Trade, distribution and logistics in Germany

Includes advice on supply, distribution and franchising contracts as well as on distribution antitrust law and other issues in the logistics area. Contentious commercial law matters are also dealt with in the Commercial Litigation ranking.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie calls upon the commercial and distribution law expertise of its International Commercial & Trade practice group in a wide range of topics, including contract drafting, the structuring of distribution channels and distribution law compliance projects. Logistics-related issues and distribution antitrust law matters spanning various sectors are also handled by the team. Other mainstays are the in and out-of-court dispute resolution as well as interface competencies, such as IP, IT, pharmaceutical, employment and corporate law. Thanks to this broad offering, the firm comprehensively supports global market leaders in complex large-scale projects. The practice group is headed by Ulf Wauschkuhn, who advises in particular on distribution systems and on distribution, supply, logistics and commercial agreements. Katharina Spenner specialises in distribution antitrust law, where she regularly represents clients in related proceedings, and has a focus on the consumer goods, fashion and automotive industries. Johannes Teichmann covers commercial agency and distributor agreements with cross-border aspects as well as transactional issues. Counsel Joachim Fröhlich is particularly active in advising on logistics and transport agreements.

Practice head(s):

Ulf Wauschkuhn


‘Precise and practical legal advice. Very pleasant to work with with always quick answers and solutions. We recommend.’

‘Ms. Spenner has a wide range of industry knowledge. She is technically extremely competent, acts calmly, considered and level-headed.’

‘We engaged the team to advise on an acquisition where we were the business to be acquired. We found the team very commercial and responsive. They are prepared to consult in Europe and Japan.’

‘Katharina Spenner was our main contact person. Catherine reacted; gave sound advice; was adaptable and quickly gained the team’s trust.’

‘The team seems very harmonious and well attuned to each other. Response time is always excellent.’

‘Katharina Spenner: Highly competent, extraordinarily strategic and creative thinker, very reactive and also extremely pleasant to work with.’

‘We work primarily with Dr. Teichmann and his team have been together for a number of years now. The advice is fast, effective, at the highest level and, above all, practice-oriented.’

Key clients

Amer Sports



Daimler AG


Giesecke + Devrient

Hitachi Medical Systems

Karl Storz SE & Co. KG

MAN Truck & Bus SE



Schülke & Mayr GmbH

VF Corp.

Work highlights

  • Representing ASICS in two complex sales antitrust proceedings involving legal issues that have not yet been decided by the courts. In addition, advice on commercial and competition law matters, on complex distribution systems and representation of ASICS in judicial and extrajudicial disputes with distribution partners.
  • Representing CureVac in negotiations for the supply of Covid-19 vaccine to governments, as well as negotiating and drafting complex toll manufacturing contracts for the production of Covid-19 vaccine by third parties.
  • Advising Karl Storz, the world’s leading manufacturer of endoscopes, on major contractual matters.


In the segments trade, distribution and logistics, CMS comprehensively advises and represents both manufacturers and distributors. The practice group is particularly strong due to its geographically varying industry focuses: In Cologne, this is primarily related to consumer goods, while in Hamburg the maritime sector and life sciences are covered and Stuttgart serves the automotive, mechanical engineering and industrial sectors. Further key strengths are distribution antitrust law, dispute resolution and digital distribution channels, while banking supervision and insolvency law are increasingly making up a large part of the team's workload. Practice head Gerald Gräfe focuses on distribution contracts, product compliance and the automotive sector. Commercial agency and official distributor law, along with Italian distribution law, falls within Robert Budde 's area of responsibility, while Tobias Bomsdorf advises on industrial plant contracts and product liability issues. Counsel Christoph Schröder returned from the firm's Shanghai office in July 2020 and now advises Chinese clients on their European business from Hamburg.

Practice head(s):

Gerald Gräfe


‘Very fast response times and good, precise support in various areas of law.’

‘The bundled knowledge of CMS, the colleagues at global locations, the expertise in all things contract law, all this makes the law firm indispensable for the specific issues that we need as a company that operates globally.’

‘Dr. Budde has outstanding professional competence.’

‘Partners and associates working together in partnership. Skills transfer from partner to associate is practiced.’

‘Very high professional competence, very good support in decision-making. Advice beyond the case.’

‘The CMS team works very well together and is well coordinated. It doesn’t matter who you’re currently talking to, because the internal coordination is going extremely well.’

‘The individual people are absolute professionals in the business and understand both the facts and the client. The work is very client-oriented.’

Key clients




Jinko Solar


Onkyo/ Pioneer






Work highlights

  • Advising Gardena GmbH/ Husqvarna Group on all legal aspects in the drafting and negotiation of contracts for an alliance for the joint use of a battery platform by various manufacturers of domestic electrical appliances.
  • Advice to Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG in various areas and on individual projects, including the drafting and negotiation of contracts with suppliers and two strategically important projects to introduce new product lines.
  • Advising Eppendorf AG on the restructuring of the distribution system for Italy; Creation of a new model commercial agency contract.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Due to the restructuring of the practice structure at Hogan Lovells International LLP, implemented in January 2021, the newly founded Strategic Operations, Agreements and Regulation practice is responsible for commercial, distribution and logistics law advice and is integrated into the Global Regulatory & IPMT group. Distribution systems, franchise law and commercial contracts are among the core topics, as well as regulatory advice and support in digitisation trends, e-commerce and market entries in Germany. Traditionally, the industry focus is on the automotive industry, with other sectors such as consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and life sciences also comprehensively covered. Patrick Ayad, whose advisory portfolio covers regulatory issues, collaborations and licensing agreements, heads the global part of the practice group. Clients from the pharmaceutical, medical and biotech sectors rely on Jörg Schickert's expertise, while Florian Unseld, as head of the German department, oversees the operative business, including innovative purchasing and distribution models as well as entry into new markets. Christiane Alpers made counsel in January 2020 and, together with Thomas Salomon , focuses on the consumer goods and food industry. Counsel Sebastian Schnell assists clients with commercial and distribution law issues as well as with product-related regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Ayad; Florian Unseld


‘Hogan always comes to meetings/calls with all the skills required for the topic in question, ie lawyers with specialist knowledge are proactively brought on board.’

