Insurance litigation in Germany

BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR

As the clear market leader in contentious insurance law, BACH LANGHEID DALLMAYR pays special attention to international mandates and consequently has made a name for itself beyond the border of Germany. With its broad bench strength, the team regularly advises insurance companies and financial services providers and represents clients from the manufacturing, trade and commerce sectors as well as company directors, freelancers and private individuals in their defence against liability. Joachim Grote acts in the life and health insurance sector, where he has recently been primarily involved in litigation pertaining to trustee issues. The property insurance team co-led by Dirk-Carsten Günther and Stefan Spielmann is increasingly taking on disputes arising from natural disasters and business interruptions resulting from the violation of fire regulations. Motor vehicle matters are usually handled by Heinz Otto Höher and Sibille Bucka. Major liability proceedings are another key area of expertise and are frequently led by Rainer Büsken. Other key individuals in this segment include Martin Alexander and Carsten Hösker, who specialise in product liability and recalls, while Björn Seitz and Bastian Finkel have a focus on D&O and investment advisor liability.

Practice head(s):

Rainer Büsken; Joachim Grote; Björn Seitz

Work highlights

  • Advised and represented a private health insurer in connection with a trustee issue.
  • Advised an international industrial insurer on numerous major accidents in connection with construction projects.
  • Defended an industrial company in an action for recovery with losses of €30m.

Clyde & Co LLP

The 'very strong litigators' at Clyde & Co LLP handle claims of all sizes and in all areas of the insurance and reinsurance business and have established themselves in the German market with the opening of the firm's first German office in 2016. At the beginning of 2019, the Ince maritime team led by Volker Lücke joined the firm and provides advice to the shipping industry on insurance law matters and transport law claims. Henning Schaloske heads the growing team, which acts as monitoring, coverage and defence counsel and plays a leading role in the financial lines segment. As a result, Schaloske has a particular focus on D&O, while also handling product liability and property insurance work. Special risks, fidelity insurance and international insurance matters, especially E&O mass claims, constitute Tanja Schramm's key area of expertise. Daniel Kassing, who made partner in May 2019, has extensive experience as monitoring and coverage counsel.

Practice head(s):

Henning Schaloske

Testimonials

‘Clyde is positioned at the very top of the market in the areas claims, product development and corporate insurance. Particularly in the areas D&O, PI, product liability and cyber the Düsseldorf team is top. Also noteworthy is Clyde’s international reach.’

‘A strong engaged team with excellent legal expertise.’

‘Daniel Kassing and Henning Schaloske provide advice in damage cases with clear direction for a proper procedure.’

‘Henning Schaloske knows every detail, is pragmatic and very responsive with an extremely high understanding of the insurance business.’

‘Henning Schaloske and Volker Lücke are lawyers who think clearly and offer practical solutions also in complicated cases.’

Key clients

CNA Insurance Company

DUAL Deutschland GmbH

Markel International Insurance

Swiss RE

Tokio Marine Kiln Group

Versicherungskammer Bayern

Westfälische Provinzial Versicherung AG

Work highlights

  • Monitoring Counsel for CNA Insurance Company Ltd in a D&O matter.

DLA Piper

The insurance law practice at DLA Piper has opted for a clear division of responsibilities: In Cologne, the firm primarily represents insurers, while the Munich office mainly acts for policyholders. Post-M&A disputes pertaining to W&I policies as well as patent law-related claims are as much part of the team's general workload as are matters pertaining to fake CEO cases, D&O liability and investment fraud. The team is led by Ludger Giesberts and includes arbitration specialist Thomas Gädtke, who has a fine reputation in D&O liability. Handling claims in the context of liability and property insurance is the responsibility of Christian Schneider, who also represents insurance companies in litigation. The highly acclaimed Gunne Bähr also represents insurance and reinsurance law clients in litigation and arbitration and handles disputes with the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

Practice head(s):

Ludger Giesberts

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Gädtke; Christian Schneider; Gunne Baehr

Testimonials

‘Thomas Gädtke has longstanding experience with D&O insurers and comprehensive contacts both with insurers and their law firms.’

