Planning and environment in Germany
Dolde Mayen & Partner
Dolde Mayen & Partner’s ‘excellent’ environment and planning law practice is based in Stuttgart and Bonn, and handles a broad range of legal services: in the field of environmental law, it acts on immission control, nuclear and radiation protection, nature conservation and water, waste and soil protection matters as well as genetic engineering and environmental liability. In the area of public construction law, the group handles planning procedures for major retail and infrastructure projects, commercial and industrial settlements and urban development measures. Klaus-Peter Dolde and Winfried Porsch, who convinces with ‘outstanding professional competence and many years of experience’, represent federal capital Stuttgart before the administrative court in a complaint brought by Deutsche Bahn regarding additional costs for the Stuttgart 21 development project. Thomas Mayen successfully defended Adam Opel against litigation brought by Deutsche Umwelthilfe concerning allegedly unlawful shutdown devices in diesel engines and the exceeding of NOx limits. The group also represented Holcim in litigation concerning a modification permit for new limit values and an increase in the proportion of substitute fuels. Airbus, EnBW and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation are also clients. Markus Deutsch leads the team together with Porsch; Matthias Hangst made associate partner.
Redeker Sellner Dahs
Redeker Sellner Dahs’ environment and planning expertise covers energy and infrastructure projects as well as contentious matters. Olaf Reidt, who heads the practice group together with Tobias Masing, recently advised 50Hertz Transmission on the Hansa PowerBridge submarine cable project. In another highlight, the Düsseldorf district government retained the group for advice on a plan revision procedure regarding the CO pipeline between Cologne-Worringen and Krefeld-Uerdingen. It also assists the city of Hamburg with numerous proceedings concerning the deepening of the Elbe river and in the plan supplement procedure. Masing also represented the Free State of Thuringia in litigation concerning the costs of the remediation of contaminated sites in the German Democratic Republic and concerning potential cost increases. The client portfolio also includes Gascade, Deutsche Bahn and the Federal Supervisory Office for Air Traffic Control. Kai Artur Pape is another key figure in the practice group, which includes a total of nine partners following the 2019 arrival of Max Reicherzer, who joined from Becker Büttner Held, Rechtsanwälte Wirtschaftsprüfer Steuerberater.
The environment and planning group at Noerr has a broad range of services and ‘excellent experts with specialist knowledge and strong industry knowledge’. The team, which is led by Berlin-based Holger Schmitz, advises on product-related environmental law, waste management and waste law issues, as well as transactions, energy and construction projects. A recent highlight was advising the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy on the transferability of new financing regulations for nuclear waste disposal to other originators of radioactive waste. A team under the leadership of Peter Bachmann advised the Munich state capital on the four-track expansion of the airport connection of city train line 8. Another core competence is acting for project developers and the public sector on approval and planning procedures for wind turbines; in this area, the client portfolio includes Abo Wind, the State Association for Renewable Energies and SL NaturEnergie. Other key figures are Uwe Erling, who is particularly noted for his ‘specialist knowledge in the field of emission protection law and greenhouse trading’, and Martin Ahlhaus, both are based in Munich.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The 23-strong practice group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has environmental law expertise handling waste and incident matters as well as product-related environmental law. In these areas, the team, which is headed by Juliane Hilf, is particularly active in healthcare, transport, energy and logistics. The group advised Dow Chemicals on the implementation of the EU Industrial Emissions Directive, as well as on technical standards concerning its impact on chlorine gas production and the chemical park Stade. Other highlights include advising a leading automotive manufacturer on regulatory and approval issues related to test cycles and emissions issues. Since 2015, the group has acted for long-term client Volkswagen on the regulatory aspects of nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles and on the coordination of the recall campaign. Berlin-based Marcel Kaufmann and Michael Ramb are also part of the core team. In May 2018, Wolf Spieth, Benedikt Wolfers and Herbert Posser left to found POSSER SPIETH WOLFERS & PARTNERS, which is now a new player in the public law market.
