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Insurance litigation in Germany

BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR

Uncontested market leader in insurance litigation, BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR underpins its top position not least due to the firm's comprehensive advice across its offices, which is further divided into strategic business segments. A trio heads the broad practice: Rainer Büsken and Björn Seitz lead on liability matters, covering issues pertaining to manufacturing and product liability, financial lines, construction and architectural liability as well as medical and third party liability; Joachim Grote provides assistance with personal insurance with a focus on disability and accident insurance as well as health insurance. The firm also offers advice on property and transport insurance, where Dirk-Carsten Günther is the key contact, and an automotive department led by Heinz Otto Höher. Bastian Finkel is noted for his expertise in the financial lines and special lines segment, and product liability expert Martin Alexander and Franz König, who stands out for his work on cyber-damages, are two other key figures. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the practice provided advice on works closures and disruptions and advised on possible breaches of duty by company managers in the D&O-sector. Carsten Hösker is the main contact for industrial liability claims.

Testimonials

'BLD is a law firm specializing in insurance law, which provides comprehensive and competent advice with the highest level of expertise in all matters relating to insurance law and related dispute resolution.'

'The lawyers at BLD are convincing by the fact that they promptly make their expertise available to relevant inquiries and communicate their detailed knowledge in a comprehensible and understandable manner. Despite the complexity of the matter, you always maintain a solution-related focus in order to achieve practical results. '

'Both Björn Seitz and Bastian Finkel are leading specialists in the field of D&O who convince with their extensive theoretical and practical knowledge of legal advice.'

'What Dirk-Carsten Hösker and Martin Alexander achieve in the area of product liability and industrial liability through extremely practical and efficient litigation, applies to Heinz Otto Höher in the area of traffic law.'

'BLD is miles superior to the competition in Germany.'

'Bastian Finkel is a market leader in D&O, very competent and commercially oriented.'

'BLD delivers precise and concise advice in the shortest possible time.'

'Very pleasant cooperation, reliable team with a high level of professional competence. Always available for a pragmatic approach. '

Work highlights

  • Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE: Representation in connection with the Bilfinger compliance process. Extrajudicial settlement of alleged claims against twelve former board members.
  • Various insurers: Advice on whether there is coverage from operating cost insurance after the official closure in the course of the corona pandemic
  • Domestic life insurers: Advice and litigation in connection with representative actions relating to surplus participation, revocation instructions and cost clauses in Riester pension insurance.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP represents well-known international insurers in insurance-oriented sectors, such as aviation and infrastructure, and regularly acts as monitoring, coverage and defence counsel in D&O, E&O, PI and RCCB-claims. Practice head Henning Schaloske is an acknowledged expert for the financial lines segment and leads the internationally connected team. The monitoring of E&O mass claims is a strength of Tanja Schramm, who is also active in other liability cases in connection with professional and financial lines. Another key contact for financial lines is Daniel Kassing, who advises clients on property and legal protection insurance. Another key area of expertise is advice on cyber-damages, including the widespread fake president fraud. With the opening of a Munich office at the beginning of 2021, the team was able to grow significantly with three long-standing Norton Rose Fulbright partners, including insurance litigation expert Sven Förster.

Practice head(s):

Henning Schaloske

Testimonials

‘High level of specialization in insurance law, which means that training is quick.’

‘Henning Schaloske is very committed and knowledgeable, great performance in court.’

Key clients

CGPA

CNA Insurance Company (Europe) SA.

DUAL Deutschland GmbH

Markel International Insurance Co. Lt.

Swiss Re

Tokio Marine Kiln Group Limited

Versicherungskammer Bayern

Westfälische Provinzial Versicherung AG

DLA Piper

The dispute resolution and claims settlement practice at DLA Piper offers insurers and policyholders a broad range of services. Led by Ludger Giesberts, the team stands out due to individual specialisations. Particular emphasis is placed on D&O-disputes, including patent-related mandates. The group also advises insurers on claims in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic and the corresponding adaptions of existing products. Gunne Bähr, an acknowledged insurance regulatory expert, demonstrates particular strength in advising domestic and international insurers and reinsurers on compliance matters. Thomas Gädtke has expertise in contentious matters pertaining to D&O and product liability. Claims settlement in the area of third party liability insurance is a key area of expertise for Christian Schneider's practice, including technical insurance in the construction industry and property insurance. Of counsel Thomas Fausten joined the team in October 2019 from Ince; he strengthens the team with his expertise in reinsurance law.

