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Insurance litigation in Germany

BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR

BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR's market-leading position in insurance dispute resolution stems from its highly specialised team which adeptly covers every niche in the field and can seamlessly assist with personal, health, property and liability insurance proceedings. The Covid-19 pandemic also brought business closure, event cancellation and travel insurance issues to the fore. The practice is jointly headed by Joachim Grote, Björn Seitz, Martin Alexander and Bastian Finkel; former practice co-head Rainer Büsken retired from the practice lead for age reasons in the summer of 2021, but remains an active team member. Seitz and Finkel advise on matters related to financial and special lines, while Alexander, as well as Carsten Hösker, is well versed in product liability. Grote specializes in personal insurance, while D&O, financial loss liability and cyber insurance issues form part of Franz König's advice offering. Dirk-Carsten Günther, who heads the property and transport insurance division, assisted with a large proportion of 2021 business closures. In January 2022, the team promoted five lawyers to the partnership.

Testimonials

‘BLD has extremely competent, very experienced and also pragmatic teams for each insurance segment, which I think are very well attuned. Working together is uncomplicated and always pleasant.’

‘BLD has unparalleled expertise, particularly in D&O/FI insurance. They know what insurers want and need. They are also extremely accommodating.’

‘Bastian Finkel and Björn Seitz are leaders in their field.’

‘BLD is the clear market leader for insurance work in Germany – in terms of quality, competence and depth. They are simply the right contacts for international insurance disputes.’

‘Bastian Finkel and Björn Seitz are market-leading D&O lawyers who can process large cover losses in Germany and are both in great demand by insurers for large mandates. Franz König is an excellent cyber and financial lines lawyer and a real star of the future. Carsten Hösker combines a sharp intellect with excellent communication skills. Martin Alexander is a technically excellent liability attorney who excels in multi-jurisdictional disputes.’

Work highlights

  • Advising an international contract consortium in the area of D&O on the insolvency of an international bank.
  • Advising various industrial insurers on D&O cases arising from the Wirecard insolvency.
  • Advising various insurers on the pre-court and judicial defense against claims for cover from the hotel and catering industry within the scope of the Covid-19-related claim for business closure insurance.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP's insurance and reinsurance practice handles complex national and international claims from its offices in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Munich. The team extensively advises insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries and insured individuals on all contentious aspects of insurance law, including D&O, W&I, PI and FI cases. The group also has in-depth experience in product liability and cyber insurance disputes, which practice head Henning Schaloske specialises in; he also assists with matters pertaining to professional lines. Sven Förster, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright in February 2021, is particularly well versed in W&I claims, while Tanja Schramm has considerable expertise in monitoring E&O mass claims. Counsel Eva-Maria Goergen is a key contact for construction and assembly-related insurance and specialty lines, in particular with regards to art works and valuables as well as political risk. In addition, Daniel Kassing assists clients with product liability as well as property and legal protection insurance.

Practice head(s):

Henning Schaloske

Testimonials

‘Extensive expertise and experience in processing claims in the areas of product liability and financial lines (D&O etc.). Clyde & Co. is growing continuously and has added the Munich and Hamburg locations in addition to Düsseldorf.’

‘Strong multidisciplinary knowledge and comfortable navigating the market.’

‘Great determination to penetrate difficult issues and guide the market through complex situations.’

‘Dr. Henning Schaloske not only provides his clients with excellent professional advice, but also in a pragmatic and solution-oriented manner.’

‘State of the art; Comprehensive knowledge and pragmatic approaches, especially in connection with insurance claims at sea (Hamburg) and D&O/Cyber/PI (Düsseldorf).’

‘Henning Schaloske is one of the best German D&O lawyers.’

Key clients

AIG

Allianz SE

AXA XL

Chubb

CNA Insurance Company Ltd.

Compre

Delvag

Domestic & General

Swiss Re

Westfälische Provinzial Versicherung AG

Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG

DLA Piper

In the insurance litigation sphere, DLA Piper impresses with a special focus on D&O insurance; here, the group advises and represents board members and managing directors of national and international companies in claim proceedings. Led by Ludger Giesberts, the team is also instructed by insurers and has expertise in product liability, financial lines, Covid-19 issues and at the interface to insolvency law. Thomas Gädtke has special expertise in D&O and product liability and, as a proven arbitration specialist, acts before ordinary courts and arbitral tribunals. In addition to compliance and management cases, Gunne Bähr‘s increasingly represents clients before the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. Christian Schneider is also experienced in technical, construction and property insurance as well as in the settlement of liability claims. Insolvency disputes, particularly on behalf of insurers and banks, are covered by counsel David Buntenbroich.

