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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Germany > Industry focus > Healthcare and life sciences > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: healthcare and life sciences
  2. Drug advertising law
  3. Regulatory
  4. Transactions
  5. Leading individuals
  6. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Baker McKenzie offers its health sector clients ‘full-service advice at the highest level’. It is particularly well positioned to advise on procurement and antitrust matters, while also convincing in regulatory and transactional matters. ‘Phenomenal’ practice head Thilo Räpple is appreciated for his ‘brilliant legal documents’ and for ‘managing even the most challenging of cases’; his team convinces with ‘very good business acumen’ and ‘excellent industry knowledge’. Led by ‘far-sighted, pragmatic and very good strategistMarc Gabriel, the group – together with teams of other European offices – has been advising a leading US manufacturer of biotechnological medicinal products on procurement and strategic matters in preparation for entering numerous European biosimilar markets. Pagoda Investment retained the group to advise on the planned acquisition of GBA Gesellschaft für Bioanalytik through an auction process launched by Adiuva Capital. IP work included assisting Ganymed’s shareholders with taking over Japanese pharmaceutical group Astellas Pharma. Christian Burholt is valued for his ‘good knowledge of the life sciences market including its antitrust characteristics’.

Clifford Chance continues focusing on transactions, while also assisting clients with regulatory matters pertaining to product launches, medical device law and the procurement of pharmaceutical rebate contracts. Practice head Peter Dieners led advice to Acino International on the sale of its transdermal patches and implant technology business to Luye Pharma. Particularly appreciated for his expertise in drug advertising and competition law, Ulrich Reese assisted Pfizer with transactional, labour and social law, as well as data protection and patent matters. Biotechnology company Genzyme retained the group for drug launches and representation in drug advertising law litigation against several competitors. Another highlight was advising Bayer and some of its subsidiaries on product launches and procurement matters. Other areas of activity were compliance, product liability and medical product law. Counsel Christian Stallberg left for Novacos Rechtsanwälte in May 2016. Gunnar Sachs was promoted to the partnership.

With an excellent reputation in the health sector, the Berlin-based boutique firm Dierks & Bohle covers a broad range of practice areas, while focusing mainly on regulatory advice. The group also handles market access instructions, social law and compliance. IP and antitrust matters are a minor focus, and the firm only handles transactions as a second advisor covering the regulatory side. The frequently recommended Christian Dierks focuses on drug law and statutory health insurance matters as well as on telemedicine, including medical practitioners’ liability, data protection law and medical professional law.

Under the lead of Jörg Schickert, Hogan Lovells International LLP has a large health law team acting on a broad range of matters: Schickert, for example, specializes in regulatory, pricing and reimbursement matters and recently led advice to medical product manufacturer Nanobiotix on the development and launch of products. Pharmaceutical advertising and compliance matters are covered by the Hamburg-based team led by Tanja Eisenblätter, which also handles competition instructions. A highlight for the team led by Miriam Gundt was representing Merck & Co. in litigation concerning the HIV drug Isentress, with a preliminary injunction for a compulsory licence granted by the federal patent court in August 2016. The group also advised Sanofi on how to deal with several German wholesalers which had illegally bought up hospital products at pharmacies to sell them on; Sanofi was not only represented as the harmed party in numerous criminal proceedings but also in the civil law enforcement of compensation claims. Litigator Matthias Schweiger was promoted to the partnership. Sabine Boos left to work at Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences and Markus Burkhardt left for Amazon.

Specialised in health law, Sträter Rechtsanwälte is a go-to firm in the health sector. Burkhard Sträter and Markus Ambrosius are regarded as leading lawyers and Claus Burgardt is renowned for his medical and panel physician law expertise. The boutique firm mainly advises producers and distributors of drugs and medical products, but also acts for doctors and pharmacists. It offers its clients highly specialised services ranging from product development, including clinical trials, certification and distribution regulations, through to pharmacovigilance and product liability. Other areas of activity are assisting clients with IP matters pertaining to medical products and advising on statutory health insurance law. The firm also acts on cost-benefit analyses and early medical benefit assessments.