The environment and planning group at CMS has nine partners and is headed by Cologne-based Christian Scherer-Leydecker and Stuttgart-based Ursula Steinkemper. The range of services includes assistance with planning approval procedures, construction and environmental law matters as well as transactions. Hamburg-based Christiane Kappes acted for Femern Baelt in the planning approval procedure for the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link project. Another highlight, led by administrative law partner Fritz von Hammerstein, was assisting long-term client TenneT TSO with several network expansion projects in northern Germany, and successfully representing the client before the federal administrative court in several third-party appeal proceedings regarding the plan approval decision for the 380kV line Ganderkesee - St Hülfe. Together with Matthias Kuß, von Hammerstein also advised 50Hertz Transmission on environmental and planning law matters related to grid expansion projects. BDEW Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft, Frontier Economics and consortium NeuConnect are also among its clients.
The environment and planning group at Gleiss Lutz focuses on advising on accidents, contaminated sites and product-related environmental, waste and packaging matters, and is instructed by DAX30 companies and major corporations as well as public sector clients. Andreas Neun heads the five-partner team, which also includes the renowned Burghard Hildebrandt. It successfully defended Amprion before the Federal Administrative Court against an action relating to a zoning decision, and assists the client with the building of a high-voltage line. The team advised state capital Düsseldorf on the planning and real estate law aspects of the reorganisation of an urban property in the city centre. Another highlight was representing state capital Stuttgart in the basic procedure concerning the admissibility of driving bans for diesel motor vehicles. Volkswagen, Audi and Linde are also part of the client portfolio. Of counsel Ulrich Battis joined GSK Stockmann in September 2017 and Marcus Dannecker left the firm in January 2018 to found Dannecker & Kerth Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB Rechtsanwälte. Clemens Weidemann left for MELCHERS Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB in January 2019.
Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
Clients of Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s environment and planning group benefit from its ‘outstanding professional competence, good advice and a high level of assertiveness’. The range of services includes construction and housing, environmental and energy-intensive industries, real estate, emissions trading and construction planning law, and project development. Martin Fleckenstein, who is ‘competent and strong in negotiations’, advised gsp Städtebau on public and building law issues concerning the Grand Tower residential building in Frankfurt. The ‘well-connected’ Stefan Altenschmidt, who ‘always keeps an eye on economic efficiency’, counts BP Europa, Evonik, Salzgitter, ArcelorMittal and other large corporations among his clients. Practice head Stefan Kobes is representing the Federal Railway Authority in a case before the Federal Administrative Court concerning the Stuttgart 21 development project and Gernot-Rüdiger Engel advises Mondelēz on electricity and energy tax law matters. Clients also include ThyssenKrupp, Steag and E.ON. Claudia Schoppen joined Aulinger Rechtsanwälte at the end of 2017. Public lawyer Herbert Willems was a new arrival in February 2018.
Linklaters’ team acts on planning and approval procedures as well as transactions in the fields of energy, high-voltage transmission lines and chemicals. Highlights included its ongoing advice to TenneT TSO on various approval procedures, including federal planning for the power highways Stromautoban Süd and SüdOstLink. The group is assisting Letterone Corporate Advisor with mining and permitting law issues pertaining to the potential merger of the oil and gas production businesseses of DEA Deutsche Erdöl and Wintershall. The group also assisted thyssenkrupp with environmental issues concerning a joint venture with Tata Steel. The client portfolio also includes UniCredit Bank, 50Hertz Transmission and Enel Green Power. Berlin-based Markus Appel is the main contact; managing associate Anna Burghardt is also part of the core team and is particularly experienced in product-related environmental law.
Baumeister, Rechtsanwälte is based in Münster and provides advice with an explicit focus on construction, planning and environmental law issues, and is also often active handling matters touching upon public procurement law. It acts for companies and investors as well as the public sector. In environmental planning law, the firm focuses on the mining, utilities, waste management, energy and industrial sectors. In addition, the firm is experienced in waste disposal, sewage disposal, contaminated sites and soil protection. Administrative lawyers Georg Hünnekens and the highly respected Martin Beckmann are among the central contacts.
