Bird & Bird LLP > Dusseldorf, Germany > Firm Profile

Bird & Bird LLP
CARL-THEODOR-STRASSE 6
40213 DÜSSELDORF
Germany

Industry focus > Telecoms

The Bird & Bird LLP team, led by renowned practice head Sven-Erik Heun, offers advice on traditional telecommunications matters as well as wide ranging expertise in convergent services. The firm covers all issues at the interface with data protection. Thanks to the firm’s broad multidisciplinary set-up, clients are assisted with ongoing telecommunications law issues, large-scale projects and regulatory issues in the transactional space and due to its international orientation also convinces in cross-border mandates. The German team regularly joins forces with colleagues in Great Britain, France and the Netherlands. The wide range of expertise is reflected in the diverse client portfolio, including not only fixed and mobile network operators, over-the-top service providers and mobile phone providers, but also re-sellers. In infrastructure consulting, the team is primarily active in broadband expansion, including municipal law issues. The firm enjoys a good reputation as full-service team, evident in the successful assistance with numerous cross-practice mandates beyond the telecoms sector. Senior counsel Valerian Jenny and counsel Simon Assion noticeably gained in profile.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Very in-depth legal knowledge and, in particular, technical knowledge that greatly simplifies the communication of facts.’

‘Simon Assion deserves a special mention. Very pragmatic when needed, outstanding expertise and good IT skills.’

‘The team around Sven Heun is getting stronger and better. Simon Assion has been strong for years, but additions to handle the work that needs to be done make the practice resilient.’

‘Sven Heun has been the leader and undisputed driver of the practice for years. Market knowledge to the max combined with technical and legal know-how. Simon Assion knows data protection issues like the back of his hand.’

Top team for IT and telecom contract development and negotiation.’

Extremely high level of expertise and professional conduct of negotiations.’

Key clients

450connect GmbH

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Avaya

Cube Infrastructure Fund II

Deutsche Beteiligungs AG

Gamma Communications plc

Google Ireland Limited

Hamburg Commercial Bank

Lumen Technologies

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

Twilio Ireland Limited

Verizon Connect und Verizon Deutschland GmbH

Zoot

Work highlights

  • Advised Antin Infrastructure Partners as sole shareholder of Eurofiber on the establishment of a joint venture between Eurofiber and Vattenfall.  
  • Advising a social media company in preparation for the entry into force of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) and other related consulting services.
  • Representation of Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG in two appeal proceedings regarding the Presidential Chamber decisions of the BNetzA, which preceded the 2018 frequency auction.

Information technology > Data protection Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP offers top-notch advice on data protection matters, not least due to its cross-border capacities, more than 20 years of experience in data and IT issues as well as the expertise and market recognition of its team, whereby the successful German data protection practice attracts DAX30 companies as well as leading international clients. Fabian Niemann leads the team and is known for his commitment to regulatory issues pertaining to social media, IT security and data protection. Lennart Schüßler regularly advises on compliance matters related to GDPR implementation while Alexander Duisberg is an expert in cyber security issues and often applies his knowledge for clients in the automotive industry. In Hamburg, Miriam Ballhausen made partner in May 2021. Noticeably, the separate entity Bird & Bird Privacy Solutions offers DPO and legal representation services nationally and internationally; in addition, the team also utilises a range of technical data protection tools (such as Access platform and SCC generator) for the automatic generation of standard contractual clauses related to data transfers.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Creative legal advice with a reasonable level of risk appetite, always focused on making things happen.’

‘Fast, good and on-the-spot.’

‘Alexander Duisberg: Very good cooperation; very international; experienced in various areas of IT law, also open to new topics such as blockchain.’

‘Clear focus on the client’s economic goals. Pragmatic approaches, high quality.’

‘Fabian Niemann: High level of expertise and quality in a variety of IT and commercial-related topics. Often knows the opposite side (service provider).’

‘Jörg-Alexander Paul: Good view of the commercially pursued goals, hands-on, pragmatic.’

Key clients

ABB

adidas

AUDI AG

Bazaarvoice

Bundesdruckerei

DekaBank

Dexcom

EasyJet

FLIR Systems

Genpact

Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte

GIZ, Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit

Henry Schein

Hessischer Rundfunk

Kempinski

Lumen Technologies

Luxoft

Nordzucker

Nuance Communication

PPG

SAP

Star Alliance Biometric Hub

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

Universitätklinikum Gießen und Marburg

Zoot

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive data protection advice to Dexcom, in particular on the use of diabetes/glucose measurement solutions based on wearables worn on the body and cloud solutions.
  • Comprehensive data protection advice to GIZ in numerous data-based projects around the world.
  • Advising the Star Alliance Biometric Hub on the introduction of a biometric facial recognition system for the airports in FFM and Munich, among others.

