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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Germany > Transport > Maritime and shipping > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Transport: Maritime and shipping
  2. Ship financing
  3. Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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In early 2018, Dabelstein & Passehl Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB merged with Arnecke Sibeth and now operates under the name Arnecke Sibeth. The team utilises its cross-sectoral expertise to cover a broad spectrum of maritime sector work, from traditional shipping and maritime law matters, such as Dieter Schwampe’s representation of a property insurer in matters pertaining to the collision of a cargo ship with a peer, to restructuring and insolvency issues alongside shipbuilding projects, where cruise industry players form part of the group’s client roster. Other highlights included advising a maritime liability insurer on a damaged submarine cable, and representing an insurance company in proceedings pertaining to the collision of a cargo ship with a ferry in Indonesian waters. As well as maritime law work, advising on offshore wind farms constitutes an increasingly important portion of the practice’s workload: Oliver Peltzer advised a project corporation on several tendering procedures for an offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Other key individuals include Jan Dreyer, Marco Remiorz and Jan Tjarko Eichhorn, while Jan Backhaus moved to Corvel LLP in December 2017.

The seven-strong team at CMS covers the full spectrum of maritime business law including ship financing and restructuring. Clients include shipowners, shipyard operators and logistics companies alongside banks and insurance firms, but the team also handles regular instructions from Hamburg-based shipping lines and foreign investors. Renowned team head Jan Wölper also acts for container and tanker shipping companies and is well versed in dealing with ship accident matters and arbitration proceedings, regularly acting as a arbitrator. As a highlight, Jost Kienzle and Christoph Zarth assisted the shipbuilding company Lürssen with the acquisition of the Blohm+Voss shipyard from the British investor, Star Capital. The team has been acting in several matters pertaining to the insolvency of an international shipping company, which has added considerably to its current workload. Kerstin Block was made partner.

The 13-strong team at Fleet Hamburg LLP has substantial expertise in German and English law and puts significant emphasis on matters pertaining to maritime, shipping and transport law alongside maritime insolvency and international trade law. Key clients include shipping companies, P&I clubs and international insurers. The renowned Christoph Hasche along with Dharshini Bandara, who is admitted to the Bar in England and Wales, and solicitor Benjamin Meka jointly advised a Turkish steel trader and his insurer on the embezzlement of a shipload of steel, while Klaus Kostka acted for a German submarine cable manufacturer in arbitration proceedings pertaining to the wiring of an offshore wind farm. In other significant contentious work, Arthur Steinmann defended a German shipping company against prospectus liability claims of €15m brought by a ship equity fund. Other highlights included assisting a Dutch shipping company with a long-term charter framework contract for six ships supplying an oil platform and various supply and logistics contracts pertaining to the construction of an offshore wind farm. Philipp Drömann was made partner; Eva Bodenbach and Joshua Williams are recommended.

Ince & Co is well equipped to guide its clients through the German and English legal framework and covers a wide range of contentious and non-contentious work. The ten-strong team’s client roster consists predominately of international clients such as shipping and shipyard companies, insurers, issuing houses and financial institutions. Managing partner Jan Hungar advised a French leasing company on the planned acquisition of a container portfolio from an insolvent container marketing company, while the recommended Eckehard Volz defended a Chinese container shipping company against claims brought by a shipyard operator, and acted for a supplier in matters pertaining to a ship accident on the Elbe. As another highlight, the team assisted a shipyard operator with the negotiation of shipbuilding contracts worth €6bn. Long-term client Hapag-Lloyd instructed the team to assist with the restructuring of finance lease transactions prior to the merger with UASC. In May 2017, the team was augmented with the addition of Thomas Schwenke, who has notable expertise in the shipping, offshore and renewable energy sectors. Sami Chowdhury, Daniel Jones and Tim Schommer are recommended.

