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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 > Information technology > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Data protection

Index of tables

  1. Data protection
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Data protection clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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For many clients, Baker McKenzie is ‘better than comparable firms in terms of quality, availability, flexibility, speed and pragmatism’; the ‘solution-oriented’ data protection team is also noted for its ‘very broad overall understanding’ and the ‘reduction of responses to what is essential in a manner that is also clear for non-lawyers’. The practice has notable expertise in the regulated industries, such as the finance, pharmaceutical, medical technology and telecoms sectors, and often handles cross-border and multinational matters. The team has expertise in areas such as fintech and big data and another key focus is the automotive sector and mobility. In addition to advising several clients on GDPR-related issues, the firm is also assisting an automotive manufacturer with a Europe-wide concept for data protection agreements for connected car services. Other highlights include acting for a large international telecoms company in a matter regarding the German Federal Network Agency’s order for the advance deletion of data; assisting an asset management company with data protection matters relating to the introduction of procedures for the global processing of personal data; and advising a global market research and consulting company in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector on the implementation of a pan-European big data project regarding the handling of health data. Holger Lutz provides ‘solid’ advice and Michael Schmidl, who is frequently recommended by peers and clients alike, has ‘extremely deep expertise’ and is ‘pragmatic, always available, very well organised and connected, highly motived and an excellent negotiator’. Julia Kaufmann is also noted.

Bird & Bird is considered ‘traditionally strong across Europe’ for data protection matters and has ‘a very good market position’; clients note the ‘short turnaround and quick and precise responses’ as well as the ‘practical orientation and solid industry expertise’ of the ‘very engaged’ team. The group is advising Adidas, Flir and Nordzucker on GDPR compliance projects, as well as handling GDPR compliance matters for InfoSys. The team also handles sophisticated, often international data protection projects beyond the GDPR, including in connection with AI, the automotive and financial services sectors and IT security. It regularly advises Dexcom on GDPR matters, as well as issues concerning the use of Dexcom diabetes and tissue sugar measurement solutions on the basis of wearables and cloud solutions. Other clients include Microsoft, for which it handles data protection and IoT, SAP matters regarding data protection issues concerning global cloud projects, DekaBank, which it advises on domestic and international data protection and Kempinski. Practice head Fabian Niemann is ‘an excellent lawyer, who is willing to take a position and defend his view vehemently’; Henriette Picot is ‘a very congenial, good lawyer’ and the ‘extremely clever’ associate Simon Assion is considered a rising star, who ‘we will hear a lot of in the future’. The opening of an office in San Francisco in September 2018 following Kai Westerwelle’s arrival from Taylor Wessing, has further expanded its international strength in data protection matters.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s data protection advice often has an international dimension; the practice saw a particular rise in US-projects, but also covers data protection-related disputes and topics such as cybersecurity and the connected car. With regard to the implementation of the GDPR, the firm acts for prominent clients in various sectors, ranging from the automotive industry and field of mobility to life sciences, construction, diversified industrials and the technology, media and telecoms sectors, but also increasingly in the finance industry and the consumer goods and food sectors; Daiichi Sankyo Europe and Standard Industries are just two examples. Markus Schreibauer assisted a multitude of clients with data protection issues concerning M&A transactions, including assisting Daimler with the establishment of a joint ventures with BMW for the pooling of the global mobility services of the two automotive corporations. The ‘engaged’ team consists of ‘competent and outstanding advisers’: Stefan Schuppert is ‘very experienced’ and Martin PflĂŒger and Christian Tinnefeld were promoted to partner at the start of 2019. The highly regarded Tim Wybitul joined Latham & Watkins LLP in October 2018.

In addition to advising on numerous GDPR-related matters, Latham & Watkins LLP continues to focus on representing clients in data protection disputes, consumer protection agencies and data protection authorities. The firm is representing Facebook in abuse proceedings at the German Federal Cartel Office regarding the interaction between data protection regulations and antitrust law and also regularly advises Schufa on data protection compliance and litigation. The team also has expertise in crisis management in the context of data protection scandals and cybercrime; Ipswitch is a client in this space. The team acted for BayWa and clients from Asia and the US on GDPR implementation; it also advises on lobbying activities. Other work includes providing data protection advice to Iqvia (formerly IMS HEALTH) on information services in the healthcare sector, and handling data protection matters for DZ Bank and the German Dialog Marketing Association DDV. Ulrich Wuermeling is ‘quite simply one of the most foremost data protection experts’; he divides his time between London and Frankfurt. The group also welcomed the ‘virtually omnipresent’ and well-known Tim Wybitul from Hogan Lovells International LLP in October 2018; he is noted ‘particularly for his excellent work in employee data protection’.

With ‘a great history in this area’, Osborne Clarke continues to have ‘a very strong’ presence in the data protection space. The firm’s spectrum of advice ranges from Europe-wide GDPR implementation projects, including for Amadeus, Scout 24, Weight Watchers and hotel chain Wyndham, to other data protection compliance projects, and data protection advice on ongoing business and innovative, data-driven business models. The team routinely advises prominent clients such as Google and Henkel and is assisting Ferrero with GDPR matters as well as the implementation of a data cooperation with Otto Media Group, the negotiation of several data protection agreements with IT service providers such as Reply and SAP and the introduction of a learning platform. The practice also handles big data and data ownership; it is acting for Xing in a data protection compliant design and adjustment of the client’s e-recruiting products. The broad client portfolio also includes Bayer, Birkenstock, ProSiebenSat. 1, Tupperware and Zeppelin. Flemming Moos has ‘a good reputation’ and is ‘without doubt a leading figure’; he heads the international data privacy service line. Marc Störing and Ulrich Baumgartner are also part of the core data protection team

‘Very good IT boutique’ SSW Schneider Schiffer WeihermĂŒller ‘enjoys an excellent reputation’ for data protection advice, which ranges from GDPR projects to global data transfer concepts, cloud-related data protection and industry 4.0 platforms, especially regarding the transfer and deletion of data. The firm predominantly advises on international data protection matters, including assisting a US big data and cloud provider with anonymity concepts and contract data processing, and an international publicly listed pharmaceutical manufactuer with consent in line with the data protection regulations in the healthcare area as well as international traffic and data protection on the internet. The team also advises a leading international e-commerce provider on the establishment of a global production register according to the GDPR, on concepts for international data transfer within the corporation and on IT-security matters. In another highlight, it is representing an insurance company at court in the context of data protection-compliant rights to information. The firm also acts for municipal businesses and utilities and for German statutory health insurers, such as GKV. The ‘excellent’ and ‘very available’ Isabell Conrad is considered the ‘engine’ of the practice and provides ‘top advice’. Counsel Maria-Urania Dovas is also very active. Elke Bischof joined MAYBURG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH as of counsel.

Clients are ‘very satisfied with the type of advice’ provided by Taylor Wessing, which makes the practice ‘the main contact for data protection matters’ for many. The ‘business-friendly’ team remains ‘highly active’ in providing data protection advice and has ‘deep industry expertise in the technology and gaming sector’; it has also recently focused on assisting multinational corporations and mid-sized companies with the implementation of requirements according to the GDPR, including the simultaneous optimisation of personal data processing activities. Clients here include eBay and Wargaming. Other clients stem from the media and telecoms sectors, but the team also advises banks and insurers on data protection issues. ‘Very agile’ practice head Axel von dem Bussche led the advice to Mitsui on data protection matters, including a GDPR project for the European Mitsui companies, a compliance project for the implementation of whistleblowing hotlines and the global support of cybersecurity and communication applications. Data protection auditor (TÜV) Sybille Gierschmann, who has 20 years’ experience, is also singled out. According to peers, salary partner Paul Voigt is ‘somebody who truly has great knowledge and skills’.