Information technology > Information technology and digitalisation Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP offers its clients one of the largest IT and digitization teams in Europe: hereby, the German practice led by Fabian Niemann (Düsseldorf) frequently takes on a leading role in numerous client relationships and pioneers advice on pertinent issues such as internet of things, cloud solutions, AI and blockchain. Alexander Duisberg is particularly regarded in matters pertaining to agile software development and big data in the automotive sector, while Henriette Picot specializes in licensing, sales and e-commerce, among other things. In May 2021, Miriam Ballhausen made partner in Hamburg; notably, she led advice on a pioneering Smart Cities project in a major German city. The team also includes Lennart Schüßler, who assists national and international providers and customers across various industries with IT and copyright matters. And in addition to numerous DAX30 clients and global corporations, the client base also encompasses public sector clients such as Bundesdruckerei, Gematik and KfW, as well as broadcasting and municipal companies.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Fast, good and on-the-spot.’

Key clients

Aiways

AUDI AG

Bazaarvoice

Bundesdruckerei

Cathay Pacific

Dexcom

Easyjet

Equinix

European Stability Mechanism

FLIR Systems

Fresenius

Infosys

Intel

JDA Software

Lexmark

Microsoft

Platform Industrie 4.0 – Legal TestBed

ProVitako

Qlik

QVC

Q-Sys

Rackspace

SAP

TechMahindra

TomTom

Western Digital

Work highlights

  • Advising Audi on various legal IT aspects, including data licensing agreements, connected car services and blockchain projects.
  • Advising Platform Industry 4.0 – Legal TestBed on a project to test Industry 4.0 under real technical and legal conditions.
  • Advised SAP on a wide range of strategic and innovative topics such as cloud requirements, data ownership, artificial intelligence, machine learning and FOSS.

Information technology > IT transactions and outsourcing Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP's outsourcing team has a very strong and well-connected practice that regularly advises prestigious clients and most recently assisted the Olympic Committee with an outsourcing project for the 2026 and 2032 Olympic Games that involved infrastructure, applications, IT and cyber security issues; Düsseldorf-based practice head Fabian Niemann leads the matter. Frankfurt-based Jörg-Alexander Paul, who is considered one of Germany's leading outsourcing lawyers, advises clients and providers on business process outsourcing, IT outsourcings and transactions with a focus on the finance, banking, database and e- commerce sectors.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Fast, good and on the spot.’

Key clients

adidas

AUDI

GFK

Infosys

IOC – Internationales Olympisches Komitee

Lexmark

Postbank

SAP

Work highlights

  • Representation of Adidas in several IT projects as well as ongoing advice, in particular related to the conversion of its payment system and IoT app terms for various European jurisdictions.
  • Advised the International Olympic Committee in negotiations with various leading global IT service providers to outsource comprehensive IT services for the Olympic Games 2026 – 2032 and for the IOC itself.
  • Ongoing advice to SAP on all issues relating to regulatory requirements for outsourcing in the financial sector.

Intellectual property > Patent litigation: solicitors Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP has a sizeable team of attorneys-at-law and patent lawyers as well as a international presence, which places the firm among the top players for national and cross-border patent disputes. The size of the team is reflected in a broad service spectrum. Focus areas include the technology, telecoms, life sciences, automotive, retail and consumer goods industries. The combined strengths of the patent lawyers and the firm’s antitrust experts make the team a particularly good choice for disputes pertaining to standard-essential patents. As part of its legal tech portfolio, the firm offers a tool for managing patent portfolios. The team around the Düsseldorf practice head Christian Harmsen includes Oliver Jan Jüngst (Düsseldorf), who specialises in international proceedings, Boris Kreye in Munich, who is also experienced in opposition and nullity proceedings, medical products, mobile communication and automotive expert Matthias Meyer (Düsseldorf), FRAND specialist Felix Rödiger, also in Düsseldorf, and life sciences litigator Daniela Kinkeldey in Munich. The Munich office expanded with the promotion of mechanical and electronics specialist Marc Grunwald in May 2021. Anna Wolters-Höhne left the firm the same month.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

B. Braun

Baxter

Broadcom

Canon Inc.