Practice head(s):

Ludger Giesberts

Testimonials

‘The team around partner Thomas Gädtke has a great deal of experience and a high level of expertise in the area of questions relating to D&O insurance and directors’ liability. When it comes to taking action against a former manager and the relevant D&O insurance (in court or out of court), Mr. Gädtke is an excellent address with an excellent reputation in the industry. In such cases, well-established contacts with the lawyers of the D&O insurance companies are of great importance.’

‘Partner Thomas Gädtke has excellent and relevant legal knowledge and many years of top-class experience in court proceedings and negotiations with D&O insurance companies. Combined with his very pleasant personal manner and the pronounced economic approach, he is highly recommended.’

‘The team led by Dr. Christian Schneider is a reliable partner, very in-depth knowledge, also in liability law, easily accessible. Trustful cooperation. ‘

‘Dr. Christian Schneider: Excellent cooperation, one of the top 5 in the D&O area, brilliant know-how; thinks outside the box; creative, but for the benefit of all parties.’

‘Very customer friendly approach, steady and professional when needed. Lawyers have a good understanding of their clients’ business and insurance issues.’

‘Good communication skills, always available. Very pragmatic and well structured approach.’

Key clients

Evangelische Zusatzversorgungskasse (EZVK)

Kölner Pensionskasse VVaG / Pensionskasse der Caritas VVaG

Bayerische Landesbank

Partner Re

VOV GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising a leading global provider of industrial insurance as business liability insurer of a testing company and its domestic and foreign subsidiaries in connection with an accident in South America.
  • Representation of insurance companies of a DAX group in all insurance law and insurance supervisory law issues.
  • Advice on supervisory law to a Cologne pension fund and the Caritas pension fund vis-à-vis the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) on the design and implementation of the restructuring concept and the associated formal transition to liquidation status.

Noerr

Noerr's insurance dispute resolution practice includes expertise in D&O, financial loss liability insurance and product liability. The team recently made an effort to expand its advice offered to policyholders as well as on cyber insurance. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the group also handled an increasing number of contentious matters pertaining to company closures and event cancellation insurance. Oliver Sieg and Thomas Heitzer jointly head the group, with the latter advising on liability and coverage litigation as well as D&O, E&O and PI disputes. Sieg is acting before first instance and appeal courts as well as arbitration tribunals. Helmut Katschthaler oversees product liability insurance matters including reinsurance-related arbitration proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Sieg; Thomas Heitzer

Testimonials

‘Noerr has excellent internal connections in Germany and is able, if necessary, to set up a project team to work on the topic in question. Cover law issues are also thoroughly examined on the UN side and the underlying strategies are worked out promptly with the client.’

‘RA Dr. Oliver Sieg: A fearless and experienced insurance lawyer with great tactical skills, both in terms of negotiating and formulating strategies. At the negotiating table he is without exception sovereign and knows how to win over the other side.’

‘Herr Helmut Katschthaler: We see his strengths in thinking through alternative courses of action and the respective impact assessment. Mr. Katschthaler is characterized by enormous willingness to perform and client orientation. Mr. Katschthaler is also absolutely reliable and goal-oriented in every respect when preparing and conducting rounds of talks with the “opposite side”.’

Wilhelm Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB

Wilhelm Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB exclusively advises policyholders in the industrial insurance sphere. The team assists corporations and medium-sized companies across all sectors with damages and insurance claims in the event of major losses. As a result of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the practice primarily handles disputes pertaining to the coverage of damages caused by business closures as well as of production downtime, and D&O proceedings. Practice head Mark Wilhelm assists decision-makers in large corporations with property and liability issues. Andreas Shell and Lars Winkler are well versed in litigation, while Fabian Herdter mainly advises on financial lines and D&O. Tobias Wessel predominantly handles property insurance cases.

Practice head(s):

Mark Wilhelm

Testimonials

‘In my view, the focus on representing the injured party and not the D&O insurance is unique. The law firm acts with two very experienced lawyers and has a very good eye for what is feasible. I really liked the collaboration; in particular, it led to a result that exceeded expectations.’

‘The specialization in certain subject areas (liability, insurance, etc.) leads to a high quality of the service provided. Works are always fully usable for practice. Due to the clear positioning on the side of the policyholder, it is always clear whose side the law firm is on. This helps!’

