Product liability in Germany

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Based on a large wealth of experience in product safety, product compliance and product liability as well as its good international integration of designated practice groups across all offices of the firm, Hogan Lovells International LLP continues to occupy a leading position in this field. The group has expertise in various industries: Ina Brock specialises in advising and representing companies from the pharmaceutical and medical products sector, while Sebastian Polly is an expert in the automotive sector. Matthias Schweiger focuses on collective tort litigation and model declaratory actions, particularly those with international aspects. Tobias Ackermann made counsel at the beginning of 2019 and has experience in product liability as well as product-related supply chain litigation.

Testimonials

Hogan Lovells fields one of the leading product liability teams.

Work highlights

  • Represented and advised a technology company in product liability, product safety and product compliance matters in multiple countries.

Noerr

Noerr impresses with a specialised and well-versed team that is frequently consulted for advice on product liability and product safety-related issues. Thereby, the group has particular experience in recalls, both on national and international level, as well as in defence against guarantee claims due to product defects. Michael Molitoris is considered an expert in this field and is particularly active in the automotive sector. He is supported by Arun Kapoor, who has a similar focus, and Helmut Katschthaler, who predominantly assists with liability law, insurance and reinsurance law. Thomas Klindt is another experienced key contact.

Key clients

Audi AG

MAGNA International

Takata AG

Schreiner Group

Magna Powertrain

MAN Diesel & Turbo SE

Vetropack AG

HSM GmbH & Co. KG

Andreas Fahl Medizintechnik-Vertrieb GmbH

Work highlights

  • Represented Audi in Germany-wide consumer class action proceedings in connection with diesel emissions.
  • Advised Magna on a series of product liability claims and product safety recalls.
  • Represented Takata in a global product liability matter in connection with airbags.

BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR

BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR is an established address for insurance companies, but also increasingly for corporations seeking advice on product liability matters. The team handles recalls, product liability damages and advice on autonomous machines. The group is particularly active in the automotive, food, medical and pharmaceutical as well as consumer goods sectors. Rainer Büsken heads the practice group and has, just like Martin Alexander, longstanding experience in this field. Carsten Hösker and Marcel Hohagen are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Rainer Büsken

Work highlights

  • Advised an international industrial insurer in the recall case of a large automotive manufacturer regarding a faulty electric component.
  • Advised an insurer on the product swap and damages in connection with a multitude of defect water taps.
  • Represented the insurer of a pharmaceutical manufacturer in connection with an international product recall due to alleged medication contamination affecting numerous claimants.

Taylor Wessing

In the product liability area, Taylor Wessing has strong expertise in advising and representing national and international corporations from the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and technology sectors. The team covers product liability issues as well as product safety law. Philipp Behrendt, who heads the firm's dispute resolution practice, is particularly well versed in this field and recently received impressive new instructions. Henning Moelle is mainly experienced in the pharmaceutical and medical products industries.

Practice head(s):

Philipp Behrendt

Other key lawyers:

Henning Moelle

Key clients

Volkswagen

Grünenthal

 

Work highlights

  • Continued international defense of Grünenthal against product liability actions due to alleged birth defects caused by thalidomide.
  • Representation of Volkswagen in the defense against consumer actions due to the diesel emissions matter.

CMS

CMS impresses with a broad activity spectrum in product liability, which ranges from defence against damages claims and claim enforcement for damaged companies to recalls. The group is particularly active for German corporations in need of legal cross-border advice. Tobias Bomsdorf is a well-versed advisor on major and serial industrial damages settlements. The team also cooperates across practices, particularly with the commercial practice.

Other key lawyers:

Tobias Bomsdorf

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

The team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is instructed for product recalls, representation in related court proceedings and dealing with authorities. The internationally integrated practice group is particularly active in the consumer goods, automotive and chemicals sectors. The team is continuously representing Volkswagen in product liability-related civil lawsuits. Marcel KaufmannMoritz Becker and Thomas Kreifels are the key contacts.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner advises clients from various sectors, such as the toy, medical products and electronics industries, on product liability matters. The team has experience in recalls, defects and product compliance. The group's key contacts are Carsten Laschet and Tobias Lenz.

Other key lawyers:

Carsten Laschet; Tobias Lenz

Gleiss Lutz

In the product liability field, Gleiss Lutz advises on a broad spectrum of civil, public and criminal law aspects and puts together flexible cross-practice teams. The client base is composed of medium-sized and large industry clients and the team is also increasingly involved in cross-border recalls. Eric Wagner is a well-versed key contact, both for preventive advice and crisis management. He is supported by counsel René Kremer and Simon Wagner, who made counsel in January 2019. Counsel Marc Ruttloff is frequently consulted on issues related to public commercial law.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

The team at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH benefits from its good market position in the automotive sector, where the team frequently represents suppliers as well as clients in warranty and liability claims. Furthermore, key contacts Jens Heuer-James, counsel Guido Dornieden and senior associate Kuuya Chibanguza act in the mechanical engineering and plant engineering sectors. Another focus of the team lays on product safety issues. Volker Steimle heads the practice group and is a well-versed expert in contract design as well as in contentious product liability matters.

Practice head(s):

Volker Steimle

Testimonials

Due to their detailed expertise, Volker Steimle and Guido Dornieden very quickly align coordination processes with the remaining Luther teams. Possible risks during proceedings are recognised in time and opposite positions for the defence are established.

Key clients

Harley-Davidson

Makita

Saint-Gobain

Rittal

SAME Deutz-Fahr

Eni

Work highlights

  • Representation of Quin Automotive in an action for damages against ACC after delivery issues.

reuschlaw Legal Consultants

Boutique offering reuschlaw Legal Consultants impresses with the coverage of a broad array of product liability issues, which ranges from product safety and insurance law to recall management, compliance and contract law. In addition to its original focus on advising companies from the mechanical engineering and automotive supply industries, the client base has recently extended to the consumer goods, medical and cosmetics product manufacturing sectors. Philipp Reusch has longstanding experience in this field and is supported by Daniel Wuhrmann, who made equity partner in January 2019 and focuses on the automotive sector, as well as salary partner and medical products law expert Miriam Schuh.  

Practice head(s):

Philipp Reusch

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Wuhrmann; Miriam Schuh

Testimonials

The team’s ability to tackle new matters with commitment is outstanding. Thought prohibition does not exist here. The advice spans a very wide area. Based on broad knowledge and its application to the matter, one achieves one’s aim and therefore success.

Philipp Reusch embodies the profile and spirit of the team. He is thematically broadly positioned and thinks unconventionally. This combination has led to success several times.

Daniel Wuhrmann understands the needs and circumstances of his clients perfectly and can therefore always provide tailored advice.

Work highlights

  • Advised a German online mail order business regarding the recall of consumer products.
  • Represented two companies in the automotive and automotive supplier industry in market actions due to faulty parts.
  • Advised an international company in the automotive supplier industry on the establishment of a global recall management system.