Celanese

Edwards Lifesciences

Electrolux

Envipco

Fisher Paykel

Fraunhofer Gesellschaft

Fresenius

Guardant Health

Honeywell

HTS

Jinko Solar

KCC Corporation

Knorr-Bremse

Merck / Ares Trading

Meritor

Neo

Nevro

Nestlé

Nokia

Novartis

Ontex

Provisur

Qualcomm

Sisvel

Stada

Teva

Valeo

VKR (Velux)

WalkMe

Waters

Ypsomed

Zentiva

Intellectual property > Trade marks Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP ‘s team is active in the development and management of large trade mark portfolios. Integrated into the international law firm and led by Christian Harmsen (Düsseldorf), the German team is well positioned for cross-border mandates, both in prosecution matters and large contentious proceedings. Sector focuses include the technology, automotive, life sciences, media and consumer goods industries. Among the client roster are large companies as well as newly added major players. In addition to trade mark, design and competition law expertise, the team also advises on copyright and the protected designation of origin act. The German team is active at the Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich locations and regularly cooperates with other practices, particularly the M&A group. The firm also offers legal tech tool Talisman for international trade mark monitoring and product piracy matters, with frequent instructions from the luxury goods, fashion and cosmetics sectors. In May 2021, Roman Brtka made partner in Munich. Richard Dissmann is renowned for his experience in litigation, particularly in product piracy issues.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Outstanding strategic advice. Very good in-house understanding; not only the legal aspects, but also other decision-making factors, such as commercial or communicative considerations. A reliable partner with a strong understanding of service.’

‘Fast solution-oriented advice. Flexible and convincing.’

‘Very effective in handling complex matters of global scope.’

‘Joseph Fesenmair: Excellent in advising on strategic and complex matters.’

Very experienced team with good industry knowledge and experience with Japanese clients. Markus Körner knows how to break down difficult issues into the essential elements. Many years of experience in trademark law.

‘The team can be contacted at any time. Responses are always very quick and competent. Inquiries are answered in such a way that it is easy for the in-house lawyer to make a decision about how to proceed. Suggestions are practical.’

The trade mark team around Frederik Thiering and Marion Jacob combines detailed legal knowledge, extensive experience in the field of strategic brand management and the willingness to make meaningful comparisons with a great desire to engage in debate where a comparison is not possible. We know our brands are in good hands as a team.’

Marion Jacob: Straightforward, pragmatic approach that gets things off the table efficiently.

Key clients

adidas

Aida Cruises

Amway

AUDI AG

Berlin Brands Group (Chal-Tec)

Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

Bugatti International S.A.

Canon

Dailymotion

Deutsche Telekom AG

Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband

Discovery Communications

DTM Deutsche Tele Medien GmbH

Electrolux

Forto

Gastro & Soul GmbH (Cafe del Sol)

Gruner + Jahr GmbH

Guns N’ Roses

Hebrew University

HelloFresh

Infosys Ltd.

innogy SE

Ionity GmbH

Joh. Wilh. von Eicken

Juice Plus Europe GmbH

JustFab / TechStyle

KavoKerr

Landbell

LemonAid

LLOYD Schuhe

Monster Energy Beverages

Narcos Productions LLC

Next e.Go Mobile SE

Nord Stream 2 AG

Nord Stream AG

Omnicell Technologies

Ontex

Peek & Cloppenburg

Piaggio & C. Spa

Plusnet GmbH

Procter & Gamble

ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG / SevenVentures

Schwarze & Schlichte (Three Sixty Vodka)

Spotify

STORY HOUSE Gruppe

VOLKSWAGEN AG

Western Digital

Work highlights

  • Support for AUDI AG on design law cooperation agreements/design development contracts, advice on design applications and defence of trade mark, domain and design rights.
  • Comprehensive and global strategic advice to an international sports organization, representation in disputes and advice on registration procedures (research, registration strategy, portfolio management).
  • Comprehensive worldwide advice and representation of the Gruner+ Jahr group of companies in trade mark matters.

Intellectual property > Unfair competition Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP shines with its international positioning and broad sector expertise. In cooperation with colleagues from other jurisdictions, the German team around Düsseldorf practice head Christian Harmsen regularly assists with global and cross-border projects. Sector focuses include the TMT, automotive, life sciences as well as retail and consumer goods industries. The competition law expertise is integrated into the firm’s overall soft IP offering and the group also covers interface matters pertaining to other practices, such as M&A. Roman Brtka in Munich is well versed in copyright law and made partner in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Solution-oriented and quick processing.’

Key clients

Amway

AUDI AG

Canon

Columbia Sportswear

DTM Deutsche Tele Medien GmbH

Electrolux

Juice Plus Europe GmbH

JustFab / TechStyle

KavoKerr

Lamborghini S.p.A.

