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Telecoms in Germany

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie advises telecommunications and IT services providers on regulatory and contractual issues. In line with the firm's broad geographic presence, the communications & mobility group, in which practice head Joachim Scherer and counsel Caroline Heinickel play a lead role, has been set up on a cross-border basis to advise on autonomous driving, machine-to-machine communication and legal tech, and to support these growth areas internationally. In other work, the team regularly advises on frequency regulation, most notably with regards to 5G, but also on the frequency regulation of satellite systems as well as on OTT services and the broadband expansion for fixed and mobile networks. The firm's cyber security task force is another key asset and, together with IT specialist Holger Lutz and litigator Heiko Haller, advises on strategic and regulatory matters. Clients also benefit from the firm's strong antitrust law practice as well as from the team's cooperation with colleagues from the corporate and tax teams.

Practice head(s):

Joachim Scherer

Testimonials

'' High level of competence – quick response times '

Key clients

Telefónica

SAP SE

Work highlights

  • SAP SE: Regulatory advice on the sale of the communication unit SAP Digital Interconnect to Sinch AB.
  • Telephone: Ongoing compliance advice with regard to telecommunications regulatory requirements at EU and national level.
  • Telephone: Advice and representation in all procedures relating to access and interconnection regulation in the fixed network and mobile communications sector, as well as in other regulatory disputes.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP successfully applies its international skills to advise network operators, converged service providers, mobile operators and re-sellers on various matters, which are frequently set in a cross-border context. The team's experience in handling matters in conjunction with the IT, corporate, finance and data protection groups is also a clear strength. The broad range of services provided by the team led by Sven-Erik Heun includes telecommunications law support for major transactions, number regulation issues, advice on the regulatory framework for broadband and fibre roll-out, frequency usage issues alongside advice on the regulation of telecommunications providers, cloud services, connected cars and satellite radio. Senior counsel Valerian Jenny, whose areas of expertise include network expansion, frequency allocation and network access issues, is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Sven-Erik Heun

Key clients

450connect GmbH

BTV braun teleCom AG

CenturyLink Communications Germany GmbH

DBAG Expansion Capital Fund

DE-CIX Management GmbH

Netzkontor Gruppe

Rotonda Kommunikationsinfrastruktur SCSp

SAP

STG Braunsberg-Gruppe

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

Twilio Inc.

Verizon

Zoot

Work highlights

  • DBAG Expansion Capital Fund: Constant advice on transactions in the area of cable, broadband and fiber optic projects, most recently on the sale of inexio Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KGaA.
  • ON-109 Management GmbH: Legal representation in several proceedings in which the client defends against the strategic (mass) telecommunications surveillance by the Federal Intelligence Service (BND).
  • Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG: Advice in the run-up to the 2019 frequency auction, on the BNetzA decisions on this and during the auction as well as in several ongoing administrative legal proceedings against these decisions.

Noerr

Thanks to its full-service offering, Noerr is able to provide advice on regulatory telecommunications law matters as well as assistance with transactional and antitrust law matters and contentious proceedings, depending on the client's needs. In the regulatory space, the team focuses on the topics bitstream, broadband expansion and roaming as well as on telecommunications law issues pertaining to satellites. Led by Tobias Frevert, the practice acts in regulatory and standard offer proceedings, assists with strategic matters and handles transactional mandates, most notably joint ventures. Tobias Bosch (regulatory proceedings, operational contracts) and associated partners Julian von Lucius (regulatory advice on telecommunications, media and public procurement law issues) and Pascal Schumacher (digital business models and data protection in regulated industries) are recommended.

Practice head(s):

Tobias Frevert

Testimonials

I’ve always found the teams I’ve worked with very responsive, easily accessible, thorough, and business-minded. Pascal Schumacher and Tobias Frevert deserve a separate mention.