‘Hogan has a highly motivated and competent staff. They not only clarify the legal framework and requirements in a very timely manner, but also bring in ideas for negotiation approaches and, on request, also comment on the probability of occurrence.’

‘I appreciate that the lawyers are almost always available, that they are also available during holidays and at late hours for urgent matters, and that a colleague from another team can be called in at any time for specific legal questions.’

‘The team at HL Munich operates extremely successfully with extensive industry-specific legal knowledge. Their understanding of successful legal advice is based on extensive experience and complex issues are also clearly and unambiguously presented to non-lawyers.’

‘My company has particularly benefited from the international structures.’

‘Working with international law professionals is a must for our company. We were able to do that with Dr. Florian Unseld fully experienced. In particular, Dr. Unseld is always available for us, delivers the best results at short notice with detailed industry knowledge of international logistics and supply chain management. In this difficult environment, he has represented us very successfully on a number of projects with a global reach.’

‘Very competent, goal-oriented professional advice. Very quick reactions. Always very friendly.’

‘Dr. Florian Unseld is a really competent colleague. Very high technical expertise. Very friendly and always effective advice.’

Key clients

Eli Lilly and Company

Fifth Generation


FLS German Holding

Ford Motor Company

Fox Factory

Genesis Motor Europe

Hyundai Motor Europe

Kaia Health Software

Lockheed Martin


Mitsubishi Motors

Moet Hennessy


Texas Instruments



Walcher Logistik


Work highlights

  • Advised Genesis Motor Europe and Vinfast on entering the European market, including distribution and foreign trade law.
  • Advising Lürssen on contract, antitrust and public procurement law in defense procurement projects.  
  • Advised Eli Lilly and Company on a supply agreement with the Federal Ministry of Health for the supply of an antibody product for the treatment of Covid-19.


Noerr fields a sizeable team in the commercial and distribution law space. Accordingly, clients often benefit from the team’s highly specialised expertise. The interdisciplinary structure of the firm also serves numerous interfaces, offering a one-stop shop approach. Key topics in this area are distribution, franchise and official distributor systems as well as the development of e-commerce businesses and platforms. The practice also has a particularly strong footing in the automotive industry, with comprehensive advice on all distribution and antitrust law issues. A recent growth area is the topic digitisation, which is increasingly expanding. Michael Reiling is particularly well versed in franchising and the transnational restructuring of distribution systems. Clients from the automotive and telecoms industries rely on Albin Ströbl for distribution and antitrust matters, while Karsten Metzlaff has extensive experience in franchise law. Mansur Pour Rafsendjani covers matters pertaining to the digitisation of the supply chain and Tom Billing has experience in the areas of e-commerce and distribution law and is particularly active in the contractual implementation of distribution systems. Cathrin Wentzel made associated partner in January 2021, and contributes expertise in the areas of supply contracts and international supply relationships, among other things.

Practice head(s):

Michael Reiling


‘The team around partner Dr. Albin Ströbl has good knowledge of the automotive sector and the associated sales and commercial law issues.’

‘Partner Albin Ströbl has a quick grasp and a good (also historical) overview of the mandate and the central issues. He has a very pleasant way of dealing with clients and a very welcome economic approach and perspective when drafting distribution or cooperation agreements.’

‘Dr. Michael Reiling: Excellent specialist knowledge and very practice-oriented, always providing solutions.’

‘Very short-term availability, fast work results, practical advice, strategic sales advice, result-oriented and always appropriate dealings with the other side.’

‘Very solution-oriented and pragmatic thinking and working. High professional competence in the legal areas, especially in sales and franchise law.’

‘Tom Billing: Very solution-oriented, very pragmatic. Fast and precise processing.’

‘Michael Reiling: Outstanding legal expertise in franchise law, very high level of responsiveness and an excellent service attitude.’

‘Ströbl knows the industry and is simply up to date, so you immediately feel understood with your case constellations. He gives an answer to everything from the knowledge and experience in the branch.’

Key clients

VW Car Software Org


Canyon Bycicles

Royal Cosun

Serviceplan Group

Home Shopping Europe

Credi2 GmbH

Auto Teile Unger (ATU)

McDonald’s Deutschland

Boehringer Ingelheim

Volkswagen Gruppe

SAIC Motor Europe






Schoko Winterscheidt GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising the Austrian FinTech Credi2 GmbH on a subscription model (rental model) for technical devices of one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mobile phones, tablet computers and laptops.
  • Representation of SAIC Motor Europe in the market launch of new MG brand vehicles in Europe (hybrid and electric vehicles).
  • Advising tooz technologies on international production and supply contracts for Bluetooth-enabled smart glasses.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH‘s commercial, distribution and logistics law practice advises on all aspects of the supply chain. These include matters pertaining to raw material supply, market launch of products, consumer agreements and product compliance. Volker Steimle‘s team focuses on the automotive and healthcare sectors, with automotive distribution a particular core topic of the service offering. The team is also experienced in representing clients in contentious proceedings before courts and arbitrational courts. Steimle advises clients on distribution agreements, product liability and disputes. The latter is a focus of Anne Caroline Wegner, who also covers the interface with antitrust law. Maximilian Dorndorf has particular expertise in outsourcing, IT and logistics. In July 2021, the partner roster was expanded with the promotions of Kuuya Josef Chibanguza, who focuses on product liability risks in the digital context, and Christiane Kühn, who has expertise in international commercial law.