LLOYD Schuhe

Ontex

Philip Morris

ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG / SevenVentures

ROWENTA

Schwarze & Schlichte (Three Sixty Vodka)

Take-Two Interactive

TEFAL

Western Digital

WeTransfer

Work highlights

  • Representation of AUDI AG in several contentious disputes with the German Environmental Aid for the implementation of the passenger car EnVKV.
  • Advising and representing Canon in contentious and non-contentious cases relating to unfair competition, trademark and copyright law (product images).
  • Defense of WMF against a lawsuit by the design office M&K for additional payment of up to €21 million before the Stuttgart Regional Court.

Public sector > Planning and environment

Bird & Bird LLP's team focuses on advising on product-related environmental law in the automotive, technology and communication as well as energy and utility sectors on one hand, but also assists clients with planning law matters, especially in relation to plants or energy infrastructure construction. Soil protection issues represent another focal point. René Voigtländer in Munich and Matthias Lang in Düsseldorf jointly head the practice and both have expertise in environmental and planning compliance issues as well as the energy sector.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Aluminium Oxid Stade GmbH

Amprion GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising Amprion GmbH on several planning approval procedures for several high-voltage lines. Successful representation in lawsuits and summary legal protection proceedings before the BVerwG.
  • Advising Aluminum Oxid Stade GmbH on planning approval procedures and approval procedures under circular economy law.
  • Advising an American automotive supplier on administrative proceedings under soil protection law.

Public sector > Public procurement Tier 1

With a large team of renowned procurement law experts, Bird & Bird LLP's practice serves a wide range of clients, both on the contracting and contractor side, with a focus on the security and defence, healthcare, infrastructure and IT sectors; the latter area is becoming increasingly important due to the digitisation push, while the team also acts at the forefront of new, innovative projects for instance in relation to hydrogen. The practice offers interdisciplinary advice on contractual, regulatory, financial and litigation issues, while plaintiff representation in review proceedings has particular increased. The firm also provides public clients with digital service 'Access', an e-tendering platform for the legally secure provision and management of tender documents. Jan Byok heads the practice from Düsseldorf and is well versed in the planning, management and refurbishment of complex technology and infrastructure projects. Alexander Csaki in Munich has expertise in health sector advice, among others matters.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Gesundheit

Work highlights

  • Mandated by a waste disposal company to procure an innovative H2 hydrogen filling station and an electrolyser to fill up waste collection vehicles in particular with self-generated green hydrogen.
  • Advising a newly founded federal limited liability company on the conception, planning and implementation of a highly complex negotiation process for the procurement of an innovative IT system.
  • Procurement and contract law support for a major municipal IT service provider in three procurement procedures, each in the tens of millions, for the digitization of the public education sector.

Banking and finance > Fintech Tier 2

The close cooperation between banking and tech experts makes Bird & Bird LLP an attractive advisor on payment services and e-money advice. Start-ups, fintechs and financial service providers regularly utilises the team's expertise in bitcoin regulation and other virtual currencies as well as in distributed ledger technologies (such as blockchain). Alongside the regulatory advice required during implementation and use of such currencies and technologies, the assistance to international investors with investments in companies that focus on digitization issues represents another mainstay for the practice. Michael Jünemann heads the finance and financial regulation practice and advises on all regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘We work together in the area of scheme rules and in my opinion they have more know-how than any other law firm in Germany.’

‘Michael Jünemann and Johannes Wirtz are an excellent team. Michael always keeps an eye on the bigger picture and both have profound specialist knowledge.’

‘Bird & Bird has a specialist on hand for every legal question, including unusual areas of law. Bird & Bird thus offers a very broad spectrum, which is addressed not only competently but also very promptly by a central key contact.’

Key clients

8Pitch

CONCEDUS

Bunq BV

Dapper Labs Inc.

IDnow

Mastercard

Monese Ldt.

Niiio finance AG

Novem Gold

Volksbank Mittweida

Work highlights

  • Advising start-ups 8Pitch and CONCEDUS on the design of a platform for issuing security tokens based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).
  • Advised Bunq BV on the local legal and regulatory requirements and procedures related to passporting based expansion from the Netherlands to Belgium, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
  • Advising a cryptocurrency exchange platform on regulatory issues regarding the issuance of DLT-based tokens.