CMS provides ‘very competent’ advice on data protection matters and, frequently in collaboration with its international offices, handles GDPR issues for various large and mid-sized domestic, international and globally-operating companies concerning their daily business. The firm not only advises on personal data but also the processing of other non-personal data. Christian Runte is assisting a leading technology and chip manufacturer with data protection requirements in the context of development projects for autonomous driving and data protection issues concerning a cooperation with a German automotive manufacturer and an Israeli manufacturer for driver assistance systems for automomous driving, as well as with the assessment of internal data protection management in a holding in a digital card manufacturer for cars. The group also handles data protection matters for Airbnb, including representing the client in proceedings against the State of Berlin regarding the disclosure of host data according to the Berlin regulation prohibiting the use of living space for any other purpose. Other clients include Deliveroo, Zalando and eBay. Malte GrĂŒtzmacher is ‘very congenial’.

DLA Piper’s ‘excellent, large and international team’ advises on data protection matters ranging from strategic GDPR projects and GDPR compliance to the development of data protection risk indexes, employee data protection and matters regarding client data, cloud services and websites. It also represents clients in proceedings at the data protection authorities. Clients include large, international corporations in various industries, including the automotive, pharmaceutical, food and technology sectors, but also banks and insurance companies. Jan Pohle and Jan Geert Meents constitute the core team and counsel Verena Grentzenberg focuses in particular on data protection advice in connection with new business models. The team was strengthened by the arrival of university professor JĂŒrgen Taeger as of counsel in February 2019.

Eversheds Sutherland has notable expertise handling cross-border projects – with a recent focus on GDPR implementation in large compliance projects – but also provides general advice on data protection management and international data transfer. The firm is assisting Aspen Pharma with GDPR implementation involving over 19 European locations and US thermal management company Modine with GDPR implementation in all of its European locations, including advice on its acquisition of the business group Luvata and the introduction of a data protection compliance system. In the context of transactions, the team also advised Nasdaq-listed US REIT CyrusOne on data protection and IT law aspects during its acquisition of Zenium’s data processing centre. Another focus is data protection advice concerning the design and development of digital products and business models as well as cybersecurity. Alexander Niethammer, who has particular industry expertise in the automotive sector, is assisting Autoliv with the data protection evaluation of offered products in the area of autonomous driving and with IT-security measures. The team is also advising Philip Morris on the implementation of the GDPR particularly with regard to employee data protection, which is another area of expertise; the group is handling a similar matter for new client Rohde & Schwarz. Lutz Schreiber continues to act for key client Microsoft. Nils MĂŒller was promoted to counsel in May 2018.

Jones Day’s ‘very strong data protection team’ is considered ‘a good partner for multinational corporations due to the high number of offices and the quality of the practitioners’. With ‘excellent response times and extremely good industry expertise’, the group advises on cross-border compliance and data transfer projects, cybersecurity, data protection infringement in the context of internal investigations and in the area of eHealth as well as GDPR implementation. Clients also appreciate that the team ‘always offers good alternative solutions’. The team frequently provides data protection advice on transactions, including assisting Cardinal Health with the acquisition of Cordis from Johnson & Johnson and the acquisition of business units Patient Care, Deep Vein Thrombosis and Nutritional Insufficiency from Medtronic for $6.1bn; it also advises the same client on GDPR implementation. For Cylance, the team is handling data protection and contractual matters concerning the distribution of cloud-based AI IT security measures. Litigation is another strength and the team regularly represents Icann in negotiations with data protection authorities regarding data protection requirements and is handling injunction proceedings at the regional court of Bonn against Epag Domainservices concerning the issue of what personal data registrars such as Epag have to collect and save in the context of the award of internet domains according to the GDPR. Key figure Undine von Diemar is ‘really good’.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s ‘absolutely professional advice’ on data protection is ‘reliable and trustworthy’ and of ‘a very high standard’. The firm provides ‘very good professional and also interdisciplinary teams’ and advises listed corporations, mid-sized companies and public authorities on IT compliance and IT security. The team advises clients including thyssenKrupp, Miele, E.ON, IKB, Klosterfrau and longstanding client Evonik on GDPR issues and implementation. For gematik (Gesellschaft fĂŒr Telematikanwendungen der Gesundheitskarte), the team prepared an expert opinion on data protection responsibilities in the telematics infrastructure space in accordance with the GDPR and the new Federal Data Proection Act (BDSG). The firm also advised E.ON Business Services on SAP standard cloud services and the assessment of the data protection admissibility of the use of various tools. Other clients include InfoSys and Landesbetrieb IT.Niedersachsen. Peers and clients alike recommend Michael Rath, who has ‘excellent expertise and is very service oriented’; he is also an ISO/IEC 27001 certified lead auditor and therefore an expert in information security management systems. Silvia Bauer acts as external data protection officer for a multitude of companies.

For many clients Noerr is the ‘first contact’ for data protection advice and the ‘very active’ practice is ‘highly professional’ and handles GDPR projects, data protection compliance on individual issues and data protection matters pertaining to digitalisation projects, IoT and the automotive and eMobility sectors. In the last area, the firm is advising a multinational company on a project for the mobile recording of traffic in the context of the development of autonomous driving systems, and a new manufacturer of electric cars on the implementation of the GDPR, the processing and use of data pertaining to the car and on data exchange with service partners during maintenance services. The team is also assisting a large B2B platform with GDPR adjustments and cloud projects and handles particular data protection issues concerning the distribution of medicines required to be sold through pharmacies for a leading international online marketplace. In other work, the group is advising an online car rental platform operating across Europe on the establishment and introduction of the platform. The practice also frequently advises clients in the banking sector, such as an international banking group in the area of transport finance regarding GDPR implementation. Daniel RĂŒcker in Munich heads the data protection group, which was newly formed in 2018. In Frankfurt, Joachim Schrey and Tobias Kugler are two key partners.

A recent focus for White & Case LLP is GDPR-related work and the firm advises prominent domestic and international companies on implementation projects, as well as providing advice at the intersection with data security and cyber security. It frequently handles matters with cross-border elements and the team has strengthened its cooperation with the firm’s US offices. International data transfers and internal investigations are other areas of focus. The firm provided data protection advice to Controlexpert, an innovative technology service provider for the insurance and automotive industries and a European InsurTech company, in the context of its strategic partnership with General Atlantic. It also submitted an amicus curiae letter for a non-profit association in US v. Microsoft regarding the US authorities’ access to data saved in Ireland. Detlev Gabel ‘does a great job’ and local partner Sylvia Lorenz is also particularly active.

WilmerHale ‘does its job properly’ in providing data protection advice. The practice, which predominantly handles international matters, provides transaction-related data protection advice and has particular experience in advising on data protection infringements and representing clients at court in data protection disputes; it often advises at the intersection with antitrust and competition law and consumer protection. The team works closely with the firm’s US offices and, as a result, it acts for a significant number of clients stemming from Silicon Valley and the social media area. The firm is representing Facebook in several proceedings, including concerning the so-called Facebook fanpages and the so-called like button, both currently at the European Court of Justice. The group also regularly advises McDonald’s on data protection strategies and changes in relation to the GDPR. With an additional focus in the pharmaceutical area, the firm also provides comprehensive data protection advice to a leading German pharmaceutical company, including in connection with several cloud projects. Martin Braun provides ‘very profound’ data protection advice.

Ashurst LLP is especially active advising on data protection projects in an international setting, including GDPR implementation and international data transfer, but also advises on compliance investigations concerning data protection infringements and IT-supported internal investigations and on data protection aspects of transactions. The portfolio consists of international clients and also an increasing number of domestic clients, including well known corporates, banks and private equity funds. The firm assisted longstanding client Commonwealth Bank of Australia with its GDPR implementation and global data protection strategy and is adviving WĂŒrth Group on the design and implementation of a company-wide data transfer and data handling agreement. Highlights included comprehensive GDPR advice to LafargeHolcim and assisting new client Swiss Krono with the implementation of the regulation. Another new client is Adecco, which the firm advised on the introduction of a guideline for a global whistleblower system. Hyundai Mobis, Benteler and CompuGroup Medical are among its other clients. Head of the European digital economy practice Andreas Mauroschat is recommended.

