Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Foreign trade law

In addition to its newly-formed European association Advant, where ADVANT Beiten (formerly Beiten Burkhardt) merged with ADVANT Nctm from Italy and ADVANT Altana from France in 2021, the firm had already launched its foreign trade taskforce, which is led by Christian Von Wistinghausen and Stephan Rechten and focuses in particular on ​​investment control.

Foreign trade law in Germany

BLOMSTEIN Rechtsanwälte

BLOMSTEIN Rechtsanwälte offers comprehensive advice on foreign trade law and focuses on export control, sanctions and investment control. The Berlin-based team supports German and international companies in voluntary declarations as well as administrative customs proceedings and proceedings in connection with the authorities. Economic sanctions, foreign investment notifications and anti-boycott law are all key strengths of Pascal Friton, who regularly acts for financial institutions and companies in the export sector. Roland Stein‘s expertise encompasses all foreign trade law matters, including WTO law, customs law and export control. Counsel Florian Wolf focuses on trade compliance and has industry-related expertise in the mechanical engineering and high-tech industries as well as the raw materials sector. Senior associate Leonard von Rummel and associate Laura Louca advise clients on investment and export control as well as sanctions law; Louca regularly cooperates with the firm’s American network of partner law firms regarding US sanctions.

Other key lawyers:

Roland Stein; Pascal Friton; Florian Wolf; Leonard von Rummel; Laura Louca


‘Roland Stein is pragmatic and has great behind-the-scenes insight into the mindset of the German regulator.’

‘Very experienced team in investment control, especially in China-related transactions. Pragmatic approach.’

‘Roland Stein: Very pleasant to work with, very good judgment, pragmatic.’

Key clients



Axel Springer




Delivery Hero


Infineon Technologies





Work highlights

  • Representation of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection on investment control law in defending against an urgent application by the Taiwanese chip supplier GlobalWafers to take over Siltronic before the Berlin Administrative Court and the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court.

  • Advice on investment control law and representation of the US group Adtran on the takeover of Adva Optical.

GvW Graf von Westphalen

GvW Graf von Westphalen impresses with comprehensive expertise in foreign trade law. In addition to compliance, the team, led by Lothar Harings also increasingly advises on sanctions law. Customs law, export control and the new supply chain law are further competencies, which blue chip companies regularly call upon, not least due to the firm’s international network. Supply chain due diligence, customs and export law as well as embargoes and sanctions are covered by Harings, while Marian Niestedt is well versed in compliance and investment control. Gerd Schwendinger heads the firm’s US desk and frequently represents clients before European and German courts and authorities in foreign trade law disputes. Among the core strengths of Hartmut Henninger are customs proceedings and criminal as well as administrative fine proceedings, he also has strong expertise in the implementation of trade compliance programs and external audits. Katja Göcke primarily advises research institutions on foreign trade and compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Lothar Harings


‘The team has proven to be extremely client-centric. When addressing several areas of law, one was able to offer the competencies at an excellent level within the law firm.’

‘Very experienced team with great expertise. Very good knowledge of commercial and customs law. Excellent brand and name in Germany and the rest of Europe. The firm has a good team with skills in all relevant trade and customs matters.’

‘Lothar Harings is a sanctions expert and actively promotes his knowledge in this area.’

Key clients

CPG Engineering & Commercial Services GmbH

DMK Eis GmbH


Cargodian GmbH

Customs Support NCTS B. V.

Celanese Europe BV


Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG

FläktGroup Holding GmbH

Galaxy Energy GmbH

GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft

Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) gGmbH

HEAG mobilo GmbH

Jabil Inc.


MacGregor Germany

osapiens Services GmbH

v Power Data S.A., Schweiz

VDAT – Verband der Automobil Tuner e.V.

ACGF -Afghan Credit Guarantee Foundation

Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V.