Practice head(s):

Ludger Giesberts

Other key lawyers:

Gunne Bähr; Thomas Gädtke; Christian Schneider; Thomas Fausten; David Buntenbroich

Testimonials

"The subject of D&O insurance is a niche topic that only a few specialists cover."

'Thomas Gädtke writes thoroughly thorough statements with careful consideration of jurisprudence and literature.'

'Thomas Gädtke is very experienced, competent and has a large, high-performance team.'

'Thomas Gädtke is a very experienced litigator and highly competent in the field of insurance law / D&O liability.'

Key clients

Bayerische Landesbank

Evangelische Zusatzversorgungskasse (EZVK)

PartnerRe

VOV GmbH

Work highlights

  • Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS): Advising and representing the client as an intervener due to the failed handover of a large industrial plant in the USA and Canada.
  • Bavarian Landesbank: Advice and representation regarding lawsuits against former members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board due to breaches of duty in relation to the failed acquisition of the Hypo Alpe Adria Group.
  • Evangelical Supplementary Pension Fund (EZVK): Representation towards various parties involved before the LG Darmstadt, advice on (regulatory) legal requirements for the collection of restructuring money and representation towards a reclaiming member.

Noerr

Noerr gave its financial services regulation and litigation department a new direction in April 2020 by forming the practice group liability and insurance. The team is especially focused on D&O insurance, pecuniary damage liability insurance and product liability, and recently expanded its service offering from representation on insurer side to also acting for policyholders. Oliver Sieg is well versed in litigation and arbitration proceedings. With a focus on advising companies, Thomas Heitzer's expertise includes liability and coverage proceedings as well as cyber insurance. The partner trio is completed by Helmut Katschthaler, who regularly assists in complex damage claims as well as arbitration proceedings and product liability matters.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner

Directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) and manager liability is a key focus of the insurance team at Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner, which also advises at the intersection to corporate law. The team handles construction, fire and industrial damage-related matters and advises on replacement action and recalls in several sectors. Tobias Lenz and Carsten Laschet head the practice, which is also experienced in product liability. Additionally, Lenz has expertise in corporate and trade law as well as litigation proceedings; Laschet is well-versed in contract law. 

Practice head(s):

Tobias Lenz; Carsten Laschet

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek offers comprehensive advice to insurers as well as policyholders on insurance and reinsurance law, including litigation and arbitration proceedings. A strong focus is placed on liability law and particularly professional liability, and directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) has recently become a prominent topic. Rüdiger Schnug, Michael Lauterbach, Stefan Jöster, Herbert Palmberger and Jürgen Wolters are all partners, with the recent addition of René Krohn (née Schnichels) in July 2020. The latter is especially well versed in D&O liability matters.

Testimonials

‘An extremely reliable and competent law firm with many specialists. Fast reaction.’

‘Herbert Palmberger is a profound expert and specialist in insurance law with unique expertise even in difficult legal issues.’

Wilhelm Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB

Wilhelm Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB stands out among competitors due to its predominant focus on policyholders. The team advises medium-sized companies and corporations primarily on industrial insurance, covering insurance as well as damage claims in connection with business interruptions, product defects and compliance matters. Name partner and practice head Mark Wilhelm regularly handles property and major loss liability issues, whereas directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) and fidelity damage scenarios are a core focus of Fabian Herdter. The group is also active in litigation proceedings, here Lars Winkler and Tobias Wessel are noteworthy.

Practice head(s):

Mark Wilhelm

Testimonials

‘High level of technical expertise in insurance law.’

‘Lars Winkler and Fabian Herdter have proven expertise in insurance law, especially from the perspective of public companies. Both have high social skills and are very service-oriented.’

‘Noticeably very good mood in the entire team; good teamwork. The strength of the team lies particularly in the focus on the interests of the policy-taking economy, which is still quite rare, at least in this form.’

‘Mark Wilhelm, Lars Winkler, Fabian Herdter: Extremely quick comprehension and ability to understand and assess complex issues; fair first assessment (including chances of success) and then also fair and accurate cost estimate.’

‘Mark Wilhelm has the ability to present complex issues to third parties such as politics in an understandable way.’

