Information technology (including contracts) in Germany

CMS

CMS has one of the largest teams in the technology, media and communications segment in Germany. It handles the entire spectrum of IT matters but places a particular emphasis on the implementation of digitalisation projects, where it, on the one hand, advises leading international e-commerce and online companies and, on the other hand, covers topics such as fintech and insurtech, industry 4.0, smart mobility and autonomous driving, e-health, proptech and smart energy. Recently the team was busy advising on ICOs in close collaboration with the firm's international blockchain experts. Noteworthy is also the firm's new start-up programme equIP, which was launched in February 2019 and assists innovative start-ups in the tech, media and IT arena. Sebastian Cording and Markus Häuser head the practice and Malte Grützmacher is noted for his expertise in software copyright and licensing.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Cording; Markus Häuser

Other key lawyers:

Malte Grützmacher; Florian Dietrich; Axel Funk; Christian Runte; Philipp Lotze

Key clients

Accenture

Airbnb

Bayer AG

Deliveroo

Ebay Group

Fossil Group Inc

Hewlett Packard Inc.

Panasonic Automotive Systems Europe GmbH

Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG

Sharp Electronic

Wayfair Stores Limited

Work highlights

  • Long-standing and comprehensive advice to Accenture Dienstleistungen GmbH on large IT and outsourcing projects.
  • Ongoing and comprehensive advice to Airbnb on e-commerce, distance sales, IT and data protection; significant expansion of the advice given to include questions surrounding the Zweckentfremdungsverbot, a law prohibiting the conversion of residential flats into vacation rentals, and the package travel directive.
  • Ongoing and all-encompassing advice to eBay and various affiliated companies (such as mobile.de, eBay Kleinanzeigen, brands4friends, StubHub, Shutl) on various legal matters.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie's IT team continues to handle classic IT issues, including the drafting of IT contracts, but also has expertise in e-commerce and digital media, represents clients in IT litigation and advises them on financial aspects of IT and M&A deals in the IT sector. Recently the firm successfully expanded its practice in the new technology segment in connection with topics such as the connected car and autonomous driving. Automotive manufacturers companies in the chemical, pharmaceutical, mechanical engineering and finance industry seek the advice of the group surrounding Michael Schmidl (Munich), who is particularly active at the intersections with employment and pharma law, and Holger Lutz (Frankfurt), who has a big presence in the banking, telecoms and pharma sectors. Another strength of the practice is its close network with the firm's international offices – the German team often acts together with the teams in Luxemburg, Paris, Amsterdam, Palo Alto and San Francisco. Michaela Nebel, who focuses especially on e-commerce and data protection, was promoted to partner in July 2018.

Practice head(s):

Michael Schmidl; Holger Lutz

Other key lawyers:

Matthias Scholz; Julia Kaufmann; Michaela Nebel

Work highlights

  • Beratung eines Fintech-Unternehmens beim Aufsetzen einer neuartigen App zur Kontoführung mit integrierten Analysemöglichkeiten und Vermittlungsleistungen.
  • Beratung eines großen deutschen Automobilherstellers beim Aufsetzen verschiedener Online-Marktplätze zum Vertrieb von fahrzeugbezogenem Zubehör und von digitalen Funktionen zur Erweiterung der Fahrzeugfunktionalitäten und bei der Gestaltung der Verkaufs- und Nutzungsbedingungen.
  • Beratung eines internationalen Unternehmens der Chemie- und Pharmaindustrie bei einem Joint Development Projekt zur Entwicklung eines cloud-basierten Systems zur Berechnung von Krankheitsbildern und Behandlungsmethoden.
  • Beratung eines Herstellers von Fahrzeugwaschanlagen bei der Markteinführung einer App im Bereich Fahrzeugpflege.
  • Beratung eines Herstellers von Druckmaschinen bei der Einführung einer vollständig neuen B2B E-Commerce-Plattform einschließlich der Verhandlung von Verträgen zur Einführung und dem Betrieb der Plattform.

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke's IT team is part of the Tech, Media and Comms group and closely collaborates within this larger practice. The Digital Business team is led by Konstantin Ewald and focuses on IT and e-commerce projects, SaaS contracts, IT security and the introduction of new technologies. Clients include mid-sized companies but also listed and DAX 30 companies. A particular focus of the practice also lies in the gaming sector and its associated regulatory and transactional questions.