Practice head(s):

Volker Steimle

Key clients


Emil Frey Gruppe

SAME Deutz-Fahr


TE Connectivity (Tyco Electronics)

Haldex AB


SONA AutoComp

Heinrich Georg Maschinenfabrik

H. Stoll AG & Co. KG

Würth Elektronik

Quin GmbH

VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG

Mahle GmbH


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


DF Deutsche Fiskal


Autoliv B.V. & Co. KG


Prinz Kinematix GmbH

Klingel GmbH


Work highlights

  • Advising BASF AG on the European and global market launch of the Healthy Fields product (digitization of agriculture through the use of AI and IT-supported systems to determine pest infestation) and creation of a sales concept.
  • Comprehensive advice to Harley-Davidson Germany GmbH on all sales and contractual issues and the resulting representation in and out of court vis-à-vis individual dealers and the dealer association.
  • Drafting of distribution agreements to enter the German and European market for Nagase Holdings America Corporation with a special focus on product compliance issues as well as distribution law and distribution antitrust law.

Taylor Wessing

In commercial and distribution law, Taylor Wessing has a broad practice, which assists clients in the distribution of consumer and industrial goods. The group has industry-specific expertise in the areas automotive, logistics and transport, healthcare as well as consumer goods and retail with a special geographical focus on Italy and China. Other core topics incude product compliance, smart products, mobility, e-commerce and franchising. Recently, efforts have also been made to expand the range of advice on CSR and the restructuring of supply chains and distribution systems. Martin Rothermel heads the Commercial Agreement & Distribution department and convinces with broad experience in the field, including product liability and commercial agency systems. The automotive industry is primarily covered by Peter Hofbauer, while Julia Wulf focuses on technology-oriented companies. Benedikt Rohrßen made partner in May 2021 and advises on commercial, franchise and distribution law, he plays a key role in the development and expansion of the Italy desk.

Practice head(s):

Martin Rothermel


‘We are a medium-sized company in the textile industry and value Taylor Wessing’s pragmatic work. It is not necessary to make a big topic out of every small question. We can also work together “continuously”, ie depending on the topic, sometimes more intensively, sometimes less intensively.’

‘Dr. Benedikt Rohrßen knows his stuff, we have a very trustworthy partner in him. If he is not able to provide information ad hoc on a specific topic, he obtains information or, for example, involves foreign partners. We feel very well guided and advised.’

‘Dr. Hofbauer is a very pleasant colleague who knows how to convincingly represent the position he represents, even when there are different views. In particular, Dr. Hofbauer always the essential aspects, so that the factual discussion is always limited to these points.’

‘Dr. Rothermel has managed to gather an extremely motivated team around him. He has a flair for promoting talent, which he empowers and leads to success. The associates are also competent here and not just the partner.’

‘Dr. Rothermel has outstanding expertise and advises to the point. Few consultants understand in-house structures as well as he does. He can understand the industry he advises and is close to the client. He recognizes business relationships with the certainty of a sleepwalker. He excels in advising on complex supply chain problems.’

‘Taylor Wessing’s distribution law practice is broad. The members of the Practice Group Commercial Agreements & Distribution advise along the entire supply chain – from purchasing or production to distribution and product recalls. Within this framework, individual members focus on specific topics. This applies in particular to the team around Dr. Benedikt Rohrßen, who specializes personally in franchises including sales antitrust law.’

‘At Taylor Wessing, the team led by Dr. Benedikt Rohrßen, because he advises with great experience in international sales and franchises. He is ahead of his time, especially when it comes to online sales, as the various specialist articles in the magazine for sales law, for example, impressively show. Furthermore, Dr. Benedikt Rohrßen and his team on product compliance and international trade. His availability at all times is also phenomenal.’

‘Taylor Wessing has an extremely strong and experienced team of distribution lawyers, which is extraordinary even for a firm of this size. Various colleagues are also academic leaders. A particular strength lies in the area of distribution antitrust law.’

Key clients

Anita Dr. Helbig

Autosmart International

Background Performer



Develey Senf & Feinkost

Dr. Schär

Enterprise Rent-a-Car


FC Bayern München


Jacques’ Wein Depot

KARL MAYER Textilmaschinen


Matica Cosmetics



Rapunzel Naturkost


Riese & Müller

SA.G Group


TP-Link Deutschland


W. L. Gore & Associates

Wacker Neuson

Work highlights

  • Advising Calzedonia on franchise law and online sales as well as on real estate law matters.
  • Ongoing comprehensive and project-related sales law advice to Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
  • Comprehensive advice to Develey Senf & Feinkost on the logistics contract and the negotiation of two logistics contracts with a well-known logistics company. Furthermore, ongoing advice on sales law issues.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper offers clients a one-stop shop for all aspects of trade, distribution and logistics. The automotive, chemical, retail and consumer goods sectors are industry focuses, which are supported at the interface with IT and digitisation. The firm’s advisory portfolio includes all aspects of the supply chain and distribution channels, contract law, licensing agreements and cooperation in the form of strategic alliances and joint ventures. Most recently, the main focus was on Covid-19-related issues, such as the disruption of supply chains, force majeure and alternative business models. Thilo von Bodungen heads the practice and is primarily active in aspects of contract law and operational business, particularly in the industrial, consumer goods and retail sectors. Sylvia Ebersberger has extensive experience in supporting transformation processes and innovation projects, in which she often accompanies data-based business models. Contract law expert Susanne Weckbach and Silke Goschler, who specialises in distribution systems, are key contacts at counsel level.

Practice head(s):

Thilo von Bodungen


‘Excellent knowledge of commercial law. Very good ability to draft contracts in English. Excellent service and personable tone. Smart.’

‘Thilo von Bodungen is an experienced partner who acts very attentively and works in a solution-oriented manner.’

Susanne Weckbach excels at drafting English contracts and is experienced in complex contract mechanisms.’

‘What is special about the law firm is that it has excellent specialist knowledge, it is fast but precise and understands how our company works and how the internal legal department communicates with the business.’

They always get the priorities right. They are our trusted advisers, we can turn to them with any kind of request and they always find a way to support us.’

They always support us with practical, but legally correct and clear advice. DLA Piper communicates (when necessary) in a way that non-legal employees can easily understand.’

‘The team shows very good empathy when evaluating the facts and, above all, shows economic understanding when processing the issues.’

‘The partner in the Munich office is an outstanding specialist who I trust, who is always available, who always works on time and who provides excellent professional advice. We are very satisfied with the support.’