Noerr ‘s foreign trade law team combines core competencies in export and investment control, customs law and sanctions and advises international and national clients across all sectors. Further key topics include anti-dumping matters, financial sanctions and WTO law as well as the advice on contentious matters. Practice head Bärbel Sachs is experienced in trade compliance and also supports clients in investment control issues. Other key members are WTO law expert Claus Zimmermann and Christian Pelz, who primarily assists with criminal investigations and administrative fine proceedings. Senior associate Johannes Schäffer supports clients in connection with embargo, customs and WTO law.

Practice head(s):

Bärbel Sachs

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie advises on foreign trade law with a focus on export control, sanctions law and investment control. The team is led by Anahita Thoms and regularly cooperates with the London and Amsterdam locations, in particular on sanctions, while clients also benefit from the firm’s global network in connection with interdisciplinary issues. Thoms assits with global investigations and compliance and is well versed in matters pertaining to human rights and FDI.

Practice head(s):

Anahita Thoms

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Ehrle; Kimberley Fischer


Dentons comprehensively advises on all foreign trade law matters, including due diligence and human rights-focused risk management. Export controls and sanctions, compliance and self-reporting as well as subsequent criminal and administrative fine proceedings are further key competencies of the team, which also covers customs and product law issues. Julia Pfeil specialises in export control, sanctions and embargoes and jointly heads the practice with trade compliance expert Andreas Haak. Maria Brakalova regularly accompanies transactions in connection with foreign trade regulations of foreign investments as well as EU and US sanctions and export control law. Clients from the energy, medical, real estate and manufacturing sector benefit from Gabriele Haas ' expertise in sanctions-related risks and money laundering, while Clemens Maschke covers Iran and China-related compliance and foreign trade law issues.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Haak; Julia Pfeil


‘The Dentons team is well coordinated. The requested topics are delivered in a concrete and practical way.’

‘Maria Brakalova is characterized by the highest level of professional competence. She processes our request promptly and sends the answers in a form that non-lawyers can find their way around, i.e. practical and understandable. The teamwork with her colleagues – also externally – is good.’

Key clients

5NPlus Inc.

Aves One

Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat (BMI)

CAS Scientific Instruments Holdings Co., Ltd.

Duisburger Hafen AG (duisport)

Fr. Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG

Gesellschafter der ancosys GmbH


Sanden Holdings Corporation

SHOWA DENKO-Gesellschaften in Deutschland

SMS group GmbH

Solvay (früher Cytec)

Yonsung Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the SMS Group on individual sanctions regimes under EU and US law, including reviewing and drafting sanctions clauses in contracts, as well as strategic advice on the further development of internal export control compliance.

  • Advice on antitrust and investment control law to the charging network operator Ionity and its shareholders Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, Hyundai and Porsche in connection with the investment by the asset manager BlackRock.

  • Advising Canadian 5NPlus Inc. on the planned acquisition of AZUR Space Solar Power GmbH against the background of changes in foreign trade regulations on investment controls in certain sectors and in relation to certain key technologies.

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz‘ experienced foreign trade law practice represents clients in investigation and fine proceedings, advises on foreign trade and customs law and offers support with the implementation of compliance systems. Transactional matters in the investment control segment are also covered, practice head Marc Ruttloff is a key contact here, as well as sanctions and export control issues. Additionally, the team cooperates closely with US law firms, particularly in connection with embargoes. Customs law and compliance are core competencies of Burghard Hildebrandt, while Jacob von Andreae impresses with expertise in investment control, among other things. A key contact for product compliance is Eric Wagner who also has expertise in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Marc Ruttloff

Other key lawyers:

Burghard Hildebrandt; Eric Wagner; Jacob von Andreae


‘Good team effort.’

‘The team provided sound and professional advice on the subject of sanctions against Russia.’

‘Precise, practical legal advice from highly professional colleagues from the law firm.’

Key clients

ASW Bundesverband


Bunker Holding


Deutsche Post DHL


L3 Harris



Merz Pharma






Tiger Global


Work highlights

  • Investment control law advice to Deutsche Post DHL on the acquisition of the J.F. Hillebrand Group, a specialist in the field of sea freight forwarding, for around €1.5 billion.