Key clients

BTV Multimedia GmbH

FUNKE Digital TV Guide GmbH

GEMA

GHT Mobility GmbH

Inmarsat

Microsoft

Mobility Trader GmbH

MX1 GmbH

Netzkontor Gruppe

Nordic-Capital / Conscia

Perform Investment Germany GmbH

Reputation.com

Scout24 AG

Stadtwerke Nürtingen

Telekom Deutschland GmbH

Volker Wessels Telekom

Zuffa UK Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Telekom Germany GmbH: Representation in a lawsuit before the Cologne Administrative Court against the regulatory order regarding market 3b; successful defense against an attempt by 1 & 1 to participate in the proceedings.
  • Telekom Germany GmbH: Representation in the third-party lawsuit by Vodafone before the Cologne Administrative Court against the standard offer in the case of L2-BSA; Previously representation in this standard offer procedure, including successful representation in urgent legal protection against the preliminary 2nd partial decision before the Cologne Administrative Court.
  • Microsoft: Ongoing advice on telecommunications and data protection law on outlook.com, Skype, Skype for Business and Express Route Global Reach.

CMS

CMS fields a versatile team, which, in addition to providing transactional telecommunications law support, also has experience in regulatory proceedings and disputes as well as in-depth knowledge of contract drafting issues and other non-contentious mandates, for example on legislative changes. Practice head Jens Neitzel in Munich is the key contact. His expertise includes tariff regulation, number regulation law, local loops matters and the expansion of high-speed digital networks.

Practice head(s):

Jens Neitzel

Dolde Mayen & Partner

Dolde Mayen & Partner is one of the top names for regulatory advice in Germany. The team led by Thomas Mayen, who is also the editor of the standard commentary on telecommunications law in Germany, acts in contentious proceedings before the Federal Network Agency, administrative courts, the ECJ as well as before civil courts and the Federal Constitutional Court. The team's advisory spectrum includes subsidy law, standard offer and fee licensing proceedings and proceedings on ex-post charge control.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Mayen

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

Telekom Deutschland GmbH

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller is characterised by its many years of experience in providing regulatory advice to network infrastructure clients with a focus on the expansion of the fibre optic network but the team is also well versed in matters at the intersections with state aid and public procurement as well as 5G bidding procedures. Most recently, the team gained increased visibility through its involvement in the dispute over the payment of feed-in tariffs between public broadcasters and Vodafone and Unitymedia but it also advises cable operators on feed-in contracts and OTT distribution issues. This offering is complemented by expertise in mobile communications law, in the segment Internet of Things and VoiP offers. Key players in the team include Berlin-based Wolfgang Spoerr, Albrecht  Conrad, Jan Bonhage and counsel Fabian Seip, who provide wide-ranging assistance with contentious and non-contentious matters.

Testimonials

' Very large expertise and knowledge of the industry. Pragmatic approach. '

' Wolfgang Spoerr: Strategically brilliant!'

'Fabian Seip: Very broad specialist knowledge and great commitment. '

Jones Day

Jones Day has a focus on regulatory and court proceedings and, in 2020, was able to raise its profile with the successful conclusion of the test case on the regulation of OTT services before the ECJ, where the team acted for Google. Instructions on satellite radio systems, the regulatory classification of various communications services, regulatory order and fee regulation procedures and broadcasting law as well as matters at the interface with data protection, which are regularly handled in cooperation with the firm's cybersecurity, data protection and data privacy teams, demonstrate the broad telecommunications law expertise of practice head Holger Neumann and his team.

Practice head(s):

Holger Neumann

Other key lawyers:

Bijan Tavakoli

Key clients

Google

Inmarsat

Verizon Deutschland

IBM

Work highlights

  • Google: Representation before the Federal Network Agency in administrative court proceedings regarding the reporting obligation of Gmail.
  • Inmarsat Ventures Limited: Representation in regulatory matters to the Federal Network Agency regarding the conditions for the 2 GHz satellite radio system (MSS) and regarding the business model European Aviation Network.
  • IBM: Ongoing advice with regard to the telecommunications law regulation of communication products in Germany and in other countries around the world.