Key clients

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

REE Automotive Ltd.

Waldaschaff Automotive Group

Active Nutrition International GmbH

BorgWarner Group

Dr. Wieselhuber & Partner Group


Pressemetall Gunzenhausen

Sixt Leasing SE

William Grant

Wittur Holding GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG on various commercial contracts, new business models, contract joint ventures and sales law issues.
  • Advising REE Automotive Ltd. on several cooperation projects with strategic partners in numerous jurisdictions.
  • Advising the Waldaschaff Automotive Group, among other things, on the realignment of business relationships with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in the automotive industry.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland 's commercial team assists clients in the areas of trade, distribution and logistics with strategic planning and operational issues in day-to-day business. Topics such as franchising, contract law and purchasing and logistics contracts are an integral part of the advisory services, as well as claims management, including product liability. In the areas of digitisation and e-commerce, clients benefit from the close cooperation with the IP, IT and data protection groups. Team leader Alexander Niethammer has in-depth expertise in the automotive sector and on questions relating to digitisation, while co-leader Joos Hellert focuses on contentious disputes and franchise law. Tobias Maier combines commercial and distribution law competencies with the pharmaceuticals sector as co-head of the Health & Life Sciences practice group.

Other key lawyers:

Tobias MaierKathrin Gack


‘Great competence in drafting distribution agreements.’

‘Thanks to his own in-house experience, Hellert can empathize with the client’s needs.’

Key clients

Aspen Pharma


Avis Budget


Burger King

COR Sitzmöbel

Ecco Schuhe



Leica Geosystems/ Hexagon


Philip Morris




Work highlights

  • Advising Aspen Pharma on the sale of its European thrombosis business to Mylan.  
  • Advising Ineos on the free distribution of disinfectants to German clinics during the Covid 19 crisis.
  • Advising Veoneer on the sale of driver assistance systems for autonomous driving and on strategic projects with German car manufacturers.  

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner fields its distribution law practice from the Cologne and Freiburg offices, where comprehensive advice is given on national and international distribution systems and contracts. The firm’s industry focuses are on the automotive and medical technology sectors, with further interface expertise in corporate, commercial and IP law, while advising startups is a growth area for the group. This orientation is also reflected in the close cooperation of the distribution law practice with the M&A experts at the Freiburg office. Distribution antitrust law, franchising and dispute resolution form further mainstays for the group. The practice is headed by Sven Köhnen and Hendrik Thies. Contract drafting is handled by Köhnen and Ties, while the former also has expertise in antitrust law and is involved in the design of distribution systems. Alexander Hartmann also specialises in advising the technology industry and often accompanies start-ups at the interface with corporate law and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Sven Köhnen; Hendrik Thies


‘The familiarization with the industry-specific matter and the comprehensive practical know-how are unique. The ability to present complex legal issues and potential litigation risks to the decision-makers in a compact and understandable way is also very good.’

‘The relationship of trust and understanding of the company’s interests is extremely good and very professional.’

‘The team is characterized by a practice-oriented and pragmatic approach, which meets the needs of the company to be advised.’

‘Hendrik Thies: Good knowledge of the circumstances of the company to be advised, broad specialist knowledge and correspondingly comprehensive and time-efficient advice. Fair at all times, also with regard to invoicing.’

Key clients

Autohaus am Westbahnhof GmbH / Mitsubishi Motors Deutschland MMD Automobile GmbH

Berry (vormals RPC) – Gruppe, RPC Bramlage GmbH

Citroen Händlerverband

Europäischer Mercedes-Benz Händlerverband

Fastlane Marketing GmbH


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

Startups aus Südbaden und der Schweiz

Verband der Hyundai Vertragspartner Deutschland e. V.

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

Vitra International AG

Volvo-Lkw Vertragspartnerverband

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to the Getinge Group on sales law issues, draft of a new model specialist dealer contract and most recently review and revision of the worldwide sales contract (together with the US legal department); R&D cooperation, EU framework purchase agreement.
  • Ongoing advice to the Association of Hyundai Contractors Germany eV in the area of distribution law.

Gleiss Lutz

The full-service approach of Gleiss Lutz is reflected in the firm’s commercial and distribution law practice, where clients are supported in various subject areas. These include product compliance, contract drafting, distribution antitrust law and contentious matters such as the enforcement of and defence against liability claims. In the reporting period, trending topics such as ESG and sustainability, as well as Covid-19-related advice also played a role for the team, led by litigation and product liability expert Eric Wagner. Marc Ruttloff handles regulatory product law, including compliance.

Practice head(s):

Eric Wagner


‘Eric Wagner: Absolute thought leader, precise. Terrific.’

Key clients

Adler Modemärkte AG

AOK Bundesverband GbR GmbH

Bundesdruckerei GmbH

DEHOGA Deutscher Hotel- und Gaststättenverband

EDEKA Zentrale AG & Co. KG

FKFS Forschungsinstitut für Kraftfahrwesen und Fahrzeugmotoren

Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V. (VDA)


Work highlights

  • Legal support for the Research Institute for Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines FKFS on the RABus research project (test operation of highly automated, driverless bus shuttles in public transport).
  • Legal representation of EDEKA Zentrale AG & Co. KG in numerous administrative court proceedings in all federal states against the design of the operating restrictions for food retail under the Covid-19 protection regulations.
  • Advised Volkswagen AG on several further agreements with Ford relating to the joint manufacture of light commercial vehicles and the joint development and manufacture of electric vehicles and autonomous driving functions.

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke ‘s commercial practice group, led by Carsten Dau, advises on the areas of retail, distribution and logistics, including purchasing, supply chains and franchising. Clients from the life sciences, healthcare and automotive sectors call upon the combined expertise of the team, with the firm’s Disputes & Risk practice, to efficiently assist with contentious matters. The service offering also includes distribution systems, contractual matters, market entry and joint ventures. Dau specialises in contract law, in particular standard contract law, and also acts at the interface with distribution antitrust law.

