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Trade, distribution and logistics in Germany

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie fields an outstanding commercial and distribution law practice, which demonstrates particular experience in distribution agreements and in structuring distribution channels. Its offering also includes assistance with distribution antitrust law matters and corresponding compliance projects. The practice is led by Ulf Wauschkuhn and advises clients across various sectors with particular expertise in automotive, consumer goods, fashion, logistics and IT. Wauschkuhn has a fine reputation in the contentious space, where he represents international companies in court and out-of-court proceedings. Selective distribution systems as well as online distribution are the key strengths of Katharina Spenner, who is recognised for her expertise in the consumer goods and fashion industries. Johannes Teichmann, on the other hand, focuses on commercial agency and distributor agreements in an international setting and also acts in large transactions. The practice handles a large number of ongoing instructions from international market leaders and regularly draws on the firm's global reach to provide advice at an international level.

Practice head(s):

Ulf Wauschkuhn

Testimonials

'We just have a great connection with the team. They know and understand our business and our needs and think with us. '

'We appreciate Ulf Wauschkuhn for his great negotiating power, his pragmatism even in the face of complex situations, his willingness to fight for the company and simply years of loyalty that has brought us first-class sales and other business contracts.'

'Good accessibility, good understanding of in-house standards and specifics, effective implementation, ability to process and coordinate across borders.'

'We prefer the particularly pragmatic approach to the issues to be solved here compared to other law firms. Highest reliability and trustworthy billing are a matter of course. '

'Katharina Spenner has technical experience and practices user-oriented communication. Understanding not only from lawyer to lawyer, but the daily users in sales understand the messages. '

Key clients

Amer Sports (Marken Atomic, Wilson, Salomon, Peak Performance, Arc’teryx)

Asics

Daimler AG

Esprit

GEA Group

Karl Storz SE & Co. KG

MAN Truck & Bus SE

Rimowa GmbH, ein Unternehmen der LVMH Gruppe

SAP SE

Schöffel Sportbekleidung GmbH

Schneider Electric

Uniper Global Commodities

VF Corp. (Timberland, The North Face, Eastpak, etc.)

Work highlights

  • Amer Sports: Advice on the alignment of sales and pan-European sales systems; Drafting of contracts, advice on combating gray market activities, in particular in the field of online sales.
  • SAP SE: Advice on sales law and sales competition law matters.
  • Schneider Electric: Advising Schneider Electric on the sale of its project solution business to Vinci including drafting and negotiating a high-volume cooperation and supply agreement.

CMS

Handling trade disputes and various matters pertaining to distribution systems are at the forefront of CMS' work. Recently, the team expanded its offering to include Covid-19-related matters, such as force majeure clauses, supply freezes and export bans. Gerald Gräfe heads the commercial group and makes regular use of his expertise in the automotive sector and in contract law. The team focuses on consumer goods, technology, mechanical engineering and life sciences and is recognised for its broad know-how: Tobias Bomsdorf specialises in industrial plant contracts, while Robert Budde excels in dealing with Italian distribution law and Italy-related mandates. Franchise law and issues pertaining to selective distribution fall within Peter Endres' area of practice, as do interface issues with IP. The group works closely with other teams, such as with its colleagues from the antitrust practice when handling distribution antitrust law matters, and supports clients with the implementation of legal tech in the context of contract standardisation and automation as well as with compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Gerald Gräfe

Testimonials

'Quick feedback, legal know-how, knowledge of our special industry and pragmatic solutions.'

'Basically a very professional work, quick and reliable answers, easy accessibility, friendly staff at all levels and in all areas.'

'Tobias Bomsdorf is technically outstanding, always pragmatically interested in the (economic) solution in the interests of the client, and does not get lost in endless fundamental discussions. First-class written submissions, technically sound, clear on the subject, clear and well structured, precise in the linguistic execution. Good advice and presentation of various alternatives including their evaluation, so that this enables clear decision-making. Very pleasant personal collaboration. '

Hogan Lovells International LLP

As one of the long-standing top firms in the market, Hogan Lovells International LLP continues to be at the forefront of distribution law with a diverse line-up as well as an illustrious client portfolio. As well as handling the full remit of commercial sector issues, the practice is experienced in innovative online distribution projects and adapted its offering with a Covid-19 global guide to include supply chain requirements in a pandemic situation. Practice head Patrick Ayad regularly demonstrates his extensive know-how in international contract drafting as well as in the automotive sector. Thomas Salomon is a key figure in the Hamburg office, who focuses on the consumer goods sector together with Christiane Alpers, who was appointed counsel in January 2020. Pharmaceutical, medical devices and biotech sector players rely on the experience of Jörg Schickert, who also deals with contract law and compliance-relevant issues. Florian Unseld is responsible for matters at the intersection of international contract law and IP and IT, while counsel Sebastian Schnell advises on the restructuring of distribution systems and contract projects. In Berlin, the team has been particularly active supporting new mobility and technology sector players, while its practice-wide sector expertise also includes energy, chemicals, foodstuff and manufactured goods.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Ayad

Testimonials

'It's a pleasant, uncomplicated and very direct and trusting collaboration. The team is very competent and is characterized by a good team composition, which stands out for its extremely fast processes. '

'Competence and speed paired with an overarching thinking ability characterize Florian Unseld. He leads and orchestrates the specialists in a very professional manner. '

'The law firm is very professional, well-structured and has a diverse set-up and thus enables all-round excellent support for legally complex matters.'

