Telecoms in Germany

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie focuses on advising national and international telecoms companies on regulatory and contractual issues. The team regular provides legal assistance in the design of new business models, with machine-to-machine communication providers accounting for a particularly high proportion of its mandates. Other key elements of Joachim Scherer's team include over-the-top services, broadband expansion projects and cyber security. Counsel Caroline Heinickel specialises in regulatory work and IT specialist Holger Lutz made partner in July 2018.

Practice head(s):

Joachim Scherer

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Heinickel; Holger Lutz

Key clients

Telefónica

Work highlights

  • Advice to a car manufacturer on the conception and implementation of connected car-services in more than fifty jurisdictions.
  • Compliance advice to Telefonica with regards to regulatory telecommunication requirements on EU- and national level, including on new tariff- and business models, on matters concerning international roaming and on the implementation of network neutrality specifications in accordance with the EU Single Market regulations.
  • Advised a provider of telecommunication services for business clients on all regulatory compliance matters in Germany as well as legal representation of the client at the regulatory agency.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird specialises in high technology work, which includes over-the-top services, broadband expansion issues and other communication infrastructure matters. As part of a full-service firm, the team is well placed to handle various matters at a number of intersections with a particular focus on matters involving data protection and IT elements. In the transactional segment, the team is particularly active for infrastructure funds, regularly carrying out financing-related due diligence work. Sven-Erik Heun heads the team from Frankfurt.

Practice head(s):

Sven-Erik Heun

Other key lawyers:

Valerian Jenny

Key clients

450connect GmbH

CenturyLink Communications Germany GmbH

DE-CIX Management GmbH

EU-Kommission

Hamburg Commercial Bank

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

Verizon Deutschland GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advice to the BTV Group on the majority shares sale of the operating business of BTV braun teleCom AG (BTV) to the Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DBAG).
  • Advice to a telecommunication service provider on strategic questions regarding the TK-regulations of OTT-services.
  • Advice to the Hamburg Commercial Bank on the project financing for fibre optic networks. The advice included the granting of credit to the Austrian broadband provider Infotech for the future fibre optic network expansion including the contract design in accordance with the necessary regulatory requirements.

CMS

CMS' telecommunications team is integrated into the firm's Technology, Media and Communications group. As well as its extensive transactional expertise, the team led by Jens Neitzel also covers a broad spectrum of regulatory matters, including tender procedures for telecommunications services and network access agreements as well as mobile-virtual-network-operator contracts, projects and outsourcing alongside leased line and fibre optic cable contracts. Representing clients in court alongside arbitration and mediation proceedings is also part of the team's offering.

Practice head(s):

Jens Neitzel

Testimonials

‘Particularly in the telecommunications sector, high professional competence and good practical advice.’

‘Jens Neitzel: Excellent practical advice. High level of competence.’

Key clients

EWE TEL GmbH

INVIA Flights Germany GmbH

retarus GmbH

Vodafone Kabel Deutschland GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advice to EWE TEL GmbH on telecommunication law regarding the formation of a joint venture with the Telekom Deutschland GmbH to construct a fibre optic network.
  • Legal representation of INVIA Flights Germany GmbH in a legal dispute against the VZ Sachsen, who made a complaint questioning the legality of the method of customer data transfer to the new buyer of the websites fluege.de and ab-in-den-urlaub.de, which had been previously agreed by the insolvency administrator with the data protection agency.
  • Legal representation of Vodafone GmbH in complaint proceedings against a general ruling by the Federal Network Agency regarding procedures of data collection and verification of customer data of prepaid services.