Work highlights

  • Hundreds of restaurants and hotels: Advice and representation vis-à-vis more than 40 insurers in the dispute over the coverage of damage caused by business closures in the coronavirus crisis.

bock legal Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten

In the insurance sector, bock legal Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten focuses on dispute resolution pertaining to directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) and errors and omissions (E&O) liability. Stefan Bank and Dirk Schmitz jointly head the practice. Bank regularly represents professional liability insurances in D&O, accountant, insolvency administrator and tax consultant liability matters, whereas Schmitz is also active in right of recourse.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Bank; Dirk Schmitz

Testimonials

‘The entire team is very competent and even if the actual contact person is not available, a colleague will always take over quickly and easily. Every time you get in touch, you have the feeling that the other person has worked in and is ready to get the best out of it, even if it’s not your own case.’

‘Stefan Bank is friendly, helpful and also very competent. Always a safe bank, both with tricky problems in substantive law and with procedural peculiarities.’

‘First address in Frankfurt for liability and coverage issues in the financial lines sector.’

‘Always a pleasant collaboration with Stefan Bank; analytically, strategically very good; good in liability law as well as in coverage law issues; especially well versed in tax law issues; always accessible and available at short notice.’

‘Dirk Schmitz is an accomplished specialist with outstanding expertise.’

‘Excellent knowledge and experience in the field of financial loss liability insurance for auditors, tax consultants and lawyers.’

‘Dirk Schmitz has excellent expertise in the field of professional liability insurance for the liberal professions. Eloquent in word and writing. Excellent negotiating skills. Pleasant and friendly appearance.’

‘Dirk Schmitz – high level of expertise – pleasant and direct communication.’

‘Stefan Bank offers very good professional advisory services, very fast response times, high customer service.’

Key clients

Allianz Versicherungs-AG

VOV GmbH

Dual Deutschland GmbH

Geschäftsführer P+S Werften

Gothaer Versicherung

VSW Versicherergemeinschaft für Steuerberater und Wirtschaftsprüfer

HDI

Ergo

Hiscox AG

ACE European Goup

Newline

Work highlights

  • Managing Director of P + S Werften: Representation due to miscalculation of shipbuilding projects.
  • Tax advisor in cum-ex transactions: Representation because of allegedly incorrect reports, e.g. against Caceis Bank.
  • alliance: Monitoring counsel for claims against the personally liable partners of the Sal. Oppenheim bank.

CMS

Definiton of insurance products, directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) advice as well as settlement of claims are among the key focus areas at CMS. Recently, there was an increased demand for advice on works closure insurance and event cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Practice head Winfried Schnepp also represents in litigation proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Winfried Schnepp

Dr. Eick & Partner Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB

Dr. Eick & Partner Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB has a fine reputation in the market for automotive as well as property and third-party liability insurance. The team works across seven offices of the firm. Often recommended are Michael Burmann in Erfurt and Rainer Heß in Bochum.

Other key lawyers:

Michael Burmann; Rainer Heß

Taylor Wessing

Technical loss and property damage insurance, including coverage and recourse proceedings, are the two cornerstones of the insurance group at Taylor Wessing. The team, headed by Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn, also represents insurers in directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) claims and cyber attacks. The group has a leading role at the intersection with IT law, which is frequently in demand by adjacent practice groups for efficient processing. Industrial insurance matters and the ensuing litigation are a specialty of Claus Peter Knufinke. Franz Janssen, who is predominantly focused on the defense against property and breakdown losses, also acts on behalf of policyholders and is especially established in the hotel sector. Senior associate Torben Klukkert is a point of contact for contentious liability and coverage issues.

Practice head(s):

Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn

Testimonials

‘The team around Franz Janssen combines a high level of expertise in insurance law with those in technical terms, especially in construction law. This combination is particularly necessary in the case of major liability claims with a technical reference. There is a high degree of solution orientation and a strong problem awareness. The process management is not prioritised, but an appropriate solution.’

‘Franz Janssen is characterised by a mediating way of working. He tries to understand the other person’s point of view and to find a solution that is acceptable to all. This with a very high level of expertise.’