Gaßner, Groth, Siederer & Coll.
Areas of expertise at Gaßner, Groth, Siederer & Coll. include waste management and waste law as well as climate protection, environmental law and genetic engineering. The environmental law expertise covers licensing procedures, water law, remediation of contaminated sites, soil protection and immission control. The range of services in public planning law includes advice on urban development contracts and issues relating to urban planning and broadband infrastructure.
The environment and planning group at Hengeler Mueller convinces with ‘good coverage of all relevant issues’ and focuses on product-related environmental law, major infrastructure projects, and the environmental and planning aspects of transactions. Highlights included advising Nord Stream 2 on nature conservation and species protection issues, on permit and planning approval procedures and related litigation and summary proceedings, as well as on environmental and energy law issues relating to the existing Nord Stream gas pipeline. Thomas Schmidt-Kötters, who is recommended for his ‘excellent legal knowledge and enormous commitment’, assisted Robert Bosch with worldwide internal and external investigations and cross-border proceedings concerning the alleged manipulation of exhaust emissions in diesel vehicles. The client portfolio also includes Axel Springer, DB Breef and Philip Morris. Fabian Quast, Wolfgang Spoerr and Jan Bonhage are part of the core team in Berlin, while Vera Jungkind and Dirk Uwer are the central contacts in the Düsseldorf office.
Key focus areas of the 23-lawyer strong environment and planning group at GSK Stockmann continue to be construction and planning law advice for real estate and infrastructure projects, but the firm is also experienced in environmental law issues such as emission protection. In a recent highlight, Mark Butt led advice to Bayerische Versorgungskammer on the procurement of building rights for two major projects in Munich. Berlin-based Jan Hennig led the assistance to Ikea with building and planning law issues as well as the project development of a new furniture store in Karlsruhe. Andreas Geiger advised DB Station & Service on the redesign of Munich’s main railway station. Deutsche Bahn, Hammer Unternehmensgruppe and the state of Berlin are also part of the client portfolio. The team was strengthened in May 2017 by the addition of of counsel Alfred Gangel, who previously worked in the public sector. In September 2017, of counsel Ulrich Battis joined the firm from Gleiss Lutz.
Hogan Lovells International LLP has a broad range of expertise in environment and planning matters, advising both on plant construction projects and on regulated public sectors such as energy, water, environment, infrastructure and utilities. The Düsseldorf team, which is led by Thomas Dünchheim, advises on special environmental law issues such as fracking, mining and excavation matters as well as immission control, nature conservation and waste law. In a recent hightlight it assisted an energy generation group with the approval of the construction of a gas and steam power plant. The group advised Akasol on environmental law issues relating to its IPO and, in a separate matter, assisted a major international group with the complex remediation of contaminated sites. The client base also includes long-term client Autobahn Tank & Rast, the German Red Cross Düsseldorf and IMS Messysteme. Product-related environmental law work is headed by Munich-based Patrick Ayad and Sebastian Lach, and is increasingly relevant for the automotive industry. Florian Unseld and Arne Thiermann joined the partnership in January 2018.
Product-related environmental law and assistance with large infrastructure and road construction projects continue to be the focal areas of White & Case LLP’s eight-strong environment and planning practice. Norbert Wimmer leads the team, which is also increasingly active in the automotive industry – an area in which it provides comprehensive advice on regulatory issues relating to the consumption and emission performance of vehicles. In another highlight, it represented the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Ministry of Economics against information requests made by RWE concerning the nuclear phase-out. Henning Berger, whose expertise includes not only environment and planning law but also financial sector regulation, is another key contact; Martin Weber made local partner in January 2018.
avocado rechtsanwälte has had a recent focus on the Ordinance on Industrial Waste, advice on sanctions and plant approval as well as chemicals and substances law. The ten-partner team is headed jointly by Markus Figgen, Ralf Kaminski and Thomas Gerhold. Nils-Alexander Weng joined the firm in April 2018 from Graf von Westphalen and Rebecca Schäffer made equity partner. Gerhold advised AWB Köln on construction planning and immission control issues relating to the relocation of an inner-city operating site, and represented a DAX group in litigation filed by an environmental association in connection with the remediation of a former plant landfill. GMVA Niederrhein, Drekopf Recyclingzentrum Essen and various waste disposal companies and foundations are also part of the client portfolio.