Dolde Mayen & Partner

Renowned boutique Dolde Mayen & Partner based in Bonn and Stuttgart is best known for providing wide-ranging regulatory assistance to Deutsche Telekom. This includes regular proceedings before the Federal Network Agency as well as representing the client in administrative court disputes with special emphasis on vectoring and fiber optic expansion projects alongside frequency allocation and leased line issues. In addition, the team is regularly entrusted with matters concerning the Bill on the Facilitation of the Deployment of Digital High-Speed Networks (DigiNetzG). Team head Thomas Mayen is a key individual alongside administrative lawyers Frank Hölscher and Barbara Stamm.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Mayen

Other key lawyers:

Frank Hölscher; Barbara Stamm

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

Telekom Deutschland GmbH

T-Systems International GmbH

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

With key individual Thomas TschentscherFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's strength lies in transactional work but his expertise covers the entire TMT sector and goes beyond the telecommunications industry. The practice also has a strong focus on forensic mandates.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Tschentscher

Other key lawyers:

Norbert Nolte; Christoph Werkmeister

Graf von Westphalen

With the arrival of Grace Nacimiento and counsel Carolin Küll, both previously at Kleiner Rechtsanwälte, in January 2019, Graf von Westphalen has set up a regulatory practice for telecommunications law. Nacimiento combines her expertise in traditional regulatory law, including access and fee regulations as well as frequency allocation law, with experience in the development of new business models in the digital economy.

Practice head(s):

Grace Nacimiento

Other key lawyers:

Carolin Küll; Grace Nacimiento

Testimonials

‘Very deep knowledge of telecommunications law.’

‘Forward-looking advice, very helpful.’

Key clients

1&1

MEDIA BROADCAST GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised the Airdata AG on matters concerning frequency.
  • Legal representation of the MEDIA BROADCAST GmbH in rate regulation procedures.
  • Legal representation of the MEDIA BROADCAST GmbH in complaint proceedings concerning the demolition of a transmitter mast.

Greenberg Traurig Germany

Greenberg Traurig Germany's team is particularly rated for its activities at the intersection with telecommunications, media and antitrust law, advising on regulatory matters as well as providing strategic assistance with the development of new business models. In the strategic segment, and with regards to cable supply models in particular, acting for large housing companies is a central pillar of the practice led by Christoph Enaux.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Enaux

Key clients

Bundesministerium für Verkehr und Digitale Infrastruktur

Degewo Netzwerk

Deutsche Wohnen

GdW (Gesamtverband der Wohnungswirtschaft)

Gesobau

Gewobag

Media Broadcast

Tata Communications

Vivawest

Vonovia

Work highlights

  • Advice to several antenna system operators (Aeos, Baum Beoadcasting, Dt. UKW Infrastruktur- und Vermarktungs GmbH, Kio and Milaco) on the VHF-dispute between network operators and antenna system operators regarding the appropriate conditions of access to VHF-antennas.
  • Advice to the degewo Netzwerk GmbH on the conduct of public tender procedures in the broadband and multimedia supply sectors with emphasis on FTTH and FTTB.
  • Conduct of a survey for the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure regarding incentive and regulatory schemes for a comprehensive Gigabit-coverage by 2025.

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller stands out for its broad regulatory practice, while also handling transactions. The team has a particular focus on advising mobile internet providers on various matters including frequency auctions, but also acts for a broad client base in the Internet of Things sector. At the beginning of 2018, the interface between telecommunications law, IT and data law was given more weight with the appointment of Matthias Berberich as counsel. Other key individuals include administrative and regulatory specialist Wolfgang Spoerr, EU, constitutional and public commercial lawyer Jan BonhageConrad Albrecht and counsel Fabian Seip, who are all based in Berlin. Albrecht and Seip advise companies from the media, technology and communications industries on contracts and disputes before courts and authorities.

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

freenet AG, mobilcom-debitel GmbH

KOMNEXX GmbH

Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Vodafone Kabel Deutschland GmbH

Waterland Private Equity

Xelion GmbH

1&1 Telecommunication SE, 1&1 Drillisch AG

Work highlights

  • Advice and legal representation of the Deutsche Telekom AG on the transfer of the Toll Collect GmbH to the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Legal representation and advice to the KOMNEXX GmbH on negotiations with communities regarding  the broadband network expansion.
  • Advice to Motorola Solutions, Inc. on public, regulatory and foreign economic matters regarding the digital networks used by authorities.

