Press and publishing in Germany

Damm & Mann

Hamburg-based boutique offering Damm & Mann frequently, but not exclusively, acts on behalf of publishing companies in press law and freedom of speech matters. German as well as international clients turn to the firm seeking representation in injunction procedures and damage claims as well as advice pertaining to right of information among other matters. Most recently, the team around Roger Mann assisted with a claim related to the Federal Constitutional Court's decision on the right to be forgotten. Holger Nieland is another key contact.

Other key lawyers:

Roger Mann; Holger Nieland

NESSELHAUF Rechtsanwälte

NESSELHAUF Rechtsanwälte is not only historically 'the first address for press law', but is also renowned as 'the most efficient' practice in this space nowadays. The firm is considered a market leader particularly in advising affected parties and benefits from a manifold expertise that ranges from media, press and publishing law to copyright, sports law and licensing contracts. Renowned lawyers include name partner Michael Nesselhauf, the 'outstanding' Till Dunckel and Stephanie Vendt who is recommended as 'the best press lawyer in Germany'.

Testimonials

'Great commitment, excellent knowledge of the press and competition law.'

'Stephanie Vendt: high reliability, outstanding knowledge and commitment.'

'Not only historically the first address in press law, but thanks to outstanding lawyers like Till Dunckel the most powerful. The law firm does not shy away from difficult problems. Analytically brilliant, all-round experienced, very hard-working and of the very best standing in court. Absolutely trustworthy. '

'Stephanie Vendt advises with extraordinary clarity, conciseness and expertise. She draws on great experience. Your absolute commitment to customer success is exemplary. She adapts to complex new situations in a flash and always keeps a cool head. '

'Outstanding legal expertise combined with the ability to assess what is commercially reasonable. Hands-on mentality and creativity. '

'Stephanie Vendt is a very experienced and creative lawyer who is always there with great commitment. Excellent network, also on the publishing side. A tough negotiator who is recognized by all sides of the market because she remains objective and is always perfectly prepared. Because of her many years of experience and economic understanding, she is also excellent at advising and representing companies in connection with crises and generally with reputational risks. '

'The lawyers work at the highest level of quality and are characterized by an outstanding commitment to the interests of their clients.'

'Stephanie Vendt is the best press lawyer in Germany.'

Raue

Raue is one of the leading addresses for press law and freedom of speech issues in Berlin and nationwide. The practice maintains a strong reputation with media companies and content producers which has resulted from its longstanding representation of publishing companies (primarily Axel Springer). The service offering also includes copyright and right of privacy advice. Jan Hegemann heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Jan Hegemann

Schertz Bergmann Rechtsanwälte

Berlin-based firm Schertz Bergmann Rechtsanwälte is renowned for its representation of and preventative advice to celebrities, political parties and associations, while companies, particularly family offices in the construction and real estate sector, have been gaining increasing importance within its client base. The team includes Christian Schertz and Helge Reich, who are both highly regarded by clients and competitors alike, and is increasingly active in media circles to counteract the targeted distribution of business-damaging online content. Sophie Heuchemer, previously an associate at HÖCKER, joined the team as salary partner in September 2020.

Testimonials

'Quick responsiveness, reliable action.'

'Helge Reich is always characterized by his ability to get into different topics quickly.'

'Christian Schertz and Simon Bergmann have very in-depth specialist knowledge in the field of personal rights and press law. Especially when it comes to dealing tactically in a crisis and managing crises, they have extremely good judgment and intuition and give quick and competent advice. '

Key clients

DFB Deutscher Fußball Bund

DOSB Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund

EDEKA

Tönnies Lebensmittel GmbH & Co KG

Wirecard AG

UFA Fiction GmbH

DPD Deutschland GmbH

Zalando SE

Ziegler Film GmbH & Co. KG

Deutsches Rotes Kreuz e.V. und diverse DRK Organisationen

Sparkasse Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien

MÄHREN AG

Stadt Waldshut-Tingen

Bezirksamt Berlin Neukölln

Stiftung Jüdisches Museum Berlin

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's media team possesses press law and freedom of speech expertise which it predominantly puts to use for publishing houses. A distinctive feature of the group is its additional involvement in competition dynamics and other disputes between publishing companies. Simultaneously, the practice around the 'excellent' Stefan Engels also advises companies on reputation management. 

Practice head(s):

Stefan Engels

Testimonials

'Stefan Engels is an excellent lawyer and a very good strategist and tactician who is extremely well networked and has very in-depth knowledge of the media industry.'