Practice head(s):

Carsten Dau

Work highlights

    Clifford Chance

    Clifford Chance ‘s sector-specific approach enables the firm to precisely tailor its advice to the needs of clients with regard to commercial and distribution law. Thus, the expertise from across practices and topics, such as commercial agency, official distributor, franchise, license and distribution antitrust law can be bundled into combined solutions. Among the most recent topics are matters pertaining to ESG. The distribution law group is headed by Gunnar Sachs, who has particular expertise in IP-related matters and is well versed in the healthcare and tech sectors. Marc Besen assists clients with distribution antitrust issues.

    Practice head(s):

    Gunnar Sachs


    ‘Good availability, efficient communication, high level of technical expertise.’

    Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

    The commercial law practice group of Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH has core competencies in the restructuring and redesign of complex supply chains and distribution systems, most recently against the background of the increased need for restructuring of supply businesses due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The team is also experienced in advising on special distribution models, including official distributor structures and franchise systems. The practice group is headed by Andreas Leclaire, who, in addition to commercial and distribution law, is also experienced in intellectual property law. Distribution networks, commercial transactions and the regulatory framework of operational business are core areas of Johannes Passas‘ expertise, who also supports clients with product liability issues. In the summer of 2020, the team was reinforced with the two digital business experts Klaus Brisch and Marco Müller-ter Jung from DWF

    Practice head(s):

    Andreas Leclaire

    Key clients

    Asia UK Ltd.

    Assmont GmbH

    Bito-Lagertechnik Bittmann Gmbh

    DriveNets Ltd.

    Herrmann & Lenz Solutions GmbH

    Innoviz Technologies Ltd.

    Pixellot Ltd.

    Thermal Management Solutions DE Oberboihingen GmbH


    Dentons' commercial, trade and distribution law practice group, which was founded in the reporting period, benefits from the firm's national and international reach and thus includes well-known companies in its portfolio. The team advises on a wide range of distribution and commercial law issues, including franchise systems, official distributor and logistics law as well as IT-related topics. Under the leadership of Christiane Zedelius, the industry focuses are primarily on consumer goods, for example in the areas of fashion, cosmetics and food. Zedelius joined the team in May 2020 and previously worked for a startup. She advises clients from the Munich office on, among other things, multi-channel distribution systems, franchise and licensing agreements, and sourcing and quality agreements. Stefan Dittmer is regularly instructed on IP and IT-related matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Christiane Zedelius

    Other key lawyers:

    Stefan Dittmer

    Key clients


    Carl Hanser Verlag


    Showa Denko Carbon Group

    Work highlights

    • Ongoing advice to an international drug manufacturer on a large number of distribution agreements, standard contracts of all kinds and on compliance issues, as well as comprehensive antitrust advice in connection with a drug distribution agreement.
    • Advising a mining company on the declaration of operating expenses as part of the restructuring of its North American business.
    • Advising an Azerbaijani private equity investor on a strategic joint venture with a German Tier 1 automotive supplier and on a joint R&D agreement between the client and the supplier.

    GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB

    GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB convinces in commercial and distribution law through comprehensive advice on multinational distribution law issues and contentious matters. Industry-related clients from the pharmaceuticals, medicine, consumer goods, industry, public sector and logistics are supported in distribution systems, contract law and franchising. The team, headed by Oliver Spieker, also advises on antitrust issues and licensing agreements. National and international companies benefit from Spieker's expertise in traditional distribution law matters as well as in intellectual property, competition law and litigation. The associated partner Anne Schönfleisch serves the interface with IP as well as topics related to compliance in purchasing and sales.

    Practice head(s):

    Oliver Spieker

    Other key lawyers:

    Anne Schönfleisch; Florian Schmitz


    Key clients

    CIP Chinese Intelligent Procurement Gruppe, München

    Diverse Private Equity Investoren

    European XFEL

    Hubei Tobacco Industry Co.


    Johnson Matthey GmbH, Johnson Matthey PLC

    Parfümerie Akzente GmbH

    Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH

    Samsung Electronics GmbH

    Victrex Europa GmbH, Victrex PLC

    VOI Group

    Work highlights

    • Ongoing advice to the e-scooter provider VOI on cooperation and distribution agreements, including with mobility platforms.
    • Ongoing advice to Samsung on sales agreements with distributors and retailers as well as on agreements with suppliers and partners.
    • Representation in preliminary ruling proceedings before the European Court of Justice and advice on contract negotiations with distribution systems.

    GvW Graf von Westphalen

    GvW Graf von Westphalen primarily advises entrepreneurs and distribution intermediaries on commercial, distribution and logistics law matters. Under the leadership of Raimond Emde, the team demonstrates particular expertise in the areas of commercial agency, broker, official distributor and franchise law. Insurance distribution law makes up a significant part of the team's workload, while dispute resolution in the distribution context is another core competency. Sales representatives, insurance agents and official distributors rely on Emde's experience, while Frank Suess is particularly active in litigation and at the interface with corporate law. Marcus Schriefers, who joined the team from Heussen Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in October 2020, is responsible for matters pertaining to logistical processes and the design of supply chains.

    Practice head(s):

    Raimond Emde


    ‘Marcus Schriefers: Very extensive expertise in transport law, always manages to present the essential content in an understandable way, reliably.’

    ‘Mr. Emde is outstanding, fast and also a very pleasant person.’

    ‘Christian Zerr: Excellent, rarely encountered insider knowledge of the industry thanks to previous in-house work for an international hotel operator. Quick feedback, pragmatic solutions, plus a very pleasant way of dealing with them.’

    ‘Uncomplicated contact and exchange, extremely fast reactions when needed, perfect communication and coordination of target-oriented strategies .

    Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB

    Haver & Mailänder Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB covers a wide range of commercial and distribution law issues for clients from the automotive, medical, food, mechanical engineering and textile sectors. Special synergies arise from the cooperation with the adjacent data protection and dispute resolution groups.  Christian Aufdermauer heads the team and convinces with the combination of commercial and distribution law expertise with extensive knowledge of antitrust and insolvency law. Alexander Hübner, who is well versed in public commercial law, and antitrust and distribution lawyer Ulrich Schnell complete the partner roster. Kai Graf von der Recke joined Rödl & Partner in March 2021.