Practice head(s):

Konstantin Ewald

Other key lawyers:

Hendrik Schöttle

Gleiss Lutz

In close collaboration in particular with the firm's M&A, IP and antitrust law practices Gleiss Lutz's IT team is capable of handling complex IT and digitalisation projects, such as recently advising on the development of a digital healthcare network for Germany's public health insurance providers and its federal association. Besides giving advice on IT contracts the firm also deals with topics such as autonomous driving, blockchain, smart contracts, AI and robotics. The team surrounding Stefan Weidert also has expertise in compliance advice and IT litigation. The other two key figures Alexander Molle and Christian Hamann were promoted to equity partners at the start of 2019. Hamann focuses on data protection advice.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Weidert

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Molle

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP's IT team differentiates itself through its clear focus on transactions, which it frequently handles in cooperation with the firm's M&A practice and international offices. Recently, it advised on the first transaction in the e-sports segment in Germany. Another pillar of the practice lies in the automotive industry, including advice on IT migrations, cloud projects, software licenses and the development of digital platforms. Jost Kotthoff heads the technology transactions group, which saw the partner promotion of Sylvia Lorenz in January 2019. She focuses on advising digital platforms, particularly in the social media, automotive, energy and cloud services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Jost Kotthoff

Other key lawyers:

Detlev Gabel; Martin Munz; Sylvia Lorenz

Key clients

dSPACE digital signal processing and control engineering GmbH (dSPACE)

Daimler AG

Outbrain Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised dSPACE digital signal processing and control engineering GmbH (dSPACE) on a cooperation exclusive for the automotive sector with miro-sys GmbH and Innovative Technical Systems, Inc.
  • Assisted Daimler AG with its investment in the Cologne-based eSports pioneer SK Gaming.
  • Advised Outbrain on the acquisition of the native advertising provider Ligatus.

GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB

A particular pillar of GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB's practice is its advice on classic IT matters in the banking sector, such as in connection with software implementations, the drafting and negotiating of contracts and the procurement and outsourcing of IT services. However, the firm also advises on issues related to digitalisation. The public sector often seeks the firm's advice on the procurement of IT and digitalisation services. Recently the team was also able to gain international clients in the healthcare sector. Frankfurt-based Florian Schmitz heads the IP, IT and outsourcing practice.

Practice head(s):

Florian Schmitz 

Other key lawyers:

Axel Czarnetzki; Michael Heise

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP's IT practice led by counsel Thies Deike builds upon the reach and reputation of the firm's data protection practice and the firm's multi-disciplinary advice to its M&A and PE clients. The portfolio is largely internationally orientated and consists of transactional projects with topics such as the drafting and negotiation of IT contracts and the development of apps. Fintech advice and the development of digital and online platforms are two other pillars of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Thies Deike

Key clients

Aliaxis S.A.

BillFront GmbH

Daimler AG

Toscafund Asset Management LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Aliaxis SA on transitional services agreements in the IT area and numerous other functions in connection with the sale of business divisions.
  • Ongoing advice to fintech start-up BillFront, part of the company Builder FinLeap, which provides a working capital solution for app developers, app publishers and advertisement networks.
  • Represented Daimler Financial Services AG as shareholder of Toll Collect in an arbitration against the Federal Republic of Germany; successful conclusion of the over a decade long disputes surrounding the truck toll scheme in Germany (Toll Collect).

Pinsent Masons Germany LLP

An increasing number of IT experts are present across all of Pinsent Masons Germany LLP's offices, including Munich, Düsseldorf and its third office in Frankfurt, which opened in 2019. The group is particularly visible in the telecoms and automotive sectors and is continuing to expand its practice in the technology, life sciences, energy and real estate industries. In May 2019 Stephan Appt, who recently handled connected car matters, took over as head of the TMT practice from Florian von Baum, who remains a key figure. In October 2018 the team had already gained Marc Salevic from PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft), who with his focus on telecoms and energy law also advises on smart grid and smart metering projects. At the start of 2019 the arrival of Nils Rauer and Ruth Maria Bousonville from Hogan Lovells International LLP strengthened the firm's expertise in digitalisation projects, among others.