Key clients

Axel Springer SE

Bauer Media Group

dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

Freizeitwoche Verlag Gmbh & Co KG

ProSiebenSat.1 Media Group

Ströer Group (u.a. t-onine.de)

WeltN24 GmbH

Wort & Bild Verlag Konradshöhe GmbH & Co. KG

Work highlights

  • Processes (omission, monetary compensation and regulatory measures) to report G20 reporting, in particular the calls for criminal offenses to be reported to the police (Federal Supreme Court and Federal Constitutional Court).
  • High-volume and economically relevant processes for the admissibility of advertising for gambling providers (secondary lotteries, direct advertising, etc.).
  • Extensive and ongoing dispute (several legal proceedings) about the market launch of “my life” (allegations of surreptitious advertising, misleading and prohibited advertising comparison).

HÖCKER

HÖCKER is regarded by clients as 'the most assertive and successful media firm in Germany'. This reputation is confirmed by a continuously growing number of media companies, sports professionals, politicians and parties turning to the firm for advice. Alongside its preventative assistance the practice further focuses on representation in press matters as well as freedom of speech issues. Ralf Höcker is known for his press law advice to Alexander Falk among other matters; Carsten Brennecke and Marcel Leeser are also renowned. Of counsel Hans-Georg Maaßen complements the practice with expertise in freedom of speech matters and his international network. And associate Jörn Claßen specialises in reputation protection and advises both on preventative and reactive level.

Practice head(s):

Ralf Höcker

Testimonials

'Very competent, hands-on, always approachable, very well networked, extremely pragmatic, flexible.'

'Ralf Höcker and Marcel Leeser – very profound specialist knowledge, very flexible, always approachable, very well networked, quick response time.'

'The law firm Höcker is the most powerful and successful media law firm in Germany. The team consists of excellent lawyers and well-connected personalities. '

'Ralf Höcker has the right mix of competence, experience and assertiveness. He leads a team of well-known lawyers. '

'Germany's best law firm for preventive advice on press law.'

'Excellent cooperation in criminal proceedings with the defense lawyer: fast, effective, cooperative at all times, highest quality and commitment.'

'Lucas Brost – climber in press law, technically excellent and very confident.'

'Ralf Höcker and Marcel Leeser are extremely competent and very efficient when it comes to developing fast and reliable solutions. You can always rely on them and they have impressive know-how in all areas of media law and especially in dealing with critical inquiries. '

Key clients

Alexander Falk

ADAC Nordrhein e.V.

Alexander Prinz Schaumburg zu Lippe

Bootshaus Cologne GmbH

Cannamedical Pharma GmbH

CDU-MdB Sylvia Pantel

CDU-MdL (NRW) (Gregor Golland, Stellv. Fraktionsvorsitzender)

Elias Harris (Profi-Basketballer bei BROSE BAMBERG bis 30.06.2020)

Erzbistum Köln

Karel Faifr (Eiskunstlauf-Erfolgstrainer und “Meistermacher”)

PAN Klinik am Neumarkt Betriebsgesellschaft mbH

Regionalregierung Kurdistan-Irak in Deutschland, Demokratische Partei Kurdistans, Dilshad Barzani

SKR Reisen GmbH

Tom Radtke (DIE LINKE, Kandidat Bürgerschaftswahl Hamburg 2020)

Werte Union e.V.

Work highlights

  • Legal support for the criminal proceedings against Mr. Falk before the large criminal chamber of the Frankfurt am Main regional court.
  • Enforcement of injunctive relief under press law due to inadmissible reports of suspected death from a hospital germ against RTL, MDR, Axel Springer SE (photo), WDR, Kölner Stadt Anzeiger; Accompanying the crises – PR from a press law perspective.
  • Defense of the client against false accusations of abuse by the media (e.g. Stern TV) and in particular the former student Isaak Droysen. Lawsuit at the Regional Court of Cologne against Droysen for defamation of omission, monetary compensation, etc. (ongoing, Az. 28 O 17/20).

KNPZ Rechtsanwälte

KNPZ Rechtsanwälte's media practice focuses on press law and freedom of speech matters and is led by Gerald Neben. Bauer Media Group and Axel Springer are among the most notable clients of the team, although the practice advises an industrially broader client base. The central pillars of the team's expertise include copyright, freedom of speech, competition law as well as crisis communication.