Clients of Taylor Wessing’s environment, planning and regulation group benefit from its ‘outstanding service, excellent know-how and in-depth industry expertise’. The team provides comprehensive support to public and private clients as well as investors on the development of real estate and infrastructure projects. In addition to immission control, the team focuses on waste, product and construction planning law. Norbert Kämper, ‘a renowned expert in public sector planning and environmental law’, leads the team and is recommended for his ‘long-standing, successful court practice’. Alexander Köpfler is also a key figure. Martin Gerner advised Evonik on environmental and regulatory aspects of the acquisition of 3M’s compounding business. Roland Schmidt-Bleker assisted Rewe Group with construction planning matters, site security and project development. Avaya, Thüga Erneuerbare Energien and Imperial Chemical Logistics are also clients.
Köhler & Klett, Rechtsanwälte
Environment and planning boutique firm Köhler & Klett, Rechtsanwälte is active in contentious and non-contentious matters. The core competencies of the team, which is based in Cologne and Berlin, include waste and immission control, environmental law violations as well as environmental and planning law issues in corporate transactions. Anno Oexle is frequently involved in industrial and infrastructure projects with environmental and planning aspects; Wolfgang Klett advises on waste and immission control law. Hagen Weishaupt acts on instructions touching upon commercial, corporate and contract law; Rainer Geesmann, Alexander De Diego and Anne-Louise Schümer are also members of the core team. The firm’s focus areas include transport, infrastructure, automotive, energy and the public sector.
Lenz und Johlen
The core competencies of the Cologne-based Lenz und Johlen’s environment and planning practice lie in the fields of construction, real estate, infrastructure, logistics, energy and raw materials. In addition, the ‘creative and customer-oriented’ team advises on immission, construction planning, accident and planning approval issues, and is active in the wind energy sector. In one highlight, Inga Schwertner led the team in representing the Ministry of the Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in appeal proceedings before the Federal Administrative Court relating to air pollution control plans. In other work, the group successfully acted for residents and a municipal company in proceedings against the construction of the Hürth high-voltage overhead line. Michael Oerder assisted Ten Brinke Projektentwicklung with the planned construction of a commercial building within an urban redevelopment area as well as with the construction of residential units in Hanau and Berlin. Administrative law specialists Rainer Voß and Alexander Beutling are also key figures.
Graf von Westphalen
The environment and planning group at Graf von Westphalen focuses on infrastructure proceedings, mainly relating to motorways and airports. The environmental law expertise includes species protection, nature conservation and water law. The team, headed by Dietrich Drömann and Ronald Steiling, was strengthened in May 2017 by the addition of Ulrich Hösch and Volker Gronefeld from the now-dissolved law firm Gronefeld Rechtsanwälte. A highlight was representing the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in a major building permit procedure in connection with a new zoning plan. Hösch is ‘a solution-oriented’ adviser, who is recommended for his ‘interdisciplinary and extensive knowledge, and his experience’; he assisted Munich Airport with the planning approval procedure for the extension of Terminal 1. On the contentious side, the group handled proceedings concerning a planning approval procedure for the Ministry of Science, Economics and Transport of the State of Schleswig-Holstein concerning the Lübeck-Blankensee Airport. Sigrid Wienhues and Andreas Wolowski are also key contacts, and Corinna Lindau is also noted.
Volker Hoffmann and Roland Hartmannsberger jointly head the team at Hoffmann Liebs, which has a broad range of services in the field of environmental law; the five-member team advises on issues relating to soil protection and contaminated sites, immission control, accident law, water law, product compliance as well as the environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions. A 2018 highlight was assisting a real estate developer with soil and groundwater contamination matters. In other work, the group advised a food industry company on immission control and building permit procedures. Hartmannsberger is the key figure in product-related environmental law. Stefanie Beste has been of counsel since 2018.