'Florian Unseld from the Munich office deserves special mention. He is characterized by very careful, reliable and highly professional advice. Even complex processes are processed extremely quickly. '

'Florian Unseld is an experienced full professional with absolutely practical solutions.'

'Patrick Ayad is an invaluable advisor to us. Not only does he interpret the legal risks, he also finds proactive ways to develop projects. '

'The team responsible for us feels responsible for us at all times. You can tell that we are trying to achieve the best possible result, taking into account the environment we have set (timeline, objective priorities). '

'Patrick Ayad and Florian Unseld are always available for us.'

'Excellent knowledge of the company and the industry. An adapted use for all inquiries. A great feeling for the customer's expectations, but always very competent and legally factual. '

'Florian Unseld understands our company and the industry very well. Compared to other law firms, we get targeted advice with a lot of valuable recommendations. '

'Very good customer orientation, very pragmatic, quick response times and perfect communication, building long-term and stable client relationships.'

Key clients

British American Tobacco

Daimler

Dell

Fertin Pharma

FLSmidth

Ford of Europe

Fox Factory

ESTEVE

Groupon

Hyundai Motor Europe

Lego

Lockheed Martin

Moët Hennessy

Luerssen

Merz

MorphoSys

Nanobiotix

Orexigen Therapeutics

OWM

Schwartauer Werke

Senvion

Texas Instruments

Vifor

Wacker

Waymo

Woodward, Inc.

ZF

Work highlights

  • Two international companies in the arms industry: Advice on all contractual and procurement law issues in several large arms procurement projects.
  • Two Asian automobile manufacturers (OEMs): Advising on their market entry in Europe with their new brands and in particular with regard to manufacturing, delivery and distribution, including commercial contracts and regulatory work.
  • Merz Pharmaceuticals: Advising Merz Pharmaceuticals on the worldwide sale of its rights to the Mederma® brand.

Noerr

In commercial and distribution law, Noerr has digitisation-related work at its core. Key elements in this space include matters arising from the set-up of e-commerce businesses and corresponding online platforms such as IT, data protection, general terms and conditions and regulatory requirements. The team is led by a trio consisting of Thomas Thalhofer, Torsten Kraul and Michael Reiling, who have extensive expertise in national and international distribution systems, while Reiling is also experienced in structuring franchise systems and regularly assists companies in the system catering and retail sectors. Albin Ströbl is the key contact for matters at the interface with antitrust law as well as for automotive and telecommunication sector clients. Players from the retail, healthcare and life sciences sectors frequently call upon Karsten Metzlaff and his expertise in distribution and commercial law. Thanks to his expertise in banking contract law, Tom Billing regularly advises fintechs on the implementation of distribution systems and e-commerce platforms, while, at associate level, Cathrin Wentzel is recommended for matters pertaining to international supply relationships and contracts. Karl Rauser retired in March 2020, while Felix Muhl, who specialises in distribution law in the automotive and consumer goods sectors, made partner at the beginning of 2020.

Testimonials

'' Very targeted and precise advice. Extremely practical solutions. Quick completion of tasks and pragmatic work results. As a client, you benefit from the extensive know-how in sales / franchise and digital business. '

'Tom Billing is very practical and balanced in his advice. Always quick processing and delivery of the work results. '

'Deep industry knowledge, quick and profound advice.'

Key clients

Volkswagen Group

PSA Group

Daimler

Audi

MAN

Triumph

Kia

Scania

Seat

Peugeot

Citroen

Fressnapf

OBI

McDonald‘s

HeyCar

Marc’o Polo

Boehringer Ingelheim

Degussa Goldhandel

Breitling

Chefs Culinar

Carl Zeiss

Work highlights

  • Food bowl: Worldwide restructuring of the sales network.
  • Ferrari: Constant advice on sales law regarding the sales network in Germany; Representation in product liability litigation; Advice on fair trading and regulatory issues.
  • Audi Business Innovation: Comprehensive antitrust, sales antitrust, financial, data protection and civil law advice on setting up and introducing your own Europe-wide online platform for renting vehicles.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH deals with issues pertaining to contact drafting, purchasing and distribution systems and subsequently arising disputes. A primary focus lies on the textile and clothing sectors, where a team around Steffen Gaber works with various associations when advising on the establishment of distribution systems. Other sectorial focal points are the automotive and life sciences industries. Volker Steimle heads the practice and, in addition to handling non-contentious matters, puts his personal focus on contentious work. Logistics as well as chemical distribution matters fall under the remit of Anne Caroline Wegner, while Frank Gutsche is dedicated to providing long-term advice to German SMEs as well as to assisting foreign SMEs entering the German market.

Practice head(s):

Volker Steimle

Testimonials

'' Very good coordination of content within the team using the technical strengths of the respective colleagues. This means comprehensive advice that illuminates and takes into account different aspects of the case. '

'Exceptionally competent and reliable, very friendly to deal with.'

