Telecoms in Germany

Covers the regulatory core area of the telecoms sector, including expertise in other industry-specific issues and in connection with transactions in the telecoms sector. The ranking also includes two listings of the strongest law firms in regulatory and transaction-related advice.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie‘s core focus is telecommunications law advice on the development of new business models to telecommunications and IT service providers, among others. Another key area is advising clients such as social media companies in the machine-to-machine communication space, particularly on the specialised topic connected cars. Connectivity service providers for machine-2-machine communication also regularly instruct the team, led by Practice Group Head Joachim Scherer, as well as providers of over-the-top services. The team experienced an increased demand for advice on the European Electronics Communications Code, especially on interfacing transactional matters pertaining to broadband expansion. The frequency regulatory practice includes assistance with 5G frequencies and satellite-based telecommunications, with both infrastructure issues and frequency allocation procedures covered. As part of the firm’s wide international network, the team is well versed in handling cross-border mandates and also holds leading positions in international teams, such as the Communications & Mobility working group, which Scherer jointly leads with counsel Caroline Heinickel. Heinickel is also head of the Cyber Security Task Force together with IT expert Holger Lutz and litigator Heiko Haller.

Practice head(s):

Joachim Scherer

Testimonials

Very good knowledge of satellite law and regulatory issues. The partner we work with is very committed to solving our problems and finding customized and innovative solutions every time we face a hurdle.’

Key clients

Bandwidth Inc.

Telefónica

Work highlights

  • Advice to Bandwidth Inc. on the acquisition of Voxbone SA, including the implementation of the telecommunications law and regulatory due diligence in more than 40 countries worldwide.
  • Ongoing compliance advice to Telefónica with regard to telecom regulatory requirements at EU and national level.
  • Advising and representing Telefónica in all proceedings relating to access and interconnection regulation in the fixed network and mobile communications sector, as well as in other regulatory disputes.

Bird & Bird LLP

The Bird & Bird LLP team, led by renowned practice head Sven-Erik Heun, offers advice on traditional telecommunications matters as well as wide ranging expertise in convergent services. The firm covers all issues at the interface with data protection. Thanks to the firm’s broad multidisciplinary set-up, clients are assisted with ongoing telecommunications law issues, large-scale projects and regulatory issues in the transactional space and due to its international orientation also convinces in cross-border mandates. The German team regularly joins forces with colleagues in Great Britain, France and the Netherlands. The wide range of expertise is reflected in the diverse client portfolio, including not only fixed and mobile network operators, over-the-top service providers and mobile phone providers, but also re-sellers. In infrastructure consulting, the team is primarily active in broadband expansion, including municipal law issues. The firm enjoys a good reputation as full-service team, evident in the successful assistance with numerous cross-practice mandates beyond the telecoms sector. Senior counsel Valerian Jenny and counsel Simon Assion noticeably gained in profile.

Practice head(s):

Sven-Erik Heun

Testimonials

‘Very in-depth legal knowledge and, in particular, technical knowledge that greatly simplifies the communication of facts.’

‘Simon Assion deserves a special mention. Very pragmatic when needed, outstanding expertise and good IT skills.’

‘The team around Sven Heun is getting stronger and better. Simon Assion has been strong for years, but additions to handle the work that needs to be done make the practice resilient.’

‘Sven Heun has been the leader and undisputed driver of the practice for years. Market knowledge to the max combined with technical and legal know-how. Simon Assion knows data protection issues like the back of his hand.’

Top team for IT and telecom contract development and negotiation.’

Extremely high level of expertise and professional conduct of negotiations.’

Key clients

450connect GmbH

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Avaya

Cube Infrastructure Fund II

Deutsche Beteiligungs AG

Gamma Communications plc

Google Ireland Limited

Hamburg Commercial Bank

Lumen Technologies

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

Twilio Ireland Limited

Verizon Connect und Verizon Deutschland GmbH

Zoot

Work highlights

  • Advised Antin Infrastructure Partners as sole shareholder of Eurofiber on the establishment of a joint venture between Eurofiber and Vattenfall.  
  • Advising a social media company in preparation for the entry into force of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) and other related consulting services.
  • Representation of Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG in two appeal proceedings regarding the Presidential Chamber decisions of the BNetzA, which preceded the 2018 frequency auction.

