Firm Profile > Baker McKenzie > Dusseldorf, Germany

Baker McKenzie

Arbitration (including international arbitration) Tier 1

Cases handled by the Baker McKenzie arbitration team often relate to Asia; for example, Heiko Haller is representing a German company in disputes concerning an Asian company’s failed pharmaceutical concept. He also acts for a financial institution in disputes relating to a transaction in the renewable energy sector. In addition, the practice has a focus on representing clients in arbitration proceedings in the areas of plant construction, energy and post-M&A. Jörg Risse, who is recommended by clients and regularly acts in settlement negotiations and arbitration proceedings, is representing a German company in arbitration proceedings before the German arbitration institute DIS in a dispute regarding the termination of a joint venture agreement. Günter Pickrahn and Ragnar Harbst are also recommended.

Compliance Tier 1

Clients value Baker McKenzie’s ‘pragmatism’ and ‘excellent responsiveness’. They benefit from the uncomplicated cross-border cooperation, with the German group being the compliance centre for the EMEA region, and from the good teamwork with colleagues from public, antitrust and IT law. Particularly noteworthy is the practice group’s development of the so-called Compliance Cockpit, a system using a self-programmed algorithm which carries out global risk analyses and checks the status of compliance management systems; it was put to use in the review and revision of a chemical company’s global compliance management system. In another highlight, the group assisted a company from the automotive industry with the introduction of a compliance training system and with the implementation of compliance training courses in a number of countries. Andreas Lohner is regarded as ‘top in compliance matters’. Nicolai Behr, who contributed significantly to the development of the Compliance Cockpit, made partner. Thomas Grützner joined Latham & Watkins LLP.

Data protection Tier 1

For many clients, Baker McKenzie is ‘better than comparable firms in terms of quality, availability, flexibility, speed and pragmatism’; the ‘solution-oriented’ data protection team is also noted for its ‘very broad overall understanding’ and the ‘reduction of responses to what is essential in a manner that is also clear for non-lawyers’. The practice has notable expertise in the regulated industries, such as the finance, pharmaceutical, medical technology and telecoms sectors, and often handles cross-border and multinational matters. The team has expertise in areas such as fintech and big data and another key focus is the automotive sector and mobility. In addition to advising several clients on GDPR-related issues, the firm is also assisting an automotive manufacturer with a Europe-wide concept for data protection agreements for connected car services. Other highlights include acting for a large international telecoms company in a matter regarding the German Federal Network Agency’s order for the advance deletion of data; assisting an asset management company with data protection matters relating to the introduction of procedures for the global processing of personal data; and advising a global market research and consulting company in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector on the implementation of a pan-European big data project regarding the handling of health data. Holger Lutz provides ‘solid’ advice and Michael Schmidl, who is frequently recommended by peers and clients alike, has ‘extremely deep expertise’ and is ‘pragmatic, always available, very well organised and connected, highly motived and an excellent negotiator’. Julia Kaufmann is also noted.

Healthcare and life sciences Tier 1

Baker McKenzie covers a broad spectrum of topics in the life sciences area: the practice is one of the most diverse in the market and not only has longstanding experience in transactional advice but also profound expertise in regulatory matters. Public procurement and IP-related mandates are further pillars of the practice, which is led by Thilo Räpple, who regularly advises on market access issues and the Pharmaceutical Market Restructuring Act (AMNOG). With public procurement expert Marc Gabriel in the lead, the team also assisted Novartis with several Germany-wide tenders for open-house pharmaceutical rebate contracts for the Imatinib medication and represented the client in multiple parallel review procedures at the federal public procurement body in order to protect important blockbuster cancer drug Glivec. Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort advised CureVac on a cooperation with Eli Lilly in the area of cancer drugs, which included an upfront payment of $50m and an equity investment of $45m; the team collaborated with the firm’s offices in New York and Washington. In addition to acting for international pharmaceutical corporations, the group acts for companies in the biotechnology and medical products technology sector, as well as a significant number of smaller highly specialised companies. Christian Burholt is also recommended.

Outsourcing Tier 1

Baker McKenzie remains a market leader in advising on large, complex outsourcing projects. The practice particularly focuses on IT outsourcings (ITO), especially in the area of managed operations, and the outsourcing and consolidation of data centres. Counsel Björn Helwig acts almost entirely on the service provider side, but also covers outsourcings for buyers. His recewnt highlights include advising a globally operating management consulting, technology and outsourcing service provider on negotiating a global transformation and HR outsourcing contract with an internationally leading insurance company. Matthias Scholz is also highly visible advising on large outsourcing transactions with a special focus on the finance sector and pharmaceutical industry; he assisted a European logistics company with the conclusion of an outsourcing agreement, the sale of its assets and the provision of transition services. Holger Lutz advised a company in the finance industry on the design and execution of a tender for the outsourcing of global workplace services. Allianz is also a client.