'' A broad-based practice that is also well networked internally and calls in experts from other fields if necessary. Personal address is possible at any time. '

'Volker Steimle is very experienced, tactically clever and he also has a good sense of humor.'

Key clients

Harley-Davidson

Fiat

SAME Deutz-Fahr

Saint-Gobain

TE Connectivity (Tyco Electronics)

Haldex AB

Carcoustics

SONA AutoComp (frühere ThyssenKrupp Präzisionsschmiede)

Heinrich Georg Maschinenfabrik

H. Stoll AG & Co. KG

Würth Elektronik

Quin GmbH

VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG

Mahle GmbH

Haus Cramer (Warsteiner)

Douglas

Karcher 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

Comau

DF Deutsche Fiskal

Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossneschaft

Autoliv B.V. & Co. KG

Bültel

Prinz Kinematix GmbH

Klingel GmbH

Vallourec

Work highlights

  • JOYSONQUIN Automotive Systems GmbH: Advice on all relevant purchase and sales contracts in the automotive sector.
  • Knapp AG: Advice on negotiating and implementing a contract for the delivery and commissioning of an intralogistics and IT system.
  • BASF Digital Farming GmbH: Advice on creating a purchasing and sales concept for a new business model for field treatment.

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke primarily assists manufactures with the structuring of global distribution systems but also advises trade organisations in the automotive sector on motor vehicle dealership. Matters at the intersection of distribution with data protection, e-commerce, IP and antitrust law are equally high in demand. Carsten Dau bears the responsibility for the commercial team and is particularly experienced in advising fashion companies alongside mechanical and plant engineering firms. Distribution antitrust law and corresponding litigation are two of Christoph Boeminghaus' key strengths, while Thomas Grünvogel is a specialist in drafting and negotiating R&D, purchasing, project and distribution agreements. New arrival Martin Launer, who joined in November 2019 from Taylor Wessing, boosts the team's logistics law capabilities, which are frequently called upon in the context of large logistics projects, such as in the offshore wind sector.

Practice head(s):

Carsten Dau

Testimonials

'Fantastic attention to detail, excellent communication skills and good collaboration.'

'Extremely competent in the area of franchise, trade and sales. Clear, structured, very well coordinated and always on target, extremely customer-oriented and friendly. It's really fun working with lawyers for the first time. '

'Christoph Boeminghaus is extremely competent and very goal-oriented. He is always easy to reach and always ready to help, regardless of the time of day and day of the week / weekend. Thanks to his expertise, we have already been able to close some difficult cases between the franchise headquarters and the franchisee to our greatest satisfaction. '

'Thomas Grünvogel shows a very good understanding of business processes with a high level of legal expertise. Compared to competitors, he is characterized by his special solution orientation with a feeling for economic solution possibilities. '

'Simply one of the top teams in Germany.'

'Carsten Dau is a very knowledgeable and all-round good advisor in this field.'

'Osborne Clarke is excellent at bringing complex sales structures on the one hand and legal framework conditions on the other into a legal balance, while at the same time not neglecting economic interests.'

Key clients

Flaconi GmbH

Dyson GmbH

Fever-Tree

REWE

Superdry Plc

Tupperware Deutschland GmbH

Mercedes-Benz Vertreter Verband e.V.

Verband deutscher BMW Haendler e.V.

Verband der Jaguar und Land Rover Vertragspartner Deutschlands e.V.

Verband der Toyota und Lexus Haendler Deutschland e.V.

Volkswagen und Audi Partnerverband e.V.

Wirecard AG

Work highlights

  • Volkswagen and Audi partner association eV: Ongoing negotiations on the new business model in the group, especially in the areas of online sales, sales of digital services, agency system for sales of VW electric vehicles, brand license agreements for the sale of used vehicles.
  • REWE: Ongoing advice with regard to contractual relationships with individual suppliers. Creation and updating of various model contracts.
  • Bottles GmbH: Advice on expanding your own logistics infrastructure, including accompanying the tendering process and the subsequent construction phase for a logistics hall in Halle an der Saale.

Taylor Wessing

In commercial and distribution law, Taylor Wessing puts significant emphasis on the segments product requirements, product compliance and e-commerce. The team led by Martin Rothermel has recently managed to expand its client portfolio, most notably in the consumer goods, retail, automotive, logistics and transport sectors. The international orientation of its offering with a specific focus on trade relations with China and Italy is a key feature of the practice. As part of the firm's Italy Desk, Benedikt Rohrßen is a key figure in this space; he is also increasingly active handling franchise business matters. Digitisation expert Michael Kieffer has in-depth knowledge of smart products, IoT and smart mobility, while Peter Hofbauer excels in the automotive sector. Alf Aretz retired at the end of 2019. To counter his departure, Arno Maria Gotting joined the Frankfurt office in May 2020 from CMS.