Noerr

Noerr continues to expand its regulatory expertise in telecommunications, both in the context of transactions in the technology sector, in IT outsourcing agreements and in e-commerce projects. The team around practice head Tobias Frevert in Berlin has longstanding experience in related mandates, which, in addition to the telecommunications law expertise, also draws on the knowledge of the full-service firm’s other practices. The antitrust, dispute resolution and corporate law teams are of particular importance here. The practice has gained in profile primarily through advising Deutsche Telekom, with advice focussing in particular on the regulation of the bitstream markets, broadband expansion, roaming issues and questions of net neutrality. The firm’s transactional experts mainly advise on matters pertaining to fibre optic and mobile networks. Other key topics are satellite-based telecommunications services and the development of TV platforms. Telecommunications and media specialist Tobias Bosch and associated partner Julian von Lucius (infrastructure projects, telecommunications law, public procurement law) as well as Pascal Schumacher (digital business models, data protection) are other key contacts. In October 2021, regulation expert Frank Hölscher, previously at Dolde Mayen & Partner, joined the team as of counsel.

Practice head(s):

Tobias Frevert

Testimonials

‘Very competent and experienced.’

Key clients

Telekom Deutschland GmbH

DAZN Germany

GEMA

Inmarsat

Microsoft

Mobility Trader GmbH

CMS

At CMS, the telecommunications law practice is an integral part of its broader Technology, Media & Communications group. Jens Neitzel and Ralf Dierck in Munich are the team's main telecommunications law experts, their expertise covers matters pertaining to the regulatory space, a large transaction portfolio, but also many years of experience in contract law advice on issues such as access and service agreements, procurement and project contracts or re-seller contracts, as well as forensic expertise in proceedings before the Federal Network Agency, the Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission. A growth area is advice on the application of the European Electronic Communications Code. The German offices are well integrated into the firm's international practice groups, for example on communication, data protection, media, outsourcing and IT, which makes the firm a good choice for advising on cross-border matters.

Other key lawyers:

Jens Neitzel; Ralf Dierck

Testimonials

‘Jens Neitzel is an excellent dogmatist, excellent litigation, sovereign in oral proceedings.’

Key clients

Telefónica Deutschland

WEMAG

Altman Solon

Deloitte Legal Japan

EWE TEL

Vodafone Deutschland

Deutsche Telekom

Work highlights

  • Advising Telefónica Deutschland on the sale of roof-top radio masts to Telxius.
  • Advising Telefónica Germany on the establishment of a fiber optic joint venture with Telefónica Infra and the Allianz Group.
  • Advising the future shareholders of the joint venture 450CONNECT.

Dolde Mayen & Partner

Dolde Mayen & Partner is one of the market’s regulatory leaders. The boutique, based in Bonn and Stuttgart, is very well-known for its ongoing advice to Deutsche Telekom AG, particularly due to its assistance with contentious proceedings before the Federal Network Agency, the administrative courts and also before the civil courts and the ECJ. In addition to advice on network access obligations and the unbundling of network operators, the firm’s expertise also covers mandates pertaining to infrastructure expansion. Renowned name partner Thomas Mayen heads the team, which also includes the established experts Barbara Stamm and Christian Stelter. Frank Hölscher joined Noerr in October 2021 as of counsel.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Mayen

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

Telekom Deutschland GmbH

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Practice head(s):

Thomas Tschentscher

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller 's telecoms practice covers litigation, regulatory advice and transactions. In the 2020 forensic arena, key topics focused primarily on 5G frequency allocation and service provider obligations. In an advisory capacity, the team was particularly active in surveillance issues and the application of the European Code for Electronic Communications, but also assisted with drafting contracts such as roaming agreements and frequency licensing agreements. The transactional strength of the firm was evident in topics such as broadband expansion investments and fibre optics matters. The range of expertise also includes encryption, network blocking and telecommunications law advice on the Internet of Things and VoIP. The team's key players are administration and regulation expert Wolfgang Spoerr, Albrecht Conrad (litigation and transactions) and counsel Fabian Seip in Berlin (contracts, transactions and disputes), as well as Katharina Hesse (corporate law) and Dirk Uwer (public commercial law and regulated industries) in Düsseldorf.

Jones Day

Jones Day is renowned for the expertise of practice head Holger Neumann in contentious proceedings before the Federal Network Agency and in court proceedings, such as representing Google in market-shaping fundamental proceedings at the ECJ on the regulation of over-the-top services under telecommunications law, which was completed in the first half of 2020. In addition to the forensic practice, which advises on fee regulation, frequency allocation and access issues procedures, among others, the team is also regularly instructed on compliance mandates, especially for providers of OTT services and on matters related to the Internet of Things. Telecommunications law issues pertaining to drones and connected driving as well as data protection issues are also handled by the group. Thanks to Neumann’s industry knowledge of the aviation, satellite and technology sectors, the practice attracts traditional telecommunications companies but also large international and particularly technology-driven clients.