Industry focus > Healthcare and life sciences Tier 2

In addition to a strong patent law practice, which fields practice head Boris Kreye in Munich, Bird & Bird LLP offers an established procurement law team with Alexander Csaki (Munich) as the key figure. Among the core topics are digital health matters, in particular advising on IT and outsourcing contracts; here, the group regularly advises in joint cooperation with data protection lawyers and e-commerce specialists. The firm's employment law, transactional, antitrust and regulatory expertise further complement the advisory offering. Miriam Ballhausen (Hamburg; technology transactions, data-based projects, software development), Stephan Waldheim (Düsseldorf; antitrust law) and Marc Grunwald (Munich; patent law) made partner in the months between November 2020 and May 2021. Anna Wolters-Höhne left the firm in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Fast, good, on-the-spot.’

Key clients

Aphria Inc.

B. Braun Melsungen

Dexcom

Dr. Loges + Co. GmbH

Edwards Lifesciences

Elixinol Global Ltd

Ellab A/S

Fisher Paykel

Fresenius

Glenmark

Guardant Health Inc.

Henry Schein

InGeneron

KORIAN Deutschland AG

LenioBio GmbH

Materia Ventures

Merck KgaA / Ares Trading S.A.

Nevro

Northern Green Canada Inc

Omnicell Technologies

Ontex

Pfizer

Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd

Stada

Teva/ratiopharm

Tillomed Pharma GmbH

Universitätklinikum Gießen und Marburg

Waters

Ypsomed AG

Zentiva

Work highlights

  • Advising a drug manufacturer on a successful review procedure for the procurement of drugs from the AOKs.
  • Representing Edwards Lifesciences in several proceedings regarding various patents.
  • First consulting project of the University Hospital Gießen and Marburg on the Covid-19 app for the initial assessment of symptoms of the disease.

Germany > Consumer goods and food law Tier 4

Under the leadership of the Düsseldorf-based Uwe Lüken and with strengths in IP, Bird & Bird LLP's practice advises nationally and internationally known brands from the beverage, food and cosmetics industries. Among other matters, the team advises on novel foods and novel tobacco products and also has expertise in cannabis products in the pharmaceutical and food industry. The practice's multidisciplinary team enables it to offer clients a full range of legal services, including competition law, consumer law, corporate law, dispute resolution and dispute prevention as well as trademark administration.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Competence and availability.’

‘Dr. N. Lutzhöft, high level of expertise, creative solutions, trusting cooperation.’

‘Extremely business-focused and pragmatic and always available. We see them very much as part of our team and not as ‘outsiders’.’

Key clients

Dr. Loges + Co. GmbH

Elixinol Global Ltd

Hello fresh

JuicePlus + Company

LemonAid

Philip Morris GmbH

Procter & Gamble

Schwarze & Schlichte

Société des Produits Nestlé

The Juice Plus Europe GmbH

Work highlights

  • Food law advice to Elixinol Global Ltd. in relation to the takeover of leading German CBD company, CannaCare Health GmbH by a Dutch subsidiary.
  • Support for JuicePlus + Company in preliminary injunctions regarding false statements about the client’s products on part of SWR and Saarländisches Rundfunk.
  • Defending Schwarze & Schlichte against a claim brought by MBG International Premium Brands as well as representation in several preliminary injunction proceedings.

Corporate and M&A > M&A: mid-sized deals (sub-€500m) Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLPalways takes a pragmatic approach to solving problems ‘. The team is instructed by both startup and medium-sized companies as well as multinational stock corporations, which benefit from the group’s experience in automotive, life sciences, technology and communications. Stefan Münch is a key contact for corporate law and M&A issues in the context of the last-mentioned three sectors. Led by Peter Veranneman, the team also advises on pre- and post-acquisition issues, mergers, takeovers and growth strategies.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The group we’ve worked with really acts as a team; so you are never completely dependent on one person. When new partners/employees are brought in to solve specific problems, it is clear that B&B has done an excellent job of internal communication to bring everyone up to date.’

B&B always takes a pragmatic approach to solving problems, looking for a solution that fits our specific needs rather than forcing us down a certain path .’

‘We worked extensively with Stephan Kübler and Stefan Münch. They are both exceptionally communicative, have sharp legal minds and are adept at finding creative solutions.’

‘Very good interdisciplinary cooperation; not too many people involved; very good transfer of knowledge within the team.’

‘Stefan Münch: Outstanding negotiation skills, result-oriented.’