Practice head(s):

Martin Rothermel

Testimonials

' The law firm covers essential areas for advising a company in high quality. Uncomplicated cooperation and pragmatic advice. '

' Martin Rothermel is a very good conversationalist, solution-oriented, with whom pragmatic solutions can be discussed. '

' Broad team with a focus on Munich and Düsseldorf, with a rather very special focus for large law firms on sales advice, led by Martin Rothermel, in whose team Benedikt Rohrßen has been at the forefront of distribution law for over 10 years. '

' Driven by his multilingualism, Benedikt Rohrßen advises various internationally active, well-known clients in sales, offline as well as online and omnichannel, whereby he has for some time focused on advising franchise companies with a focus on automotive and retail. '

' Michael Kieffer: To the point, quickly, legally precise. '

' High level of expertise, very good team strength, very pleasant cooperation, high level of industry knowledge. '

' Michael Kieffer: High level of expertise and industry knowledge; responsive; assertive; very pleasant and friendly cooperation. '

Key clients

Boehringer Ingelheim

BORSIG

Condé Nast

FC Bayern München

Fujitsu

Faber Castell

Gore-Tex

Infineon

Liva Nova

Mey Unterwäsche

Nike

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Zeppelin Group

Work highlights

  • Gore-Tex: Long-term advice on commercial and sales law in Europe and various countries in Asia.
  • Faber Castell: Advice on commercial and sales law in various European countries.
  • Infineon: Advice on commercial and sales law special topics in Germany and China, including disputes.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper fields a highly specialised commercial and distribution law practice, specialising in commercial contracts as well as retail, consumer goods and manufacturing sector work. Advising on transformation and innovation projects constitutes a key portion of its workload; this includes digital aspects, which Thilo von Bodungen's team routinely handles in cooperation with the firm's IT group. Its offering also includes assistance with supply chains and distribution channels as well as, in the light of the current pandemic, restructurings and alternative financing solutions for production facilities. Von Bodungen handles national and international matters with a focus on manufacturing, consumer goods and retail, supporting clients along the entire value chain. The appointment of Sylvia Ebersberger as global co-chair of the automotive subgroup in June 2020 underlines her expertise in this space. She also advises on cross-border cooperations and data-based business models. Counsel Susanne Weckbach complements this offering with her expertise in the chemicals and industrial goods sectors as well as in joint ventures in the technology sector.

Practice head(s):

Thilo von Bodungen

Other key lawyers:

Sylvia Ebersberger; Susanne Weckbach

Testimonials

'Exact adjustment to the question, a holistic approach to a solution that is really consistent, and exact tracing of our business transactions.'

'Sylvia Ebersberger asks exactly the right questions, outlines solutions and tailors them precisely to the needs of the customer. Particularly noteworthy is her communicative ability to bring several contacts on board and to present the results to a larger group. '

'The law firm DLA Piper plays in the area of commercial and distribution law at the level of the large commercial law firms, both in terms of excellent expertise and a very high level of service.'

'Thilo von Bodungen is an experienced lawyer in the commercial sector with a very pleasantly calm manner and high responsiveness at the same time.'

'Efficient and practice-oriented legal advice.'

'Thilo von Bodungen is very experienced and practice-oriented.'

'A high level of technical competence paired with a hands-on mentality that has a very strong customer focus.'

'Outstanding technical competence.'

Key clients

Guala Closures Group

Harman

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

Paige Europe Limited, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Kering, Levi’s, Golden Goose

pressmetall Gruppe

Rolls Royce Power Systems AG

Schlemmer Gruppe

Work highlights

  • Guala Closures Group: Advice on the acquisition of the entire business operations of Closurelogic GmbH by way of a distressed asset deal.
  • Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG: Advice in connection with the restructuring of the sales system in China as well as on commercial contracts, in particular with regard to the sale of two companies.
  • Press metal Group: Advice on self-administration and restructuring of supply relationships with customers in the automotive and industrial goods industries.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner's primary focus lies on the automotive sector and on advising automotive dealers, but the firm's distribution law practice also acts for clients from the IT, financial services, insurance, medical and consumer goods sectors. The range of advice extends from franchising and direct sales to sales structuring and the drafting of corresponding contracts. Sven Köhnen, who jointly heads the practice with Hendrik Thies, also handles matters at the intersection with antitrust law, while Thies mainly deals with international contract issues. Frank Jungfleisch is another key individual in this space and has an additional specialism in advising Turkish companies.

Practice head(s):

Sven Köhnen; Hendrik Thies

Other key lawyers:

Frank Jungfleisch

Testimonials

'The combination of a central contact person for me as a client in connection with the extensive range of specialists who are called in when necessary provides me with efficient support across the board. The model also promotes a good basic understanding of our company and business model on the part of the law firm. '

'Frank Jungfleisch is an equally competent and pragmatic legal advisor who makes practical suggestions.'

Key clients

Autohaus am Westbahnhof GmbH / Mitsubishi Motors Deutschland MMD Automobile GmbH

Berry (früher RPC) – Gruppe, RPC Bramlage GmbH

Citroen Händlerverband

Europäischer Mercedes-Benz Händlerverband

Getinge-Gruppe

GHOST-Bikes GmbH

Honda Händlerverband

Huhtamaki Oyj (Helsinki, Finnland) und deutsche Konzerngesellschaften

IGEDOS Interessengemeinschaft der Opel Servicepartner e. V.

IVECO Händlerverband

Otto Ganter GmbH & Co. KG

Propan Rheingas GmbH & Co KG

Pumpenfabrik Wangen GmbH

Verband der Hyundai Vertragspartner Deutschland e. V.