Practice head(s):

Holger Neumann

Other key lawyers:

Bijan Tavakoli; Martin Wortmann

Testimonials

‘Holger Neumann has been the driver and anchor of the practice for many years, diverse market knowledge through numerous procedures. Legally active at the interfaces of important topics, always has good market knowledge and insights, must be well wired in the market.’

‘Holger Neumann is a conscientious and careful worker with good litigation tactics and clean research work.’

Key clients

Google

Inmarsat Ventures Limited

Verizon und Verizon Deutschland

DPD Deutschland GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising Google on regulatory issues regarding the treatment of existing and new communication services under the European Communications Code EECC and the Telecommunications Modernization Act.
  • Representation of Inmarsat in regulatory matters vis-à-vis the Federal Network Agency regarding the conditions for the 2 GHz satellite radio system (MSS) and the European Aviation Network business model.
  • Ongoing advice to a leading global technology company including its infrastructure division with regard to the regulation of communication products in Germany and worldwide.

Neuland legal

Digital economy and regulated markets boutique Neuland legal, founded in 2017, enjoys an excellent reputation in the market mainly due to the extensive know how of practice head Danielle Herrmann. Together with Stefan Heilmann and Christoffer Bortz, Herrmann covers regulatory advice on traditional telecommunications law as well as OTT services and connected cars. The team acts in a purely advisory capacity but also in contentious proceedings, especially in regulatory proceedings, but also before the administrative and civil courts, as well as associated transactions and is thus among the best regulatory addresses in Germany, not least du to its interface competence with data protection and IT law. Expertise in innovative business models in the area of the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communication, for example for medical devices and wearables, constitutes another advisory strength.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Herrmann

Testimonials

‘Profound industry knowledge and expertise in telecommunications law.’

‘Danielle Herrmann is well versed in TK legal matters.’

‘Excellent specialist knowledge and very good understanding of complex issues. Development of practical solutions in the shortest possible time.’

‘Christoffer Bortz: Excellent lawyer. Very good specialist knowledge, very detailed, practical solutions.’

‘Very competent and solution-oriented lawyers. Highest level of advice.’

‘Danielle Herrmann is an excellent lawyer, very business-oriented. Stefan Heilmann is our go-to lawyer for all IT-related issues.’

‘The team knows the telecommunications industry very well and has longstanding relationships with their clients.’

‘Danielle Herrmann: Very good knowledge of the industry, very strong approach, fast and reliable!’

Key clients

Vodafone GmbH

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive advice to Vodafone Germany on regulatory issues, including the TKG amendment, 5G frequency allocation and the regulation of TAL and bit stream access including fiber optics, as well as fee regulation, infrastructure use, number porting, zero-rating products and numerous other government and court proceedings.
  • Advising several major OTT providers on regulatory requirements and obligations under German and EU telecommunications law and on the TKG amendment.
  • Advising established companies and start-ups from various industries on M2M communication services.

Pinsent Masons Germany LLP

Pinsent Masons Germany LLP represents a diverse client portfolio, which includes network operators and service providers, local authorities, municipal utilities and other energy supply companies as well as investors. Düsseldorf-based key contact Marc Salevic and his team are among the most active players in the German fibre optic expansion market, with instructions primarily from investors and potential network operators, particularly on NGA projects and their contractual issues, including access, construction and operational issues. The group is active in procurement and regulatory procedures and increasingly advises on convergent services, such as connected cars and smart homes. Data protection issues are another growth field. The firm offers a wide range of tech-based tools, such as legal project management software and cyber attack management software. In 2020, the Financial Times recognised the firm as Europe’s most innovative law firm. Stephan Appt in Munich heads the firm’s TMT group.