BEITEN BURKHARDT’s data protection team ‘stands out for its short response times and pragmatic and clear opinions’ and provides ‘excellent customer service’ with a ‘practical approach’. The firm’s advice ranges from GDPR and digital business models to data security, data protection infringements and disputes with data protection authorities. The team advises on data protection issues in connection with clients’ daily business as much as on individual questions and handles international and domestic data protection projects. In the context of its international advice, clients particularly note ‘the firm’s understanding of the mindset of Anglo-Saxon clients’. The team is assisting expert Warenvertrieb with various GDPR issues; provides comprehensive advice to Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank on GDPR requirements and measurements; and acts for Chinese internet company Tencent on the market entry of its various platforms in Europe. Axel von Walter is recommended for his ‘technical expertise and client orientation’ and many clients call on Andreas Lober as ‘one of the first contacts in the IT area’; he ‘finds entirely practical solutions including for the most complex challenges’. The ‘reliable and resilient’ Susanne Klein was promoted to salary partner at the start of 2018 and is ‘a proven expert in data protection law’. Salary partner Claudio Chirco left for PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) in March 2018.

KNPZ RechtsanwĂ€lte focuses on data protection advice in the context of transactions, ongoing data protection matters, GDPR compliance projects and in particular the data protection-related assessment of business-critical issues. The firm is advising Otto on strategic questions about its business model concerning the GDRP and on the data protection aspects of M&A transactions. The team also provides regular data protection advice to Hanoverian public transport utility Üstra and is representing the client at the Federal Administrative Court in model proceedings pertaining to video surveillance in buses and trains. New mandates include a GDPR compliance project for a prominent automotive manufacturer and advice on GDPR issues and whistleblowing policies for a globally operating fashion and accessories corporation. The practice also expanded its work in the venture capital area, including acting for venture capital fund Project A on data protection matters, including in the context of M&A transactions and VC investments. Other clients include Ströer, Körber, Bauer Media Group and a prominent large bank. The well-regarded Kai-Uwe Plath is the key figure.

Morrison & Foerster LLP ‘stands out in comparison with others’; the data protection team is ‘very informed, pragmatic and a pleasure to work with’. With strong roots in Silicon Valley and Tokyo, the firm acts for US and Asian technology companies on their operations in the German and European markets and the German team works closely with the firm’s international data protection practices, particularly in Brussels and the US. Core strengths include GDPR-related matters, data protection infringements and IT security, while the team also has expertise in personal and non-personal data. Highlights included advising United Internet on the establishment of a comprehensive registration and online single sign-on service in the context of the EU’s new data protection standards. Another client is DocuSign, for which it handles the licensing and provision of its esignature services to companies and resellers in Germany, such as Deutsche Telekom. Other clients include a globally operating pharmaceutical company, a global HealthTech company, an international consulting and technology service company, an international hotel chain and leading global IT services and cloud providers. Hanno Timner is experienced in data protection and employment law and senior of counsel Lokke Moerel has particular expertise in binding corporate rules.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s data protection advice has ‘a high level of expertise, good knowledge of the economic underpinnings and a business sense’. The team focuses on international matters and cross-border advice. It handles large international GDPR projects in close collaboration with the firm’s offices in the US, London and Asia, advises on issues related to products based on the processing of data, and on data infringements, and has been notably active recently in cybersecurity matters. Jamie Nowak and Christoph Ritzer, who ‘does a good job’, are the names to note.

With ‘superior expertise in EU data protection’, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP provides ‘reliable, business-friendly and practical advice’. The ‘extremely knowledgeable’ team is ‘able to explain complex legal matters in an easily graspable manner, so both legal and economic decisions can be made’. The newly formed cyber, privacy and data innovation practice predominantly advises on international matters, often in connection with the GDPR, but also in the context of M&A transactions and data protection regulatory proceedings. The team also saw an increased workflow in advising clients on cyber attacks directed against service providers, regulatory authorities and affected parties. The ‘patient’ Christian Schröder is recommended for his ‘data protection expertise, quick comprehension and his business acumen’. He advised US software provider Flexera on data protection aspects in the context of its acquisition of the German-Swiss Brainware Group. Together with colleagues in the US and London, he is also providing comprehensive advice to globally operating technology company Nvidia – known for graphic cards, AI cloud services and autonomous driving – and is assisting cruise line Carnival with global data protection issues, internal company group agreements and (especially recently) GDPR questions. The firm also advises numerous US and German mid-sized start-ups on data protection matters.

Reed Smith’s data protection and IT security practice provides comprehensive GDPR advice and handles data protection compliance projects, it has a notable following among companies strong in marketing and with intensive customer contact. It also advises on data protection matters relating to apps, platforms and AI. Other expertise lies in the development and introduction of binding corporate rules. The ‘active’ Andreas Splittgerber heads the practice.

SCHÜRMANN ROSENTHAL DREYER is considered ‘a very reliable partner’, which fields a team of ‘experts for data protection as well as IT security’, and provides ‘suggested solutions instead of descriptions of problems’ to a client base that ranges from start-ups to large corporates particularly in the area of digital transformation. The team is noted for its ‘uncomplicated working relationship and understanding of issues surrounding digitalisation’ and also focuses on GDPR implementation and topics such as big data, online marketing and cloud computing. With particular expertise in customer loyality programmes, the firm is advising Deutschland Card on the development of new GDPR compliant pseudonymisation strategies. It is advising Zalando on the data protection assessment of new business models, representation in proceedings with data protection authorities and GDPR adjustments. The client portfolio also includes C&A Mode, Intersport, Outfittery, Westdeutsche Lotterie, Alnatura and ProSiebenSat1Media. Practice head Kathrin SchĂŒrmann is ‘an absolute data protection expert, who always manages to find practical industry solutions under time pressure’ and Simone Rosenthal is ‘a very well-versed attorney with outstanding negotiation skills’, while Philipp MĂŒller-Peltzer, who was promoted to associated partner, has ‘great IT and data protection expertise’ and is ‘the ideal contact for digitalisation projects’.

With ‘expertise in a multitude of legal areas that is comparable to international firms’, SKW Schwarz RechtsanwĂ€lte’s team provides ‘entrepreneurial and pragmatic advice’, including on data protection matters, and is noted for its ‘very structured and precise feasibility studies’ and its ‘efficient working method’. Clients include Schufa, SAP and Tinder. Practice head Matthias Orthwein is a data protection adviser for Giesecke & Devrient; he has a core focus in the area of new data models, in the context of the digital transformation of business models and on international projects. Oliver Hornung is assisting numerous large corporations with the implementation of the GDPR, including Commerzbank, Bosch Thermotechnik, Bosch Sicherheitstechnik and SGL Carbon. The team also has expertise advising on data transfer within European corporate structures and those from Europe to third countries as well as on the use of patient data and data protection issues in connection with the automotive industry. Johann Heyde, who was promoted to partner in January 2018, has ‘broad experience in all aspects of media, data protection and regulatory law as well as in the areas of IP, technology, telecoms and contract design’. The team was further bolstered by the promotion of Nikolaus Bertermann to partner in January 2019 and its ‘talented associates’ also stand out.

Since 2015, Allen & Overy LLP has strategically expanded its data protection practice led by the ‘efficient’ Tobias Neufeld, who has a background in employment law and who communicates ‘clearly and concisely’. Clients appreciate ‘the diversity of expertise’ and that the team ‘quickly comprehends relevant questions’. The three pillars of the practice lie in data protection advice around Brexit, the pharmaceutical sector and the insurance industry. It recently advised a global insurance company on data protection-related due diligence and product assessment for the acquisition of a fintech company, and developed a standard process for the excecution of data protection impact assessments according to GDPR requirements for multilple leading European insurers. In the area of GDPR implementation, GlaxoSmithKline is a key client, while the team is also advising several leading Asian financial service providers and banks on data protection issues in connection with the opening of German branches due to Brexit. The team also provides data protection advice in the context of transactions. Other clients include BNP Paribas, Facebook, TUI and Vattenfall.