Neuland legal

Frankfurt-based boutique Neuland legal specialises in regulated markets and the digital economy and has built an excellent reputation in the market under the leadership of Danielle Herrmann. The team stands out for its extensive knowledge of telecommunications law regulations pertaining to Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communication. In OTT services, the practice successfully managed to acquire new international clients, while its transactional support work has also become more visible.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Herrmann

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Heilmann; Christoffer Bortz

Testimonials

' All partners are technically highly competent. They have many years of relevant practical experience, some of them decades. Personal contact is very pleasant; they are helpful, friendly and absolutely reliable. '

' A good address for telecommunications law and much more. Neuland convinces with excellent legal advice, pragmatism and a clear focus on the interests of her clients. The personalities of the partners convince every time anew. The excellent teamwork should also be emphasized. As a result, Neuland can cover all questions of IT, telecommunications and internet law as well as data protection law and put the competition in the shade with particularly efficient advice. '

' Danielle Herrmann is undoubtedly THE lawyer in the field of special administrative law that I know, both in terms of technical qualifications and the professional way of working,' case handling '. '

' Danielle Herrmann rightly has an excellent reputation in telecommunications and data protection law .'

' Stefan Heilmann convinces with brilliant legal advice and great economic understanding of the needs of his clients. The lawyer par excellence for the digital economy. '

' We value and regularly mandate Christoffer Bortz for his outstanding knowledge of IT, telecommunications and internet law as well as data protection law. It is always a special pleasure to work with him personally. '

Key clients

Vodafone GmbH

Work highlights

  • Vodafone GmbH: Advice in the BNetzA proceedings for the award of 5G frequencies, legal support for the frequency auction, representation in urgent proceedings (VG Cologne) and in legal proceedings (VG Cologne, BVerwG) against the award conditions ordered by the BNetzA.
  • Ardian: Advice on telecommunications law on one of the largest infrastructure deals of the year in Germany, the acquisition of shares in the energy supplier EWE.
  • Several German and international OTT providers: Advice on regulatory requirements and obligations under German and EU telecommunications law.

GvW Graf von Westphalen

GvW Graf von Westphalen handles both contentious and non-contentious work with a focus on regulatory matters. Frequency allocation issues and number regulation as well as the segments Internet of Things and Big Data are part of the advisory spectrum covered by practice head Grace Nacimiento, who, in addition to her many years of experience as a lawyer, also has in-house experience.

Practice head(s):

Grace Nacimiento

Other key lawyers:

Carolin Küll

Testimonials

' Good teamwork between the partners in the various Graf von Westphalen practice groups. '

'' Good and deep knowledge of the industry. Legal advice always takes into account market developments. Good networking with supervisory authorities and in-depth knowledge of official decision-making practice. '

Key clients

1&1 Drillisch Online GmbH

1&1 Versatel GmbH

MEDIA BROADCAST GmbH

1&1 Telecom GmbH

Work highlights

  • 1 & 1 Drillisch Online GmbH: Advice on frequency issues.
  • MEDIA BROADCAST GmbH: Advice / representation in various legal proceedings, including changes in the regulatory order and the imposition of regulatory obligations; Advice on fee law issues relating to TKG fee notices and EMVG fee notices; Representation in administrative proceedings for a demolition permit for a decommissioned transmission mast.

Greenberg Traurig Germany

Greenberg Traurig Germany has a strong profile advising real estate companies on fibre-optic and cable supply, including contentious proceedings, but, thanks to the firm's set-up, the team is also well placed to handle mandates which not only require telecommunications law expertise but also media and antitrust law capabilities. This work also includes advice on the development of business models. Christoph Enaux in the Berlin office heads the team and routinely advises on the contractual and regulatory structuring of new business models in the telecommunications sector.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Enaux

Testimonials

' Christoph Enaux: Personal commitment beyond the usual framework, practical know-how, creative solutions. '

Key clients

Bundesministerium für Verkehr und Digitale Infrastruktur

Media Broadcast

Gesobau

Degewo Netzwerk

Vivawest

Deutsche Wohnen

Gewobag

Vonovia

LEG Immobilien AG

Tata Communications

GdW (Gesamtverband der Wohnungswirtschaft)

TAG Immobilien

Immobilien-Gruppe Rhein Neckar

Work highlights

  • Vivawest: Defense against a lawsuit by the competition center regarding the term of the client's contracts for TV and Internet coverage of their houses.
  • GdW (Association of the Housing Industry): Advice in the EU merger control proceedings Unitymedia / Vodafone as well as in the subsequent legal action against the clearance decision of the EU Commission.
  • Vonovia: Advice on multimedia and broadband coverage.