Long-established firm Lebuhn & Puchta provides a broad range of maritime business law advice with a specialism in maritime finance, restructuring and insolvency matters. Sabine Rittmeister, who was previously at Ahlers & Vogel, heads the eight-strong team since February 2017, which includes ship finance expert Heinrich-Werner Goltz, who represented a German shipping group in proceedings with a bank consortium pertaining to the restructuring of loans totalling €450m, while the renowned Ulrich Stahl successfully represented a shipping company in asserting claims against an insurer following the damage to an underwater cable. With renewable energy work as another key area of expertise, Matthias Wittschen assisted a Norwegian wind turbine manufacturer with a contract for a converter platform for a wind farm. In contentious work, the team defended various shipping companies against prospectus liability claims. Other clients include shipyard operators, P&I clubs and insurers.

Dr Schackow & Partner is a respected player in the German maritime and shipping law market. Together with the 14-strong team, qualified boater Julius Drumm has been advising several cruise ship companies on shipbuilding contracts, ship purchases, ship management and tonnage taxation, while maritime casualty insurers receive regular advice on reimbursements for machine damage, and shipyard operators on procurement proceedings.

Thomas Brinkmann specialises on assisting public port authorities and public port operators with regulatory matters, while maritime transport law expert Kai Busch frequently acts in charter party disputes, cargo damage and collisions matters alongside P&I issues. On the ship financing side, the team also covers restructuring and portfolio-related work. In January 2017, counsel Heinrich Maywald joined from CMS and strengthened the team’s offshore wind expertise.

Renowned firm Ahlers & Vogel receives regular instructions from shipping companies, contract shipowners and shipyard operators alongside international insurers and issuing companies on a broad range of matters including ship financing and purchases, shipbuilding and insurance issues as well as charter contracts. In the shipbuilding space, the team, including key individual Martin Rosenzweig, is well versed in advising on conversion projects and the development of new ship types. In contentious work, Gregor Harbs, Hartmuth Sager and Philipp Landers are routinely appointed as arbitrators, while Jan-Erik Pötschke and Wilm Steingröver are best known for their expertise in handling ship collision matters. In the offshore wind sector, another key area of expertise, the team continues to advise several shipping companies on the operation of offshore construction vessels. Other work included acting in ownership and insurance matters pertaining to the fire on the container ship CCNI Arauco in Hamburg, advising Meyer Werft on liability insurance issues, and handling matters pertaining to the Hanjin insolvency for German shipowners. Sabine Rittmeister joined Lebuhn & Puchta.

Handling the full spectrum of maritime and shipping law, Blaum Dettmers Rabstein acts for shipping and trading companies, crew members, international insurers and P&I clubs. Based in Hamburg and Bremen, the nine-strong team has specialist expertise in contentious work pertaining to transport damages. Renowned practice head Kay Uwe Bahnsen regularly advises on logistics contracts, while Christoph Horbach predominantly acts for insurers and P&I clubs in loss adjustment matters. Other areas of expertise include logistics and infrastructure projects and handling issues arising from the operation of German port terminals but the team also provides financing advice on ship purchase contracts and restructurings. Daja Böhlhoff is the main contact for wet shipping.

Boutique firm Ehlermann Rindfleisch Gadow (ERG) focuses on maritime financing and M&A transactions, ship acquisitions and sales alongside ship registration matters, while also having specialist expertise in the restructuring of existing ship financing. The 22-strong team acts for German and international ship financing banks, hedge funds and investors as well as shipping and shipyard companies. Hauke Rittscher and the recommended Carolin Schmeding assisted a German shipping company with the takeover of a German subsidiary from an Asian shipping company including bond issues, while the renowned Stefan Rindfleisch advised a maritime sector consortium on transactional and financing matters. Other highlights included advising an investment fund on the acquisition of a ship fleet, and assisting a Chinese finance syndicate with the financing, acquisition and chartering of a container ship. On the contentious side, the team acted for a German ship financing bank in arbitration proceedings against a shipyard company for a claim of refund guarantees and the termination of shipbuilding contracts. Christine Lioultchev and Tonio Lechner left the firm.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP utilises its ‘multi-disciplinary set-up, industry knowledge and international network’ to advise various maritime sector players, such as shipping companies, ship managers and shipyard companies, on the full range of maritime business law but has a focus on ship financing. Maren Brandes acted for an insolvency administrator in extrajudicial proceedings and subsequent arbitration pertaining to a shipowner’s charter hire contract, while Clemens Hillmer assisted Berenberg with the acquisition of a $300m ship loan portfolio from RBS, and advised KKR Credit on the acquisition of a shipping loan portfolio from NORD/LB with an initial total value of $1.5bn. Christian Finnern, who is noted for his ‘strong industry knowledge, pragmatic approach and good results’, acted for ZEABORN in the acquisition of Rickmers Linie.