Jones Day

Jones Day covers a broad range of telecoms work. Practice head Holger Neumann advises telecommunications and technology companies on regulatory matters with administrative court proceedings constituting a key portion of the firm's workload. Specifically, the team regularly handles fee regulation issues, interconnection and access mandates as well as frequency auction issues, while also increasingly advising on over-the-top services and Internet of Things matters. The team also has extensive expertise in satellite and aviation law work.

Practice head(s):

Holger Neumann

Other key lawyers:

Bijan Tavakoli

Key clients

COLT Technology Services

DPD Deutschland GmbH

Deutschlandradio

Google

Inmarsat Ventures Limited

Verizon Deutschland

Work highlights

  • Legal representation of Google against the Federal Network Agency in administrative court proceedings concerning the reporting requirement of Gmail, including legal representation during the required preliminary ruling proceedings at the EuGH.
  • Legal representation of DPD Deutschland GmbH in appeal proceedings against a ruling of the Federal Network Agency concerning the usage of value-added services phone numbers.
  • Successful legal representation of Deutschlandradio in court proceedings at the administrative court in Cologne against the Federal Network Agency concerning fees for the transfer of VHF-radio signals, a newly regulated sector in accordance with the TKG.

Juconomy Rechtsanwälte

Düsseldorf boutique Juconomy Rechtsanwälte provides wide-ranging telecommunications law advice with a focus on frequency allocation procedures, and regulatory assistance with transactions in the telecoms sector alongside advice on fibre optic expansion issues and matters pertaining to the Bill on the Facilitation of the Deployment of Digital High-Speed Networks (DigiNetzG), covering both contentious and non-contentious work. Key members of the team include telecommunications and infrastructure lawyer Martin Geppert, competition and antitrust lawyer Jens Schulze zur Wiesche and Peter Schmitz, who covers data protection and IT matters alongside telecommunications law.

Key clients

01051

ANGA Verband

Drillisch Online

EnBW

EWE TEL

Lycamobile

M-net

NetCologne

Wilhelm.tel

Willy.tel

Work highlights

  • Advised the EnBW on the acquisition of QSC-subsidiary Plusnet on all matters concerning telecommunication law.
  • Legal representation of NetCologne, EWE Tel, wilhelm.tel and willy.tel in legal actions against the Federal Network Agency at the VG Köln (administrative court) regarding the allocation of 5G and auction conditions.
  • Advised the NFON on the acquisition of DTS on all matters regarding telecommunication and data protection law.

Loschelder

Loschelder's telecoms practice is a cornerstone of the firm's Regulated Markets team. Network access issues and associated fee regulations dominate the team's workload. Due to the team's structure modelled on the Federal Network Agency, which also covers the energy postal and railway sectors, clients benefit from the team's capabilities at these intersections when handling telecommunications law issues. Raimund Schütz heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Raimund Schütz

Other key lawyers:

Kristina Schreiber

Key clients

ARD-Rundfunkanstalten

QVC Handel S.à.r.l. & Co. KG

Work highlights

  • Advice to the ARD Rundfunkanstalten, amongst other things on the nowadays settled cable TV-dispute with the cable TV providers as well as legal advice on relations to smaller network providers.
  • Comprehensive advice to QVC Handel S.à.r.l. & Co. KG on all matters concerning the licensing and programme distribution.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP

The team at McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP is specialised in telecommunications, data protection, IT and media law, and therefore ideally suited to handle mandates that require an integrated approach at these interfaces. Most of its instructions pertain to contractual and regulatory matters but the team is also becoming more visible in the transactional space. With Ralf Weisser and  Wolfgang von Frentz as practice heads, the team has extensive experience in representing clients in contentious proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Ralf Weisser; Wolfgang von Frentz

Testimonials

‘Excellent team with extensive experience in all relevant areas of the telecommunications industry including contract law aspects in the transactional area.’

‘Good, pragmatic performance.’

‘Ralf Weisser has strategic competence and excellent legal expertise! He is also very experienced, committed, pragmatic and business-oriented.’