Key clients

Bayerische Landesbank

Compre

DARAG

AVIVA

VOV D&O Versicherer

CMS

As a logical complement to CMS' broad-based insurance law practice, the team led by Winfried Schnepp also provides assistance with judicial and extrajudicial dispute resolution with particular strength in national and international litigation and arbitration. Handling major claims and administrative disputes is another key element of the practice. Senior associate Thomas Maur is particularly active in representing clients in coverage disputes.

Practice head(s):

Winfried Schnepp

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Maur

Key clients

Inlife Holding Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

SV SparkassenVersicherung Holding AG

Delvag Versiche-rungs-AG

JLT Re Ltd.

MSIG Insurance Europe AG

Stadt Köln

Marsh GmbH

Octium Life DAC

Erwin Himmelseher Assekuranz-Vermittlung GmbH & Co. KG

AXA Partners S.A.S. Zweigniederlassung Deutschland

Albatros Versicherungsdienste GmbH

Community Life GmbH

Metlife Europe Insurance Limited

Transatlantic Reinsurance Company

ELEMENT Insurance AG

Liberty Specialty Markets Europe S.a.r.l.

Atradius Krediversicherung

Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG

HCC International Insurance Company

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner

The insurance law practice at Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner excels in disputes pertaining to manager liability and D&O insurance. Tobias Lenz and Carsten Laschet jointly head the team, which works closely with the firm's corporate and insolvency law practices in order to provide a wide range of services. Laschet focuses on product liability and D&O liability insurance, while Lenz regularly handles major loss liability and worldwide recalls.

Practice head(s):

Tobias Lenz; Carsten Laschet

Other key lawyers:

Mike Weitzel

Testimonials

‘Thorough work with analytical depth and a strategic view. Very detailed briefs and meticulous work on recovery proceedings against manufacturers and work contractors.’

‘The team shows great insurance law know-how and maintains relationships with the insurance sector.’

‘The Cologne team surrounding Tobias Lenz is specialised on insurance law, there particularly in the area of product liability law and manager liability (D&O). Especially noteworthy are both the domestic and international disputes practices, particularly in large complex damage cases, and also the team’s technical understanding.’

‘Tobias Lenz is a proven expert, strong in negotiations and engaged.’

‘Tobias Lenz is an authority in his field, an outstanding strategist, extremely experienced and more or less available around the clock. Particularly noteworthy are his strong negotiation skills.’

‘Mike Weitzel dives deep into problems and is always well acquainted with the subject matter. He also has excellent industry and legal expertise and delivers pragmatic solutions.’

‘Carsten Laschet and his team have a pragmatic and solution-oriented approach.’

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's insurance law group assists insurers with a wide range of contentious matters. Thanks to its inclusion in the Insuralex network, the firm is increasingly taking on mandates with cross-border character. It has particular strength in D&O, E&O and fidelity insurance as well as professional and business liability insurance. Michael Lauterbach, Herbert Palmberger, Rüdiger Schnug and Stefan Jöster jointly head the broad-based team from their respective locations.

Work highlights

  • Defense against liability claims in and out of court for a tax consulting and auditing firm with professional indemnity insurance.
  • Defense against damage claims in and out of court for an auditing firm with professional indemnity insurance in connection with the insolvency of a large German energy association.
  • Enforcement of claims under the terms of a coinsurance community against another insurer participating in the consortium.

Noerr

Monitoring and representing companies in complex cross-border claims form the focus of Noerr's practice. Co-lead by Oliver Sieg and Thomas Heitzer, the team has particular experience in D&O, E&O and financial lines. Other work pertains to product liability, property insurance and reinsurance-related claims. Sieg is also well versed in arbitration proceedings and acts as arbitrator. Heitzer frequently deals with liability and coverage litigation.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Sieg; Thomas Heitzer

Testimonials

‘The team has great expertise in the areas of D&O insurance and liability law pertaining to the financial services sector.’

‘The team has very good know-how of international insurance and supervisory law. Well-connected to other countries, so that clients can access the firm’s entire knowledge. Strong customer orientation and exemplary availability, clients can get in touch at any time.’

‘Oliver Sieg is one of the leading specialists in the area of D&O insurance.’

‘Oliver Sieg distinguishes himself with his experience, practice orientation, pragmatism and negotiation skills.’