Practice head(s):

Gerald Neben

Redeker Sellner Dahs

Various ministries and authorities on federal and state level, cities and municipalities, public figures and broadcasting companies as well as industrial companies benefit from the 'great dedication and commitment' that Redeker Sellner Dahs' press and freedom of speech team offers. Practice head Gernot Lehr also handles matters pertaining to broadcasting law, copyright, law of new media and constitutional media law.

Practice head(s):

Gernot Lehr

Testimonials

'Exceptionally specialized lawyers in a wide variety of disciplines. In this respect, Gernot Lehr can put together teams of the appropriate size and qualifications depending on the mandate. Extremely oriented towards the client's success. '

'Gernot Lehr analyzes and evaluates clearly and precisely, identifies vulnerable and non-vulnerable statements just as directly. In the cases of cooperation, he successfully represented our interests with great commitment and dedication, both in settlement negotiations with the other party and in court appointments. Also to be emphasized are the direct accessibility as well as the speed with the drafting of the briefs and applications. But also the tenacity and strength of argument, for example in oral hearings. '

'Partners and associates are one hundred percent coordinated and mutually informed so that both can continue the mandate at any time in the event of a substitute.'

BUSE

Affected clients, including DAX30-listed corporations, international medium-sized companies and private individuals, turn to Buse Heberer Fromm seeking advice on reputation management and protection, where experienced key figures Nina Lüssmann and Volker Perten, formerly at Prinz Rechtsanwälte, offer comprehensive assistance.

Practice head(s):

Volker Perten; Nina Lüssmann

Key clients

Sandra Bullock

Ferrexpo AG

Network Movie Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH

CMS

CMS' press and freedom of speech team, which also acts in copyright, competition and IP law matters, focuses on the representation of media companies, including publishing and broadcasting companies and online providers, as well as of affected parties, such as financial services providers and politicians. Most recently, Michael Fricke and Martin Gerecke advised affected clients on cases pertaining to false reporting, online reputation damages and privacy violations.

Practice head(s):

Michael Fricke

Other key lawyers:

Martin Gerecke

DÜNNWALD RECHTSANWÄLTE

DÜNNWALD RECHTSANWÄLTE was founded by Dirk Dünnwald in January 2020, following the termination of his partnership with Tanja Irion  (formerly IRION | DÜNNWALD Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB). Dünnwalds longstanding experience, which he had accumulated at Prinz Rechtsanwälte, was subsequently combined with Daniela Thurner's expertise, particularly in freedom of speech issues and online right of privacy violations. Both lawyers are highly adept in the representation of affected clients in freedom of speech, media and right of privacy matters. Numerous highlight matters entail cross-border components (particularly with regards to the UK and US), as well as data protection aspects, which are covered by Thurner. Clients include large companies from various sectors, associations and private figures.

Practice head(s):

Dirk Dünnwald

Other key lawyers:

Daniela Thurner

Testimonials

'Dirk Dünnwald has an excellent knowledge of his subject and works professionally, quickly and efficiently. Even complex issues in the right of expression, media law or personal rights are in good hands with him. '

'The law firm DÜNNWALD RECHTSANWÄLTE combines profound professionalism with a measured eye for practical solutions.'

'Dirk Dünnwald is an indispensable companion in expression and media law, who is characterized by decades of experience. This applies to both the national and international context. '

'The advice is comprehensive and constructive, solution-oriented and very knowledgeable.'

'' Young, ambitious team of very experienced specialist lawyers in the field of press and publishing law and media. The lawyers are extremely well networked in the media world and can react quickly and solve issues unconventionally. '

'Dirk Dünnwald is a luminary in the field of press law. You won't find a better lawyer in Germany for these issues. '

Key clients

SAP SE

Signal Iduna Versicherungsgruppe

Hanse Merkur Versicherungsgruppe

Ferring Arzneimittel GmbH

NASCO Energie & Rohstoff AG

Verband der Privaten Krankenversicherung e. V.

Deutsches Aktieninstitut e. V.

HSV Fussball AG

Prinz Rechtsanwälte

Due to his longstanding, far-reaching expertise, Matthias Prinz was able to reinstate Prinz Rechtsanwälte, previously a part of Prinz Lüssmann Perten, in 2019. Supported by founding partner Diana Grün, an expert in advising and representing corporations and private figures, the practice covers freedom of speech, press and media law as well as reputation management. The firm continues to stand out for its excellent client base and historical landmark decisions it reached before national and European courts.