  • Advice to Merz Pharma on compliance in export controls and organizational advice.


Led by Stephan Müller, Oppenhoff advises on strategic compliance issues, sanctions and investment control and represents clients in criminal and administrative fine proceedings before national and European authorities. Other key areas are excise and customs law as well as international contract law. Mareike Heesing focuses on advising national and international high-tech companies and heads the French desk, while Heiko Höfler assists public sector clients with complex transactions and contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Stephan Müller

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing ‘s foreign trade team focuses on advising national and international companies on trade compliance and investment audits. The team, led by Marco Hartmann-Rüppel, is regularly instructed by Chinese clients in investment audit procedures. Another mainstay is the advice on sanctions, which was recently demonstarted in mandates pertaining to Russia sanctions by the EU and the US. Michael Brüggemann acts from Düsseldorf and Brussels and is particularly well versed in issues regarding embargoes and dual-use regulations as well as investment audit procedures. André Lippert covers the interface to public commercial law.

Practice head(s):

Marco Hartmann-Rüppel

Other key lawyers:

André Lippert; Johannes Schaadt-Wambach; Melanie Moser; Michael Brüggemann

Key clients

Accel / Founders Fund

Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (BMVg)

EMSA – European Maritime Safety Agency

Flink Lebensmittel GmbH

IMST-BG Verwaltungs GmbH

Shenzhen Goodix

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive advice on foreign trade law to Flink SE as part of a €750 million Series B financing round.

  • Advice on foreign trade law to the federal German government in connection with the acquisition of a minority stake in the Hensoldt Group by the Italian company Leonardo and by KfW.

  • Advice to IMST-BG Verwaltungs GmbH and representation in an investment audit procedure regarding the possible sale of IMST GmbH to a Chinese state-owned company.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance comprehensivley covers foreign trade law matters, including export control, ESG, WTO and European law as well as customs law. A close cross-practice collaboration results in synergies at various interfaces such as public and antitrust law, compliance and litigation. Among the client portfolio are international companies from various sectors, including technology, healthcare and life sciences as well as energy and infrastructure. Another core area is investment control, where the team assists with cross-border procedures inside and outside of the EU; the antitrust lawyer Dimitri Slobodenjuk is a key contact for the latter. Thomas Voland specialises in European, international and public law, while Moritz Keller is experienced in international arbitration and investment protection.


‘Thomas Voland advises at the highest legal level with practical solutions at all times.’


CMS advises on sanctions and offers investment control law support in the transactional space as well as interface competencies in administrative and public law. Furter key areas of the practice are export control, compliance and anti-dumping matters. Kai Neuhaus acts from Brussels and advises clients on antitrust and commercial law with a focus on digital business and is well-versed in investment control as well as compliance and anti-dumping. Hermann Müller handles public commercial law and foreign trade issues.

Other key lawyers:

Hermann Müller; Kai Neuhaus

Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH advises clients on export control and sanctions as well as investment control and customs law. Here, the focus is on the review and implementation of compliance management systems, including matters pertaining to the new supply chain law, which comes into force in 2023. Practice head Bettina Mertgen offers experience in various foreign trade law issues, including administrative fine and criminal proceedings, compliance and embargoes. Erika Trujillo (export control, sanctions, trade compliance) left the firm in January 2022 and co-founded the start-up SEIA GmbH.

Practice head(s):

Bettina Mertgen


‘The legal advice on customs and foreign trade issues is very well positioned. In the case of cross-border issues, foreign statements are obtained from the law firm.’

‘Inquiries are answered very competently and quickly and at the same time recommendations for action are given.’

‘Bettina Mertgen has great expertise in foreign trade law.’

Key clients

Deutsche Wohnen SE

Sanofi-Aventes Deutschland GmbH

Triumph Insulation Systems-Germany GmbH

air up GmbH

Ford-Werke GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising Deutsche Wohnen SE in carrying out a risk analysis in various legal areas and in developing optimization options for implementation in the existing compliance management system.