Telecoms Tier 1

Baker McKenzie is a heavyweight for regulatory matters and is also continuing to successfully expand its telecoms practice to handle machine-to- machine communication (M2M) matters. A highlights in this area was assisting an automotive manufacturer with the implementation of connected car services; practice head Joachim Scherer and counsel Caroline Heinickel advised on the telecoms law requirements of such automotive services, the service registration at the responsible authorities and the development of a compliance system. The Frankfurt office centrally managed the advice in over 40 jurisdictions across the globe. In addition to an M2M focus, OTT services and broadband expansion are two other pillars of the practice. In other work, the team provided an expert opinion and advised on a study on protection and security in electronic communication for the Hessian Ministry of Economy. The firm’s own task force on cyber security, led by Heinickel together with IT expert Holger Lutz and patent lawyer Heiko Haller, is another unique feature. Telefónica is a key client.

Trade and distribution Tier 1

Baker McKenzie provides a broad range of trade and distribution law advice to a number of well-known national and international companies including Amazon, Daimler and Esprit. The team of three partners led by Ulf Wauschkuhn frequently drafts distribution agreements and structures distribution channels. Another focus is handling sales antitrust compliance projects. Katharina Spenner is particularly experienced in the field of sports equipment. She advised Amer Sports on contract and distribution law matters relating to the Salomon, Wilson, Atomic, Mavic, Enve and Suunto brands. Johannes Teichmann focuses on the automotive sector and counts MAN Truck & Bus among his clients. On the contentious side, a highlight was representing Novartis Pharma in distribution disputes.

Commercial litigation Tier 2

Instructions handled by Baker McKenzie’s dispute resolution practice often have a reference to antitrust and corporate law as well as a connection to Asia. The group has extensive expertise in post-M&A disputes, construction and plant disputes and in the energy sector; for example, Heiko Haller, who made equity partner, represented a Spanish bank in a dispute pertaining to the financing of a power plant project and also works for a construction company in pre-litigation negotiations relating to an energy project in South America. Jörg Risse, who is ‘a good choice for litigation’, and Ragnar Harbst acted for an IT company in a dispute concerning an IT project. The experienced Günter Pickrahn is also recommended.

Employment Tier 2

Baker McKenzie handles a wide range of national and cross-border employment law matters including the deployment of external personnel and employee data protection, which leads to a steady flow of mandates from clients from various industries including Fiducia & GAD IT and Baxter Deutschland. The practice represented SAP in co-determination proceedings against IG-Metall and Ver.di, and acted for Dentsply Syrona in a cross-border restructuring including collective redundancies and the relocation of operations. In another significant matter, the team assists The Walt Disney Company Germany with the negotiation of a reconciliation of interests agreement and a social plan to relocate operations within Germany. Christian Reichel and Steffen Scheuer are the key figures.

Information technology (including contracts) Tier 2

Baker McKenzie’s ‘extremely professional’ IT team stands out for its ‘very good expertise’ and is noted for its ‘business-oriented advice with short response and processing times’ at ‘a very good price-performance ratio’. Besides its expertise in traditional IT law and contractual commercial aspects the team also advises on e-commerce, represents clients in IT disputes and handles transactions in the IT sector. Other pillars of the practice concern the digital media and new technologies in connection with the connected car and autonomous driving, while the firm also continues to expand its cyber security task force. The ‘excellent and ambitious’ Holger Lutz is acting for a large international bank on the development of an entirely new online bank and Julia Kaufmann is advising a manufacturer of car wash plants on the development of a customer mobile app. In other work, the team is assisting a large German automotive manufacturer with the establishment of an online marketplace for the distribution of new and used vehicles. Managing partner Matthias Scholz is also recommended.

M&A: mid-sized deals (sub-€500m) Tier 2

The M&A advice provided by Baker McKenzie is ‘to the point’, and ‘previously agreed fee agreements are adhered to’. The practice has a strong network internationally and the majority of its deals have a cross-border component. Highlights included advising Corestate Capital Holding on the acquisition of HFS Helvetic Financial Services; Creos Deutschland on the acquisition of all shares in Steag Netz in a bidding process; and Winkler+Dünnebier on the acquisition of Bicma Hygiene Technologie. Nikolaus Reinhuber, Christian Atzler and Heiko Gotsche are also noted alongside ‘excellent negotiatorThomas Gilles.

Public procurement Tier 2

The two-partner procurement practice at Baker McKenzie focuses on advising bidders and is particularly active in the fields of health, defence, construction, infrastructure, IT and transport. Practice head Marc Gabriel advises a US manufacturer of biotechnological pharmaceuticals on public procurement issues relating to its entry into European tender markets for biosimilars, which is coordinated centrally from the Berlin office. The group also assisted a Germany-based company from the defence sector with procurement law matters and with the coordination of worldwide sales activities in 45 countries. The client base also includes Berlin-Brandenburg airport and Novartis. Susanne Mertens is another key figure in the practice group, which also includes associate Andreas Schulz. Counsel Katharina Weiner is the main contact in Düsseldorf.