Juconomy Rechtsanwälte

Juconomy Rechtsanwälte provides highly specialised and at the same time wide-ranging telecommunications law advice. In 2019/2020, its focus was on transactional mandates, the expansion of the fibre-optics network, instructions pertaining to the expansion of high-speed digital networks and on various contentious proceedings, such as regulatory and arbitration proceedings concerning IPTV. Providing advice on 5G mobile auction also played a key role. Jens Schulze zur Wiesche, Peter Schmitz and Martin Geppert jointly head the Düsseldorf-based boutique and, in addition to telecommunications law, also handle competition and distribution law (zur Wiesche), data protection law (Schmitz) and broadcasting law (Geppert).

Key clients

NetCologne

EWE TEL

EnBW

M-net

ANGA Verband

01051

Drillisch Online

Willy.tel

Wilhelm.tel

Lycamobile

Work highlights

  • NetCologne: Representation in the action against the merger clearance of the European Commission in the Vodafone / Unitymedia case before the General Court of the European Union.
  • NetCologne, EWE Tel, Wilhelm.tel and willy.tel: Representation in lawsuits against the BNetzA before the Cologne Administrative Court due to the 5G award and auction conditions.
  • NetCologne: Representation in the case of feed-in fees against the ZDF, which the BGH referred back to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court

Loschelder

Receiving praise for its cross-sectoral practice, Loschelder's team led by Raimund Schütz advises on telecommunications law as well as on mandates from the media, energy, rail and postal sectors, making it an attractive partner for regulatory matters, including proceedings before regulatory authorities.

Practice head(s):

Raimund Schütz

Other key lawyers:

Kristina Schreiber

Key clients

VATM

1&1 Versatel Deutschland AG

BT (Germany) GmbH & Co. oHG

Colt Technology Services GmbH

ecotel communication ag

EWE TEL GmbH

HL komm Telekommunikations GmbH

Plusnet GmbH

Vodafone GmbH

OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc. / EQT

lnfrastructure lV Investments S,a r.l.

QVC Handel S.à.r.l. & Co. KG

ARD-Rundfunkanstalten

Work highlights

  • VATM; 1 & 1 Versatel Germany GmbH; BT (Germany) GmbH & Co. oHG; Colt Technology Services GmbH; envia TEL GmbH; HL komm Telekommunikations GmbH; Plusnet GmbH; TeleColumbus; Vodafone GmbH: Advice and representation in various regulatory procedures for telecom wholesale products at the Federal Network Agency.
  • OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc. / EQT lnfrastructure lV Investments S.a. r.l.: Advice on the acquisition of Deutsche Glasfaser AG.
  • ARD broadcasters: Support in ending the cable dispute and advice on legal issues relating to the relationship with smaller network operators.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP is noted for its versatile specialists, who, in addition to proven expertise in the development of new business models and knowledge of telecommunications law, also have experience in media, IT and data protection law. Contractual matters and regulatory issues continue to form the core of the practice, while it has also been increasingly active in the transactional space. Ralf Weisser (contract negotiations, regulatory matters and disputes) and Wolfgang von Frentz (judicial enforcement of claims and transactional support) jointly head the team.

Key clients

Borgers SE & Co. KGaA

Deutsche Telekom AG

Deutschlandradio

HD.Hosipitality GmbH (Digital-Tochterunternehmen der Metro-Gruppe)

Intersnack Group GmbH & Co. KG

IP Deutschland/ RTL Interactive

ProSiebenSat1 Media SE

RTL Television

VAUNET | Verband Privater Medien e.V.