  • Advice on all customs and foreign trade law issues to Sanofi-Aventes Deutschland GmbH as part of an ongoing mandate.

  • Advice on customs law to air up GmbH, in particular in the area of tariff classification of previously non-existent products of strategic importance and representation of client interests vis-à-vis the EU Commission’s Customs Code Committee.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper ‘s foreign trade law practice focuses on export control, sanctions and investment control, while also covering various interfacing areas such as corporate and antitrust law, white collar crime, IT and IP. Additionally, the team has industry-related expertise in the sectors critical technologies, infrastructure as well as pharmaceutical and medical devices. Ludger Giesberts leads the team and impresses with experience in export control matters. In April 2022, the team welcomed Marc Jacob (previously at Shearman & Sterling LLP), who focuses on international disputes, including free trade arbitration and international law matters. Foreign trade compliance, export control and sanctions are among counsel Thilo Streit ‘s areas of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Ludger Giesberts

Other key lawyers:

Thilo Streit; Marc Jacob


‘Professionally very competent in the current issues of foreign trade law.’

‘Thilo Streit is characterized by very open and clear communication.’

‘Excellent specialist knowledge paired with very high advisory and negotiation skills.’

‘Thilo Streit knows how to explain complex legal issues in a client-friendly way.’

Key clients

Axalta Coating Systems GmbH

Axon Enterprise Inc.


MKS Instruments, Inc.

Olympus Europa SE & Co. KK

Vita 34 AG

Zeppelin International AG

Work highlights

  • Advising MKS Instruments, Inc. on the acquisition of a German manufacturer and developer in the semiconductor sector with regard to notification obligations under investment control law and successful notification to the BMWi (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology).

  • Advising and representing a Chinese investment fund with regard to the notification of the planned acquisition of a German semiconductor metrology manufacturer and developer.

  • Revision of internal guidelines and advice on further steps regarding the export compliance system in eight international jurisdictions (including Germany, India, USA, China, Australia) for a client from the manufacturing industry.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP ‘s central pillars are sanctions, export control and investment control. The client roster includes national and international companies from the automotive, high-tech and financial services sector, which also benefit from the German team’s close integration into the international network. Other key topics are anti-dumping and countervailing duties, human rights-related matters, technology transfers and compliance. Michael Walther heads the practice and regularly assists clients from the technology sector with transactions pertaining to trade sanctions, export control and compliance, while associate Sonja Ruttmann is a key contact for investment control. Of counsel Richard Roeder (economic and financial sanctions and export control) left the firm in October 2022 and joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Practice head(s):

Michael Walther

Other key lawyers:

Sonja Ruttmann

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller ‘s foreign trade law practice has a dual focus: on the one hand the team advises on sanctions and export restrictions, where the team has particular expertise in compliance and the admissibility of transactions and exports to critical countries. On the other hand, the team assists with complex investment audit procedures, particularly in the critical infrastructure and technology sectors as well as the regulated industries. The practice is jointly led by Vera Jungkind, whose core competencies include trade sanctions, compliance and internal investigations, and Jan Bonhage, whose expertise covers EU, constitutional and public commercial law issues. Dirk Uwer regularly handles transactional matters at the interface with commercial criminal law.

Practice head(s):

Jan Bonhage; Vera Jungkind

Other key lawyers:

Dirk Uwer

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Integrated into its Strategic Operations, Agreements and Regulation practice, the foreign trade law team at Hogan Lovells International LLP advises clients across locations on export control, sanctions and customs law, while interfacing matters such as transaction-related investment control and trade compliance projects are also covered. Patrick Ayad is particularly well versed in regulatory matters and leads the global practice group. Internal investigations and investment control procedures are key strengths of Falk Schöning, who acts from Brussels and Berlin. Senior associate Stefan Kirwitzke focuses on the interface between antitrust and foreign trade law.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Ayad


‘Falk Schöning is characterized by uncomplicated solutions and acting in the interests of the client.’

