SERNETZ • SCHÄFER > München, Germany > Firm Profile


Corporate and M&A > Corporate

Commercial law boutique SERNETZ • SCHÄFER is particularly well versed in matters at the interface between corporate, banking and capital markets law, which are closely coordinated with the relevant practice groups. The group is regularly instructed by companies, large private German banks, various state banks and executive bodies. Additional core topics include corporate disputes and compliance issues. Frank Schäfer and Fabian Dietz-Vellmer head the group, which also includes D&O liability specialist Andreas Höder and Ferdinand Kruis (in addition to corporate, banking and capital markets law and dispute resolution).


‘Ferdinand Kruis is an excellent lawyer in both German and English corporate law. Very experienced.’

‘Excellent expertise in banking supervisory law and D&O liability issues.’

‘Schäfer: Super in supervisory law.’

Key clients

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

UniCredit Bank AG

MAC Mode GmbH & Co. KGaA



MAN Energy Solutions SE


Wirecard Bank AG

Work highlights

  • Advice and legal representation of a special representative against the assertion of claims for damages by Gelita AG after the appointment decision was classified as void.
  • Ongoing advice to the management of the WealthCap Group.
  • Comprehensive advice to Wirecard Bank as a result of the Wirecard scandal.

Dispute resolution > Financial services: litigation Tier 2

Boutique offering SERNETZ • SCHÄFER foots on three pillars: litigation, banking and capital markets law as well as corporate advice while it combines the first two subject areas to offer German major and state banks, state institutes, private equity funds and capital management companies a specialised range of advice. Frank Schäfer, who jointly heads the practice with Helge Großerichter (active in arbitration proceedings as well as litigation), is experienced in banking and regulatory disputes. Ferdinand Kruis is another contact for litigation, arbitration and mediation matters.

Other key lawyers:


‘Support from partners as a model and guarantor for continuously excellent consulting quality and high continuity of knowledge.’

‘Perceptive, analytically brilliant and argumentatively accurate.’

‘Team Munich has an excellent banking litigation team.’

‘Helge Großerichter is very experienced.’

‘Ferdinand Kruis is a gifted lawyer; excellent briefs; tactically smart.’

‘Close, trusting and, in particular, collegial cooperation as the basis for mutual success in out-of-court and in-court dispute resolution.’

‘Enormous expertise both in terms of specialization in individual subject/legal areas as well as comprehensively and “helper/adviser” in every matter.’

‘Economic solutions for the client are paramount.’

Key clients

Bayern LB

Hamburg Commercial Bank AG (vormals HSH Nordbank AG)

Hypo Real Estate

Wirecard Bank

Work highlights

  • Representing Hamburg Commercial Bank AG (formerly HSH Nordbank AG) in proceedings brought by 45 predominantly international bondholders before the LG Kiel related to the replenishment of silent participations after an allegedly inadmissible write-down or allegedly inadmissible allocation to the special item for general banking risks.
  • Representing Bayern LB in an action to avoid insolvency.
  • Comprehensive strategic advice to UniCredit Bank AG in connection with the (alleged) EC fee cartel in the German banking industry; Defense against cartel damages claims and advice on fundamental litigation issues.

Banking and finance > Financial services: regulatory Tier 4

SERNETZ • SCHÄFER's team is led by the renowned Frank Schäfer and particularly known for its extensive litigation experience, but also advises banks, insurance and financial service providers as well as companies on regulatory issues that arise in a transactional context. Its advice offering is complemented by expertise in board matters, compliance and payment services supervision law-compliant digital payment processing.

Practice head(s):


‘Fast perception, understanding of the client’s point of view, detailed technical knowledge.’

Key clients

Bayern LB

Hypo Real Estate

ProSiebenSat1 SE

UniCredit Bank AG

Wirecard Bank AG

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive advice to Wirecard Bank AG as a result of the Wirecard scandal, including advice on the sale of key assets initiated by the insolvency administrator and support in the liquidation of the institute under civil and regulatory law. Also represented the bank in various pending legal disputes.
  • Comprehensive strategic advice to UniCredit Bank AG  in connection with the (alleged) EC fee cartel of the German banking industry; Defense against cartel damages claims; Advice on fundamental litigation issues.
  • Advice on banking supervisory and tax law to ProSiebenSat1 SE.

Sernetz·Schäfer is a business law firm with a tradition extending back 100 years. Our legal services cover all important aspects of private, commercial and corporate law. The main focus of our work for German and international clients lies on providing advice and representation in all areas of banking, financial regulation, capital markets, corporate law, inheritance and estate planning and M&A.

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Our clients include banks, financial services providers, listed corporations, small and medium-sized companies and their shareholders, entrepreneurs, stock markets, public-law institutions and corporations, as well as private clients. All of Sernetz·Schäfer’s lawyers have outstanding academic records. Furthermore, many have brought with them valuable experience gained from time spent working as in-house lawyers with banks or corporations, with large international law firms, or from studying or working abroad.

The representation of clients in litigation and arbitration has been one of the central focal points of our firm’s legal practice for decades. We thus have an outstanding experience in litigation, both before the state courts as well as in arbitration proceedings. Our lawyers combine outstanding legal know-how with strategic tactics and the commitment to win. We have particular expertise with regard to legal disputes with an international dimension. In such cases we provide comprehensive advice on the applicable law and the international competence of the courts. We explain the process and peculiarities of proceedings before the German courts to our international clients, so as to enable them to make an informed decision as to the further course of events.

We have long had a reputation as one of the leading German law firms in the field of banking and capital markets law. Numerous credit institutes rely on us for banking and supervisory law advice, as well as banking litigation issues. We advise German and foreign banks, stock markets and financial service providers in all areas of banking law, capital markets law, financial supervision and stock exchange law. In all supervisory law matters, our clients not only benefit from our profound legal expertise in this sector, but also from our close contacts to the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

We advise German and foreign companies, shareholders and active investors in all aspects of corporate law and corporate governance. Our spectrum of advice includes the preparation of general and shareholder meetings, the implementation of measures relating to a company’s share capital or the legal transformation of entities, the resolving of insolvency law issues, as well the handling of legal matters relating to groups of affiliated companies or matters falling under takeover law. We advise management boards, supervisory boards and managing directors on matters relating to their executive functions and obligations, and advise on the legal safeguarding of their corporate decisions. Furthermore, we also provide legal assistance to managers within the scope of concluding service agreements and in the event of liability issues.

Lawyers : 22
Partners : 17
Paralegals : 8
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