Practice head(s):

Stephan Appt

Key clients

Bergische Energie und Wasser-GmbH

Energie- und Wasserversorgung Rheine GmbH

RheiNet GmbH

Stadtwerke Emsdetten GmbH

Stadtwerke Osnabrück AG

SWE Digital GmbH

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

tkrz Stadtwerke GmbH

Deutsche Glasfaser Holding GmbH

ORACLE Deutschland B.V. & Co. KG

Stadtwerke Bielefeld GmbH

Stadtwerke Saarbrücken Netz AG

WSW Wuppertaler Stadtwerke GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG on the contractual arrangement of transport services via the transport network of Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG for a joint venture between the Telefónica Group and Allianz.
  • Advising the German fiber optics Holding GmbH on the entire spectrum of telecommunications, subsidy and public procurement law, in particular on innovative fibre optic construction processes and on convergent fixed network, mobile communications, IP TV and smart grid connections.
  • Advising SWE Digital GmbH on telecommunications law in contract negotiations for a cooperation agreement with the state capital of Erfurt for fiber optic expansion throughout the city.

GvW Graf von Westphalen

GvW Graf von Westphalen, led by Grace Nacimiento, offers regulatory advice on digitisation, machine-to-machine communication, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 matters. The team’s expertise covers all industries, including automotive, where the topic of connected cars is becoming particularly prominent, and is experienced in supporting projects pertaining to networking and automation of production facilities. A particular strength is Nacimiento’s longstanding experience in space and satellite law, including regulatory support with the development of a satellite communications system; In 2020, she also served as chair of the Space Law Committee of the International Bar Association. Since the formation of the telecoms practice in 2019, the team’s integration into the medium-sized law firm has been very successful. The firm offers additional interface expertise in data protection, litigation, contract law and constitutional law.

Practice head(s):

Grace Nacimiento

Testimonials

‘Fast reliable advice.’

‘Grace Nacimiento: Outstanding expertise, fast, precise case resolution, very pleasant cooperation.’

Key clients

1 & 1 Telecom GmbH

Jefferies International Limited

Greenberg Traurig Germany

Greenberg Traurig Germany‘s key advisory sectors are technology, broadcasting, real estate and infrastructure. The digitisation of the real estate sector as well as the expansion of 5G infrastructure are among the core consulting areas, with particular expertise in the development and implementation of strategic projects. In the fibre optics space, open access models for infrastructure expansion were developed, including the drafting of associated tendering procedures. Practice head Christoph Enaux in Berlin and his team advise on regulatory issues, for example on streaming services and the TKG amendment, but also act in both the contentious as well as transactional space. In January 2021, Laura Zentner, who specialises in outsourcing and digitisation projects, made local partner.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Enaux

Other key lawyers:

Laura Zentner

Testimonials

‘Absolute know-how in telecoms matters.’

Key clients

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners

Vivawest

Immomedianet

Vonovia

Tata Communications

Vattenfall Eurofiber GmbH

GdW (Gesamtverband der Wohnungswirtschaft)

Media Broadcast

LEG Immobilien

bauverein AG

Degewo Netzwerk

Deutsche Wohnen

Gewobag

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive telecommunications and media law advice to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners in connection with the acquisition of Tele Columbus by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners.  
  • Representing Immomedianet in a dispute settlement procedure before the Federal Network Agency regarding the shared use of in-house networks.
  • Defending Vivawest against a lawsuit brought by the central competition office because of the supply models for the broadband connection and the TV supply in Vivawest’s buildings.

Juconomy Rechtsanwälte

Düsseldorf-based boutique Juconomy Rechtsanwälte provides regulatory advice, represents clients in contentious proceedings and assists with transactions. The telecommunications law practice complements the firm’s expertise in telemedia law, competition law, IT law and data protection law. Jens Schulze zur Wiesche, Martin Geppert and Peter Schmitz are the key contacts and, in addition to telecommunications law, are also active in competition and distribution law (zur Wiesche), data protection law (Schmitz) and broadcasting law (Geppert). The firm regularly cooperates with Vienna-based Lichtenberger & Partner.

Loschelder

Loschelder mainly advises on network access and network tariff issues, both in the telecoms sector and energy, post and rail space as sub-areas of the regulated markets group. With Raimund Schütz as head of the practice and Kristina Schreiber, the team acts in both a purely advisory capacity as well as in transactions and contentious proceedings before the regulatory authorities and before the administrative and civil courts. The Loschelder Digitisation Taskforce, founded in 2019, also bundles the firm's industry expertise and handles matters such as the development of digital platforms.

Practice head(s):

Raimund Schütz

Other key lawyers:

Kristina Schreiber

Key clients

QVC Handel S.à.r.l. & Co. KG

OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc. / EQT lnfrastructure lV Investments S.à r.l.