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

ZWILLING JA Henckels AG

Work highlights

  • ProSiebenSat1 Media AG: Representation in proceedings before the European Court of Justice (together with the fashion house Fussl) to decide whether national television programs are allowed to market different advertising locally.
  • VAUNET │ Association of Private Media eV: Representation in the context of the takeover of Vodafone / Liberty Global and Unitymedia.
  • IP Germany / RTL Interactive: Successful representation in the proceedings against Eyeo GmbH at the Federal Court of Justice for the use of the online advertising blocker Ad-Block-Plus.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Co-led by Andreas Grünwald and Christoph Wagner, Morrison & Foerster LLP handles licensing issues alongside access and platform regulation mandates both in a national and an international context, including in a coordinating function. The practice's transactional and antitrust law expertise is equally noteworthy.

Pinsent Masons Germany LLP

Pinsent Masons Germany LLP has an experienced team, whose advisory focus includes the expansion of NGA networks, while advising companies from the automotive, information, communications and manufacturing sectors on digital transformation issues constitutes another key element. Stephan Appt heads the team from Munich and receives regular instructions from German and international companies from the automotive and IT sectors.

Practice head(s):

Stephan Appt

Other key lawyers:

Marc Salevic

Key clients

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

Deutsche Glasfaser Holding Gmb

SWE Digital GmbH

Stadtwerke Osnabrück AG

Stadtwerke Bielefeld GmbH

Oracle Deutschland B.V. & Co. KG

tkrz Stadtwerke GmbH

Stadtwerke Saarbrücken Netz AG

Lübeck Netz GmbH

Bergische Energie und Wasser-GmbH

Honda Motor Europe Limited

Work highlights

  • Telefónica Germany: Advice on a strategically important project.
  • German fiber optics: Advice on telecommunications law on innovative fiber-optic laying techniques and on other key factors in numerous subsidized and self-financed fiber optic expansion projects by Deutsche Glasfaser throughout Germany.
  • Honda Motor Europe Limited: Advice on telecommunications law issues relating to new functionalities in the Connected Car area.

Raue

Led by Kornelius Kleinlein, Raue focuses on frequency allocation and fee regulation issues. The team acts in both contentious proceedings as well as in a purely advisory capacity. Other areas of expertise include mobile and landline network expansion, digital audio broadcasting and regulatory support for transactions. Daniel Schubert made counsel in January 2020 and is a key contact for fee regulation matters.

Practice head(s):

Kornelius Kleinlein

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Schubert; Michael Bergmann

Schalast & Partner Rechtsanwälte

Schalast & Partner Rechtsanwälte provides telecommunications companies with regulatory expertise with a focus on clients from the cable sector. With Ernst Georg Berger, the team has a practice head experienced in Federal Network Agency proceedings as well as in handling proceedings before the administrative and civil courts. His non-contentious workload includes contract drafting and tendering support, most notably in broadband expansion, as well as compliance audits and data protection issues.

Practice head(s):

Ernst Georg Berger

Key clients

Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (BMVI)

BT (Germany) GmbH & Co. OHG

HFO AG

Telego GmbH

Work highlights

  • Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI): Advice on contract negotiations between the BUND and the mobile network operators with regard to expansion obligations and payment facilitation in connection with the award of 5G frequencies.
  • BT (Germany) GmbH & Co. OHG: Representation in administrative proceedings against regulatory orders by the Federal Network Agency.
  • HFO AG: Ongoing advice on all legal issues including regulation.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is characterised by its experienced transactional practice on the one hand, for example in the area of fibre optics, and by its regulatory expertise on the other, as was evident in the team's representation of Unitymedia in the cable dispute that ended in 2020. Providing advice on OTT services and on IP telephony is also part of its offering. A major strength of the team are mandates that require the cooperation with other practices, such as project financing and public procurement law-related matters. Norbert Wimmer in the Berlin office heads the practice and mainly deals with cable sector work.

Practice head(s):

Norbert Wimmer

Key clients

Unitymedia

Daimler

PPF

MEAG

EWE

VertiGIS-Gruppe

Work highlights

  • Various private equity firms: Advice on the acquisition of fiber optic networks in Germany.
  • Unitymedia: Representation in a long-term dispute with the public broadcasters. After the guiding principle decision of the BGH and the subsequent (paid) settlement agreement with ARTE, all questions have now been clarified in the interests of the client.
  • An IT company: Advice on drafting dark fiber contracts in Germany.