Wolfram Hertel leads the ‘excellent’ practice group at Raue and impresses with his ‘extremely deep knowledge of public administrative law and of administrative jurisdiction’. Hertel is leading a team representing Brandenburg’s State Office for the Environment in several official liability proceedings concerning the permission of plants subject to approval under immission control law. Klaus Goecke assisted Tegel Projekt, a State of Berlin project company, with the planning and redesign of the airport site into a commercial, industrial and research location. The group also advised Engie Deutschland on a procedure concerning the new granting of water law powers for the cooling of a coal-fired power plant. Cornelia Gorn has ‘a razor-sharp mind and is always calm and persistent in her reasoning’.
The four-partner public commercial law practice at Baker McKenzie, headed by Marc Gabriel, advises on environmental, planning, construction and waste law issues; It is also particularly experienced in product-related environmental law and in the infrastructure and automotive sectors, as the instruction by Daimler shows. In addition, the firm advises on environmental, construction and planning law aspects of transactions and financings in the real estate and energy sectors. A 2018 highlight was providing assistance on regulatory matters to several companies in the heating and pump technology related to technical regulation, product safety, energy efficiency and environmental law. A market-leading manufacturer of consumer electronics was a client in the areas of product-related environmental law and litigation. The core team also includes Susanne Mertens in Berlin and Ulrich Ellinghaus in Frankfurt.
The environment and planning group at CBH Rechtsanwälte Cornelius, Bartenbach, Haesemann & Partner impresses with its ‘performance, expertise and results’, and also has strength in landscape and nature conservation law as well as in planning approval procedures for large infrastructure and construction projects. The five-partner strong practice stands out for its ‘trusting and in every respect satisfactory cooperation’ with clients, which also benefit from the group’s experience in power line projects, district developments and residential construction projects. In one highlight, Tassilo Schiffer led the defence of the city of Cologne in proceedings concerning the building permit for the construction of an inner-city light-rail line. Together with Manfred Haesemann and Jochen Hentschel, he also assisted Amelis with the procurement of building rights for a 35ha residential area as well as with the construction of a relief road and a tram. Lars Christoph and the ‘very experienced, calm and level-headed’ Stefan Rappen advised Bayer on the planning approval procedure for the new construction of the federal motorway 1 and a motorway bridge. Christopher Küas is another key figure.
In addition to its traditional focus on product law, DLA Piper’s Cologne-based group is also active in planning law instructions, transactions and infrastructure projects as well as related environmental and planning law issues. Ludger Giesberts advised Nicopure Labs on product-related environmental law matters and European tobacco regulation as well as on waste and packaging law in connection with e-liquids for electronic cigarettes. Guido Kleve acts for authorities and companies on regulatory issues, and is particularly active in the areas of port and aviation, subsidy and state aid matters as well as energy and environmental law. Other clients include BASF, the European Chemicals Agency and James Hardie Industries.
Christofer Lenz heads the four-member Stuttgart-based environment and planning group at Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte, which acts for national and international private and public sector companies. A recent highlight, under the leadership of Torsten Gerhard, was representing the state of Baden-Württemberg before the Federal Administrative Court concerning environmental information pertaining to the Stuttgart 21 development project. The client portfolio also includes Commerzbank, AWO Hannover and various federal associations.
Clifford Chance’s practice group acts on environmental and planning issues in the areas of network expansion, energy and healthcare. A highlight, led by practice head Mathias Elspaß, was advising Amprion on planning and approval issues for a high-voltage direct current transmission line. The group also acts for energy companies on environmental matters pertaining to the construction and operation of liquid gas terminals. It advised Pfizer on environmental compliance obligations regarding the state of technology in production plants. 50Hertz, Huber and TenneT are also part of the client portfolio. The Düsseldorf office was strengthened in May 2018 by the addition of Thomas Voland from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Oppenhoff & Partner
Oppenhoff & Partner focuses its environmental and planning law advice particularly on soil, water and emission protection as well as waste water and waste disposal. In addition, it advises on licensing procedures, issues relating to soil and groundwater contamination, immission control and environmental liability as well as environmental criminal law. Holger Hofmann is advising long-term client Eastman Chemical on environmental law issues concerning industrial sites. Stephan Müller heads the Cologne-based three-member practice.