Taylor Wessing offers national and international clients a broad range of health sector services ranging from legislation ruling panel physicians, cosmetics, and food and dietary supplements through to product liability, compliance and drug registration matters. Manja Epping leads the life sciences industry group and Oliver Kirschner oversees the healthcare team. In a recent highlight, the latter advised, together with regulatory expert Oliver Klöck, DV Care Netherlands on acquiring ambulatory and inpatient dialysis units. Henning Moelle represented Bayer Healthcare in product liability litigation concerning the contraceptive Yasminelle and similar drugs, and is defending, as international lead counsel, Grünenthal in product liability claims concerning medical products containing thalidomide. Wolfgang Rehmann is the name to note for pharma and medical products law. Thanos Rammos, who specialises in IT law, was promoted to the partnership.

Boris Kreye’s Munich-based team at Bird & Bird continues focusing on procurement and antitrust matters as well as disputes concerning competition, patent and drug advertisement issues. For example, Alexander Csaki wrapped up representing a health insurance provider in litigation concerning the legitimacy of open-house contracts before the European Court of Justice. Patent litigation examples are representing Edwards Lifesciences in an infringement action concerning synthetic heart valves and representing Ratiopharm in patent infringement proceedings and nullity claims against AstraZeneca concerning the fulvestrant drug. A medical product manufacturer retained the group for competition and pharmaceutical advertising law advice concerning the legitimacy of distribution models for pharmaceutical products and related software, which also included compliance advice. Other clients include Merck, Fisher & Paykel and Sanofi. Patent lawyer Christopher Maierhöfer made partner and trademark expert Jana Bogatz made counsel.

In the health sector, CMS mainly acts on competition law, in particular in connection to pharmaceutical advertising, patent, food and cosmetics matters. However, the group also has profound expertise handling regulatory issues regarding rebate law. For example, Jörn Witt – who leads the practice together with Thomas Manderla – advised Elanco on pharma, competition and distribution matters as well as on product protection and counterfeit issues. Bayer retained the group for advice on research, development and licensing contracts. Food sector clients include brewery Bitburger Braugruppe and mineral water distributer Gerolsteiner Brunnen, while L’Oréal relies on the group for cosmetics law assistance. Other work included numerous compliance instructions. Jens Wagner is the name to note for product liability law. Counsel David Ziegelmayer left for LEXANTIS.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer provides an ‘excellent’ service and is best known for transactional work in the health sector. However, it also has profound regulatory expertise – an area which was enhanced by Michael Ramb’s partner promotion – and a strong Frankfurt-based patent law team. In a highlight instruction, Jochen Dieselhorst and a London-based partner advised pharma company Boehringer Ingelheim on an €18m asset swap with Sanofi. Fresenius Helios retained the group for the acquisition and financing of Spain’s largest private hospital operator Quirónsalud. Marcel Kaufmann and his Berlin-based group’s compliance expertise came in handy when handling a worldwide compliance audit for a medical products company. In the regulatory area, the group handled clinical studies and distribution issues pertaining to medical products. An example is assisting Genomic Health with regulatory and rebate law issues concerning the introduction of a gene expression test in Germany and Europe. Another highlight was advising BioNTech on the worldwide strategic cooperation for acancer vaccine with biotechnology group Genentech.

Gleiss Lutz offers full-service advice at a ‘reliably very high level’ and ‘with strong practicability’. Mainly focused on acting for health insurance providers and hospitals, Marco König and Andreas Neun recently advised insurer AOK Baden-Württemberg on projects and procurements for medicine and medical aid supply, for example for the procurement of generics rebate contracts and for patented drug rebate contracts; the group also assisted the client with the sale of the entire share capital held in regional operator of rehabilitation clinics AOK-Klinik to cts Reha. Kliniken Schmieder retained the team concerning a dispute with a competitor, which concerned the planned admission, as laid out in a state hospital plan, of further neurological early-stage rehabilitation beds. Boehringer Ingelheim was advised on entering into a cooperation with ViraTherapeutics for the development of oncolytic viruses. Another highlight was representing Yes Pharmaceutical Development Services in proceedings concerning the second licensing of clopidogrel by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. Reimar Buchner leads the group together with newly appointed partner Martin Viciano Gofferje.