    Practice head(s):

    Christian Aufdermauer

    Key clients

    Amann & Söhne GmbH & Co. KG

    Konecranes GmbH

    MTD-Products-Gruppe GmbH


    Work highlights

    • Advising the MTD Products Group on European and global sales activities.
    • Advising all REMONDIS branches in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria on sales and contractual matters.

    Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

    Distribution antitrust law and international distribution relationships form the two cornerstones of the distribution law practice group at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. Clients are advised on suitable distribution systems and supported in their design. The group also advises on commercial agency and dealership contracts, and is active in dispute resolution processes. The team is regularly instructed by technology-led companies on matters of German law and IT-related scenarios. Reinhard Siegert heads the practice group and focuses on advising the automotive sector, particularly on distribution antitrust law. The design of national and international supply relationships is a focus of Sebastian Jungemeyer, while corporate law issues are covered by Martin Imhof. ESG-related matters and the supply chain law are key strengths of Birgit Schreier.

    Practice head(s):

    Reinhard Siegert


    ‘Previous collaboration with Dr. Sebastian Jungemeyer. He responds very quickly to inquiries and gives a reliable time when a response will also be given. Our concerns are processed in a goal-oriented manner and the drafting of the law firm is always practice-oriented.’

    SKW Schwarz

    SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte ‘s expertise in commercial, distribution and logistics law includes advising on contracts, commercial agency and antitrust law as well as merger control and clients’ representation in court. Innovative topics, such as trade 4.0 are also becoming increasingly more important, for example in the development of a legal tech tool for distribution companies. The practice is headed by Oliver Korte and Niels Witt, with the former being responsible for commercial and distribution law matters and the latter handling logistics. Retail companies and departments are mainly advised by Jürgen Sparr on project and contract-related matters and antitrust issues.

    Practice head(s):

    Oliver Korte

    Other key lawyers:

    Niels Witt; Jürgen Sparr


    ‘The law firm has very good interdisciplinary specialist lawyers whose expertise complements each other seamlessly. Even international issues and disputes are carefully clarified and coordinated with the client via the leading contact lawyer and, thanks to the high level of internal expertise, almost without research. ‘

    ‘Our interests have been represented by SKW Schwarz for over 12 years. Mostly by the co-owner Mr. Korte, occasionally by Mr. Witt. The factual manner, the negotiating skills, the quick and, above all, correct legal assessment should be emphasized. The skills during court proceedings are also shaped by strategy, conviction, legal certainty and, if necessary, assertiveness.’

    ‘Proactive and thinking outside the box. For a larger firm, we feel we’re getting a very bespoke personal approach, which is refreshing.’

    ‘This is where a great deal of know-how, a great willingness to serve, professionalism and a pleasant working relationship come together. I’ve gotten to know that differently at other law firms.’

    ‘Oliver Korte deserves his very good reputation because he has very deep knowledge. In addition, he is able very quickly to provide his legal expertise of a very high quality, so that this can serve as the basis for a good decision. I therefore value him very much as an intellectual sparring partner and always look forward to the exchange.’

    ‘Oliver Korte provides a very conscientious and knowledgeable service. Thinks outside the box and offers very personal advice.’

    ‘A very professional and communicative team, fast and constructive, uncomplicated advice.’

    ‘Always in touch and ready to help.’

    Work highlights

    • Ongoing advice to a gas station chain with several hundred gas stations on various commercial, contract and sales law issues.
    • Ongoing advice to VELUX Deutschland GmbH on various commercial, contract and sales law issues.
    • Advising an Italian motorcycle manufacturer on commercial, contractual and distribution law issues.

    Bird & Bird LLP

    Bird & Bird LLP 's advice on commercial and distribution law includes the drafting and restructuring of commercial contracts, product liability and disruptive technologies. A special feature of the practice group is the court representation of clients exclusively on the supplier side against OEMs. The automotive, financial services, tech & comms and energy sectors also play a key role in the firm's range of services. Christian Kessel convinces in contractual matters and warranty and liability issues, often in the automotive suppliers, supply chain and renewable energy sectors. He heads the team together with Matthias Spilker, who has in-depth expertise in product liability and the negotiation of complex commercial contracts and general terms and conditions. Philipp Egler is active in civil and arbitration proceedings.

    Other key lawyers:

    Philipp Egler; Lars Kyrberg


    ‘Excellent knowledge of the automotive supply industry. Good, practical and quick advice. No conflicts with the OEMs.’

    ‘Bird & Bird has several top experts on automotive supplier issues that are important to us, all inquiries are processed comprehensively, practically and with the pragmatism necessary for the business. The sharpest sword of the advice is definitely the understanding of the actual business, which is why from the client’s point of view one can always count on well-engineered decision-making bases that include an adequate risk/opportunity assessment.’

    ‘Christian Kessel and Matthias Spilker (both partners) are characterized by extensive industry knowledge and up-to-date legal know-how. Both always convince with calm, pragmatic and especially entrepreneurial consulting approaches; it is a privilege to be able to work with both of them, especially since the personal learning curve benefits from it and both are always happy to be available as sparring partners with their respective technical expertise.’

    Key clients

    HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA

    Illionois Tooling Works Inc


    BRP Renaud & Partner

    The commercial and distribution practice of BRP Renaud & Partner is active in ongoing advice and dispute resolution. This includes, among other things, the design of distribution systems and supply contracts as well as the development of new distribution concepts and cooperation agreements. Distribution antitrust law and the interfaces with data protection, IP, employment and corporate law are given special consideration. In addition to commercial agency and distribution law, Martin Beutelmann also covers antitrust law and compliance issues, while Roman Wexler-Uhlich has expertise in contentious matters. Axel Neumahr has in-depth expertise in contract drafting and in advising the automotive supplier sector.