Practice head(s):

Matthias Prinz

Other key lawyers:

Diana Grün

Key clients

Aga Khan

Monegassisches Fürstenhaus

Schwedisches Königshaus

Deutsche Bank

Hotel Adlon

Funke Gruppe

Osram

VFB Stuttgart

Knorr Bremse

Carsten Maschmeyer

A&O Holding GmbH & Co KG

AOK Baden-Würrtemberg

Berenberg Bank

Carsten Maschmayer

Funke Gruppe GmbH & Co KGaA

Home24 SE

JuicePlus

Nord Stream 2 AG

Porsche SE

VW

Nadja Swarovski

Work highlights

  • Ligitation PR for the diesel crisis.
  • Supervision of all legal matters of the Monegasque princely house in the German-speaking area.
  • Supervision of all legal matters of the Swedish royal family in the German-speaking area.

Romatka & Collegen

Romatka & Collegen is a compact boutique offering that focuses on the media sector's interests. Practice head Gero Himmelsbach's longstanding experience in representing publishing companies qualifies him not only as a 'profound connaisseur of the legalities, but also of the claimants'. The service offering also includes advice to companies, public figures and associations, especially in the context of a PR crisis. The firm founder Georg Romatka passed away in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Gero Himmelsbach

Other key lawyers:

Ulrich Grund

Testimonials

'Gero Himmelsbach confidently combines competition law, media law and press law in his person. Since he has represented publishers for many years, he is not only a profound expert on legal matters, but also the parties to the complaint. '

Key clients

Atlas Verlag GmbH

Atlas Spezial GmbH

AZ Fachverlage AG, Schweiz

Bayerische Landeszentrale f. neue Medien

Bayerische Landkreise

Bayerischer Rundfunk

CSU e.V.

Ernst-von-Bergmann-Klinikum

FUNKE Zeitschriften

Heinrich Bauer Verlag

Paul Parey Verlag

Portal München Betriebsgesellschaft

Ringier AG

Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG

SdK Schutzgemeinschaft der Kapitalanleger e.V.

Stadtsparkasse München

Verbraucherzentrale Südtirol

Werner Mauss

Work highlights

  • The proceedings concern the lawsuit brought by the Munich newspaper publishers against the communal company as the operator of the internet domain muenchen.de. Ultimately, the question is whether the current offer can last.
  • The BR is the defendant in proceedings by the Grappt company. The aim of the procedure is to prohibit the BR from providing information on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, among other things. The LG Munich I dismissed the action in the first instance.
  • Comprehensive measures to remove untrue claims that BILD / bild.de and dpa had spread. Classic crisis PR mandate due to false claims by BILD and dpa in connection with a report on March 24, 2020 about the King of Thailand.

SKW Schwarz

The 'top informed' and 'very well-organised' press and publishing team at SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte impresses with 'promptness, care, precision and advice'. The client base includes notable publishing companies, particularly in the book, newspaper and magazine sphere, which appreciate practice head  Konstantin Wegner's professionalism, Johann Heyde's know-how and Pia Sökeland's performance. Right of privacy and freedom of speech disputes in and out of court constitute the practice's central pillar.

Practice head(s):

Konstantin Wegner

Other key lawyers:

Johann Heydes; Pia Sökeland

Testimonials

'Well informed, really very well organized.'

'Johann Heyde is absolutely competent and has super comprehensive know-how for all inquiries, which you can always rely on.'

'Top speed in answering questions with well-founded specialist knowledge.'

'Friendliness, understanding of the situation, openness, communication, speed, care, precision, but also advice and decision support.'

'Johann Heyde, his clear vision for the best and often the most realistic way. Remarkable ability to assess the other side and to derive instructions for action. '

'Konstantin Wegner is competent, well connected, full of ideas and fair.'

'Pia Sökeland does an excellent job with legal defenses'.

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive support and advice to the publisher on media, copyright and expression law, especially taking over legal and copyright disputes.
  • Legal proofreading of book manuscripts and takeover and advice on many other matters / disputes.
  • Various legal proceedings because of the book “Inside AfD” by the dropout Franziska Schreiber, legal proofreading of various books before publication.

SSB Söder Schwarz Berlinger Rechtsanwälte

Munich-based SSB Söder Schwarz Berlinger Rechtsanwälte is known as a main address for advice to publishing companies and particularly due to its representation of the Burda publishing house. Stefan Söder is a renowned expert.

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Söder