Described by clients as the ‘ideal firm for the mid-sized sector’, Graf von Westphalen is also noted for its ‘very good knowledge of data protection issues’. Team members regularly act as external data protection officers and advise on data protection at the intersection with IT security, compliance and traditional IT law. A highlight for the ‘very competent’ team, which has ‘an excellent understanding of the economic circumstances’, is its advice to ThoughtWorks, the global leader in agile software development, on a global GDPR project. Also noteworthy is the firm’s advice to Kuka on data protection matters, including assisting with German, European and international GDPR implementation and compliance. Another client is the Deutsche Bundespost Federal Posts and Telecommunications Agency, which the group advises on its data protection management system, GDPR implementation and a major human capital management project. Asseco Solutions, Celanese, the university clinics of DĂŒsseldorf and Frankfurt and the pension fund of the Hessen Regional Medical Council are among its other clients. Stephan Menzemer stands out for his ‘very good expertise, his pragmatic and practical approach and his quick thinking’ and is also noted for ‘his uncomplicated and friendly manner’.

Heuking KĂŒhn LĂŒer Wojtek’s ‘always friendly and personal advice’ ranges across diverse data protection issues: from GDPR implementation to data transfers and from questions surrounding online platforms to the execution of internal investigations. Thomas Jansen is ‘an experienced lawyer, who solves problems in a wider context, shows alternative paths that lead to solutions for particular scenarios and helps to offset risks’. He is assisting Grafika with the implementation of the GDPR and provides product and solution-based data protection advice for the attainment of a GDPR certification. He is also advising The International Association of Lions Clubs on cross-border data transfer, GDPR implementation and the introduction of the members’ platform myLCI. In other work, the group is handling a GDPR implementation project for Peri concerning over 20 operational companies across Europe and Philip Kempermann is leading the firm’s advice to Santander on one of the largest GDPR projects. The firm is also developing a privacy policy for small and mid-sized companies together with the insurer VOV Versicherung. The ‘very knowledgeable and conscientious’ salary partner Britta Hinzpeter is ‘reliable with a clear and solution-oriented way of communicating and working’.

Within its TMT practice McDermott Will & Emery RechtsanwÀlte Steuerberater LLP also increasingly covers data protection matters. Ralf Weisser notably advises on data protection in the context of outsourcing transactions and Wolfgang von Frentz coordinates the global data protection practice with expertise in litigation. He is assisting Professor Flöther with the sale of the Unister Group, including several online travel portals, is advising the client on the transfer of millions of customer data to various buyers and is defending the client at court regarding the controversial admissibility of this kind of customer data transfer. He is also handling data protection matters for Celanese Europe, including GDPR compliance, in connection with internal investigations and cross-border data traffic. A new client is GEA. Counsel Claus FÀrber is particularly active.

Pinsent Masons Germany LLP opened its first German office in 2012 and over the years has built a by now significant data protection practice. A focus lies on GDPR compliance: the firm advises various companies in the energy supply sector on implementation projects and, in cooperation with an energy supply association and a DĂŒsseldorf-based Legal Tech start-up (smartvokat), has developed a tool for the execution of data protection audits according to the GDPR. Together with some of the firm’s other European offices, Stephan Appt assisted Do&Co, a catering company, with its GDPR implementation project. The firm is advising Wirecard on data protection issues in connection with the development and introduction of innovative payment methods. The practice also often covers data protection matters in the context of projects surrounding connected car and automonmous driving and in connection with cloud projects. Other expertise lies in public and social data protection law and employee data protection. Data protection expert Kirsten Wolgast was promoted to partner in May 2017.


Information technology (including contracts)

Index of tables

  1. Information technology (including contracts)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Thorsten Kraul - Noerr
    • Alexander Molle - Gleiss Lutz

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Information technology (including contracts) clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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According to clients, Bird & Bird provides ‘the best service level in Europe’ and therefore remains ‘a market leader’ in IT matters; it provides ‘context-based, useful and relevant advice’ in ‘a practical manner with sound industry expertise’. The large and broad team focuses on high-end business, including advice on small innovative projects, large complex transactions and representation in and out of court in disputes. Expertise lies in digitalisation and the high-tech sector (agile programming, AI and robotics, big data, fintech and blockchain, cloud computing, the connected car, cybersecurity, digital health, industry 4.0 and IoT as well as energy 4.0) and clients include numerous DAX 30-listed companies and global market leaders in the IT sector. A key client is Adidas, for which the firm handles large IT projects, particularly regarding an IoT platform in the sports area and a cooperation with Deutsche Telekom and universities surrounding big data. Lenovo is a client at the domestic and international level for IT law matters including disputes and large client projects. Another highlight is the firm’s representation of the PC industry via Bitkom in landmark proceedings now at the Federal Constitutional Court against collecting societies regarding copyright charges for PCs. Other clients include Lexmark, Infosys, SAP and Western Digital. Henriette Picot is recommended for her ‘experience of open source software’ and Fabian Niemann is considered ‘a go-to attorney for European matters’; he ‘stands out for his availability, holistic approach, great expertise and in general his pleasant manner of working together’. Jörg-Alexander Paul and the ‘very visible and good’ Alexander Duisberg are also recognised.

As a well known ‘adviser for complex IT projects’, CMS is ‘absolutely top both due to its manpower as well as its technical expertise’. The large team covers a range of topics: from digital transformation and digital business models, including fintech, autonomous driving, industry 4.0 and eHealth, to eCommerce, IT transactions and disputes and compliance. The firm advised a German machine and plant manufacturer on the construction of an IoT platform for the furniture industry; is assisting a financial company with the implementation of a digital insurance project; and is acting for an international pharmaceutical and consumer goods manufacturer in connection with the assessment of a new eHealth product relating to electronic patient files across Europe. Clients include various companies, blockchain service providers, investors, start-ups and associations in the areas of intial coin offerings (ICOs), blockchain and smart contracts. Malte GrĂŒtzmacher, who is particularly recommended for advice on digitalisation, is, according to peers, a ‘person, with whom it is fun to argue at a high level’ and who therefore offers ‘an exciting challenge on the opposing side’. He is advising Bayer on the IT law aspects of various projects and on software licensing contracts, including the negotiation of a high-volume cloud contract with Microsoft. Sebastian Cording and Markus HĂ€user head the practice; the former regularly advises Deliveroo on IT law and the latter conducted an assessment for Hewlett-Packard concerning which developments are to be expected in European liability law with regard to the manufacture and distribution of IoT devices. Christian Runte is also noted and Michael Kraus was promoted to equity partner at the start of 2018.

Without doubt ‘a market leader’ in the IT area, Noerr covers a broad spectrum, which includes traditional IT law and also increasingly focuses on digitalisation projects and topics such as IoT, big data, AI, blockchain, agile programming and e-mobility. The firm notably advises clients in the banking and insurance sectors on their digital transformation, but is also active in the chemistry and agricultural industry, including assisting an international trade and services group with the drafting and negotiating of cooperation agreements in the area of smart farming and cloud platforms with various international agricultural machinery manufacturers. Other highlights include advising a global German industrial corporation on the planning and legal implementation of a new electronic market place for apps and assisting a start-up in the used car sector with the establishment of the used car platform heycar. The team also handles IT-relevant issues in the context of transactions and recently acted for Bayer on the sale of its global digital farming division as part of its €1.7bn sale of other CropScience businesses to BASF. Thomas Thalhofer jointly heads the newly formed digital business practice and the ‘very prominent top dog’ Peter BrĂ€utigam is recognised ‘for his constructive advice and amusing manner’. Thorsten Kraul is also recommended.

With strong roots in traditional IT law, Osborne Clarke’s ‘very specialised’, ‘agile’ and ‘innovative’ IT team provides ‘always good advice’ on complex IT projects but also large digitalisation projects and IT transactions. The firm is advising DocuSign on seamless signature solutions and is acting for Ferrero on IT contracts with IT service providers (Reply, SAP), the establishment of a learning platform and the renegotiation of various aspects of a global media agency contract. For ZF Friedrichshafen, it handles several international IT projects, including the implementation of an aftermarket portal and a next generation intranet as well as a deferred compensation app. The team is also advising on global projects surrounding the introduction of innovative IoT technologies and agile software development; it also has additional expertise in the games sector. Other clients include Bosch Siemens HausgerĂ€te, Axel Springer, Autobahn Tank & Rast, Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverband, First Solar, ProSiebenSat.1 and Rewe. Konstantin Ewald heads the digital business sector group. Hendrik Schöttle focuses on IoT, digitalisation and cloud computing.

