertise exists in cum/ex and cum/cum transaction matters, which benefits from the close cooperation between proceedings expert Burkhard Schneider and criminal lawyer Heiner Hugger. Furthermore, the team acts in damages claims against opposite parties, clients, directors, leading employees and D&O insurers. David Pasewaldt and counsel  Julia Baedorff are well versed in criminal capital markets law.

Key clients

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented an international asset management company in investigation proceedings by a German public prosecutor due to alleged tax evasion in connection with alleged cum-ex deals.
  • Represented Mizuho Bank in proceedings for the defense against claims from Japanese government bonds and traded certificates of a value of €900m.
  • Defended a German private bank in various arbitration proceedings.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's prominent dispute resolution team is frequently consulted for banking and finance law suits. The practice is characterised by the internationality of its clients and advice is often rendered across practices. Michael Rohls is the central figure in assisting with financial disputes.

Other key lawyers:

Michael Rohls

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz has an established practice for settling banking and financial conflicts and has particular experience in advising on civil liability in relation to cum/ex structures. The client base includes banks, private equity companies and hedge fonds and the team is also frequently instructed in insolvency-related disputes. Stefan Rützel heads the practice group and has expertise in banking, finance as well as capital markets disputes. Andrea Leufgen and associated partner Florian Wagner are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Rützel

Other key lawyers:

Andrea Leufgen; Florian Wagner

Testimonials

Stefan Rützel ist an expert in this field.’

Noerr

The dispute resolution team at Noerr is strong in the banking litigation sphere and thereby benefits from its cooperation with other practice groups. The client roster is composed of national and international banks and financial institutions, which the team represents in individual suits as well as in mass proceedings. Hans Christian Kirchner heads the group and has experience in contentious banking and bond issues. Kolja Dörrscheidt is mainly well versed in insolvency issues and Stefan Blum is another key contact for defending against damages claims against financial institutions.  

Practice head(s):

Hans Christian Kirchner

Other key lawyers:

Kolja Dörrscheidt; Stefan Blum; Dieter Hettenbach; Henner Schläfke

Key clients

Deutsche Bank

Insolvency Administrator to P+S Werften GmbH

Work highlights

  • Assisted Deutschen Bank with various proceedings, including several model proceedings in disputes surrounding matters of capital market law.

SERNETZ • SCHÄFER

Established commercial law boutique  SERNETZ • SCHÄFER has longstanding experience in advising and representing in banking, capital markets and banking supervisory law disputes. The group is instructed by financial institutions, investment companies and building societies  in individual proceedings as well as in mass torts and model cases. Helge Großerichter, who heads the group, has particular expertise in investor model cases. Frank Schäfer is well versed in banking supervisory law matters, while Andreas Höder advises on banking and corporate aspects. Ferdinand Kruis is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Helge Großerichter

Testimonials

The team has sound expertise which it pairs with practical approaches. Individual action and the pleasant and successful cooperation also stands out.

The cooperation with all lawyers is excellent, on trustworthy basis and very open.

Key clients

UniCredit Bank AG

FMS Wertmanagement AöR

Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

Hypo Real Estate Holding

 

BayernLB

WealthCap Fonds

Work highlights

  • Represented Hamburg Commercial Bank in several actions by bondholders over €1,4bn on the replenishment of silent participations after alleged unlawful writedown of the special reserve for general banking risks.
  • Represented Deutsche Pfandbriefbank in connection with damage claim actions against former executives.
  • Represented a provider of mutual funds due to  disclosure complaints by shareholders.

Latham & Watkins LLP

In the financial services litigation arena, Latham & Watkins LLP impresses with the close cooperation between practice groups and its broad team. The group is particularly active in dispute resolution for partners and shareholders as well as in insolvency disputes. In addition, the team frequently advises banks on various conflicts. Christoph Baus heads the practice group and is considered a renowned proceedings expert with specific expertise in capital investment law and in assisting with mass proceedings. Markus Rieder, who also advises financial companies in conflict situations, joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Baus

Key clients

Deutsche Bank

Clerical Medical Investment Group

Daimler

Work highlights

  • Represented Daimler in  securities class actions in the US regarding alleged manipulation of exhaust systems in diesel vehicles.
  • Advised the insolvency administrator of Deutsche S&K Sachwerte Nr. 2 GmbH & Co. KG and S&K Real Estate Value Added Fondsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (REVA) on the enforcement of claims against 3,700 private investors.
  • Represented Clerical Medical in a significant securities class action.