    ‘Excellent combination of relevant expertise from different areas of law.’

    ‘Martin Beutelmann (antitrust and distribution law) and Dr. Roman Wexler-Uhlich (trade and liability, conflict resolution) are both technically excellent, while keeping an eye on the essentials, very pleasant cooperation.’

    ‘Great expertise, very pleasant and collegial interaction; always develop practice-oriented and realizable solutions.’

    Key clients

    H + B Hightech GmbH

    Work highlights

    • Advising H + B Hightech GmbH on the investment in Lithium Designers GmbH. Preparation and negotiation of the participation agreement and a far-reaching cooperation agreement.
    • Advising a leading global manufacturer of medical technology products on the redesign of the selective distribution system and the worldwide roll-out of its contracts.

    Clyde & Co LLP

    Clyde & Co LLP‘s retail, distribution and logistics advisory spectrum includes trade finance, commercial contracts and clients’ representation in contentious proceedings before ordinary courts and arbitration tribunals. The team also assists with the conception and implementation of new types of transport and logistics services and in entering new markets. Practice head Tim Schommer focuses on contract drafting and dispute resolution, with the former primarily focusing on the financing of commercial transactions. Eckehard Volz primarily advises grain traders, oil traders and bunker suppliers, while Daniel Jones impresses with his in-depth knowledge of English law.

    Practice head(s):

    Tim Schommer


    ‘Very friendly and personal contact and communication; no going it alone, but weighing up the possible options and further steps; extensive research in combination with existing know-how and expertise; very goal oriented and proactive; constantly striving to optimize costs for the customer; flexible in billing; very competent and focused; persistent and consistent; transparent and open.’

    ‘Eckehard Volz: A very competent, reliable and analytical lawyer who knows very well how to combine legal seriousness with a personal and pleasant atmosphere and thus creates a friendly working atmosphere. He is always available and/or fast in correspondence and does not unnecessarily prolong conversations in order to settle them if necessary. Rather, he is quick to implement targets and customer requests without losing sight of the complexity and professional implementation of tasks. He always appears very professional and goal-oriented towards the other party, but is also flexible enough to react quickly and astutely to new circumstances. Last but not least, he has always achieved excellent results for us, to our complete satisfaction.’

    Hoffmann Liebs

    Hoffmann Liebs specialises in general terms and conditions and contract law and supports clients in the areas of trade, distribution and logistics and in setting up and restructuring distribution and franchise systems. Key topics include contract drafting and distribution systems as well as the interfacing distribution antitrust law. Commercial and corporate law expert Martin Stange focuses on contract law advice pertaining to purchasing and sales, the structuring of complex supply and trading relationships, and compliance-related issues. Sebastian Herrmann covers distribution systems, distribution strategies and antitrust law.

    Key clients

    Griesson – de Beukelaer GmbH & Co. KG

    Kaidi Electrial Europe GmbH

    Stadtwerke Eberbach

    Stadtwerke Schwäbisch Hall

    STAEDTLER Mars GmbH & Co. KG

    Winkelmann Group

    riha WeserGold Getränke GmbH & Co. KG

    Work highlights

    • Advising a leading global manufacturer of exhaust gas disposal technology for the microchip industry on the drafting of a cooperation agreement and an agreement on outsourcing production to China.
    • Advising STAEDTLER Mars GmbH & Co. KG on various matters relating to the drafting of contracts, including cooperation, development and framework agreements.
    • Advising the Winkelmann group of companies on contractual matters and various agreements.


    LUTZ | ABEL RECHTSANWALTS PARTG MBB covers numerous traditional distribution law topics such as framework and supply agreements, distribution antitrust law and online distribution. A core area of the group is the representation of OEMs, suppliers and component manufacturers from the automotive sector. Representation in commercial arbitration scenarios is also becoming increasingly important. In addition to advising national and international clients on commercial and distribution law, practice head Marius Mann is often active as an arbitrator and party representative in arbitration proceedings. Björn Weidehaas, who made partner in January 2021, primarily handles restructuring issues, while Ute Schenn is particularly well-versed in matters of distribution antitrust law.

    Practice head(s):

    Marius Mann

    Other key lawyers:

    Ute Schenn; Björn Weidehaas


    ‘Strong, competent lawyers who complement each other excellently in an interdisciplinary manner.’

    ‘Marius Mann: Fast, competent, focused, to the point, thinks beyond the actual question.’

    ‘Very well positioned in terms of breadth and depth – great value for money – very engaging and reliable – transparent and clear communication.’

    ‘Ideal size, powerful team, broad base and yet working with precision. Excellent lawyers, good value for money.’

    ‘Competence, understanding of the very special business model, translation of the legal language clear and immediately understandable, experience, professional processing of our information in the legal world.’

    ‘In addition to professional excellence, the skills of the practice to solve complex issues in a practical way are to be emphasized.’

    ‘Marius Mann immediately put together a team of 2 specialists in order to quickly and well-founded answers to contractual and country-specific questions and to derive appropriate measures.’

    ‘The cooperation with our legal representative in Belgium was excellently collegial and free from professional arrogance or reservations. Accordingly, our matter was concluded extremely successfully and satisfactorily.’

    Key clients

    ABL-Technic Entlackung GmbH

    All for One Group AG


    Bayerischer Bauernverband

    C.E. Noerpel GmbH

    Dural GmbH

    Electronic Production Partners GmbH

    Erfurt & Sohn KG

    Franco Fresco GmbH & Co. KG

    Frischepost GmbH

    Haworth GmbH

    IBM Deutschland GmbH

    Lithofin AG


    Nanogate SE

    One Logic GmbH

    Putzmeister Holding GmbH

    Redavia GmbH


    Watson-Marlow GmbH

    Zarges GmbH

    Work highlights

    • Advising Horvath AG on the negotiation and conclusion of service and consulting contracts and in connection with the out-of-court settlement of disputes with a shareholder of a subsidiary.
    • Cross-practice advice to IBM Deutschland GmbH, increasingly also in the area of commercial and distribution law.
    • Ongoing advice to Occhio GmbH, in particular on contractual and sales law as well as sales cartel law issues.