Praised as providing ‘very good advice’ and having ‘in-depth expertise’, Remé Rechtsanwälte specialises in maritime and shipping law alongside transport, insurance and maritime employment law work. Ingo Gercke, who is singled out for his ‘high level of expertise and solution-oriented approach’, is adept at handling contentious matters and routinely acts as arbitrator: recently, he was involved in an arbitration arising from the M/S Sol Do Brasil accident following a dry-dock period, and represented cargo prospectors and freight forwarders in matters pertaining to the sinking of M/S MOL COMFORT, including recourse proceedings against the construction yard for product liability issues. The ‘very experienced’ Christoph Singer, who ‘works like a Swiss clock, pursued claims against the ship and cargo following the fire on the container ship CCNI Arauco. In other work considerably adding to the team’s workload, it dealt with various matters concerning the bankruptcy of the Korean Hanjin shipping company including a number of liability cases due to transport damage.

Based in Hamburg and Berlin, the team at the long-established firm Segelken & Suchopar covers a broad field of maritime and shipping law work including maritime and marine hull insurance and inland waterway law. With a focus on contentious work, the team exclusively acts for clients on the cargo side and frequently handles recourse claims for well-known German insurers following ship accidents and shipping company insolvencies. As well as its expertise in acting for insurance companies, the team’s client portfolio also contains a number of transport, logistics and forwarding companies. Key individuals include Heiko Saur, who frequently handles inland waterway law matters, and the ‘very experienced’ Thomas Wanckel. Thomas Mälzer and Jan Albers are also recommended.

Offering a broad range of services to maritime industry players, Corvel LLP advises on shipbuilding and supply contracts alongside ship acquisitions, sales and registrations. The team is also well versed in assisting clients with ship financing, the acquisition and sale of loan portfolios and the restructuring of loan agreements and also handles contentious work. With several offshore energy clients forming part of the team’s client roster, Sven Schubert assisted a German utility company with its turbine supply contract for a 400MW offshore wind farm, and Nicoletta Kröger advised a bidding consortium on its framework contract with a grid operator for the construction of an offshore transformer platform. Jan Backhaus joined from Arnecke Sibeth in December 2017.

Full-service law firm Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is particularly active for shipowners, charterers, shipyard companies and investors, handling the full spectrum of maritime business law which leads to regular instructions on shipbuilding and charter contracts alongside ship acquisitions and sales. As another key element, the six-strong team frequently advises on ship financing and restructuring matters alongside offshore projects. Benjamin Hub assisted MPC with the sale of the eight-vessel M-Star fleet to an Asian finance syndicate, and advised several national and international shipowners and insolvency administrators on the acquisition and sale of 50 ocean-going vessels. Florian Schulz is the main contact for contentious matters; recently, he defended various German issuing houses against liability claims brought by investors pertaining to ship funds, and handled actions of annulment against shareholder resolutions.

Having impressive international reach, Norton Rose Fulbright provides advice on all aspects of the maritime industry including maritime and shipping law. With specialist expertise in handling cargo damage matters, of counsel Axel Boës acted for AlfaStrakhovanie in several arbitration proceedings pertaining to P&I insurance covers. German shipping practice head and ship financing expert Timo Noftz advised a German financial institution on the refinancing and sale of a charted fleet.

Taylor Wessing assists well-known shipyards and shipping companies, alongside suppliers, with a wide range of maritime business law matters. Practice head Michael Baumhauer regularly advises yacht owners on yacht building contracts and represents them in damage claims due to defects. In other work, Oliver Kirschner assisted HCI Capital with the acquisition of several shares in Ernst Russ GmbH & Co. KG, Peter Döhle Schifffahrts-KG and MS Cordula Schifffahrtsgesellschaft. With offshore wind work constituting another key element of the team, Janina Pochhammer took over the claims management for wind turbine manufacturer Senvion for a German offshore wind farm.

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