‘Munich-based market leader’ and IT boutique SSW Schneider Schiffer WeihermĂŒller provides ‘top-end advice’ with experience in traditional IT law and increasingly in the area of digitalisation. The team’s services range from advice on IT contracts, licensing law and the procurement of open source software to assistance with e-commerce, online platforms, cloud services and online gaming. It is advising a globally operating IT services provider in the financial industry on software projects and an international joint venture; assisting an ERP supplier for the mid-sized sector on the development of terms and conditions for new license models; and is acting for a globally operating software provider for the financial sector in contract negotiations with public and non-public contracting authorities. The team also advised a listed German vehicle manufacturer on the procurement of software. Jochen Schneider is a key name and Isabell Conrad is ‘an absolute leader in IT law; few are better’. Elke Bischof is now of counsel at MAYBURG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

Taylor Wessing’s clients appreciate the ‘personal care’ provided and the team’s ability to ‘really get stuck into it and provide clients with the sense of being the most important customer’. It frequently handles IT contracts, disputes and transactions. The often cross-border advice – particularly for matters in the US, Japan and South Korea – covers topics such as digitalistion, industry 4.0 and IoT with a focus in the banking and fintech area, the healthcare sector and the automotive industry, where the firm saw increasing work relating to the connected car. Also noteworthy is the ‘excellent integration of expertise in other diverse practice areas’. A highlight is the team’s advice and contract negotiations for Achelos on specific IT services pertaining to the introduction of the healthcard. The firm is also representing Redbubble in proceedings surrounding the issue of whether the operator of the online market place is responsible for the trade mark infringements of third parties, and is acting for Toshiba in various proceedings against the ZPÜ (Central Organisation for Private Copying Rights) at the Higher Regional Court in Munich and the Federal Court of Justice concerning copyright charges for notebooks. Other clients include C&A, Etsy, Rabobank and Xing. Axel von dem Bussche heads the practice. Tobias Schelinski and Svenja Maucher, who was promoted to equity partner in May 2018, have particular expertise in the gaming sector.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘extremely professional’ IT team stands out for its ‘very good expertise’ and is noted for its ‘business-oriented advice with short response and processing times’ at ‘a very good price-performance ratio’. Besides its expertise in traditional IT law and contractual commercial aspects the team also advises on e-commerce, represents clients in IT disputes and handles transactions in the IT sector. Other pillars of the practice concern the digital media and new technologies in connection with the connected car and autonomous driving, while the firm also continues to expand its cyber security task force. The ‘excellent and ambitious’ Holger Lutz is acting for a large international bank on the development of an entirely new online bank and Julia Kaufmann is advising a manufacturer of car wash plants on the development of a customer mobile app. In other work, the team is assisting a large German automotive manufacturer with the establishment of an online marketplace for the distribution of new and used vehicles. Managing partner Matthias Scholz is also recommended.

DLA Piper advises on IT projects and complex cooperation agreements, license and distribution contracts for hardware and software, including open source software, although matters surrounding the digital optimisation of business processes make up the largest part of the practice. Additional expertise lies in the area of e-commerce and the representation of clients in IT-related disputes both in and out of court. The firm’s portfolio has recently included numerous strategic digitalisation projects; advice on the introduction and subsequent operation of cutting-edge IT platforms; the development of digital distribution platforms; distressed SAP projects; and the implementation of cloud solutions and cloud services projects. In the contentious area, the team is defending a corporation against a customer complaint regarding an alleged data loss caused by the client. Atos and Diligent are two other key clients. Jan Geert Meents is considered a ‘leading’ name; Jan Pohle is the second key figure.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s practice advises on domestic and global IT projects and disputes, particularly in the automotive, pharmaceutical and medical technology, consumer goods and telecoms sectors as well as the banking and insurance industries, among other areas. In close collaboration with other practice areas, the team also frequently advises on the IT aspects of transactions: it assisted Daimler with the establishment of a joint venture with BMW for the pooling of their global mobility services, while also providing IT law advice to a joint venture between CTDI US and Telekom Deutschland in the context of their acquisition of the EMEA repair services from US company Communications Test Design. In the banking area, the firm is acting for a US bank on connecting with online brokers and the OTC trade of structured products, and is advising another US bank on blockchain and distributed ledger technology and their impact on the European infrastructure. In the life sciences area, Marcus Schreibauer is assisting Invision Capital Partners with the IT law aspects of an investment in the laboratory Dr. Deppe Group, which develops disinfection, medical and biocidal products. Stefan Schuppert is noted. Christian Tinnefeld and Martin PflĂŒger were promoted to the partnership at the start of 2019.

SKW Schwarz RechtsanwĂ€lte’s ‘above average’ IT practice is comprised of ‘reliable, service-oriented and absolutely top experts’, whose ‘skills are varied and who offer the right course of action for all contingencies’. The ‘broad team’ provides ‘entrepreneurial and pragmatic advice’ particularly on the digitalisation of business models and in the area of telematics, connected driving, the digital linking of security and agricultural technology and in the home and garden segment. The client portfolio includes numerous social media and e-commerce platforms (HomeAway, Lovescout 24, Tinder, Match.com, Facebook, Snapchat and Expedia), while another pillar of the practice is AI and the team is also expanding its work in the fintech area. New client adidas sought the firm’s advice on IT law matters in connection with the digitalisation of the corporation and the legal implementation of its cloud strategy. Other clients include a provider of innovative telematics solutions for the management of commercial vehicles and commercial vehicle fleets regarding the development of an app store and an online platform in the fashion sector concerning the development and implementation of a novel multibrand market place. Matthias Orthwein, who took over as head of the IT and digital business practice at the start of 2018, is ‘always pleasant and extremely productive’ and is also noted for his ‘good industry expertise and good understanding of products’. Martin Schweinoch ‘gives very valuable recommendations due to his litigation experience and with great skill draws the attention of the court on the essential issues in negotiations’. Andreas Peschel-Mehner also stands out.

A former team from Heymann & Partner RechtsanwĂ€lte opened the first German office for Covington in April 2018, and continues to provide IT law advice under its new roof where it benefits from stronger networks in the US and Asia. In addition to contractual and licensing matters, the practice also covers topics such as cloud computing, smart home solutions and e-commerce. Clients include large corporations in diverse sectors, such as innogy, Deutsche Bahn and SEB; companies in the financial industry often seek the firm’s IT advice, particularly in the context of banking regulatory requirements. The ‘extremely good’ Thomas Heymann, Moritz HĂŒsch and Lars Lensdorf constitute the core team. The latter is assisting Advancis, a leading manufacturer of security and monitoring systems, with the establishment of a distribution system and the drafting of the corresponding distribution contracts. He is also advising Fiplan on contracts with airports (including Schiphol, Copenhagen, Malaysia and Melbourne) in connection with the implementation of a software system for the collection of data relevant for billing. The group handled the acquisition of an operator of an electronic recruitment platform in Germany for SmartRecruiters.

Gleiss Lutz stands out for its ‘high availability, deep expertise and very easy, effective cooperation’; the IT team provides ‘an all-round carefree package, including when it comes to interdisciplinary issues’. The ‘advice always takes into consideration the economic situation of the company’ and often takes place at the intersection with procurement and corporate law, where the firm has expertise in digitalisation projects, e-commerce, and distressed IT projects and has longstanding experience in transactional IT matters. The team is providing AOK Gemeinschaft with procurement and contractual advice concerning a comprehensive digitalisation project. It is also assisting Heinz DĂŒrr Invest, an investor in Berlin-based eMobility start-up Plugsurfing, with the sale of the company to the Finnish charging infrastructure provider Fortum Charge & Drive and is advising Mitsubishi Electric on the establishment and operation of a joint venture with Bosch and u-Blox, among others, for the generation of high-precision satellite-based positioning data. A client in the contentious area is Blizzard Entertainment. Stefan Weidert heads the practice and Alexander Molle, who was promoted to partner in January 2019, is noted for his ‘very broad and deep scope of knowledge, his clear, non-lawyer-friendly language and his constant and also very short-time availablity’.