    Oppenhoff advises on commercial and distribution law along the entire value chain, including purchasing, production and logistics. The commercial practice group's portfolio includes contract drafting, conflict resolution, platform solutions and the development of distribution systems, with particular expertise in the field of e-commerce. Industry focuses also include the automotive, healthcare, IT and technology sectors, as well as aerospace and defence. Practice head Marc Hilber primarily advises on the drafting of contracts, joint ventures and on outsourcing and software development projects. Stephan Müller covers the development and implementation of compliance structures, while Alf Baars acts at the interface with corporate law.

    Practice head(s):

    Marc Hilber


    ‘The team is well coordinated and “always on topic”.’

    Key clients

    WEG Brazil

    Airport Research Center

    Boeing Inc.


    Bundesverband deutscher Kinderausstatter



    Dorel Germany GmbH

    General Reinsurance

    MBDA Deutschland

    TFK – Trends for Kids GmbH

    Union Tank Eckstein GmbH & Co. KG

    Vaillant Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

    Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V. (VDA)

    Dermaroller GmbH

    Work highlights

    • Advising Ford on the cooperation agreement with Marelli, a Japanese-Italian group planning to produce electric drives at the Ford Cologne site.
    • Advising WEG Brazil on various legal issues in connection with a cooperation with BEWIND GmbH for the development of wind turbines.
    • Advising the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) on the implementation of a global sustainability standard for the automotive industry.

    Orth Kluth Rechtsanwälte

    Orth Kluth Rechtsanwälte‘s trade, distribution and logistics team advises clients with interdisciplinary teams. In the logistics sector, the team is well versed in advising and supporting the outsourcing of logistics services, while the digitisation trend is evident in the close interaction between distribution law, IT, data protection and antitrust law. Dafni Nikolakudi and Frank Wältermann have extensive experience in drafting and negotiating contracts, with the latter also acting at the interface with insolvency law. Christiane Hoffbauer and Julius Böckmann advise on commercial and distribution law as well as on contentious matters.


    ‘Absolutely reliable, prompt feedback, adherence to deadlines, specialists in every field, very personable contact persons, very goal-oriented and pragmatic in negotiations, extremely quick perception, always polite and diplomatic in direct customer contact.’

    ‘Mr. Wältermann: As my “single entry point”,  is always approachable, punctual and has accompanied me legally in many negotiations over several years. He is also highly valued by my sales colleagues because he is always pragmatic and solution-oriented in customer negotiations. His expertise and experience in the industrial sector is outstanding.’

    ‘Frank Wältermann is an excellent industry expert and gives very practical advice.’

    ‘Fast, modern, pragmatic, solution-oriented and technically very very good.’

    ‘Frank Waltermann is an excellent partner.’

    ‘Orth Kluth has grown a lot over the past few years, but has always remained true to its principle of offering good performance at a relatively low price. That is rare in this industry.’

    ‘Julius Böckmann knows his way around mechanical engineering and can understand technical issues quickly and precisely. An invaluable advantage in the processing of mandates!’

    Key clients

    Akasol AG

    ASM Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG

    bofrost* Gruppe



    Mobility Inside GmbH & Co. KG

    National Express Rail GmbH

    Outokumpu Nirosta


    Talanx Gruppe

    Terex (Gruppe)

    ValeoSiemens eAutomotive Germany GmbH

    VAT Vakuumventile AG

    VDM Metals GmbH

    Wickeder Westfalenstahl

    Wolffkran GmbH

    Work highlights

    • Advising the Talanx Group on the drafting and negotiation of a long-term cooperation agreement (10 years) with Deutsche Bank AG for the sale of insurance products.  

    PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft)

    PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) offers interdisciplinary and cross-border advice on the areas of trade, distribution and logistics, in particular on official distributor and commercial agency law. The group also convinces due to its close collaboration with the areas IT and IP, which benefits technology-driven companies and clients in the automotive sector, among others. Licensing agreements, supply contracts and joint ventures are further aspects of the consulting portfolio. Tobias von Tucher and Jan-Peter Ohrtmann jointly lead the team, with the former focusing on technology transactions as well as research, development and supply contracts. Ohrtmann is well versed in interface matters pertaining to IT.

    Key clients

    Koopert Mikromarketing Systeme

    Work highlights

    • Advising Koopert Mikromarketing Systems on a new type of platform for the creation of digital teaching materials, in particular drafting model contracts with authors and universities.

    THEOPARK Rechtsanwälte und Steuerberater Partnerschaft mbB

    The commercial and distribution law practice at THEOPARK Rechtsanwälte und Steuerberater Partnerschaft mbB advises companies at national and international level and represents them in contentious proceedings before ordinary courts and arbitral tribunals. The team is led by Alexander Saueracker and has industry focuses on the life sciences and information technology sectors. The group is also characterised by special interface expertise: Saueracker and Jürgen Siegl are well-versed in M&A and insolvency law, while Rainer Schaaf also advises on corporate law issues.

    Practice head(s):

    Alexander Saueracker

    Other key lawyers:

    Jürgen Siegl; Rainer Schaaf


    ‘Flexible and demand-oriented support.’

    ‘Alexander Saueracker is highly competent, good at communication and negotiation, and practice-oriented.’

    Key clients

    abl social federation GmbH

    Ariana Holding GmbH

    Labor Kneißler GmbH & Co. KG

    PILOUS spol. s r.o., Prag, Tschechische Republik

    Rigol Technologies EU GmbH


    TTC GmbH

    Work highlights

    • Ongoing advice to the abl social federation GmbH on commercial and distribution law issues, most recently on comprehensive tenders and the conclusion of cooperation and consortium agreements.
    • Ongoing sales law advice to Ariana Holding GmbH, most recently on the redesign of intercompany sales contracts and the conclusion of cooperation agreements.
    • Comprehensive sales law advice to SMBC Leasing on market entry and development of the leasing business in Germany and Europe.