‘Falk Schöning took over our support in a highly professional manner and completed this work to our complete satisfaction. It was very pleasant to work with him and we are very satisfied with the result of the work.’

Key clients




Active Tools

Texas Instruments



Viafintech GmbH

Lockheed Martin

Motel One

Intellia Therapeutics


IB Vogt GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising Sicoya on an investment control process, including negotiating conditions for the sale to the Chinese investor Dawning Semi and subsequent implementation of a compliance system.

  • Advice to ADVA on an investment control procedure regarding the planned transatlantic merger with Adtran (USA).

  • Comprehensive advice to Lockheed Martin on the procurement projects of the Bundeswehr Procurement Office for the heavy transport helicopter (STH).

Hohmann Rechtsanwälte

Boutique Hohmann Rechtsanwälte specialises in advising clients on all foreign trade law issues, demonstrating particular expertise in EU and US export and customs law. Founding partner Harald Hohmann has in-depth experience in the areas embargoes, international law as well as international contract and distribution law. The two associates German Blödorn and Brigitte Dönges advise, among other things, on matters pertaining to substance, export and customs law.

Practice head(s):

Harald Hohmann

Other key lawyers:

German Blödorn; Brigitte Dönges


‘Excellent knowledge and large network on all kinds of customs issues (e.g. export restrictions, dual-use issues).’

‘Outstanding knowledge, at the same time good contacts to people in a wide variety of institutions.’

‘The unique mixture of convincing arguments and personal relationships often helps to solve issues quickly and pragmatically.’

Key clients

ALJO Aluminiumbau Jonuscheit GmbH

Clariant Produkte GmbH

Cobus Industries GmbH

Eagle Burgmann Germany GmbH & Co KG

Eberspächer Gruppe GmbH & Co KG

Fresenius Medical Care Deutschland GmbH

HUAWEI Technologies Düsseldrof GmbH

Hydro Systems KH

Isabellenhütte Heusler GmbH & Co KG

Jungbunzlauer Ladenburg GmbH

KAMAG Transporttechnik GmbH und TII-Group

Mann & Hummel GmbH

Merck KGaA

Dürr Konzern und Schenck RoTec GmbH

Schütz Dental GmbH

Schmidt & Clemens GmbH & Co KG

Schuler Pressen

Wälischmiller Engineering GmbH

Vacuumschmelze GmbH & Co KG

Work highlights

  • Advising a public company on the risk of mutual sanctions.

  • Advising a law firm on an export law due diligence process.

  • Advising a mechanical engineering company on an export lawsuit before the administrative court in Frankfurt.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

The foreign trade law practice at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH advises German and international companies on embargoes and export control law as well as investment control, particularly in connection with Asia, North America, Great Britain and Israel. Customs and embargo matters as well as export control law are covered by Ole-Jochen Melchior, who jointly heads the practice with Brussels-based Helmut Janssen. Thomas Weidlich and Philipp Dietz are the key contacts for investment control with a focus on China and international transactions, while Eckart Petzold has EU-related experience in investment control. Richard Happ acts from Hamburg and is well versed in international arbitration proceedings.

Other key lawyers:

Richard Happ; Thomas Weidlich; Philipp Dietz; Eckart Petzold

Key clients



SAME Deutz-Fahr


TE Connectivity (Tyco Electronics)

Haldex AB


SONA AutoComp (vormals ThyssenKrupp Präzisionsschmiede)

Heinrich Georg Maschinenfabrik

H. Stoll AG & Co. KG

Würth Elektronik

Quin GmbH

VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG

Mahle GmbH

Haus Cramer (Warsteiner)


Kracher AG

Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG

Alpiq AG

Extrude Hone GmbH

Elektrizitätswerke Zürich

Knapp AG

Cointreau Holding (Essen)

BASF Digital Farming GmbH

BKD Ad fund GmbH


DF Deutsche Fiskal


Autoliv B.V. & Co. KG


Prinz Kinematix GmbH

Klingel GmbH



Work highlights

  • Advising Eneco B.V. on the acquisition of the North German green electricity direct marketer Nordgröön, including legal support in the merger control procedure and the approval procedure as part of the investment review under the AWG (foreign trade law).