White & Case LLP

The dispute resolution team at White & Case LLP packs a particular punch in the banking litigation area and in insurance disputes. The practice group operates fully integrated, both across offices as well as across other practices of the firm - an approach that is particularly of advantage in international matters. Markus Langen, who is an expert in financial proceedings, heads the team. He is particularly often active in defending institutions against liability claims. Christian Wirth is another key contact for the defence against as well as enforcement of claims.

Practice head(s):

Markus Langen

Other key lawyers:

Christian Wirth; Sara Vanetta

Key clients

HSH Nordbank AG

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG

Credit Suisse AG

UniCredit Bank AG

DZ BANK AG

LBBW

Work highlights

  • Represented HSH Nordbank in several actions by investors in connection with various kinds of hybrid financial instruments of HSH.

Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner

Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner impresses with the deep practical experience of its team, which is comprised of lawyers with additional tax advisory and auditing qualifications as well as in-house experience, and can therefore offer well-founded assistance. The client base includes national and international financial institutions, capital management companies and investors, which the team represents in liability suits as well as in defence against and enforcement of claims. Practice head Marcus van Bevern is a knowledgeable litigator and arbitrator and is supported by Stefan Hackel, who has expertise in accounting and tax law aspects. Associate Carolin Sabel is another central key contact of the team.

Practice head(s):

Marcus van Bevern

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Hackel; Carolin Sabel

Testimonials

Very broad team with strong individual members.

Work highlights

  • Represented a capital management company in connection with recourse according to civil law in cum-ex-transactions.
  • Representation of a bank in a €25m action for repayment from hybrid securities against offshore companies.
  • Represented a real estate investor in a loan agreement dispute.

Mayer Brown LLP

Mayer Brown LLP has a good track record in financial disputes and is a frequently chosen address for investment banks, insurance companies and financial institutions. Most recently, the group represented insurers in various damages claims related to cum/ex deals. Practice head Jan Kraayvanger is also active in capital market-related proceedings and has experience in court proceedings, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. Due to the firm's network, the group renders seamless advice across offices in international matters.

Practice head(s):

Jan Kraayvanger

Work highlights

  • Represented a financial entity against damage claims due to suspected faulty purchases of securities.

Waldeck Rechtsanwälte PartmbB

Boutique offering Waldeck Rechtsanwälte PartmbB covers a broad spectrum of banking and financial disputes, including court and arbitration proceedings, and is particularly experienced in rendering combined advice on civil and commercial issues with supervisory law aspects. The firm is frequently instructed by banks, investment companies, capital management companies and investors. Christian Faßbender has additional expertise in capital markets law, while Marcus Blankenheim is well versed in defending against claims related to investment consultancy and prospectus liability. Jan Liepe is the key contact for both banking as well as stock market and capital markets law and Hendrik Pielka is experienced in disputes with the Financial Market Authority.

Practice head(s):

Christian Faßbender; Marcus Blankenheim

Other key lawyers:

Jan Liepe; Hendrik Pielka

Testimonials

The team is characterised by high competence, short response times, creative solutions and strong assertiveness.

Marcus Blankenheim works very efficiently and practice-oriented.

Jan Liepe is strategically unbeatable.

Christian Faßbender is an experienced, smart and pleasant lawyer.

The diligent Hendrik Pielka works in a very structured manner and is a master of the written word.

Key clients

Bankhaus Scheich Wertpapierspezialist AG

Capitell Vermögensmanagement AG

comdirect bank AG

Commerzbank AG

Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH

equinet Bank AG

IFM Immobilien AG

Lang & Schwarz AG

NLB Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d.

Refinitiv Germany GmbH

Renell Wertpapierhandelsbank AG

Sigma Kreditbank AG

Trafalgar International GmbH

Universal-Investment-Gesellschaft mbH

Work highlights

  • Continued representation of Comdirect Bank, which raised claims from the processing of card-based payments in the Maestro card payment system against euro card systems.
  • Successfully defended the major shareholder of a listed company against fine proceedings initiated by the BaFin due to alleged breach of notification requirements.
  • Represented Commerzbank in various contentious matters.