Traditionally strong in transactions, Hengeler Mueller has an excellent track record in the health sector. For example, it advised the Dutch HAL Investments on the sale of the entire share capital held in AudioNova International to Sonova. It was lead counsel on the acquisition and integration of MEDIAN Gruppe, of which Waterland Private Equity is the major shareholder, with Allgemeine Hospitalgesellschaft. Other areas of focus are pharma, hospital, medical products and laboratory regulations. Dirk Uwer led representation of Sanofi Aventis in administrative proceedings concerning the early commercialisation permission. Wolfgang Spoerr represented several clients in social and criminal law proceedings concerning bogus self-employment. Other highlights included assisting Sonic Healthcare with acquiring laboratory group Staber and Medizinisches Labor Bremen as well as advising health insurance provider AOK Bayern on the provision of general practitioner care. In the e-health field, the group acted for the Dutch Royal Philips concerning its health and lifestyle app market entry.

Novacos Rechtsanwälte provides ‘superb work’ and is ‘in no way inferior to larger firms’. Only founded in early 2016, the firm offers ‘excellent industry expertise’ and ‘pragmatic, business-oriented solutions’ as well as an ‘excellent service level’. The firm covers the full life cycle of drug and medical products and is renowned for its ‘very high level of expertise’ in this area. Its portfolio includes advice on market access, rebate, competition, pharmaceutical advertising, compliance and data protection matters as well as transactions. Areas of focus are nursing home sector and product liability cases. The group regularly assists Bayer with social law and pharmaceutical market reorganisation act (AMNOG) matters, and advises DR. KADE Pharmazeutische Fabrik on the acquisition of a portfolio of herbal medicines from Hexal. Maria Heil and Christian Hübner are ‘solution oriented and reliable’. Christian Stallberg, who joined from Clifford Chance in May 2016, is ‘very experienced’ and ‘precise’.

Ehlers, Ehlers & Partner specialises in medical, care and hospital law. Particularly medical law is a focus of Alexander Ehlers’ group, which covers pharmaceutical, drug and medical products law as well as physicians’ regulations and health insurance law. Market access advice, rebate and pharmaceutical market reorganisation act (AMNOG) matters are also key areas of focus. The group is also experienced in handling compliance and data protection work, for example for the performance of clinical trials. It also acts on public policy advisory matters. The diverse client portfolio includes, besides service providers, biotech manufacturers and distribution companies, numerous pharmaceutical companies.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s strength lies mainly in transactions, with practice heads Henning Schneider and Christoph Engeler forming the core team. Schneider advised Novo A/S on its anchor investment in active-substance research and development company Evotec, while Engeler led assistance to Astellas Pharma with the acquisition of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals worth €422m. The latter also continued advising Siemens on splitting off its healthcare business unit. Regulatory advice is another area of expertise, as evidenced by assisting heart disease therapy developer Thoratec with clinical trials in Germany and Austria and by advising medical product manufacturer Mercator MedSystems on interventional and non-interventional clinical studies. Both Allena Pharmaceuticals and Momenta Pharmaceuticals retained the group for their entry in the European market and the setup of sales structures.

Renowned for its ‘very good sector knowledge’, McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP was able to strengthen its healthcare and life sciences practice both in terms of workforce and clients despite the departure of Anja von Alemann to Sana Kliniken. A highlight for Stephan Rau’s group was advising Apax Capital Partners on the acquisition of generic drug manufacturer neuraxpharm and the acquisition of laboratory group Alpha Medical, which is active in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. On the regulatory side, advice given to Brunswick Corporation concerning medical products law is worth mentioning, which includes assistance with conformity assesments, market monitoring as well as labelling and advertisement matters. Katharina Wodarz advised Sonic Healthcare Germany on regulatory matters pertaining to the acquisition of Laborgruppe Staber and Medizinische Labore Bremen and Celle. The group used its cooperation agreement expertise when advising Sanford on the planned cooperation with a German stem cell therapy clinic.