Heuking KĂŒhn LĂŒer Wojtek provides ‘valuable advice’ in the IT area with ‘solid industry expertise’ and ‘also gets to the heart of complex issues’. The large team is always ‘well prepared and able to quickly provide intelligent answers’, both in the case of traditional IT law and topics such as fintech, InsureTech and eMobility; a client in the automotive industry is Toyota Motorsport. In one highlight, the team advised districts, counties and other local authorities nationally on the broad band expansion in the municipalities. ‘Technology connoisseur par excellence’ Thomas Jansen has ‘great experience and is straightforward and approachable’; he is advising Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Oy on its participation in the tender procedure Polarstern II (a polar research and supply vessel), which includes hardware and software license procurement aspects. The ‘calm, very skilled and solution-oriented’ Philip Kempermann ‘works without frills and is very resolute with compromises achieved in negotiations’; he assisted Santander Consumer Bank with the design of the instant credit app. Markus Klinger was promoted to equity partner in December 2017; he ‘stands out not only for his profound knowledge but also for knowing how to put this knowledge in a nutshell in a transparent and precise manner’.

‘Highly recommended firm’ TCI RechtsanwĂ€lte advises on IT contracts and projects, also at a contentious level, and often acts at the intersection with public procurement; here the team’s ‘sober and fair working method in cooperation with public contracting entities’ stands out. It negotiated the terms and conditions agreement with Microsoft for the Federal Ministry of the Interior, while Markus Schmidt regularly advises the state of Berlin and the chief of police in Berlin on procurement and contractual matters in connection with IT projects, including IT law advice on the Kooperative Leitstelle project, a control centre of the Berlin police and fire brigade. Together with Carsten Gerlach, Schmidt also advises Klopotek on IT contract law, including the drafting and negotiation of agreements with a foreign component. 1&1 Versatel sought the firm’s advice on license matters and license audits, while InVision, Innowerk-IT and Entimo are longstanding clients for IT contract law. The ‘reliable’ and ‘competent’ Stephan Schmidt ‘particularly stands out’: his ‘advice is marked by professionalism and deep expertise and demonstrates his extremely fair negotiation skills’.

White & Case LLP focuses in particular on digitalisation and handles connectivity issues in various industries from the automotive to the financial services sectors with expertise in autonomous driving and fintech matters. The team continues to see a high volume of work relating to cloud projects, and deploys its comprehensive IT experience in the banking sector in projects surrounding the conversion of the core banking system. In addition to its expertise in IT contracts, the firm is also able to draw on its regulatory strength. Its workloads includes domestic projects and transactions as well as cross-border matters. Jost Kotthoff heads the team and Martin Munz is another key figure.

In addition to handling traditional IT matters, GÖRG Partnerschaft von RechtsanwĂ€lten mbB is increasingly focusing on advice pertaining to digital issues. The team advises on various digital start-up projects, including assisting the shareholders of Verimi with the establishment of the German platform for data and identity services, and on digitalisation projects, including for Deutsche Bank and HUK Coburg, among others. Another focus is acting for public sector clients on the tender of IT projects; clients in this space include the states of Hessen and Rheinland-Pfalz, the city of Hamburg, various other cities and municipalities as well as the research centres Xfel and Desy. The practice also regularly advises multiple tech companies: Florian Schmitz is assisting Samsung Electronics with various contracts, new products and services and Axel Czarnetzki is handling diverse complex IT law and license law matters for longstanding key client AGF Videoforschung.

Graf von Westphalen ‘stands out due to its competence and self-awareness’; the team has ‘very good knowledge of the IT sector’ and covers a broad range of topics from IT to AI and digitalisation. Clients include numerous associations, such as the German Engineering Federation (VDMA Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau) and the Caravanning Industry Association (Caravaning Industrie Verband). The latter sought the firm’s advice on IT matters including compliance and IT security as well as digitalisation issues in the automotive industry. The practice also saw increased work in the public law space; it regularly advises the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft on various IT issues, including numerous projects with a public procurement element. The team is also assisting a market leading mechanical engineering and robotics company with the development of an e-commerce platform; is advising an energy supplier on the digitilisation of its entire market presence; and is acting for insurer Örag Rechtsschutzversicherungs-AG on multiple IT projects and in the context of the digitalisation of the insurance industry. Practice head Stephan Menzemer has ‘an uncomplicated and friendly manner’ and ‘a very pragmatic and solution-oriented approach’; he shows ‘empathy for all parties’ and is also noted for his ‘very clear method of presentation’ and ‘complete dedication to mediate a practical result’.

Greenberg Traurig Germany’s IT practice is ‘recommended without reservation’ not least due to its ‘quick response times while consistently maintaining high quality’. The team stands out for its ‘very good business sense taking into account economic considerations and a high degree of reliability’ and advises both existing corporations on digitalisation and new companies that provide digital technologies themselves, resulting in a broad client base ranging from start-ups to listed companies. The firm expanded its portfolio by gaining several US, Chinese and Israeli technology companies as clients and handled matters in the MedTech, eHealth and fintech areas as well as internet, cloud and SaaS projects, which regularly involves advice at the intersection between technology and media. The practice also handles contentious IT matters. Viola Bensinger, who is frequently recommended by clients and not only heads the technology team but also the dispute resolution practice, and Carsten Kociok, who was promoted to counsel at the start of 2018, have ‘very good industry expertise and knowledge about the clients’ products and offer creative solutions’. Key clients include Volvo, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, SolarisBank and Völker.

In addition to providing contract law advice, Heussen Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s IT practice also covers digitalisation and can demonstrate expertise in the areas of MedTech, fintech, e-commerce and industry 4.0. The client portfolio also contains multiple contentious IT matters. Hermann Waldhauser and Markus Junker are advising on the establishment of an industry 4.0 platform in the mechanical engineering and plant construction sector. The team also advises a globally-operating company in the food industry on a group-wide SAP project and on other diverse IT projects, e-commerce and data protection issues, as well as representation in disputes. The team is also assisting a manufacturer of banking-related software with the drafting of project agreements with banks and contracts for the purchase of programming services. Other clients include Alfred KĂ€rcher, the Bavarian stock exchange, Weka Verlagsgruppe, Fidor Bank and Deutsche Telekom’s content marketing subsidiary The Digitale.

As well as placing a great focus on data protection advice, Jones Day’s spectrum of services in the IT area also range from transactional advice and cloud computing matters to IT-related disputes. It has particular expertise in the fintech area; the firm’s global blockchain and technology task force focuses on issues surrounding cross-border technologies, including blockchain technology. The team is advising Deutsche Börse on a cooperation and IT service agreement concerning the development and implementation of a distributed ledger technology-based so-called collateral coin in order to make federal funds available and tradable on the blockchain. Undine von Diemar and Ted Kroke are advising Cylance on contract law matters concerning the distribution of cloud-based AI IT security solutions. Another client is Cray, which the firm is representing in IT tender procedures, while the team advised Rational on the drafting of contracts for the international partner network and global IoT services. The group also provides advice to the market leader in CRM software Salesforce.com, which is a longstanding client.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s ‘outstanding’ IT practice provides listed corporations, mid-sized companies and the public sector with advice ‘at a very high level’ and stands out for its ‘breadth and good bench strength’. Contract matters are one pillar of the practice, with IT compliance and IT security two others, while the firm also advises on IT procurement projects. The team is handling the drafting of contracts for agile projects for a prominent German automotive manufacturer; is assisting Infosys with agreements for the provision of IT services; and is advising Landesbetrieb IT.Niedersachsen on the drafting of contracts for the project IT.N WAN 3.0. In other work, it is assisting new client Klosterfrau with the audit of license agreements, various IT contracts, an agreement for the provision of streamline services, the centralisation of the Klosterfrau communication systems and the introduction of a contract management software. Other clients include Miele and thyssenkrupp. ‘Very good IT law and data protection specialist’ Michael Rath ‘finds entrepreneurial solutions together with clients’.

Oppenhoff & Partner has longstanding experience in handling large IT projects and the drafting of complex contracts, particularly with regard to software projects, outsourcing projects and cloud computing. The team also represents clients in IT-law disputes and advises on technology-based transactions, including M&A projects and joint ventures. It has notable industry focus in the insurance and energy sectors. Marc Hilber has expertise in digitalisation matters in the insurance sector and is advising insurer Zurich on the Kolumbus R2 project and the introduction of a second software release of the Guidewire insurance software.