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

Deutschlandradio

IP Deutschland / RTL Interactive

Intersnack Group GmbH & Co. KG

ProSiebenSat1 Media SE

RTL Television

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

VG Media

Work highlights

  • Legal representation of Deutschlandradio since 2013 in a lawsuit by Unitymedia concerning the continuance of payements of cable-TV supply charges of the cable-TV supply contracts, which were terminated in due time at the end of 2012.
  • Negotiations of the contracts concerning the outsourcing of the worldwide IT-infrastructure and the provision of a wide-area-network for the Intersnack Group.
  • Legal representation of ProSiebenSat1 Media SE in a lawsuit against Exaring AG regarding their offer of Waipu TV, in particular concerning the reliability of different SmartTV functions in accordance with the supply contract.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is particularly active in frequency allocation procedures and in advising telecommunications services providers without their own mobile network, while also handling telecommunications and broadcasting law issues. Advising on new communication technologies, with significant emphasis on over-the-top services, is another key area of expertise for the team jointly led by Berlin-based Andreas Grünwald and Christoph Wagner.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Grünwald; Christoph Wagner

Other key lawyers:

Christop Nüßing

Testimonials

‘MoFo always manages to find practical solutions for complex legal problems within a short time. Despite or precisely because of the manageable size of the teams, as a client – especially in comparison to other international law firms – you always have direct and open access to the respective lawyer. Coordination loops are always limited to what is necessary and are always clear and goal-oriented.’

‘Very good technical know-how, flexible, always available, goal-oriented.’

‘The lawyers have profound knowledge in the areas of media regulation, copyright and telecommunications law. With lawyers specialising in litigation, the firm is also excellently positioned in terms of procedural law.’

‘Andreas Grünwald has unrestricted expertise, also in the field of telecommunications law. His approach to solving the problem is always based on the client’s needs, discussions on technical and factual issues always lead to a gain in knowledge. It should be emphasised that he is open, calm and always courteous, which, far beyond the expected professional level, makes contact pleasant and human at all times.’

‘Christoph Wagner has extensive legal knowledge and is very well connected in the TV industry. We appreciate his diplomatic negotiating skills.’

‘Christoph Nüßing has excellent legal and market knowledge in the TV field. We appreciate his high level of commitment and his ability to present practical solutions with very short turnaround times.’

Key clients

1&1 Telecom GmbH

BlackBerry Ltd.

Deutsche Breitband Dienste GmbH

Primevest Capital Partners Deutschland GmbH

Sky Deutschland GmbH

SoftBank Group

Sprint Corporation

Tele Columbus AG

VAUNET Verband Privater Medien e.V.

Work highlights

  • Advice to the 1&1 Telecom GmbH on the 5G-frequency auction including support with the drafting of allocation conditions by the Federal Network Agency.
  • Advised the Japanese technology company Softbank and its US-subsidiary company in cooperation with the offices in Washington D.C. and Brussels, the mobile network provider Sprint comprehensively as lead counsel in the course of the planned merger of Sprint and T-Mobile USA.
  • Advice to Primevest Capital Partners Deutschland GmbH on the expansion of broadband networks suitable for the future, e.g. structuring and negotiating the contractual basic outlines for the agreements with the cooperating partners of the client.

Neuland legal

Frankfurt-based boutique Neuland legal has established itself as one of the regulatory heavyweights in the market following its founding in spring 2017. The practice specialises in regulated market and digital economy work, advising on traditional telecommunications matters as well as on the regulatory framework for new communications services such as the Internet of Things and, in particular, connected driving. Led by Danielle Herrmann, it regularly acts in proceedings before the Federal Network Agency alongside administrative and court proceedings but also assists with transactions and contractual matters. Cross-border mandates are often handled in conjunction with the firm's international network of cooperation partners.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Herrmann

Other key lawyers:

Christoffer Bortz; Stefan Heil

Testimonials

‘Agile and solution-oriented team with proven expertise in the telecommunications sector.’

‘Spin-off from a leading market law firm, correspondingly excellent quality of advice with an excellent price-performance ratio.’

‘Danielle Herrmann and Stefan Heilmann are extremely competent, but also efficient and always in the service of the cause.’

‘Danielle Herrmann has excellent knowledge of telecommunications regulation and the precise application of telecommunications law to the ever-changing cases that arise in this area. I can fully recommend them.’