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

EWE TEL GmbH

Vodafone

ecotel communication ag

Orange Business Services GmbH

Innofactory GmbH

Work highlights

  • Telecommunications and media law advice to OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc./EQT Infrastructure lV Investments S.à rl on the acquisition of Deutsche Glasfaser AG.
  • Advice and representation in central regulatory proceedings at the BNetzA regarding wholesale products of Telekom Deutschland GmbH (TDG) in the leased line market, including standard offer proceedings for TDG products VPN 2.0 and CFV 2.0.
  • Comprehensive advice to QVC Handel S.à rl & Co. KG on all questions of program distribution.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP's strength is advising on interface mandates between telecommunications, media, data protection and IT. Practice heads Wolfgang Freiherr Raitz von Frentz and Ralf Weisser and their team convince with their longstanding industry-specific experience in transactions, in advising on strategic projects as well as in contentious proceedings, both nationally and internationally in joint cooperation with the firm's global network. The expertise includes mobile communications law, landline and broadband law, but also outsourcing, digitisation and licensing issues. Since 2020, the firm has a LegalTech Academy, which focuses on decision-making and document automation processes.

Other key lawyers:

Claus Färber

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

HD.Hospitality GmbH

IP Deutschland/ RTL Interactive

ProSiebenSat1 Media SE

RTL Television

Corint Media

Deutschlandradio

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

Telekonnekt GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advice to Telekonnekt on the sale of connectors, the introduction of new specialist applications in the field of e-health and in the dispute with the supplier of the connectors and specialist services as well as with shareholders of Telekonnekt GmbH.
  • Successful representation of RTL Television against NetCologne in proceedings before the arbitration board of the DPMA in a dispute on the question of how the distribution of TV programs in the IPTV sector is to be classified legally and how IPTV is to be remunerated.
  • Successful representation of ProSiebenSat.1 and the fashion house Fussl in a referral procedure before the ECJ on the ban of regionally different advertising blocks in the context of nationwide television programs.

Raue

Raue has an established practice advising on the management of frequency allocation procedures and fee regulation issues. Practice head Kornelius Kleinlein is particularly active in local loops matters. The group also handles matters pertaining to satellite communications as well as the postal and broadcasting sectors, with antitrust mandates covered by Michael Bergmann. Other key topics include the expansion of fixed and mobile networks as well as fibre optic infrastructure.

Practice head(s):

Kornelius Kleinlein

Schalast & Partner Rechtsanwälte

Schalast & Partner Rechtsanwälte offers specialised advice in the telecoms and cable sector. The team handles both advisory and forensic matters, including fee licensing, network access and interconnection proceedings. Antitrust procedures, customer contract matters, compliance audits and a wide range of other mandates in the contract law arena constitute a large share of the workload. The team also advises on data protection, monitoring issues and broadband expansion. For cross-border matters, the firm draws on the expertise of colleagues from the Multilaw network. The legal tech company Clarius Legal is co-managed by the firm and offers legal services and legal tech solutions, particularly to clients with increased additional workloads. The practice is led by Hamburg-based Ernst Georg Berger.

Practice head(s):

Ernst Georg Berger

Key clients

BT (Germany) GmbH & Co. OHG

Telego GmbH

HFO Holding AG

Nuvias

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Telego GmbH on all legal issues including regulation.
  • In-court and out-of-court advice to BT (Germany) GmbH & Co. OHG in administrative proceedings against regulatory orders by the Federal Network Agency.
  • Ongoing advice to the telecommunications company HFO AG on all legal issues including regulation.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP continued to act primarily in an advisory capacity for the cable companies of the Unitymedia Group, but is also active in regulatory support of over-the-top service providers, such as messenger service providers, especially companies from the US. Another key topic is transactional support, where the team advises on fibre optics, data centers and cloud structures, while also drawing on the interface expertise in M&A and project financing. In the automotive sector, Norbert Wimmer (Berlin) and his team advise on digitisation issues in connected cars and autonomous driving. The groups's expertise is complemented by a globally-oriented team of IT experts, project managers, data scientists and lawyers.

Practice head(s):

Norbert Wimmer

Other key lawyers:

Martin Munz  

Key clients

Unitymedia-Gruppe (jetzt Vodafone)

EWE AG

MEAG

Daimler

Deutsche Bank AG

Work highlights

  • Representing the Unitymedia Group (now Vodafone) in the conclusion of the long-standing dispute with the public service broadcasters in terms of the paradigm shift in distribution contracts.