Key clients

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Blockpit

CapMan

Cube Infrastructure Fund II

Deutsche Beteiligungs AG

Elixinol Global Ltd

Electric Feel Entertainment

Ellab A/S

Eve Systems GmbH

FUNKE Digital GmbH

Gamma Communications plc

HRworks GmbH

InGeneron

KORIAN Deutschland AG

LEAD VENTURES Alapkezelo Zártköruen Mukö

Materia Ventures

MaxLinear, Inc.

NuCom

PSA Group/Opel

ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE

Rackspace Technology

Seedtag Advertising S.L.

Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd

Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

Story House Productions GmbH/Story House Pictures GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising DBAG – Deutsche Beteiligungs AG on several transactions of portfolio companies.
  • Advising KORIAN Deutschland AG on the takeover of the care division of Qualivita AG and on the acquisition of the intensive care service Lebenswert.
  • Advised PSA/Opel on the agreement with Total/Saft to form the Automotive Cells Company (ACC), a joint venture to manufacture batteries in Europe.

Dispute resolution > Product liability Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP focuses on preventive advice which foots on comprehensive product compliance expertise, as well as on liability matters and product recalls. The group particularly focuses on the technology, IT and automotive sectors, resulting in a client portfolio comprising numerous automotive suppliers. Christian Kessel, Matthias Spilker and associate Lydia Steckel are all experienced in contractual disputes. Jiri Jaeger heads the entire dispute resolution practice.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘High expertise in the area of product liability and automotive.’

‘Flexible team that can quickly familiarize itself with complex issues.’

‘Matthias Spilker and Lydia Steckel have a high level of expertise in product liability cases in the automotive sector.’

Industry focus > Energy Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP focuses on the renewable energy sector, primarily advising on transactions as well as funds. Solar parks, onshore and offshore wind farms and geothermal systems are at the core of the service spectrum, with a particular focus on offshore projects in the German North Sea. Due to the firm's international orientation, the team is well versed in handling cross-border mandates. René Voigtländer in Munich and Matthias Lang in Düsseldorf jointly head the team.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Energy & Utilities Group/ Regulatory & Administrative Practice Group at Bird&Bird covers the entire spectrum of energy law in our core markets. The highly experienced team is able to anticipate changes in key segments of this fast-moving industry (renewable energy, energy management, grids, digitization, storage, nuclear, oil and gas, mining and minerals).’

‘Matthias Lang: Excellent experience in the energy sector (with a particular focus on infrastructure, energy, regulation, state aid and environmental law).’

‘The cooperation with Lars Kyrberg is of the highest legal quality without being aloof; it remains practical. He is characterized by a high degree of understanding of the situation and the ability to comprehensively evaluate and implement a wide variety of aspects – including those from other disciplines. The cooperation with the client, colleagues and other stakeholders is very respectful.’

Key clients

PSA Gruppe/Opel

TenneT Gruppe

TransnetBW

Work highlights

  • Advising JDR Cable Systems Ltd. in negotiations, project management and litigation/arbitration regarding various purchase contracts and EPC project contracts for the internal cabling of offshore wind farms.
  • Advising TransnetBW and TenneT TSO GmbH on the negotiation of project and maintenance contracts for SuedLink.
  • Advising a project developer in the field of photovoltaics on a joint development agreement with a local project developer on projects in Germany based on corporate PPAs.

Media > Entertainment Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP‘s Munich office has strong advisory skills in the media, entertainment and sports (including esports) sectors, with the firm’s strong technology focus enabling it to successfully assist media corporations and other clients also with media-adjacent matters, including international marketing campaigns. The practice also advises on regulatory issues related to lottery, sports betting and gaming. Joseph Fesenmair further assists with sponsoring and contract drafting, while matters pertaining to licenses, commercial legal protection and domain law are overseen by Markus Körner.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

adidas

Amazon Game Server

Aphria Inc., Aphria Germany GmbH und Aphria RX GmbH

JuicePlus

Mozilla Foundation

Philip Morris GmbH

ProSiebenSat.1 Gruppe

S 20 e.V.

Take-Two Interactive

Union Mondiale de Billiard

WMF

Zum Goldenen Hirschen

Work highlights

  • Holistic advice to a sports committee in a large number of IP and media-related proceedings.
  • Advising ProSiebenSat.1 Group on various contractual and copyright disputes in Germany and abroad as well as transactional IP matters and advice on due diligence and SPAs.
  • Representing WMF in proceedings brought by design office M&K related to retroactive renumeration before the district court in Stuttgart.