  • Advising Matthews International Corporation on drafting supply, import and export contracts for China, Germany and the USA.

  • Advice to Carborundum Universal Limited (CUMI), which is listed on the Indian stock exchange, on the acquisition of two traditional German companies in the abrasives sector and in this context advice on investment control under the AWG (foreign trade law) and in other jurisdictions.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP offers clients comprehensive advice on all aspects of foreign trade law, including export control, technology transfer, trade barriers and sanctions compliance; here, the team assists with due diligence, foreign trade audits and offers compliance training. In addition to international, European and German export control law, the firm also advises on US export control law, including the support on relevant regulations and authorities. Practice head René Voigtländer has experience in compliance, export control and customs law as well as embargoes, approval procedures and commercial aspects of contract law.

Practice head(s):

René Voigtländer

Other key lawyers:

Patricia Bendlin Spür

Work highlights

  • Advising the subsidiary of a US provider of data centers and related services on investment control law with regard to a proposed transaction.

  • Advising a global developer of drone technology and manufacturer of drones on the need and ability for approval of certain components and on export projects.

  • Examination of personal and country-related embargoes as well as various export law consulting services for a provider of cold forming in the automotive industry.

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP foreign trade law team focuses on investment control and advises listed companies from various sectors, including technology, media and life sciences. Due to the close cooperation with the CFIUS team in the US, the practice also handles relevant cross-border matters. FDI specialist Horst Henschen jointly heads the team with Brussels-based Peter Camesasca.

Practice head(s):

Horst Henschen; Peter Camesasca

Other key lawyers:

Martin Juhasz

Key clients

Discovery, Inc.

Renesas Electronics Corp.

Work highlights

  • Advising Discovery on the acquisition of WarnerMedia regarding global FDI review.

  • Advising the Japanese semiconductor manufacturer Renesas on the global FDI aspects of the acquisition of Dialog Semiconductor plc.


Linklaters is experienced in transactional investment control matters, where the team assists with official approval procedures and accompanies proceedings before the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Thanks to the firm’s international network as well as best friends network, the practice also handles cross-border issues. Christoph Barth heads the German team and is also co-head of the global investment control practice; he is experienced in antitrust law.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Barth


‘The practice group is highly agile in communications and completely digitised.’

‘Very good interaction with other Linklaters practices.’

‘Very deep expertise and focus on the essentials.’

Work highlights

  • Advice on investment control and merger control law to Mercedes Benz AG and Daimler Truck AG on the spin-off and listing of the commercial vehicle business with trucks and buses, including various investment and merger control proceedings worldwide.

  • Advice on investment control law to the Italian payment service provider Nexi on the merger with Nets, which operates a critical infrastructure in Germany with Concardis.

  • Advice on investment control and merger control law to the global chip manufacturer Dialog Semiconductor plc on its takeover by the Japanese semiconductor group Renesas Electronics.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP impresses with expertise in investment control, where the team cooperates closely with the firm's other locations, including Paris and Washington DC. Export control law is another key topic of the practice, which is led by a trio: antitrust lawyer Tilman Kuhn, M&A expert Tobias Heinrich and Lars Peterson, who was appointed partner in January 2022 and handles foreign direct investments, export controls and EU and German competition law matters.

Practice head(s):

Tilman Kuhn; Tobias Heinrich; Lars Peterson

Other key lawyers:

Thilo-Maximilian Wienke

Key clients

Global Wafers



Faurecia S.E.

JP Morgan Infrastructure Investments Fund

Work highlights

  • Advising GlobalWafers on the planned takeover of their direct competitor Siltronic AG.

  • Advising JENOPTIK AG on the sale of the VINCORION division.

  • Advice on investment control law to Faurecia SE as part of the acquisition of the majority of shares in HELLA GmbH & Co KGaA.