Verband der KIA-Händler und KIA-Servicepartner Deutschland e.V.

Volvo-Lkw Vertragspartnerverband

Work highlights

  • Getinge Group: Long-term advice on sales law issues as well as foreign trade and customs law. In addition, advice on export controls, a new model specialist trade contract and, finally, review and revision of the sales contract used worldwide.
  • Association of Hyundai Contract Partners Germany e. V.: Ongoing advice in the field of distribution law.

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz fields a multijurisdictional team to handle commercial and distribution law work, which, in the distribution system space includes matters at the interfaces with IP, IT, data protection, litigation and antitrust law. Led by Eric Wagner, the practice also deals with product recalls and e-commerce issues. Andreas Wehlau and Stefan Weidert are particularly experienced in handling corresponding distribution law matters. In January 2020, the team recorded two partner promotions: Marc Ruttloff has a public law background and specialises in product liability and product safety law, while Johannes Hertfelder brings antitrust law expertise to his distribution law work.

Practice head(s):

Eric Wagner

Testimonials

'Good and diversified team with good, highly qualified mid-level staff.'

Key clients

Alcar Wheels

Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG

AOK-Gemeinschaft

BSH (Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte)

Daimler

Deutsche Telekom

Ikea

Streetscooter

Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg

Voestalpine

Volkswagen

Work highlights

  • Daimler: Advice and representation in numerous legal proceedings.
  • Volkswagen: Advising the supervisory board on entering into a cooperation with Ford in the field of vans and medium-sized pick-ups.
  • Alcar Wheels GmbH: Advice in connection with a product recall and communication with authorities in seven European countries and Russia.

Eversheds Sutherland

Alexander Niethammer and Joos Hellert jointly head the commercial practice at Eversheds Sutherland, which primarily revolves around distribution law. The development of distribution systems, franchising and advice on distributor and commercial agent law are among the core aspects of its work. Its client portfolio includes a large number of US companies with business activities in Germany and Europe as a whole, including automotive, pharma and food industry players. Niethammer complements this offering with expertise in the technology and e-commerce sectors, while Hellert has a specialism in contentious commercial and distribution law. Kathrin Gack, who made counsel in May 2020, predominantly handles IT and digitisation projects.

Other key lawyers:

Kathrin Gack

Testimonials

'The Eversheds team in Munich offers pan-European service, is professional and particularly experienced in the pharmaceutical industry.'

' The team has been looking after us for several years. Contact persons / representatives can be reached at any time and are very competent and swift in processing legal inquiries and reviews. '

' Constant availability (high availability), very fast and always competent feedback, always friendly .'

Key clients

Autoliv

Avis Budget

Burger King

COR Sitzmöbel

Kering

Superdry

Veoneer

White Stuff

Work highlights

  • COR seating: Defense in cartel damages lawsuit against Reuter online shop.
  • Budget Notice: Full service advice in distribution law.
  • INEOS: Advice in connection with the conception and negotiation of large-volume supply contracts to industrial customers.

GvW Graf von Westphalen

GvW Graf von Westphalen has carved out a strong practice handling commercial agency law work as well as commercial disputes and arbitration proceedings. The focus of practice head Raimond Emde spans both elements, while handling insurance distribution law and telecommunications law work constitutes another key strength. In Hamburg, the team has a niche in the motorhome and caravan industry, advising a large number of manufacturers on the full range of distribution law and beyond. Christian Zerr in the Munich office is primarily active in franchise law and has in-depth knowledge in hotel operator contracts. Also based in Bavaria, Markus Knell routinely assists companies with direct sales matters. In October 2020, the firm opened its Stuttgart office with Marcus Schriefers from Heussen, who boosts its logistics sector capabilities, among others.

Practice head(s):

Raimond Emde

Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB

Following an interdisciplinary approach when advising on trade and international legal relations, Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB's group led by Christian Aufdermauer acts for clients from an array of industries, such as automotive suppliers, medical device and food manufacturers as well as mechanical engineering and textile companies, in various distribution law matters. Team head Aufdermauer and Ulrich Schnelle are the key contacts for antitrust law with typical mandates concerning e-commerce and platform restrictions. Banking lawyer Beate Bruckmaier has a focus on the distribution of financial products, while Alexander Hübner covers the interface with public procurement law. Kai Graf von der Recke joined Rödl & Partner in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Christian Aufdermauer

Testimonials

” Perfect advice and representation of the management in legal matters. Design of individual legal fields of action to match the facts. ‘

‘Fast communication and perfect expression. Act on our behalf. ‘

Key clients

Amann & Söhne GmbH & Co. KG

Konecranes GmbH

MTD-Products-Gruppe GmbH

REMONDIS

Work highlights

  • Konecranes GmbH: Ongoing advice on all sales law issues.
  • MTD Products Group: Comprehensive advice in European and worldwide sales activities; Advice on the development of new sales contracts, the establishment of a new sales company in the Czech Republic, and on the dispute regarding a commercial agent compensation claim with a German commercial agent.
  • REPAIR: Advice to all branches in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Distribution of disposal services for private individuals, the public sector (public procurement law) and commercial enterprises; Adjustment of current disposal contracts (adjustment of prices and conditions); commercial collections; ongoing circular economy (contracts with power plant operators).