Wolter Hoppenberg has ‘profound knowledge’ and a broad range of services; for example, the team advises on issues relating to nature conservation, immission control, mining, soil and water protection as well as permits. Michael Hoppenberg and Thomas Tyczewski jointly lead the team, which also includes the ‘competent and pleasant’ Till Elgeti. A recent highlight was advising Heidelberg Cement on the construction of a landfill within an ongoing excavation approved under mining law. The group also assisted the district of Osnabrück with licensing procedures under immission control law, administrative court proceedings and litigation brought by environmental associations. Under the leadership of Elgeti, the team also advised the Eifel-Rur water board on the planning approval procedure for the parallel collector Düren.
BBG und Partner
Bremen-based firm BBG und Partner stands out for its advice on infrastructure projects in various sectors, including port infrastructure, power plants, mining and offshore energy generation. A recent highlight was defending the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development against two court cases concerning the zoning decision for a bypass. The client base also includes Bergolin, PNE Wind Atlantis I and the Saxon Higher Mining Authority. The ‘solution-oriented’ Peter Schütte, who is recommended for his expertise ‘particularly in complex infrastructure projects in port management, waterway administration and the energy sector’, leads the group together with Malte Kohls.
The range of services provided by the eight-strong environment and planning practice at Bird & Bird includes project and product-related environmental law, in particular in the automotive, technology, energy and utilities sectors, as well as environmental law infringements. Recent highlights include assisting Amprion with several planning approval proceedings for extra-high voltage power lines, which was led by Matthias Lang, and advising Sojitz on environmental law relating to the acquisition of a chemical logistics company. Hermann Rothfuchs, who made partner in 2017, advised a leading automotive supplier on the EU Low Voltage Directive. René Voigtländer heads the practice and is particularly experienced in waste and disposal law.
Dentons’ environmental and planning practice convinces with its ‘comprehensive knowledge and creative solutions for the most difficult situations’. Core competencies include advising on product-related environmental law and waste management matters. Practice head Ilka Mehdorn is singled out for her ‘extremely quick comprehension and implementation, reliability and communication skills’. Procurement law expert Wolfram Krohn and antitrust lawyers Norman Hölzel and Jörg Karenfort are also part of the team, which was strengthened in February 2018 by the addition of Julia Pfeil from Baker McKenzie. The Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister, Emerson Electric and DPG Deutsches Pfandsystem are among the practice’s long-term clients.
The infrastructure, environment and energy group at GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB advises on immission control, construction planning, the clean-up of contaminated sites, soil remediation as well as contentious cases. A recent highlight, led by Thomas Christner, was acting for Blue Energy Europe in an immission control approval procedure for the construction of a biomass cogeneration plant to supply steam to a paper mill. In addition, the group assisted an energy company with wastewater discharge and treatment matters. Kersten Wagner-Cardenal heads the group. The client base consists of private companies, public authorities and municipal utilities.
Kapellmann und Partner
The four-partner-strong team at Kapellmann und Partner convinces with its ‘very high service level’ and advises on building planning and approval procedures, environmental and nature conservation, neighbourhood and monument protection matters as well as on approval procedures under immission control law. Hendrik Schilder leads the team in Düsseldorf and represents project development company Divag Lox in litigation concerning the operation of a congress hotel in Neuss and problems arising from its proximity to the industrial port. In January 2018, Johannes Grüner made associate partner; Stefan Pützenbacher is the central contact in Frankfurt.
Weißleder & Ewer
The practice at Kiel-based law firm Weißleder & Ewer advises companies from a variety of sectors – including energy, trade, automotive and chemicals – comprehensively on environmental law issues. In the area of public building law, it is frequently instructed by the contracting authority. The key figures are Wolfgang Ewer, Angelika Leppin and Marius Raabe.