Practice head(s):

Stephan Appt

Key clients

Analog Devices

Knorr-Bremse

Oracle

Restore Deutschland GmbH

Spotify

Starship Technologies

Telefonica

Unilever

Wacker Chemie

Wuppertaler Standtwerke

Work highlights

  • Advised Wacker Chemie AG on one of the most important digitalisation projects in the company: SAP2Cloud.
  • Advised new client Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft on the development of IT purchase conditions for software purchase, software support, software leasing and IT project contracts.
  • Advised Honda Motor Europe Limited on IT law and regulatory matters in connection with new functionalities and offers in the connected car segment.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP's IT team focuses on advising German and international IT companies, start-ups and – in close collaboration with the firm's office in Houston, Washington D.C. and New York – US tech companies pursuing interests in Europe. This includes blogging and other internet platforms, software companies and consumer goods manufacturers. Advice ranges from the negotiation of contracts and strategic IT matters to IT security, e-commerce and cloud computing. The team's social media expertise, particularly of co-head Andreas Splittgerber, contributes significantly to the practice.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Splittgerber

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Fischl

Key clients

Automattic, Inc. (Betreiber der WordPress Plattform)

Hotel Beacons GmbH

IT-Kompass GmbH

Mattel

NXAD Next Generation of Advertising UG

Sourcepoint

Work highlights

  • Provided Automattic (the operator of the WordPress platform) with advice on contentious and strategic matters in connection with its platform.
  • Advised Digital1 GmbH in connection with a so-called replay tool, which allows website operators to retrace the clicking behaviour of website visitors.
  • Provided comprehensive advice to Just Me Sports GmbH regarding the development of the sports and fitness platform Youmeco, particularly on data protection and internet law; legal correction of the entire platform prior to launch.

FPS

FPS's IT law practice is maintaining its market share with its activity in the real estate sector, among others. Over the last years proptech gained in importance for the practice, including advising facility management providers and real estate companies on topics such as smart building, IoT applications and contracts. The firm's service also includes advice on compliance, outsourcing and the marketing of IT products. Christoph Süßenberger heads the team which gained Stefan Dingel, previously at Accenture, in October 2018.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Süßenberger

Other key lawyers:

Bettina Komarnicki

Jones Day

Besides the firm's strong focus on data protection and cyber security, Jones Day's IT team surrounding Undine von Diemar predominantly advises on transactions and litigation as well as IT and cloud computing projects. The practice is strongly shaped by US clients, which benefit from the firm's global reach and various offices in the US but also in London, Paris and Brussels. Noteworthy is also the team's engagement with subjects such as fintech and blockchain, which it tackles in collaboration with the banking and finance practice.

Practice head(s):

Undine von Diemar

Key clients

ICANN

SAP SE

LBBW

Cardinal Health

Cylance, Inc.

Kendaxa Holding GmbH

Salesforce.com

Essilor

Work highlights

  • Advised the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) on its pilot project for the blockchain-based issue and repayment of asset-backed commercial papers (ABCP).
  • Advised the leading cloud provider Cylance for IT security products based on AI in connection with joint ventures, client and supplier contracts and associated data protection requirements and agreements.
  • Acted for cloud computing provider Salesforce.com in contract negotiations with clients and also in the shape of a secondment.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP 's TMT practice also covers advice on IoT, industry 4.0, cloud computing and the development and licensing of software. IT providers and media companies constitute some of the most important clients. Ralf Weisser is the key figure and Wolfgang Freiherr Raitz von Frentz focuses on litigation and transactions in the TMT area.

Practice head(s):

Ralf Weisser

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft

Intersnack Group GmbH & Co. KG

IP Deutschland/ RTL Interactive

ProSiebenSat1 Media SE

RTL Television

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

VG Media

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels AG

Work highlights

  • Provided Deutsche Telekom with comprehensive advice on all legal aspects of the implementation of the EAN (European Aviation Network) in cooperation with the satellite provider Inmarsat and Nokia as network supplier.
  • Advised ProSiebenSat1 Media SE on the IP and IT related aspects of the joint ventures with Discovery (7TV).
  • Advised a prominent company in the transport sector in connection with the electronic drafting of employment contracts via the internet and regarding electronic signatures.

TCI Rechtsanwälte

IT law boutique TCI Rechtsanwälte focuses its practice on the technology, communication and information sectors. It advises clients on IT contracts and represents them in IT litigation. Many of the firm's matters stem from the US and the UK.

Other key lawyers:

Stephan Schmidt; Thomas Stögmüller

Key clients

Technogroup IT-Service GmbH

Aareon AG und Aareon Deutschland GmbH

ECOS TECHNOLOGY GMBH

Fasihi GmbH

Wirecard

IT-NRW