‘For Dr. Herdter, Lars Winkler and Dr. The same applies to Wilhelm: Extremely good and quick comprehension; solution-oriented suggestions and clear statements so that you know where you stand; on-time delivery; Know-how at the highest level, so you simply feel “in good hands”; Ability to adapt to extensions/changes at short notice. Extensive expertise in insurance law.’

‘High level of expertise in insurance law, extensive practical experience in advising and representing policyholders.’

‘There are very few law firms that focus entirely on the interests of policyholders. Wilhelm is one of these few and in my opinion the first. The overall expertise that is held available here is enormous. There are now numerous supreme court rulings that have been significantly influenced by this law firm. Wilhelm also has excellent expertise in the increasingly important D&O segment with Dr. Herdter and his team.’

‘Lard Winkler: High professional competence and extensive practical experience in social security law and in forensics. dr Fabian Herdter: High level of expertise and extensive practical experience in insurance law.’

‘Everyone we come into contact with delivers high quality. Requests and suggestions from the client are adequately taken into account.’

‘Dr. Fabian Herdter: Extensive expertise on the subject of insurance law. This affects both the individual lines of business and organizational, regulatory issues related to insurance. Customer priorities are taken into account. Fast and competent handling of the cases.’

Work highlights

  • Advice and representation of more than 1200 gastronomic and hotel businesses to more than 40 insurers in the dispute over the coverage of sales closure damage in the Covid 19 crisis.
  • Advising a refinery company and its shareholders in negotiations with their insurer on the scope of insurance coverage after a large explosion.
  • Advising an international pharmaceutical company on questions of product liability protection after liability cases in the USA.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner fields an integrated dispute resolution practice, which combines the firm's corporate and insurance law competencies to create a strong litigation practice. Under the leadership of Tobias Lenz and Carsten Laschet, the team provides particular expertise in manager liability and D&O matters. With regards to product liability and in addition to Europe, the team can also assist with matters in the US, Singapore, Australia and South Korea.The group further handles property damages and product recalls across various industries. Laschet is also experienced in contract law and Lenz at the interfaces to corporate and commercial law.

Practice head(s):

Tobias Lenz; Carsten Laschet

Testimonials

‘The team is very competent and helpful.’

‘Pragmatic approach. Great practical experience.’

‘Carsten Laschet: Charismatic networker.’

‘Deep understanding of the insurance industry and all associated legal issues, precise in argumentation, convincing in negotiations, very well networked, clear in communication with the client.’

‘Prof. dr Tobias Lenz: Very careful analysis of the facts and thorough understanding of the legal problems. Strong negotiating skills and creative in developing win-win situations in settlements prior to the dispute.’

‘Mr Lenz has been of great help to us and I can definitely say that he is the best lawyer I have ever met. He was very competent. ‘

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek supports insurers and policyholders in litigation and arbitration proceedings with comprehensive advice. Practice heads Rüdiger Schnug and Michael Lauterbach have particular expertise in professional liability insurance. Herbert Palmberger is an expert in cyber insurance, as well as in D&O and W&I, which are also covered by René Krohn, while senior associate Julia Degen impresses with in-depth knowledge of business interruption insurance.

bock legal Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten

bock legal partnership of lawyers' insurance tam specialises in contentious D&O and E&O liability matters as well as in lawyer, tax consultant, auditor and insolvency administrator liability. In addition to classic professional liability issues, Dirk Schmitz also covers tax-related matters and jointly heads the practice with Stefan Bank, whose expertise is particularly sought after for the representation of numerous professional liability insurers. Daniel Al-Hami made equity partner in January 2021 and impresses with broad experience in enforcing and defending against claims.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Bank; Dirk Schmitz

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Al-Hami; Silke Rohnfelder

Testimonials

‘The law firm has a large number of competent lawyers. For example, as soon as someone is no longer working in their area of expertise, they can bring in a colleague at any time, so that the cases are always perfectly looked after! ‘

‘Dr. Schmitz: Always good advice, even in unusual cases. Fast and comprehensive assessment, which makes further steps easy to assess. Very fair and quick to deal with. dr Rohnfelder: Also works intensively on complex issues, constructive and interesting exchange. Fast, flexible, friendly and competent. Mr. Bank: Always easy to reach, fast and reliable, competent solutions. Mr. Al-Hami looks after some property manager cases with a good overview.’

‘Excellent expertise in the areas of property damage liability insurance for auditors, tax consultants and lawyers.’

‘Dr. Dirk Schmitz: Excellent expertise in professional liability law for the liberal professions, eloquence in speaking and writing, excellent negotiating skills.’

‘Nice and professional team in the best sense of the word, excellent in legal and tax advice. Very fast and uncomplicated reaction, pragmatic.’