‘Oliver Sieg is one of the best lawyers I have worked with over the past 20 years.  His clients receive clear, sound advice, and they can count on the fact that Mr. Sieg takes a stand on legal issues and also supports this position. Additionally, he is always well-prepared and an excellent negotiator. ‘

‘Noerr LLP is very knowledgeable in German insurance law and also has provided us legal advice on insurance-related complaints and the drafting of legal documents and contracts. Their diligence and knowledge are outstanding. They are also very responsive to our requests.’

Wilhelm Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB

Wilhelm Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB predominately represents insurance companies and policyholders in enforcing claims for damages and insurance claims in major loss incidents. The team's main areas of expertise include liability, D&O insurance, business interruption and property insurance with niche expertise in power plant claims. Lars Winkler heads the practice and has a focus on liability litigation, while name partner Mark Wilhelm has a fine reputation in manager liability.

Practice head(s):

Lars Winkler

Other key lawyers:

Mark Wilhelm

Testimonials

‘The team has excellent legal and industry expertise, especially with regard to the regulatory framework.’

‘There are very competent team members for all areas of insurance. Particularly the firm’s expertise in D&O matters and related liability questions is impressive.’

‘The entire team is extraodinarily well coordinated and shows skill and commitment. Insurance policy holder matters are solidly represented.’

‘Lars Winkler and Florian Herdter are both excellently qualified, grasp matters extremely quickly and comprehensively and can communicate their respective assessment clearly, also for committees and legal laypersons.’

‘Lars Winkler and Florian Herdter have outstanding expertise in insurance law, especially in consideration of the particularities of public companies.’

‘Mark Wilhelm continuously impresses with his enormously quick grasp of matters and his pragmatic solutions, which not always have to end in contentious proceedings.’

Allen & Overy LLP

Working in close conjunction with its market-leading insurance law practice, Allen & Overy LLP also provides assistance with large-scale proceedings. Jan Schröder heads the overall insurance law practice, with Marc Zimmerling being the main contact for contentious work. Matters pertaining to D&O insurance are at the forefront of the practice, with the team primarily advising insurance companies on possible liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Jan Schröder

Other key lawyers:

Marc Zimmerling

bock legal Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten

bock legal Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten primarily handles D&O and E&O insurance work, most notably in the banking sector. Acting as monitoring counsel as well as handling serial damage claims, brought by tax advisors and auditors, among others, are other areas of key expertise. Professional liability insurance expert Stefan Bank and recourse specialist Dirk Schmitz jointly head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Bank; Dirk Schmitz

Testimonials

‘Dirk Schmitz is a friendly, pragmatic and highly competent lawyer. Questions are answered quickly, the communication is smooth, the client relationship in the best sense of the word discreet. With him matters are simply in good hands.’

Key clients

Allianz Versicherungs-AG

VOV GmbH

Dual Deutschland GmbH

Geschäftsführer P+S Werften

Gothaer Versicherung

VSW Versicherergemeinschaft für Steuerberater und Wirtschaftsprüfer

HDI-Gerling

ERGO

Hiscox AG

R + V Versicherungs AG

ACE European Group AG

Newline

Work highlights

  • Monitoring Counsel für Allianz bei der Inanspruchnahme von ehemaligen DFB-Präsidenten im Zusammenhang mit ungeklärten Zahlungen im Rahmen der FIFA-Fußball-WM 2006.
  • Vertretung von BDO AG WPG gegen den Insolvenzverwalter der Arcandor AG mit einem Streitwert von €14,5 Millionen.
  • Vertretung der ehemaligen Geschäftsführer der P+S Werften wegen Fehlkalkulation von Schiffsbauprojekten mit einem Gesamtschaden von €105 Millionen.
  • Vertretung einer Großkanzlei in einem Regressfall wegen eines gescheiterten Unternehmenskaufs.
  • Vertretung eines Vorstandsmitglieds von N.prior AG gegen den Insolvenzverwalter wegen Insolvenzverschleppung.

Dr. Eick & Partner Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB

Dr. Eick & Partner Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB provides insurance law assistance from seven German offices, representing public corporations, renowned municipal and private insurers, companies and freelancers. A particular strength lies in liability law. Michael Burmann and Rainer Heß are the main contacts for the offices in Erfurt and Bochum respectively.

Other key lawyers:

Michael Burmann; Rainer Heß

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing regularly handles coverage matters alongside recourse proceedings as part of major claims with a focus on property and fire damages as well as losses from technical insurance and cyber attacks. Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn heads the practice, which includes main contact for contentious work Franz Janssen. Due to his background in construction law, he regularly advises on the defence and enforcement of construction damages. Claus Peter Knufinke is recommended for industrial insurance matters.