Key names in Reed Smith’s ‘excellent’ team include Andreas Splittgerber and Thomas Fischl, who was promoted to partner at the start of 2018; the team has a notable focus on digitalisation. It covers topics including intelligent driving assistance systems and autonomous driving in the automotive industry and also frequently advises on internet platforms and apps. Other areas of focus include AI, virtual reality and augmented reality, while the practice is increasingly handling work relating to cryptocurrencies, ICO and blockchain.

IT and IP boutique Vogel & Partner’s ‘very good practice’ is led by Rupert Vogel and has particular expertise in topics relating to the digitalisation of business models, including advising a globally operating Swiss corporation in the speciality chemicals sector on issues surrounding the company’s digitalisation strategy. The firm also regularly assists with research and development contracts and has notable industry focus in the automotive sector: the team is assisting a globally operating automotive distributor with new digital business models, intelligent products and smart services, and is advising a globally leading automotive electronics company on a signficant automous driving project, a chip platform for medical technology and on research and development projects and licences in other technological areas. The team is also handling IT law matters for an accountancy firm in the context of increased IT and software use in tax consultancy, including open source compliance in particular. Other work includes advising Blackroll on a webshop and an app.

In addition to its rapidly growing data protection practice, avocado rechtsanwĂ€lte also provides ‘very quick and reliable’ advice in IT law and ‘gives comprehensive responses to all questions’. The team advises mid-sized companies and international corporations on IT projects, predominantly acting on the customer side, and on IT license law matters and in disputes. A key client is Hereus, for which it handles IT projects, including the introduction of a new app in the healthcare sector, a patient information system and a new IT system; the group also assisted the same client with a master services agreement with a US IT provider. DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga sought the firm’s advice on cloud application management, the drafting of contracts concerning the new Bundesliga app and the introduction of a new CRM system. The team also acted for Deutschen Telekom in and out of court in matters relating to ICT purchase contracts, particularly concerning the purchase of hardware and software, and reselling, cloud issues, outsourcing, partnering and platform and application contracts. Sanofi-Aventis and Merck are also clients. Jörg Michael Voß and Jan Peter Voß are ‘very competent, friendly and quick’ and have ‘deep expertise’.

Traditionally driven in particular by its dispute resolution practice, FPS’ IT practice has expanded to also handle the drafting of contracts and advice on IT projects. Core pillars of the practice are advising clients from the banking industry, the energy and infrastructure sector and municipalities. The client portfolio ranges from mid-sized companies to start-ups and the team acts on the provider and customer side. It has expertise in digitalisation issues with a focus on matters related to apps. In the fintech area, it acts for foreign and domestic banks and saving banks. Other clients include multiple municipal utilities. Christoph SĂŒĂŸenberger heads the practice.

GSK Stockmann’s IT practice increasingly focuses on topics regarding the digitalisation and automisation of business divisions with particular expertise in fintech and the automotive industry. It also advises on transactions and disputes. Key figure Jörg Kahler regularly acts for IT service provider Datagroup in contract negotiations for various IT projects. He also represented Ryanair in disputes concerning unauthorised key word advertising (Ad-Words) and unauthorised domain use. Aptiv (formerly Delphi Automotive Systems) sought the team’s advice on a tender procedure for the acquisition of the tech subsidiary of a German corporation, which developed technology for autonomous driving. Clients also include start-ups, such as Jodel Venture, and an anonymous messenger service, which the team advised on its business model, including legal, digitalisation and technology-related questions. Other clients include an online platform start-up in the area of gift items and a fintech company involved in innovative payment handling and credit rating matters.

Key names in Latham & Watkins LLP’s IT practice, which has a focus on transactional IT advice, include counsels Thies Deike and Christian Engelhardt. The firm assisted ZF Friedrichshafen with IT law matters relating to the sale of its body control systems division to Luxshare and Bosch as part of the spin-off of its start motor and generator business. It also acts for Daimler, which is involved in the toll collection for heavy trucks on motorways and federal highways, including representing the client in two arbitrations against the Federal Republic of Germany and advice on data protection and IT matters. The team is also handling a series of fintech matters; clients in this space include BillFront and CrossLend tĂ€tig.

McDermott Will & Emery RechtsanwĂ€lte Steuerberater LLP puts its technology expertise to use particularly in telecoms and media law issues and frequently advises on innovative IT matters such as IoT, the development of apps and general assistance in the context of digitalisation, while the team also handles traditional IT matters, transactions and disputes. It is assisting Unister with the sale of its eBusiness company and is representing IP Deutschland, RTL’s advertisement marketer, and RTL interactive, the operator of RTL’s webpages, in proceedings against Eyeo regarding the use of Ad Block Plus. It also assists longstanding client Deutsche Telekom with matters concerning the European Aviation Network (EAN), which connects a satellite with ground stations in a hybrid approach in order to allow airplane passangers to access WLAN on board. The team also advised a German brand-name manufacturer of cutting tools on a webshop to be implemented globally and an app for the networking of various kitchen appliances.The team also assists Celanese with IT contracts. GEA is a new client. Ralf Weisser and Wolfgang von Frentz are the key figures.

In addition to handling outsourcing projects, Pinsent Masons Germany LLP also has a focus on IT law matters, including those related to fintech and IT disputes. The team advises on technology transactions and digitalisation and has industry expertise in the automotive sector. It is assisting Access Europe with more than 25 software license agreements (regarding the client’s internet browser) made with various automotive companies and manufacturers of networked TV and set-top boxes. Other work includes advising Bose on its cooperation with car manufacturers concerning the client’s hardware and software and Screwfix on e-commerce law and regulatory matters. The team is also advising innovative project Starship Technologies (formed by Skype founders Janus Friis and Ahti Heinla) on multijurisdictional questions pertaining to autonomous vehicles, data protection and telecoms law. It is also assisting Wirecard with the development and introduction of innovative payment technologies. Florian von Baum and Stephan Appt are the key figures. Kirsten Wolgast was promoted to partner in May 2017 and focuses on the IT and e-commerce sector and the high-tech industry with expertise in data protection.

von BOETTICHER RechtsanwĂ€lte Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB’s IT advice focuses in particular on new business models, with a further emphasis on software projects. Anselm Brandi-Dohrn, who stands out for ‘his understanding of legal issues’, has expertise in international software projects and contract negotiations. Sven Schlotzhauer, who joined from BĂŒsing, MĂŒffelmann & Theye in August 2017, provides IT contact law advice to PSA Automobiles on the development of a connected car platform. The group also frequently handles disputes: Matthias Bergt, who also has expertise in data protection matters, is representing Chinese manufacturer Yealink Technology, a market leader in the telco end devices segment, against a former European distributor concerning the unauthorised use of domains. Other clients include Yahoo!, Zedas, a leading provider of logistics software in the rail sector and Scandlines Denmark.

Waldeck RechtsanwÀlte PartmbB advises on IT matters at the intersection with banking regulatory law and public procurement law. The team has comprehensive experience in the banking and financial services sector and in regulatory matters and assists clients with high-volume tenders by public contracting authorities. Thomas Fischer is advising Deutschen Telekom on numerous tenders by various administrative districts for the broadband expansion. Jens-Holger Petri assisted a provider of eTicket solutions with contract negotiations with a Dutch transport company for equipping the entire public transport fleets and the operation of eTicket solutions over a period of ten years. He is also advising PSI on various IT projects relating to sector-specific industry 4.0 solutions in the airport systems, logistics and warehouse management fields and is acting for a bank in contract negotiations for a cloud-based software solution for MiFID II compliance. Other key clients include T-Systems International, ING-DiBa and Rabobank.