Key clients

Vodafone GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advice to Vodafone GmbH on the procedure involving the Federal Network Agency’s method of 5G-allocation, including the preparation of several reports as well as representation in legal actions and summary proceedings against the award conditions mandated by the Federal Network Agency. Legal support during the frequency auction.
  • Legal representation of Vodafone GmbH in the revision procedure Vectoring II and in several legal proceedings regarding standard offers and fees for layer 2 bitstream-access.
  • Legal representation of Vodafone GmbH in administrative court proceedings against the regulation exemption of the fibre optic joint venture of Telekom and EWE by the presidential chamber of the Federal Network Agency.

Noerr

Noerr continues to be one of the transactional heavyweights in the market, while simultaneously expanding its regulatory practice. Its main areas of expertise include matters pertaining to the regulation of bitstream markets as well as broadband expansion projects, network neutrality regulations and the framework conditions for the provision of roaming services, while also advising on the satellite-based provision of internet services. Tobias Frevert heads the team, which includes regulatory specialist Tobias BoschMichael Bergmann moved to Raue in September 2018, while Hanno Schaper joined Deutsche Bahn in December 2018.

Practice head(s):

Tobias Frevert

Other key lawyers:

Tobias Bosch; Pascal Schumacher; Julian von Lucius

Testimonials

‘Very high competence and practical relevance.’

‘Pascal Schumacher and Tobias Frevert are always excellent, extremely easy to reach and push to the core of the problem.’

Raue

Raue focuses on fee regulation issues; an area of particular expertise for practice head Kornelius Kleinlein. The team is part of the firm's media and telecommunications offering and therefore frequently handles matters at the intersection with telecommunication, antitrust and civil law. With the arrival of Michael Bergmann from Noerr in September 2018, the team gained an experienced telecoms sector antitrust lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Kornelius Kleinlein

Other key lawyers:

Michael Bergmann; Daniel Schubert

Schalast & Partner Rechtsanwälte

Schalast & Partner Rechtsanwälte regularly acts in contentious proceedings pertaining to regulatory orders by the Federal Network Agency but also acts in a purely advisory capacity when advising on telecommunications and data protection matters. Most notably, these include frequency allocation, data protection, outsourcing contracts and advance performance contracts. Ernst Georg Berger heads the practice from Hamburg. He has extensive in-house telecommunications sector experience and is also a qualified data protection officer.

Practice head(s):

Ernst Georg Berger

Key clients

BT Germany GmbH & Co. oHG

HFO Telecom GmbH

Home GmbH

Telego GmbH

Zuora GmbH

Work highlights

  • Legal representation of BT Germany GmbH & Co. oHG in a legal action against a regulatory order at the Verwaltungsgericht Köln (administrative court).
  • Ongoing advice to the HFO Telecom GmbH concerning regulatory and law issues including legal representation at the Federal Network Agency, among other things in abuse proceedings against the Deutsche Telekom.
  • Legal representation of BT Germany GmbH & Co. oHG as a third party in a legal action by the Telekom Deutschland GmbH against a regulation order.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has a strong profile for digitalisation and dissemination issues, particularly in the cable sector. Internet of Things-related work, including connected cars, accounts for a significant and rapidly growing portion of the team's workload. Practice head Norbert Wimmer, Martin Munz, who covers a wide range of copyright, trade mark, internet, data protection and competition law work, and Berlin-based IP and IT specialist Sylvia Lorenz, who was elevated to the partnership in October 2018, are the main contacts.

Practice head(s):

Norbert Wimmer

Other key lawyers:

Martin Munz; Sylvia Lorenz

Key clients

PPF a.s.

Unitymedia

Deutsche Telekom

Work highlights

  • Advice to PPF a.s. in the course of the bidding process to purchase the Toll Collect GmbH as well as advice on the conclusion of a new operator-contract between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Toll Collect GmbH.
  • Legal representation of Unitymedia in the cable TV-dispute with the public broadcasting companies including legal representation in the case at the BGH (Federal Court) after a successful non-admission appeal at the OLG Karlsruhe (Higher Regional Court).