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Financial services: litigation in Germany

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP represents banks, asset managers, funds and insurance companies in contentious civil law matters, particularly in connection with complex tax structures; here, the team cooperates closely with its tax and white collar crime colleagues. The group also handles claims for damages and the pursuit thereof. Practice head Wolf Bussian is well-versed in investigations in the financial services sector, while Jan Erik Windthorst benefits from experience in contractual and joint venture disputes. Senior associate Anja Schelling has noteworthy capital markets know-how.

Practice head(s):

Wolf Bussian

Other key lawyers:

Jan Erik Windthorst; Anja Schelling

Key clients

Deutsche Bank AG

National Bank Financial

Work highlights

  • Advising Deutsche Bank and representing their defence against claims in the very high millions.
  • Representation international clients in the civil law processing of cum-ex transactions.
  • Advising a banking consortium on the pursuit of claims in the three-digit million range against individual companies and shareholders of a group of companies due to possible balance sheet manipulation, and the release of collateral possibly caused by fraud.

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller impresses with expertise in the banking, finance and capital markets, and restructuring and insolvency sectors. Key focus areas in the contentious field are KapMuG (investor model procedure act) proceedings, along with matters pertaining to controversial tax avoidance structures. The client portfolio includes domestic and international banks as well as private equity and insurance companies. Practice head Markus Meier, Philipp Hanfland and Antonia Hösch are key points of contact.

Practice head(s):

Markus Meier

Other key lawyers:

Philipp Hanfland; Antonia Hösch

Linklaters

Linklaters has an excellent market reputation for its advice to banks and financial institutions, with the team frequently cooperating with the wider firm's adjacent banking and banking supervisory law practices. Its work portfolio includes several cum-ex and cum-cum matters, as well as D&O liability claims, capital markets and antitrust disputes. Practice head Alexandros Chatzinerantzis also advises on contentious insolvency law issues and Christian Schmitt is a point of contact for disputes in the financial services sector. Kirstin Schwedt is 'excellent; hard-working, responsive and strategic in her thinking'.

Practice head(s):

Alexandros Chatzinerantzis

Testimonials

The team always delivers solid and thorough advice and can keep an eye on the details without losing sight of the bigger picture.

Kirstin Schwedt is excellent; hardworking, quick to react, strategic in her thinking and, above all, always in the best interests of her customers.

Clifford Chance

The dispute resolution team at Clifford Chance has strong expertise in banking and tax law-related proceedings; its clients are typically national and international banks, insurance companies and as asset managers. The team is particularly renowned for transactional disputes in connection with cum-ex and cum-cum, for which Burkhard Schneider is a well-versed point of contact. He regularly cooperates with tax lawyer Felix Mühlhäuser and the white-collar crime team. The practice is headed by Michael Kremer.

Practice head(s):

Michael Kremer

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz is a popular choice for national and international banks, private equity companies, asset managers and hedge funds. Experienced practice head Stefan Rützel and his team have noteworthy expertise in the legal reconditioning of cum-ex matters pertaining to civil law; the group also assists with proceedings regarding insolvency law. Andrea Leufgen and Florian Wagner focus on financial services litigation.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Rützel

SERNETZ • SCHÄFER

Established boutique SERNETZ • SCHÄFER advises a broad client portfolio, including large private banks, state banks and other public institutions, and stands out 'because of a very good, matter-relevant care of the client relationship'. The team has extensive experience in proceedings regarding banking, investment and banking supervisory law, with Frank Schäfer a particular key figure here. Practice co-head Helge Großerichter is well-versed in state, as well as arbitration, proceedings. Ferdinand Kruis is an 'excellent insider of the field, brilliant tactician and phrase genius'.

Other key lawyers:

Ferdinand Kruis

Testimonials

Great team that helps quickly and effectively.’

The law firm is characterized by very good, factual maintenance of client relationships. Almost all employees are partners. The partners provide very individual support in a wide variety of legal issues and therefore know their clients, their organization and needs very well. This enables tailor-made solutions without the need for constant coordination and explanation.

Uniquely well networked and well-known in all disciplines.

Ferdinand Kruis is not only an excellent connoisseur of the scene, a brilliant tactician and a genius of formulation, but is also always personally interested in the matter, which ultimately makes his work outstanding.’

Every colleague in the law firm deals with the respective requirements in their specialty and above all offers practical solutions.

When advising Frank Schäfer, he always endeavors to suggest solutions that minimize legal risks and at the same time are economically pragmatic and feasible.

Key clients

Grovepoint Capital

Hamburg Commercial Bank AG (früher: HSH Nordbank AG)

Work highlights

  • Representing Hamburg Commercial Bank against a lawsuit by 45 predominantly international bond creditors for €1.4bn before the LG Kiel for the “replenishment” of silent participations after allegedly inadmissible write-downs or allegedly inadmissible endowments.
  • Obtaining an injunction against drawing a bank guarantee in the millions in connection with a major international project.
  • Providing strategic advice for UniCredit Bank in connection with the (alleged) EC fee cartel of the German banking industry.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP impresses with experience in contentious matters pertaining to supervisory, criminal, and civil law. Among the clients are national and international financial institutions, as well as shareholders. The team also advises on proceedings with regard to insolvency law. Practice head Christoph Baus has additional expertise in securities disputes.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Baus

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Patzer

Noerr

Noerr's dispute resolution team has significant bench strength and advises on an impressive array of banking and financial law proceedings; it handles single and mass proceedings, and regularly represents national or international banks as well as financial institutions. Key figure Hans Christian Kirchner is specialised in banking and securities disputes. Dieter Hettenbach and Kolja Dörrscheidt mainly represent credit institutes; Anke Meier and Oliver Sieg head the practice group, while Henner Schläfke was promoted to equity partner at the beginning of 2020.

Practice head(s):

Anke Meier; Oliver Sieg

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP predominantly advises national and international banks, and regularly handles banking litigation and insurance law issues. The team also cooperates closely with the firm's other practice groups or offices.  Markus Langen heads the group and is very experienced in liability proceedings and class action lawsuits, whereas Christian Wirth often advises in a preventative context. Sonja Hoffmann is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Markus Langen

Other key lawyers:

Christian Wirth; Sonja Hoffmann

Key clients

Hamburg Commercial Bank

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

Credit Suisse

UniCredit Bank

DZ BANK

IKB Deutsche Industriebank

Work highlights

  • Defending Hamburg Commercial Bank in several investor lawsuits before the district courts of Kiel and Hamburg.

Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner

Kantenwein Zimmermann Spatscheck & Partner handles a multitude of contentious matters for national and international credit institutes, capital management companies and investors. The firm particularly stands out due to its niche expertise in disputes pertaining to loss participations, as well as cum-ex-related matters. Practice head Marcus van Bevern is also a banker and combines his litigation expertise with transactional and financing know-how. Stefan Hackel was promoted to equity partner in January 2020 and Carolin Sabel, who made salary partner at the same time, has experience in civil law proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Marcus van Bevern

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Hackel; Carolin Sabel

Testimonials

Marcus van Bevern is recommended.’

Work highlights

  • Representation of a foreign bank in the civil law processing of high-volume cum-ex transactions.
  • Advising a real estate investor on a loan agreement and restructuring regarding NPL financing for a total of six SPVs in the amount of originally €100m.