Möhrle Happ Luther is an established advisor of pharma companies. The ‘very recommendable’ team acts on all issues concerning the sale of medical products, drugs and dietary supplements. A clear focus lies on pharmaceutical advertising law, which is mainly handled by Julia Luther, who advised clients such as Pfizer Pharma, AstraZeneca, AMGEN and Novartis in this area. Also recommended are Martin Luther, who represented Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica in pharmaceutical advertising disputes concerning veterinary drugs, and Henning Anders, who assisted Merz Pharma with the sale of drug approvals and distribution matters. Pharm-Allergan retained the group for advice on the pharmaceutical market reorganisation act (AMNOG).

Due to its focus on pharmacy law, Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte recently noticed an increase in instructions concerning the European Court of Justice’s decision on drug price control for foreign mail-order pharmacies. Pharmacy association NOWEDA and the state of Baden-Württemberg’s pharmacy association retained the group in this area concerning the the shipment of prescription drugs. In a precedent-setting case concerning the right of revocation of shipped drugs, the team represented a German mail-order pharmacy. Another highlight was representing a pharmacy in appeal proceedings concerning the product-neutral prescription of vaccines and a pharmacy’s obligation to sell discounted vaccines. Deutsche Zahnärztliche Rechenzentrum and Dr. Falk Pharma retained the group for compliance advice. In addition to pharmacies, it also acts for medical product manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline. Associated partner Ocka Anna Böhnke left for Sanofi.

Preu Bohlig & Partner mainly acts for pharma companies and medical product manufacturers concerning a product’s entire life cycle, while also covering food law matters. Part of the renowned Peter von Czettritz’s group are experts in third party opposition complaints between generics manufacturers and originators. The firm’s portfolio also includes drug labelling, competition and compliance expertise. Concerning pharma industry contracts, the group has a particular focus on the performance of clinical trials and observational studies and offers clients advice on pharmacovigilance and product liability. Clients include HEXAL, STADA Arzneimittel and kohlpharma.

Compared to other law firms, Raue LLP has a particularly strong focus advising on hospital sector matters. The group led by Wolfgang Kuhla is appreciated for the ‘high service level and short processing times’ and also acts for medical care centres (MVZ), medical practices and physicians. Kuhla and Maren Bedau are recommended for their ‘extensive background knowledge’ and for ‘focussing on a client’s requirements’. Newly introduced emergency service practices provided for some instructions as contracts are concluded; the hospital St. Joseph Krankenhaus Berlin Tempelhof retained the group in this area. CORPUS SIREO retained the group for the acquisition of a Berlin medical centre for its fund Health Care Fonds III. Other work included handling panel physician and physicians’ professional law as well as hospital planning matters. Senior associate Stephanie Wiesner is recommended.

WilmerHale is known for offering ‘high quality services’ on regulatory and data protection matters. For example, special counsel Peter Gey advised Editas Medicine on regulatory issues pertaining to the performance of clinical trials, especially on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for investigational medical products, European Medicines Agency SME guidelines and drug approval procedures. Becton Dickinson retained the group for several matters, such as a drug advertising law dispute and a procurement procedure by some hospitals for the supply of medical products. The group also advised the federal association of the pharmaceutical industry on pharmacovigilance and clinical study data matters in view of the new basic regulation on data protection. Hans-Georg Kamann leads the group, which saw Christofer Eggers’ departure to Squire Patton Boggs.

In the healthcare sector, Dentons stands out for its strong transactional expertise, which was further strengthened by the arrival of Thomas Strassner and counsel Christopher Mayston, who both formerly worked at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Another new-joiner is competition law expert Matthias Nordmann, who came from Norton Rose Fulbright. In a recent highlight, practice head Christof Kautzsch advised BG Kliniken on the creation of a centrally managed hospital group, with a total value of €1bn. Ilka Mehdorn is the name to note for regulatory work; instructions include handling market access issues and representing the German association of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons in litigation concerning the disclosure of calculation bases for hospital flat rates per case. Additionally, the group is experienced at handling labour law.