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

International distribution relationships and distribution antitrust law matters are the two cornerstones of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's commercial law practice. In the automotive sector, the practice advises both, well-known car manufacturers as well as their suppliers, but the team led by Reinhard Siegert also advises clients from various other sectors such as the chemical and textile industries. Much importance is attached to work involving international elements, which makes the team a good contact for foreign companies requiring assistance with their German market entry. Siegert is particularly recommended for distribution antitrust law, while Martin Reufels also advises on distribution structures and franchising.

Practice head(s):

Reinhard Siegert

Other key lawyers:

Martin Reufels

Testimonials

'Excellent customer service, quick and accurate. Good legal research and excellent knowledge of human nature. Good internal division of tasks and coordinated processing. '

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte provides clients across a wide range of sectors with broad commercial and distribution law advice, including contract law, franchising and disputes. As well as acting as arbitrator, practice head Oliver Korte has a focus on contract law in the sale and purchase of goods. Niels Witt heads the team in Hamburg and counts many shippers and forwarders among his clients. Recently, the team, working across various practices, has also dedicated much of its time handling trade and logistics 4.0 matters, such as issues pertaining to the use of smart glasses in the logistics sector.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Korte

Other key lawyers:

Niels Witt

Key clients

Eurofins-Gruppe

Work highlights

  • Gas station chain: Commercial and sales law support.
  • Medical device manufacturer: Comprehensive commercial and sales law support for the client including subsidiaries and sister companies in the EMEA region.
  • Fast food chain: Advising the European headquarters on questions of franchise law.

Bird & Bird LLP

As a reflection of the firm's overall sector focus, Bird & Bird LLP's commercial and distribution law team has a strong profile for automotive and financial services sector work as well as for mandates pertaining to the segments energy and telecoms. Within this space, one focus lies on drafting commercial contracts for automotive suppliers with OMEs. Christian Kessel and Matthias Spilker jointly head the practice, which, in addition to drafting contracts, also handles project management and contentious issues. Kessel advises on general terms and conditions alongside commercial contracts and has a specialism in warranty and liability matters, while product liability expert Spilker advises automotive sector players on the suspension of deliveries, contract terminations and risk management.

Other key lawyers:

Philipp Egler; Lars Kyrberg

Key clients

Dayco Products LLC

KFC

TenneT Group

Work highlights

  • German listed company: Advice on contract drafting and negotiation of the first offshore wind corporate PPA (long-term electricity supply contract) for a new project in Germany.

Clifford Chance

With Gunnar Sachs in the lead, Clifford Chance's distribution law group primarily focuses on technology sector work and various digitisation-related matters. The interdisciplinary team however also advises on distribution agreements, distribution systems and distribution platforms. Thanks to the firm's renowned antitrust practice, it is also well equipped to guide clients through distribution antitrust law matters with Marc Besen as a key contact.

Other key lawyers:

Gunnar Sachs; Marc Besen

Clyde & Co LLP

International trade is as one of the core aspects of Clyde & Co LLP's global practice, which is also reflected in its German offices in Düsseldorf and Hamburg. Commercial contracts, trade finance and commercial disputes are the three cornerstones of the group, which, due to the firm's excellent position in maritime commercial law, acts for many clients from this industry in commercial and distribution law. Tim Schommer heads the practice and frequently represents commodity traders in arbitration proceedings. Eckehard Volz is the key contact for grain and oil traders as well as for bunker suppliers, while Volker Lücke advises many manufacturers of wind turbines, car parts and trade goods on commercial agency agreements.

Practice head(s):

Tim Schommer

Other key lawyers:

Eckehard Volz; Volker Lücke

Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH has been increasingly active assisting clients in realigning and redesigning supply chains and distribution systems, often requiring expertise in special distribution models such as authorised dealer structures and franchising. Traditionally, its clients stem from the manufacturing, mechanical engineering and automotive sectors but recently the team has also been able to acquire new clients, such as pharmaceutical companies, quick-service restaurants and distributors of digital media. Andreas Leclaire heads the practice and, in addition to commercial and distribution law, also advises on IP. Contracts, terms and conditions, distribution networks and trading transactions are the focus of Johannes Passas' work, while he also takes on product liability matters.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Leclaire

Other key lawyers:

Johannes Passas

GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB

As well as providing assistance with contract negotiations and distribution law, GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB puts significant emphasis on contentious matters, including arbitration and cross-border issues. Its clients are typically drawn from the automotive, steel, construction and medical sectors with niche expertise in biopharmaceuticals. Handling matters pertaining to distribution and distribution antitrust law fall within the remit of Oliver Spieker, who is also well versed in the intellectual property space. With Florian Schmitz, the team is well equipped to provide commercial and distribution law advice on IT and outsourcing projects. In October 2020, the team suffered a loss when its former practice head and dispute resolution expert Christoph Siefarth moved to disputes boutique BODENHEIMER HERZBERG.

Testimonials

'Human totally correct; professional; reliable.'