Key clients

AXA Versicherung AG

CHUBB

ERGO

Provinzial Rheinland

Crédit Agricole Assurances (CACI)

Kommunaler Schadenausgleich (KSA) der Länder Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt und Thüringen

25hours Hotel Company

Schloss Elmau & Orania.Berlin

Neumüller/Schanz

Work highlights

  • AXA Insurance AG: Assisted in two legal disputes.
  • Provincial Rhineland Insurance: Ongoing and comprehensive representation and advice in liability proceedings with property, personal and financial losses.
  • CHUBB: Legal advice on all property, liability and accident disputes.

Thümmel, Schütze & Partner

Thümmel, Schütze & Partner represents companies, managers and freelancers of all insurance sectors in liability, fidelity loss and property insurance matters. A particular focus is on directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O), here the team takes on judicial and extrajudicial work as monitoring, coverage and defense counsel for executive boards, managers and supervisory boards. Roderich Thümmel offers comprehensive advice and is the key figure for the insurance practice.

Other key lawyers:

Roderich Thümmel

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is oriented towards the high-end insurance market and international mandates. Recently, the team noted an increase of cyber risk and works closure matters due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The practice group is led by Christian Wirth, who has know-how on industrial and liability insurance and frequently handles major loss claims in sectors such as power plant construction. Local partner Sara Vanetta represents insurers as well as policyholders in directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) matters.

Practice head(s):

Christian Wirth

Other key lawyers:

Sara Vanetta

Key clients

Allianz SE (Re)

Allen & Overy LLP

In addition to its well-known insurance practice, Allen & Overy LLP  has a dedicated team for insurance litigation which is well versed in professional liability and directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) in particular. The group is headed by Marc Zimmerling, who has expertise in mandates pertaining to manager and professional liability. Also experienced in the latter are senior associates Charlotte Willemer and Angélique Pfeiffelmann.

Practice head(s):

Marc Zimmerling

Arqis Rechtsanwälte

At Arqis Rechtsanwälte, the key focus areas are M&A specialist insurance and warranty and indemnity insurance (W&I). The group advises both insurers and managers on directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) proceedings and also increasingly on W&I claims. Practice head Mirjam Boche has expertise in the team's focus areas. Dimitrios Christopoulos often handles liability disputes; he has experience in technical products due to his background in architecture and engineering.

Practice head(s):

Mirjam Boche

Other key lawyers:

Dimitrios Christopoulos

Testimonials

‘Very competent and quick to the point. Very capable of preparing and explaining complex topics in a customer-friendly manner.’

‘Mirjam Boche is very competent and quick. A solution-oriented answer to every question very quickly.’

‘Arqis is characterised by a high level of professional competence and flexibility in terms of time. The teams are put together tailor-made according to the circumstances so that the customer can access the entire technical expertise.’

‘Mirjam Boche is characterised by her outstanding professional competence in many specialist areas and is also quick with ad hoc inquiries.’

‘For us, Arqis is the preferred partner when it comes to M&A insurance (Warranty and Indemnity). We particularly appreciate the experience and flexibility/availability of the law firm. But the greatest strength lies in the fact that the specialised lawyers can constantly familiarise themselves with new, highly complex topics in a very short time, and are therefore of great help to our insurance group in assessing risks.’

‘Mirjam Boche offers a unique package of experiences. She has accompanied countless M&A transactions on the buyer and seller side, advised the W&I insurer on underwriting on many deals and was also available for difficult claims questions. Ms Boche not only has the necessary experience, but also an immense interest in constantly developing herself further and supporting product development (W&I insurance). We cannot imagine a better partner at our side in difficult transaction negotiations.’

‘In summary, Arqis has outstanding technical expertise, years of experience and, at the same time, an extremely good overview of what is happening on the market.’

Key clients

Aon Gruppe

SchneiderGolling

Zurich Insurance plc.

Acquinex Ltd. und Acquinex GmbH

CLS Risk Solutions

DUAL Specialty M&A GmbH

Tokio Marine HCC

RiskPoint A/S

Amaniki GmbH, The Underwriting Agency

Funk Versicherungsmakler GmbH

Piraeus Bank SA

Sompo International

Willis Towers Watson

VALE Insurance Partners

Work highlights

  • SchneiderGolling Group and Coparion: Support of the second financing round of Neodigital Versicherung AG, a digital property and casualty insurer, on the part of the old investors.
  • Zurich Insurance plc: Ongoing advice on handling industrial claims in connection with D&O and EPLI insurance.
  • RiskPoint A/S: Advising the client as underwriting counsel on taking out W&I insurance.