Fieldfisher’s expertise in healthcare-related regulatory matters lies on Cord Willhöft’s shoulders, who is an expert for competition law issues in the health sector, with a particular focus on drug advertising law. As such, the group is frequently instructed in the drug and medical products sector to handle market access issues concerning conformity assessments, approvals, distribution and good manufacturing practice. The firm’s range of services also includes reimbursement matters concerning the statutory health insurance and compliance matters. Hamburg-based corporate and antitrust lawyer Michael Adam mainly acts on cross-border transactions and the group is also experienced in handling IP, real estate and real estate commercial law in the health sector.

King & Spalding LLP clearly focuses on regulatory matters concerning food, drug and medical products, while its core activity is advising on distinguishing foodstuff and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, the group frequently acts on proceedings against parallel importers such as Teva Europe; representing Roche Diagnostics in ECJ proceedings concerning the question whether parallel imports have to undergo a complementary conformity assessment procedure after changes in the product configuration is another example. In other highlights, the group advised biomo-vital on regulatory matters concerning dietary supplements and dietary foods, and represented the Dutch homeopathy and phytotherapy provider VSM Geneesmiddelen in an action for failure to act before the ECJ concerning the evaluation of health claims at Botanicals against the European Commission. Ulf Grundmann is a proven expert in food law, for example acting for Pfizer in this area.

Oppenhoff & Partner’s team is recommended for its ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ and the ‘very good internal coordination’. It advises mostly on commercial and drug advertising law matters, while also offering tax advice to health sector clients. Recent highlights include assisting health insurers Barmenia, Gothaer, Hallesche and Signal Iduna with founding a cooperation in the field of performance management, and assisting Evonik Industries with the acquisition of Transferra Nanosciences. Medical device manufacturer Elekta retained the firm for advice in corporate and labour law matters. Practice head Peter Klappich, who is particularly experienced handling product liability cases, and Corinna Schmidt-Murra are recommended.

In health law matters, Anwaltskanzlei Quaas und Partner specialises in advising hospitals, with founding partner Michael Quaas having many years of experience advising hospital owners on medical and construction law. Other areas of focus of the Dortmund and Stuttgart-based team are medical, contract doctors’ and labour law. Jens-M. Kuhlmann and Till Flachsbarth are experienced in health law and recently acted on billing and compensation issues as well as on cooperation in the hospital sector. Another area of work was representing several hospitals in arbitral proceedings concerning additional nursing services fees.

Seufert Rechtsanwälte has offices in Munich and Leipzig and focuses on advising hospitals on the full range of hospital planning, financing and remuneration, as well as on construction and procurement matters and medical liability law. For example, the group represented hospital operating company Rhön-Klinikum in disputes with the state of Hesse concerning the payment of research and teaching services rendered by the University Hospital of Giessen and Marburg. Thomas Vollmöller is one of the lawyers in Munich.

Tsambikakis & Partner Rechtsanwälte offers highly specialised, ‘swift and professional’ advice on medical criminal law and is considered ‘one of the best’ in this field. The group led by ‘well-versed’ founding partner Michael Tsambikakis acted on many instructions concerning compliance matters in medical law, such as the creation of compliance guidelines and evaluation of compliance management systems; in this area, it recently covered personnel leasing and cooperation with doctors in private practice. In addition to medical criminal law advice, the group also advises companies and employees in preliminary proceedings. Daniela Etterer made partner.

Wigge Rechtsanwälte strictly focuses on medical law and advises on the regulatory framework for physicians, including dentists’ and contract physicians’ law as well as hospital, pharmacy, drug and medical device law. Covering new forms of medical care, for example cross-sectoral cooperation and integrated care, rounds off Peter Wigge’s team’s consultancy services. Both at the firm’s main location, in Münster, and in Hamburg, the firm expanded on the associate level, while it also fields an office in Lüdinghausen.

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