'Oliver Spieker is technically outstanding. A competent contact person who can understand the facts in a very short time. Always presents very good solutions. '

Key clients

Parfümerie Akzente GmbH

Samsung Electronics GmbH

Johnson Matthey GmbH, Johnson Matthey PLC

CIP Chinese Intelligent Procurement Gruppe, München

Rentschler Biopharma SE

Work highlights

  • Perfumery Akzente GmbH: Advice on contract negotiations in connection with various selective distribution systems for manufacturers of branded products or trademark holders in the cosmetics and perfumery industry.
  • Samsung Electronics GmbH: Ongoing advice on sales contracts with distributors and retailers as well as on contracts with suppliers and partners.
  • Johnson Matthey GmbH, Johnson Matthey PLC: Ongoing advice on sales contracts with customers and suppliers, often in an international context.

Hoffmann Liebs

Hoffmann Liebs has SME sector work at its core and, with an international outlook, puts a special focus on trade relations with Asia and China. The team advises producers, suppliers and trading companies on various issues arising from the distribution and purchase of goods and services alongside supply chains and franchise systems. With Christoph Schmitt, the team has a depth of experience in terms and conditions matters and contract law. Lothar Köhl routinely assists with plant construction and project transactions and supports foreign companies entering the German market, while providing advice on distribution systems and distribution strategies is the focus of Sebastian Herrmann's work. The four-partner team also includes Martin Stange, who is responsible for structuring supply, trade and investment relationships.

Testimonials

'The team is characterized by the range that is covered in the (especially commercial) legal advice.'

'Sebastian Herrmann's style, which is accessible at all times, must be highlighted as well as his examinations and responses, which are reliable in terms of time and content. His advice is based on extremely knowledgeable and precise legal checks. The tests and results can be used very well at any time for practical implementation in real business life. '

'The teamwork works smoothly and harmoniously.'

'Sebastian Herrmann has a high level of expertise in contract management. He works conscientiously and reliably. '

'On the one hand, the cooperation with the law firm is very personal when it comes to contact persons. As a customer, you feel noticed and valued. On the other hand, the law firm is big enough that a colleague can always be found for many areas of law who can provide information or take on tasks. '

'Our contact person is characterized by the fact that, depending on the legal case, he strikes the right legal tone, follows up legal cases independently, considers the economic consequences, has excellent negotiating skills, is punctual and can bring non-lawyers to the point briefly and concisely . The necessary coordination is always constructive, result-oriented and in a pleasant discussion atmosphere. '

LUTZ | ABEL RECHTSANWALTS PARTG MBB

LUTZ | ABEL RECHTSANWALTS PARTG MBB  has been providing distribution and commercial law advice since 2017 with a focus on representing OEMs, suppliers and component manufacturers in the automotive sector. Led by Marius Mann, the team's scope spans general contract law as well as purchasing and distribution support, while other key elements include distribution restructuring and distribution antitrust law alongside disputes including arbitration. In the contentious space, Mann receives regular support from associate Benjamin Baisch, while associate Ute Schenn is dedicated to distribution antitrust law work. The trio also handles instructions with international elements, such as those arising from trade relations with China and Switzerland.

Practice head(s):

Marius Mann

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Baisch; Ute Schenn

Testimonials

'Marius Mann works out qualified and satisfactory solutions.'

Key clients

AlphaPet-Gruppe

C.E. Noerpel GmbH

Candis GmbH

Dural GmbH

Electronic Production Partners GmbH

Govecs AG

Grandeco Wallfashion Group (Belgien)

Hirschvogel Holding GmbH

Horvath AG

Implenia Construction GmbH

Kosev Ltd.

Lithofin AG

Luisa Cerano GmbH

MILENA HOLDING AG (vormals: Certus Group AG)

MIM Planen & Bauen GmbH

Müller Transporte GmbH

One Logic GmbH

Osapiens GmbH

Putzmeister Holding GmbH

Raffinerie Heide GmbH

Redavia GmbH

RPN Food Technology AG

Strassacker-Gruppe

TUMint Energy Research GmbH

Watson-Marlow GmbH

Zarges GmbH

Spirax Sarco Group

Work highlights

  • Dural GmbH: Advice in connection with the preparation and negotiation of complex sales contracts with foreign partners.
  • Alphapet Group: Advice in the context of sales law issues.

Oppenhoff

Oppenhoff divides its offering in the commercial space in four strands: purchasing, production, logistics and sales, advising on contract design, cooperations, restructurings and dispute resolution. Special attention is paid to the automotive, healthcare, IT, technology and insurance sectors but the team also has know-how in the e-commerce sector, which is called upon in the context of designing B2B and B2C platforms as well as e-payment systems. Practice head Marc Hilber maintains client relations with the aerospace & defence sector and excels in matters with a technology connection. Vanessa Pickenpack is often called upon in disputes but also in contract drafting.

Practice head(s):

Marc Hilber

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Pickenpack; Daniel Dohrn

Testimonials

'Very reliable and competent.'

'Our contact person has a very good international network and has worked perfectly with the industry. Available for us around the clock. '

Key clients

MBDA Deutschland

Boeing Inc.