Eversheds Sutherland

As part of its dispute resolution group, Eversheds Sutherland offers assistance with contentious insurance matters as well as product liability. The team also handles mass and major loss claims. Counsel Christian Becker excels especially in matters pertaining to industrial insurance and liability. Clients are predominantly from the automotive, electronics, medicine and medicinal products sectors, but also from the large plant operating sector. Ralf-Thomas Wittmann's expertise is in large-scale construction losses as well as product liability and recalls. Practice head Fabian Volz specialises in international insurance schemes, liability and directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O).

Practice head(s):

Fabian Volz

Key clients

Allianz IARD

Munich Re

Johnson Controls

Work highlights

  • Allianz IARD SA: Representing the client as insurer of the French breast implant manufacturer PIP in damage compensation proceedings for implant recipients, including a submission before the European Court of Justice.
  • Manufacturer of wind turbines: Representation for damage to an offshore wind farm.
  • Plant builder: Extrajudicial and judicial representation against the insurer due to claims from the assembly insurance.

GvW Graf von Westphalen

Since 2019, GvW Graf von Westphalen has a dedicated insurance group particularly successful in directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O). Wolfram Desch, who jointly heads the department with Raimond Emde, impresses especially in D&O matters with reference to insolvency and restructuring. Emde focuses on representing insurance brokers and insurance company representatives. Johan van der Veer is experienced in insurance broker law as well as regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Raimond Emde; Wolfram Desch

Other key lawyers:

Johan van der Veer

Key clients

Mills & Reeve LLP

Work highlights

  • Mills & Reeve LLP: Regular cooperation to advise foreign insurers on insurance law and insurance supervisory issues regarding their business activities in Germany.

Loschelder

Loschelder's team advises both insurances and policyholders and also provides assistance at the intersection with corporate, construction, employment and public law. Recently, emphasis was placed on damage claims pertaining to construction and directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O). Wilfried Rüffer heads the team and has expertise in third-party liability, D&O and property insurance. Counsel Sandra Orlikowski-Wolf is another key point of contact and has longstanding experience in litigation.

Practice head(s):

Wilfried Rüffer

Other key lawyers:

Sandra Orlikowski-Wolf

Mayer Brown LLP

Since realigning its dispute practice in 2019, Mayer Brown LLP increasingly handles domestic and international contentious insurance matters. Key figure Jan Kraayvanger predominantly focuses on claim settlements in connection with warranty and indemnity insurance (W&I), directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O) and professional liability. In addition to its close cooperation with the firm's insurance practice in London, the team is increasingly gaining ground nationally. Practice head Ulrich Helm, who joined the group in August 2019 from Hogan Lovells International LLP, has expertise in construction and engineering and specialises in contentious issues with regard to large-scale plant engineering.

Practice head(s):

Ulrich Helm

Other key lawyers:

Jan Kraayvanger

Key clients

Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers AG

Work highlights

  • Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers AG: Advice on insurance solutions for the client on the acquisition of Bankhaus Lampe from the Oetker Group.

PATZINA LOTZ Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB

PATZINA LOTZ Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB has a particularly good reputation for the representation of freelancers in liability proceedings. In contentious situations, name partner Thorsten Lotz provides in-depth assistance, from creating reports beforehand up to court proceedings. Practice co-head Reinhard Patzina's key area of expertise is professional liability, and he specialises in tax consultant, lawyer, accountant as well as notary liability. Recently, the duo was active in matters pertaining to delayed filing for insolvency and advised different occupational groups on Covid-19-related issues. René Matz regularly handles tax consultant liability matters and represents managers and executive boards in directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O).

Testimonials

‘Very individual approach and due rest in the context of dispute resolution.’

‘Excellent processing of claims for financial loss liability for chamber professions; detailed discussion with policyholders; technically extremely competent processing.’

‘René Matz has outstanding analytical skills and expertise.’

‘Very high professional competence. Very pleasant personal contact.’

Key clients

HDI Versicherung

ERGO Group

Versicherungsstelle Wiesbaden

Allianz insurance

Zurich Insurance Group

Work highlights

  • A partner company: Advice and representation in SE lawsuits due to incorrect advice.
  • WP company: Representation in a liability dispute due to incorrect advice.
  • Tax consultant: Representation in SE lawsuits in the context of a serial loss.