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Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

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Felix Felleisen, Partner

Felix Felleisen, Partner of Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH discusses how the firm is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Deloitte Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH from your competitors?

We have a great team of lawyers eager to win great clients and to make an impact on our clients’ businesses – people who are not only true experts in their areas of practice, but bold, ambitious, adaptive and proud to be part of Deloitte Legal. Our people strive to assist clients with all the issues they face, and to think and go beyond traditional lawyering. Our adaptive teams have an appreciation of multicultural aspects of business. We view legal issues as business issues, here in Germany and throughout our network, in more than 75 countries around the globe.

We are leaders in technology yet understand the importance of personal attention. Our culture is one of embracing new trends. We monitor and predict shifts in the legal market, and play an active role in reshaping our profession as the needs of our clients change.

We offer our clients a superior service experience by listening to and working to understand them, not over-lawyering, and maintaining a solution-focused outlook. We know that legal issues are but one of the many facets of the issues our clients face, and that these issues are rarely limited to those of a legal nature. Solutions must be sensible from a legal perspective, but also be designed to meet the client’s business, commercial, financial, tax or technical requirements. We can offer a business perspective on our clients’ legal problems, viewed through the lens of our industry-expertise and in collaboration with other Deloitte member firm professionals. Our teams work closely with relevant specialists from Deloitte but also from our clients’ organizations and third parties, to develop tailor-made solutions.

We partner with our clients, adapt to their needs and deliver solutions that are different. We speak the language of the boardroom, not legalese.

Which practices in your member firm do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

We believe that Corporate/M&A, which has always been one of the core practices of our firm, will continue to grow, with the main drivers being the Global Tax Reset that will be required for many organizations in the light of BEPS guidelines, an increasing pressure on administrative and compliance costs, as well as general evolution of our clients’ businesses. We firmly believe that our fantastic skill-set, interdisciplinary structure (including Consulting) and global reach equip us well to serve clients involved in a multinational restructuring, expansion or M&A project.

With ever-increasing regulatory issues, industry expertise will become more important. We are focused on attracting industry specialists to our firm, and have recently welcomed highly-regarded professionals from the energy and resources and financial services industries to our team.

Corporate and personal liability of executives is trending in the evolving regulatory environment. Our Business Integrity Services team, with specialists in white collar crime, forensics, data extraction, enterprise risk and more, is an area of growth that is served especially well by the combined capabilities of Deloitte Legal and Deloitte Germany.

We offer a unique combination of legal specialist knowledge, technical capabilities and tax issues provided in the context of an interdisciplinary team. We believe that this sets us apart from our competitors. We will also continue to focus on digitalisation and information technology, established specialist areas of our firm where we have excellent capabilities.

Compliance will remain a key issue. With our innovative, technology-based approach and excellent people, we firmly believe that this will be a thriving segment as well.

What is the main change you have made in your firm that will benefit clients?

Definitely our full integration into the Deloitte and Deloitte Legal network, giving us and our clients access to leading-edge technology, uniquely positioning our firm in terms of the quality, scope and reach of our services.

How is technology changing the way you interact with your clients and the services you can provide them?

Technology has changed the way we interact with our clients, and continues to rapidly evolve in the legal sector. Social media, rapid technology adoption and changing behaviours are driving massive changes both to the channels through which we communicate, and what we say. We are both early adopters and early adapters, embracing trends to leverage new ways of working to benefit our clients.

We invest in the development of our people’s digital skills, as well as in technologies that help us add value to our clients’ organizations. We have already invested in data sourcing and mining capabilities, and in future will look to invest in more sophisticated Legal Tech solutions that combine legal expertise and big data with cognitive/artificial intelligence elements.

Can you give us a practical example of how you helped a client add value to their business?

There are so many. We help a broad range of clients in dealing with diverse challenges:

  • German family-owned undertakings expanding into new markets

  • Multinationals wishing to execute a buy and build strategy through acquisitions and participations across the world

  • Financial services companies dealing with Basel II through combining and unifying their local businesses in one entity by a series of cross-border mergers

  • A German stock listed real estate company “repatriating” assets by changing the legal form of subsidiaries from that of a LuxCo to that of a German corporation

  • Utilities companies in proceedings that will affect the industry,

  • Important players in compliance prevention, but also in dealing with past compliance breaches

  • Non-German groups and their German subsidiaries in dealing with and surmounting financial difficulties

  • Non-German groups and their German subsidiaries in larger headcount reduction projects in Germany.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Clients are looking for and we have the ability to provide strategic direction that is in line with our clients’ own vision, strategy and tactics.

In three years’ time, we aspire to continue to be equally successful, become an ever greater firm serving even greater clients, using a combination of innovative technology and high-end legal expertise to deliver services designed to achieve our clients’ business and legal objectives. So that our firm will make an impact that matters for our clients.

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