Trade and distribution > Foreign trade law Tier 4

As part of the Trade & Customs Practice Group, Bird & Bird LLP comprehensively advises on all relevant foreign trade law matters, including investment control, technology transfers, customs and sanctions law issues as well as advice and training on compliance regulations. The group also has special expertise in advising on issues relating to US export control law, related regulations and cooperation with the responsible US authorities. In addition to embargoes, approval procedures and investigations, practice leader René Voigtländer also covers compliance. Public procurement lawyer Guido Bormann is also part of the core team.

Practice head(s):

Work highlights

  • Advising a globally active manufacturer of electronic multifunctional systems for the aerospace and defense sector on various export control issues as well as an expert opinion on possible subjective rights of a transnational company from international contracts and agreements.
  • Advising a global developer of drone technology and manufacturer of drones on an expert opinion on the need for and ability to obtain approval.
  • Advice on investment control law to the subsidiary of a large global US provider of data centers with regard to a planned transaction to assess whether the deal is subject to notification to the BMWi.

Germany > Antitrust Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP's antitrust practice is headed by the Düsseldorf-based Jörg Witting, who is adept at advising on corporate partnerships, mergers and acquisitions and distribution agreements. The practice works closely with colleagues from its public procurement, patent and corporate practices which enables particularly competent advice for clients in the pharmaceutical, IT and healthcare sectors. Anna Federle is based in both Düsseldorf and Brussels and has many years of experience in German, European and international merger controls, including phase II proceedings. Stephan Waldheim made partner in November 2020 and has experience in online sales and cartel damages among other things.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

adidas AG

Adient PLC

Amway GmbH

BorgWarner

Canon

China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC)

ECT SAS (PE Fonds)

Eurofiber Nederland B.V.

fischer automotive systems GmbH & Co. KG

Husqvarna AB

Immofinanz AG

John Bean Technologies Europe B.V.

Kaz Europe Sàrl

Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG

LiveKindly Company Inc

MasterCard Europe SA

Melitta Gruppe

Neenah Gessner GmbH

Nexteer Automotive Corporation

Panasonic

PPG

ProsiebenSat.1

Rubycon

S20 e.V.

Societe General/ALD SA

Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

Stadtwerke Alsdorf GmbH

The Heavy Duty Manufacturer Association

Vitruvian (PE Fonds) / Doctor Placement GmbH

Work highlights

  • Antitrust and merger control advice to Adient PLC in connection with a transaction with Sage Automotive Interiors.
  • Complaint on behalf of a mobility company to the Federal Cartel Office because of market foreclosure practices to prevent emerging (price) competition.
  • Support for Melitta Group in cartel damages proceedings, EU merger control proceedings and other antitrust issues.

Corporate and M&A > Corporate Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP 's 'deep understanding of business and decision-making processes' is evident in regular instructions on corporate finance, start-up and restructuring matters, private and public mergers as well as private equity IPOs and joint venture-related issues. These topics and especially any related contentious mandates are often advised on in close cooperation with other practice groups. The team has an industry focus on clients from the new technologies sector. Peter Veranneman heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team has developed a deep understanding of our business and decision-making processes. They are flexible, commercially interested and fun to work with. They are our point of contact for corporate M&A work in Germany.’

 

Key clients

Aareon AG

Aphria Inc.

BS Wiesmann GmbH

Bühler Motor GmbH

Cummins Inc.

Ellab A/S

Fysam Auto Decorative GmbH

ICE Gateway GmbH

KAZ Europe Sàrl / Helen of Troy

Midea Europe GmbH

niiio finance group AG

Northern Green Canada Inc

Tillomed Pharma GmbH

Verizon Connect Germany GmbH

vwd Group

Work highlights

  • Ongoing commercial and corporate law advice to the Cummins Group and in relation to German, Belgian, Finnish and English subsidiaries.
  • Advising the niiio finance group AG on various corporate and capital markets law issues.
  • Advice on founding Northern Green Global GmbH and further support for global expansion.

Trade and distribution > Trade, distribution and logistics Tier 5

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:

Testimonials

‘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

Voestalpine

Germany > Employment Tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP ‘s employment law expertise is evident in ongoing day-to-day business support, including litigation and data protection issues. Another key element is the advice on cross-border projects, where the team is well positioned due to its international network. Restructuring mandates form a central part of the global workload and most recently included various company reorganisations pertaining to Covid-19. Practice heads Martin Nebeling and Barbara Geck regularly handle transactions under individual and collective employment law aspects.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

1. FFC Frankfurt e.V.

DS Dichtungstechnik GmbH

Inapa Deutschland GmbH

Internationaler Sportgerichtshof (CAS/TAS)

Live Person

Messe München

Metro AG

Page Group

Planview Gruppe

Pfizer

Renesas IDT

Tech Mahindra

Teknor Apex Gruppe

W.I.S. Sicherheit + Service GmbH & Co. KG

Work highlights

  • Advised Pfizer on the global spin-off of the Upjohn business and its merger with Mylan NV to form the new global pharmaceutical company Viatris Inc.  
  • Advising Metro AG on the reorganization of the group’s internal IT service business and supporting the outsourcing of parts of the IT business.
  • Advising Tech Mahindra GmbH on day-to-day labor law business, in particular litigation.