Outsourcing

Index of tables

  1. Outsourcing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Baker McKenzie remains a market leader in advising on large, complex outsourcing projects. The practice particularly focuses on IT outsourcings (ITO), especially in the area of managed operations, and the outsourcing and consolidation of data centres. Counsel Björn Helwig acts almost entirely on the service provider side, but also covers outsourcings for buyers. His recewnt highlights include advising a globally operating management consulting, technology and outsourcing service provider on negotiating a global transformation and HR outsourcing contract with an internationally leading insurance company. Matthias Scholz is also highly visible advising on large outsourcing transactions with a special focus on the finance sector and pharmaceutical industry; he assisted a European logistics company with the conclusion of an outsourcing agreement, the sale of its assets and the provision of transition services. Holger Lutz advised a company in the finance industry on the design and execution of a tender for the outsourcing of global workplace services. Allianz is also a client.

CMS’ broad IT practice includes advising on large, complex outsourcings, which are increasingly fuelled by innovation- and IT-driven transactions and usually have an offshore component. Markus HĂ€user is assiting key client Accenture with several complex outsourcing projects, including with Siemens, among others. He also handled an F&A outsourcing project with strong near and offshore components (Poland, India) for a consulting and IT service provider; the client was an internationally operating company in the steel industry and the mandate included high shares of robotic process automation. Axel Funk assisted an international service provider for the servicing of complex financial portfolios with outsourcing the majority of its services to an external service provider. Entserv is also a client. Malte GrĂŒtzmacher is another key name.

Noerr remains active in advising on outsourcing transactions, including the outsourcing of individual business processes (BPO) and traditional ITOs. The firm is assisting Bayer with the drafting and negotiating of comprehensive IT and BPO outsourcing agreements for a planned carve-out of business units in the context of a large M&A deal; acted for ISS on a business outsourcing contract with Deutsche Telekom; and is handling the outsourcing of the finance and accounting areas to Capgemini for Klöckner & Co. The team also represents clients in disputes around outsourcings and advises on outsourcings into the cloud. It is currently representing an IT service provider for banks in a large IT dispute with Avaloq Sourcing and assisted a family-run group in the packaging, paper and recycling industry with a tender for the outsourcing of the entire staff management into the cloud. Other clients include Bertelsmann, a vehicle financing bank, a group of companies in the area of textile management and a transport and logistics company. Thomas Thalhofer heads the practice.

Osborne Clarke advises on outsourcings, with traditional strength acting on the service provider side – where it is a popular choice for Indian providers in particular – but also advises on the buyer side, including for large German companies including Axel Springer, Rewe, Tengelmann and Autobahn Tank & Rast. It frequently advises on second and third generation outsourcings; it recently assisted a leading transmission system operator in Europe with a second generation outsourcing project. The team also saw strong demand for combined advice on outsourcings, re- or insourcings and cloud projects. Other clients include Able Management Services, First Solar, HCL, Hilti and Tech Mahindra. Ulrich BĂ€umer is the key figure; he is also co-head of the India Group.

Covington opened its first German office in April 2018 with a former team from Heymann & Partner RechtsanwĂ€lte, which continues to advise on outsourcings under a new banner. The group has expertise acting for several financial service providers on outsourcing transactions, including assisting SEB with the closing of an outsourcing agreement in the reporting system area, which included consideration of banking regulatory requirements. The firm also acts for clients in the energy sector on the global outsourcings of their IT infrastructure and services as well as network services. ‘Very precise lawyer’ Moritz HĂŒsch is ‘incredibly active, particularly in the outsourcing area’. Lars Lensdorf is also recommended.

DLA Piper remains very active in outsourcing matters and advises on ITOs and BPOs, as well as handling disputes in connection with outsourcing agreements. On the buyer side, clients include an international insurance company, an international automotive manufacturer, a chemical corporation and a multinational bank, among others, and several global IT service providers on the provider side. Key partner Jan Pohle has expertise in the outsourcing of IT and telecoms services and business processes and Jan Geert Meents is considered ‘really good’.

GÖRG Partnerschaft von RechtsanwĂ€lten mbB’s outsourcing practice has notable expertise handling outsourcing projects in the banking sector, including BPOs, and also covers logistics and facility management outsourcing. Florian Schmitz regularly advises the Frankfurter Volksbank and Geno Broker on various outsourcing agreements. Deutsche Bank is also a client. Axel Czarnetzki is another name to note.

Latham & Watkins LLP advises on traditional outsourcings and outsourcing matters relating to M&A transactions and cloud computing services, where it acts for service providers and large buyers. The firm assisted BC Partners with the acquisition of PlusServer, a market leader in the area of managed hosting in Germany, from GoDaddy. The team recently handled ZF Friedrichshafen’s outsourcing of its Global Body Control Systems business unit to Luxshare by means of a carve-out structure spanning over ten jurisdictions. It also has a focus on outsourcing projects in the banking sector. Another longstanding client is Deutsche Bank; Siemens is also a key client. Counsel Thies Deike is particularly active and focuses on outsourcings in the financial services sector.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH advises on German and international ITOs and BPOs and acts on the side of IT service providers, such as InfoSys, and for corporations, including BASF. Recent highlights include advising thyssenkrupp on its global IT outsourcing with T-Systems. The team also assisted new client Klosterfrau with the global outsourcing of its HR system and is advising the holding companies of several airlines on data protection matters concerning the outsourcing of business divisions. Michael Rath is ‘excellent’, according to peers.

Waldeck RechtsanwĂ€lte PartmbB’s three-partner strong team continues to focus on outsourcing transactions with industry-specific requirements and has comprehensive expertise in the banking and finance sector and regulatory environment in particular. Consequently, it frequently advises at the intersection with banking regulatory law and also public procurement. Jens-Holger Petri has outsourcing expertise with additional experience in banking regulatory matters; he recently assisted a bank with the renegotiation of an outsourcing agreement relating to a trade system for the implementation of requirements according to the new minimum supervisory requirements to risk management. Other banking sector clients include Rabobank and ING-DiBa. Two longstanding clients on the IT service provider side are Deutsche Telekom and its subsidiary T-Systems.

White & Case LLP’s work in this area includes the outsourcing of IT infrastructure, application management, BPO and facility management. The team has expertise handling complex, often multinational deals and has a particular focus on complex cloud projects in the industrial and financial services sectors and projects concerning the conversion of the core banking system. Various DAX-listed companies sought out the firm’s advice on the sourcing of cloud services, while in the outsourcing space clients predominantly stem from the finance industry; recent clients include a large bank, a cooperative bank, a commercial bank and a stock exchange operator. Jost Kotthoff is noted.

Bird & Bird’s broad IT practice also covers outsourcing transactions. Fabian Niemann advised Dalli on a large logistics outsourcing, with assistance ranging from the tender to contract negotiations in two tranches. European Stability Mechanism is another client. Jörg-Alexander Paul is experienced in complex BPO and ITO transactions with a focus on the finance industry, both on the client and service provider side. Henriette Picot and Lennart SchĂŒĂŸler were also active advising on outsourcing projects.

With ‘a high-service level’ and ‘quick and timely responses’ Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a popular choice for outsourcing transactions. The ‘competent advice is based on sound industry knowledge and a good commercial understanding’. According to clients, Torsten Schreier ‘stands out in particular’: he is noted for ‘his expertise, business sense and negotiation skills’. He advised Unicredit on the second tranche of the outsourcings for its entire IT infrastructure to IBM and assisted HSH Nordbank with an outsourcing agreement regarding services for shipping portfolios with HSH Portfoliomanagement and Cerberus. He also acted for Cinven, CPPIB and Hotelbeds in the renegotiations for a significant outsourcing contract with IBM. Under the lead of the London practice, the team also advised a UK investment company on the second outsourcing round of business process and management services and the outsourcing of its IT infrastructure.

Greenberg Traurig Germany’s outsourcing advice is ‘exceptionally good’ and focused largely on IT infrastructure outsourcing, where the firm increasingly acts for technologically adept real estate companies and clients in the telecoms sector. The team also noted an increase in IT outsourcing projects in the MedTech area, such as for hospital bed manufacturer Völker. Christoph Enaux advises the Berlin housing association Gewobag on an outsourcing project for the implementation of a new cable network concept for 50,000 residential units and Stefan LĂŒtje acted for a US IT outsourcing company, among others. Other clients include ZTE and Stadt und Land (Berlin’s state-owned public housing company).


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