General Reinsurance

Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V. (VDA)

Vaillant Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

Bombardier

Dorel Germany GmbH

Union Tank Eckstein GmbH & Co. KG

CBRE

TFK – Trends for Kids GmbH

Bundesverband deutscher Kinderausstatter

DERTICKETSERVICE.DE

Airport Research Center

Work highlights

  • MBDA Germany: Comprehensive advice on a large technology project.
  • CCE Group (Clean Capital Energy): Advice on the implementation of the 87 MWp solar park La Huella in northern Chile.
  • Pro Pet Koller GmbH & Co. KG: Advice on a dispute with a large retail chain.

Orth Kluth Rechtsanwälte

Orth Kluth Rechtsanwälte has a focus on the mobility sector, which includes automotive and transport as well as e-mobility and innovative drive systems. The practice is headed by a quartet consisting of Julius Böckmann, Christiane Hoffbauer, Dafni Nikolakudi and Frank Wältermann. Böckmann frequently handles insurance and other contentious matters, while Hoffbauer has specific expertise in contract law; a specialism he shares with Nikolakudi, who is particularly well versed handling international matters. Providing purchasing, sales and distribution structuring advice constitutes Wältermann's focus.

Testimonials

'Extremely reliable and fast response times, very service-oriented; Broad experience in the industrial environment, many disciplines, specialists for individual topics. Pragmatic solutions, adaptable to the expectations of the customer – even “last minute” inquiries are dealt with reliably. '

'Frank Waltermann can almost always be reached at short notice, reliable, personable, very professional, convincing in his arguments, empathetic towards customers, and solution-oriented.'

'Very good accessibility, prompt feedback.'

'Frank Waltermann is very confident, extremely good specialist knowledge also about our industrial division, very flexible. Very clear in the statements, is not afraid to address things specifically, even if the client may not like it that much. Always friendly and calm. '

'Very high level of commitment, time flexibility and availability, practical and problem-solving-oriented and concise, short, generally understandable presentation of the facts, even with innovation topics.'

'The law firm Orth & Kluth is so comprehensively set up in the area of commercial and distribution law in the areas of law that are relevant to us that we as a group of companies are supported at all times by a competent contact person – even in peripheral legal areas.'

'In commercial and distribution law – especially in the automotive and rail sectors – the work of Frank Waltermann is particularly valued, who supports our group of companies in some complex customer relationships.'

Key clients

Abbelen GmbH

Akasol AG

ASM Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG

bofrost* Gruppe, einschließlich Boquoi HandelsOHG

Dematic GmbH (inzwischen Teil von Kion)

Erfurter Bahn GmbH

Konecranes GmbH (Port Solutions, früher Terex bzw. Gottwald)

Mobility Inside GmbH & Co. KG

National Express Rail GmbH

Outokumpu Nirosta

Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund

Schustermann & Borenstein Logistik GmbH (u.a. BestSecret.com)

Siemens Mobility Austria GmbH

Terex (Gruppe)

TÜV Rheinland AG

ValeoSiemens eAutomotive Germany GmbH

VAT Vakuumventile AG

VDM Metals GmbH

Vega Systems Wash Technology Germany GmbH

Welscheit GmbH

Wickeder Westfalenstahl

Wolffkran GmbH

Work highlights

  • bofrost * Group: Assistance in matters of contract and liability law, representation in various civil law disputes.
  • Erfurter Bahn GmbH: Assistance in the procurement of rail vehicles for the Southern Franconia-Thuringia network as part of a public tender.
  • Rhein-Main transport association: Contractual advice for the procurement and maintenance of trains with innovative hydrogen propulsion.

THEOPARK Rechtsanwälte und Steuerberater Partnerschaft mbB

National and international distribution law is a key area of expertise for Nuremberg-based firm THEOPARK Rechtsanwälte und Steuerberater Partnerschaft mbB. Team head Alexander Saueracker typically takes the lead in such work and puts his personal industry focus on automotive and, increasingly, on the life sciences and healthcare sectors. As well as handling non-contentious distribution law work, Saueracker also handles litigation. Thanks to the cooperation with Rainer Schaaf, he has recently also been able to expand the team's offering to include matters at the intersection with insolvency law. Jürgen Siegl's wide-ranging expertise ranges from commercial and distribution law to M&A and finance law.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Saueracker

Other key lawyers:

Jürgen Siegl; Rainer Schaaf

Testimonials

'A highly committed and technically very competent team.'

'Alexander Saueracker is technically extremely competent and also convincing as a person, very committed, has so far been able to find a solution for all issues (even tricky ones) through his negotiating skills, his professional competence and his appearance.'

Key clients

abl social federation GmbH

Ariana Holding GmbH

Labor Kneißler GmbH & Co. KG

PILOUS spol. s r.o.

Rigol Technologies EU GmbH

SMBC Gruppe

Harvards Bioscience

Work highlights

  • abl social federation GmbH: Ongoing advice on commercial and sales law issues, most recently on comprehensive tenders and the conclusion of cooperation and consortium agreements.
  • Ariana Holding GmbH: Ongoing advice on sales law; most recently with the redesign of internal sales contracts and the conclusion of cooperation agreements.
  • SMBC Leasing (UK) Limited: Comprehensive sales law advice on entering the market and setting up the leasing business in Germany and Europe.