The firm: Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with a long-established reputation for having a rare and invaluable grasp of strategic commercial issues. The firm combines exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients operating at the forefront of their industries to achieve their commercial goals.

Bird & Bird has over 1,400 lawyers and legal practitioners with broad advisory transactional and contentious capability, with a particular focus on key industry sectors. The firm has an extensive international reach with 31 offices across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, offering a seamless, cross-border service between locations and sector and practice groups.

In Germany, Bird & Bird has offices in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. From these offices it provides a full range of legal services, including intellectual property (patents, trade marks, designs and copyright), corporate/M&A, commercial, banking and finance, ata protection, dispute resolution, employment, competition and EU, outsourcing, regulatory and administrative, tax, privacy and data protection and real estate.

Areas of practice: Underpinned by deep client and industry knowledge, the firm’s key sectors include:

Automotive: advising on all stages of a life cycle of a motor vehicle, from initial design, to sales and distribution, through to disposals.

Aviation, aerospace, defence and security: advising on asset management and financing, civil aviation matters, including airlines, regulatory and competition issues, and aerospace and defence, including PPP/PFI and product liability.

Energy and utilities: advising large multinationals, investors, project companies and large energy consumers on electricity generation, energy trading, renewable energy, cleantech and climate change, and upstream oil and gas.

Financial services: advising global clients in the financial services sector, such as global retail and investment banks, investors and hedge funds, on transactions, regulatory issues, commercial contracts and dispute resolution.

Life sciences and healthcare: advising clients in biotechnology, bioinformatics and pharmaceutical companies on licensing and drug development agreements, R&D collaboration, IP acquisitions and joint ventures.

Media and entertainment and sports: advising clients from across the media spectrum on a wide range of issues, including exploitation across all forms of digital media and emerging areas, such as user-generated content exploitation; advising clients such as national and international sports governing bodies, event organisers and sponsors on issues including exploitation of commercial rights, brand management, regulatory and disciplinary issues.

Retail and consumer: advising retail and consumer-facing clients on all aspects of the sector, from research and development, production and packaging, through to distribution, promotion and retailing.

Technology and communications: advising on matters ranging from smaller innovative projects to some of the largest, most complex and ground-breaking transactions and disputes of recent years. Its team includes lawyers with a particular focus on communications, devices and components, digital tech and eCommerce, and software and services as well as a number of more specialist industries including data centres, postal and satellites.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Banking and finance Michael Jünemann
Commercial, data protection Fabian Niemann
Corporate and M&A Peter Veranneman
Employment Martin Nebeling
Competition and EU Jörg Witting
IP (patents and trade marks) Christian Harmsen
Regulatory and administrative Jan Byok
Dispute resolution (litigation and arbitration) Jiri Jaeger
Automotive Christian Kessel
Aviation, aerospace, defence and security Jan Byok
Energy and utilities René Voigtländer
Life sciences and healthcare Boris Kreye
Media, entertainment and sport Joseph Fesenmair
Retail and consumer Uwe Lüken
TMT Alexander Duisberg (IT)
TMT Sven-Erik Heun (Telecommunications)
TMT Oliver Jan Jüngst (Electronics)
Number of lawyers : 1,200
in this country : 180
Chinese
English
French
German
Polish
Russian
Spanish
Turkish
Other offices : Abu Dhabi
Other offices : Amsterdam
Other offices : Beijing
Other offices : Bratislava
Other offices : Brussels
Other offices : Budapest
Other offices : Copenhagen
Other offices : Dubai
Other offices : Frankfurt
Other offices : Hamburg
Other offices : Helsinki
Other offices : Hong Kong
Other offices : London
Other offices : Luxembourg
Other offices : Lyon
Other offices : Madrid
Other offices : Milan
Other offices : Munich
Other offices : Paris
Other offices : Prague
Other offices : Rome
Other offices : Shanghai
Other offices : Singapore
Other offices : Stockholm
Other offices : Sydney
Other offices : The Hague
Other offices : Warsaw