‘Dr. Schmitz is technically highly competent. The cooperation is very pleasant both personally and professionally and leads to very good results. Mr. Al-Hami supplements in particular in the area of notary liability and also delivers very good results.’

‘Very high professional competence.’

‘Mr Bank: Very pleasant personal contact’

‘The team works very carefully and has a high level of competence in the area of manager liability. ‘

‘Stefan Bank has excellent expertise and handles the assigned mandates very conscientiously.’

Key clients

Allianz Versicherungs-AG

VOV GmbH

Dual Deutschland GmbH

Gothaer Versicherung

VSW Versicherergemeinschaft für Steuerberater und Wirtschaftsprüfer

HDI

Ergo

Hiscox

ACE European Group

Newline

Chubb

Von Knoop (vormals Finanzvorstand Wirecard AG)

Liberty Mutual

Work highlights

  • Legal representation of the former CFO of Wirecard AG and Wirecard AG Bank against a large number of investors.
  • Representing the alleged initiators of the Cum-Ex models because of allegedly incorrect expert opinions.
  • Advising Allianz-Versicherungs-AG as Monitoring Counsel on claims from former DFB presidents, among others, in connection with unresolved payments in connection with the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

CMS

CMS assists clients with the settlement of insurance disputes related to D&O, financial damage liability insurance and niche areas such as damage in art insurance. Most recently, the group primarily focused on Covid-19-related matters, such as business interruption insurance and reinsurance. The practice is headed by insurance specialist Winfried Schnepp.

Practice head(s):

Winfried Schnepp

GvW Graf von Westphalen

In the insurance litigation sphere, GvW Graf von Westphalen impresses with a strong D&O team, which is instructed by insurers and policyholders to act as defence, coverage and monitoring counsel. The team is led by Raimond Emde and Wolfram Desch and particularly well versed in professional liability at the interface to insurance and insolvency law, which includes, among other matters, the liability of insolvency administrators and auditors. The practice also assists with claim settlement. Desch and Uli Hochdorfer are primarily active in D&O and D&O liability cases, while Johan van der Veer advises on insurance brokerage and insurance supervisory law.

Practice head(s):

Raimond Emde; Wolfram Desch

Testimonials

Dr Wolfram Desch is very experienced in handling D&O cases relating to allegations of delay in bankruptcy against insured persons.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing recently experienced an increase in instructions related to major damages which includes coverage and recourse proceedings, and this in particular with regard to property, fire and construction work damages as well as damage from technical insurance.  Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn's team also assists with cyber damage and D&O cases. Franz Janssen specialises in defending against and enforcing property damages and default damages claims, valuables transport and related recourse, while Claus Peter Knufinke assists with industrial and technical insurance cases. Senior associate Yannick Eckervogt primarily advises on D&O issues.

Practice head(s):

Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn

Testimonials

‘Experienced team in international (re)insurance.’

Taylor Wessing advises on complex mandates with a sufficiently strong team, which ensures that the facts are dealt with promptly and in detail. The composition of the team also ensures that the client can be reached at any time.

‘Collaboration with Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn; extremely approachable; good project coordination; responds to the client’s wishes; very stress-resistant and always a pleasure to work with, even under high pressure.’

Mrs. Dr. Kammerer-Galahn has a high level of experience and knowledge in the area of re/insurance, which she knows how to use profitably in the context of contentious situations. She works in great detail and knows how to show the economic implications. In personal dealings, she is very pleasant and client-oriented. She leads her team well and is “on top of the situation” at all times.’

‘Mr. dr Eckervogt: He has a solid level of knowledge in the field of process management and knows how to work out the process-relevant points. He familiarizes himself quickly and well with new subject areas.

Key clients

25hours Hotel Company GmbH

AXA Versicherung AG

CHUBB European Group SE, Direktion für Deutschland

ERGO Lebensversicherung AG / ERGO Beratung und Vertrieb AG / ERGO Versicherungsgruppe AG

Provinzial Rheinland Versicherungs AG

Proxalto Lebensversicherung AG

R+V Re

Work highlights

  • Legal representation of CHUBB European Grup SE in all property, liability and accident law disputes.
  • Representing and advising the provincial Rheinland Versicherungs AG in liability proceedings with property damage, personal injury and financial loss.
  • Legal representation of ERGO in all legal disputes with former insurance agents.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP's insurance litigation practice primarily focuses on high-end business, with cyber risk matters and its close cooperation with the firm's M&A practice becoming increasingly important. Practice head Christian Wirth particularly advises on major claims, captive solutions, reinsurance and alternative risk transfer. Damages claims related to W&I and business closure insurance (which became a more vital topic in light of the Covid-19 crisis) also form part of the team's advice portfolio. Sara Vanetta, who is experienced in D&O and life insurance funds, made international partner in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Christian Wirth

Other key lawyers:

Sara Vanetta; Sebastian Pitz

Testimonials

Good networking with other practice areas of the law firm. Fast and flexible reaction. Great level of experience.