Practice head(s):

Gunbritt Kammerer-Galahn

Other key lawyers:

Franz Janssen; Claus Peter Knufinke

Testimonials

‘Great expertise in insurance contract law and liability law, especially in the field of liability damages of the parties involved in a construction.’

‘Franz Janssen is very open and genuine and good at resolving conflicts. Even in a difficult conflict situation, he tries to find a consensus-based solution.’

Key clients

25hours Hotel Company

AXA Versicherung AG

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

Provinzial Rheinland Versicherung AG

Schloss Elmau GmbH & Co. KG

Work highlights

  • Represented AXA Versicherung against two reinsurance run-off platforms.
  • Ongoing and comprehensive representation of Provinzial Rheinland Versicherung in third party liability proceedings with property damage, personal injury, and financial loss.
  • Advised Schloss Elmau GmbH in and out of court in connection with major damages during the construction of a luxury hotel building.

White & Case LLP

In the contentious space, White & Case LLP covers the high-end market and, with Christian Wirth in the lead, puts significant emphasis on matters pertaining to cyber risks in insurance law. The practice primarily acts for manufacturing sector clients and has a particularly fine reputation for disputes in the power plant construction sector. Sara Vanetta is best known for her expertise in D&O disputes.

Practice head(s):

Christian Wirth

Other key lawyers:

Sara Vanetta

Testimonials

‘The team consists of different specialists for various areas of law, which facilitiates highly professional work on complex topics.’

‘Markus Burianski has a high degree of experience paired with an eye for the essentials, which he also uses to quickly explain the crucial legal points to non-lawyers.’

Graf von Westphalen

In recent years, Graf von Westphalen has managed to strengthen its insurance sector offering. As a complement to its traditional strength in insurance distribution law, the team jointly led by Raimond Emde and Wolfram Desch has also been increasingly involved in D&O and insolvency liability matters alongside insurance law dispute resolution. Johan van der Veer predominately advises medium-sized companies on the settlement of major claims.

Practice head(s):

Raimond Emde; Wolfram Desch

Other key lawyers:

Johan van der Veer

Testimonials

‘Wolfram Desch always delivers fully developed drafts and has broad detail knowledge of insolvency law; very good risk and opportunity assessment of his cases, very good and independent coordination of cases up to the final decision stage.’

Work highlights

  • Acted as defence counsel for members of the board Henning von Reden and Julian Voss against claims of liability by KTG Agrar SE’s insolvency administrator.

Loschelder

Loschelder provides medium-sized and large companies with a wide range of commercial services, including insurance law matters. As well as handling financial loss, liability insurance and, most notably D&O insurance mandates, the team is also well versed in construction insurance-related work. The practice is led by Wilfried Rüffer, who specialises in property insurance and inheritance law. Counsel Sandra Orlikowski-Wolf frequently handles mandates at the intersection with corporate law.

Practice head(s):

Wilfried Rüffer

Other key lawyers:

Sandra Orlikowski-Wolf

PATZINA LOTZ Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB

Representing professionals, such as tax advisors and auditors, in liability proceedings counts as PATZINA LOTZ Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB's core field of expertise. As part of a firm specialised in litigation and conflict management, the 'highly experienced' practice prepares expert opinions in pre-litigation scenarios and provides assistance with recourse proceedings. Key figures René Matz and Thorsten Lotz handle a number of long-term instructions and, while based in Frankfurt, are also regularly involved in nationwide mandates. As well as advising individuals in the liberal professions, Reinhard Patzina also acts for medium-sized companies and large insurers.

Testimonials

‘The firm offers a legally outstanding representation of freelancers in liability disputes, always in close coordination with the professional liability insurers.’

‘Reinhard Patzina has outstanding legal expertise with a trained eye for problematic scenarios.’

‘René Matz is an excellent expert who is to the point also in complex tax law matters.’

Key clients

HDI Versicherung

ERGO Group

Versicherungsstelle Wiesbaden

Allianz insurance

Zurich Insurance Group

Work highlights

  • Advised a tax consultant on serial damages.
  • Advised a law firm on damage claims.
  • Advised a company that processes damage claims in a dispute surrounding a fire damage.