Christian Wirth: Experienced strategist. Very thoughtful advisor.

Key clients

Allianz SE (Re)

Work highlights

  • Advising Allianz SE (Re) on the enforcement and settlement of the Covid-19 insurance claims reinsured by it from more than 50 retrocessionaires worldwide.

Arqis Rechtsanwälte

Arqis Rechtsanwälte's insurance practice, which focuses on M&A special insurance companies and W&I insurance, recently broadened its advice offering to also include assistance with related claims. As part of the practice's realignment, insurance-related matters are handled by the risk focus group, which also includes professional liability, D&O and property damage issues. Mirjam Boche heads this focus group and specialises in W&I insurance. Dimitrios Christopoulos regularly acts in technical products-related liability disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mirjam Boche

Other key lawyers:

Dimitrious Christopoulos

Work highlights

  • Advising Zurich Insurance plc. in the processing of industrial claims in connection with D&O and EPLI insurance.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland's insurance team represents policyholders, intermediaries and financial services providers in contentious matters as well as companies in product liability cases and liability claims. Practice head Fabian Volz specialises in insurance claims, while Ralf-Thomas Wittmann impresses with expertise in classic insurance litigation. Associate Nicola Wessely is particularly active in product liability insurance and D&O. Christian Becker is adept at industrial insurance, especially in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Fabian Volz

Key clients

Allianz IARD

Eickhoff Antriebstechnik

GE Renewables Energy

Johnson Controls

Senvion

Work highlights

  • Advising Johnson Controls on the defense against a recourse claim.
  • Advising a US industrial company on securing insurance coverage for a product recall in the automotive sector.
  • Advising an industrial company on securing insurance coverage after a product damage event.

Loschelder

Loschelder specialises in D&O liability and advises both insurers and policyholders. Wilfried Rüffer's team also covers construction, financial loss liability and property insurance matters. As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, the group also increasingly focused on business closure insurance. Counsel Sandra Orlikowski-Wolf is primarily active in D&O and manager liability. The firm's cross-practice approach further enables the team to draw on expertise in corporate, labor and public law.

Practice head(s):

Wilfried Rüffer

Other key lawyers:

Sandra Orlikowski-Wolf

Mayer Brown LLP

Mayer Brown LLP's insurance dispute resolution practice focuses on D&O, W&O and professional liability matters. Project insurance disputes are covered by practice head Ulrich Helm's expertise in large-scale plant construction. Jan Kraayvanger also represents international insurers and financial institutions in contentious matters. With the arrivals of Christian Horstkotte and Johannes Weichbrodt from Baker McKenzie in January 2021, the advice offering expanded to include cartel damages claims.

Practice head(s):

Ulrich Helm

Other key lawyers:

Jan Kraayvanger

Testimonials

‘Profound experience in the financial services sector and the key players; broad global network; extensive experience in the field of liability and insurance law; high level of competence and expertise, but nevertheless an uncomplicated approach; efficient and short response times.’

‘Quick problem finding; very supportive; precise response to clients’ needs; friendly and agreeable cooperation.’

PATZINA LOTZ Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB

PATZINA LOTZ Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB specialises in litigation and fields a strong practice for professional liability matters, especially with regard to freelancers. Most recently, the group frequently represented liable individuals in proceedings pertaining to insolvency delays while simultaneously focusing on expanding its D&O practice. Thorsten Lotz and René Matz regularly act for tax consultants as well as in manager and board liability cases, although Lotz also focuses on the representation of and litigation against lawyers. Reinhard Patzina assists freelancers and insurers with liability and recourse cases.

Key clients

HDI Versicherung

ERGO Group

Versicherungsstelle Wiesbaden

Allianz Insurance

Zurich Insurance Group

Work highlights

  • Representation of a tax consultant and tax consultant office in an SE lawsuit due to alleged incorrect tax advice in the context of the conversion of a sole proprietorship.
  • Representation of former co-owners and general managers of a hospital group in an SE lawsuit for alleged delay in insolvency.
  • Representation of an interprofessional partnership in the area of legal recourse with substantive questions from corporate law and the liability of GmbH managing directors.