Corporate Tier 3

Baker McKenzie recently acted on numerous cross-border mergers, increasingly counts listed companies as clients, and is setting standards in compliance advice. A highlight was assisting Uniwheels with the conclusion of a domination and profit transfer agreement with the main shareholder Superior Industries International, including the preparation and execution of the extraordinary general meeting, and the delisting of the company. Other highlights include advising McDonald’s on its day-to-day business; assisting Karl Storz, a manufacturer of endoscopes, medical instruments and equipment, with its conversion into an SE & Co. KG; and acting for Daimler on the establishment of a European on-demand ride-sharing joint venture with start-up Via. Since Nikolaus Reinhuber took over the management of the global IT practice in July 2017, Christian Atzler now jointly heads the German corporate law group together with Andreas Lohner, who has been co-head of the practice group for many years. Björn Simon made partner in July 2018 and Christian Vocke is also an up-and-coming young partner.

Energy Tier 3

Clients appreciate Baker McKenzie’s practice in particular for its ‘24/7 availability’ and ‘commercial approach’; besides handling transactions in the energy and infrastructure sector, the group also has a focus on regulatory advice, project finance and litigation. The ‘highly experienced team’, including Thomas Dörmer and the ‘solution-orientedTim Heitling, advised Creos Deutschland on the acquisition of various shares in Steag Netz in the context of a bidding procedure and assisted Chubu Electric Power and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance with the acquisition of shares in two German offshore transmission system operators. The firm also acted for a syndicate of 13 European and Asian banks on the acquisition financing of energy efficiency service provider ista International via a Chinese joint venture. In the contentious area, highlights included representing Vattenfall Europe Sales in an action against ante-holz group at the Regional Court of Hamburg regarding bills and payment for additional costs for electricity supply.

Internal investigations Tier 3

Baker McKenzie’s ‘top compliance and internal investigation team’ advises clients primarily in the automotive, financial services, construction, logistics and consumer products sectors on international investigations, working closely with the public, antitrust and IT practices. Anahita Thoms, who was a new arrival from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in New York, is assisting an industrial company with internal investigations into breaches of sanction and export control law. Andreas Lohner also works for an international company in investigations related to cartel and corruption allegations. Thomas Grützner, who announced his move to Latham & Watkins LLP in August 2018, was instructed by a number of DAX 30 companies, for example for an internal anti-corruption investigation. Nicolai Behr joined the partnership.

State aid Tier 3

Baker McKenzie’s three-partner strong state aid team is led by Marc Gabriel and advises on state aid, grants and subsidies. It adopts a cross-practice approach and often handles matters touching upon both procurement and real estate law, compliance and IT. Recent highlights include advising an international technology group on all subsidy law issues relating to its German location, and representing a leading operator of internet distribution portals for music, films and software in nullity proceedings against a state aid decision of the European Commission.

Structured finance and securitisation Tier 3

Baker McKenzie’s strength lies in handling asset-backed securities in the automotive sector, while the team also deals with matters concerning other asset classes, as well as multi-jurisdictional ABCP transactions involving trade receivables, leasing receivables and residual value receivables. Its client roster includes German and international banks, corporates and insurance companies. Oliver Socher and Sandra Wittinghofer are the main contacts. Counsel Michael Huertas joined Dentons as partner in April 2018.

Tax Tier 3

In addition to providing tax assistance with M&A transactions, Baker McKenzie’s nine-strong tax law team headed by Nicole Looks and Christoph Becker handles a range of traditional tax and criminal tax law concerns and provides ‘a very high level of service’. The group’s ‘very good advice’ on customs and VAT law in addition to its representation of companies in compliance issues and tax arrears payments is particularly noteworthy, and clients value the ‘short turnaround times’. Highlights included assisting automotive supplier LKQ Corporation with tax law matters related to the €1.5bn acquisition of automotive parts retailer Stahlgruber and advising an international industrial group on tax and transfer price planning, as well as contractual and economic modelling for the purposes of restructuring intellectual property. Norbert Mückl is ‘excellent’ and Thomas Schänzle joined from PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) in April 2018.

Trade marks and unfair competition Tier 3

Baker McKenzie continues to expand its trade mark portfolio management practice and was able to gain the portfolios of Leica and E.ON. Under Michael Fammler’s lead, who together with co-practice head Rembert Niebel constitutes the core of the team, the firm now advises Leica globally on all trade mark matters concerning the trade marks Leica and Leitz, including those of a cross-border nature, where clients benefit from the firm’s international network. Niebel acted for New Valmar and Luv n’Care in a design law highlight, which involved two disputes concerning the manufacture and distribution of baby and toddler products. The practice also handled a significant domain law matter with its advice to SAP on the acquisition of a large number block of legacy IP addresses. CSL Behring, Esprit and StudioCanal are also clients.

Antitrust Tier 4

The five-partner group at Baker McKenzie covers the entire spectrum of German and international antitrust law and is particularly well-versed in antitrust proceedings. Alongside Anika Schürmann, who manages the interface with criminal law, Christian Horstkotte represents Carlsberg in objection proceedings before the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf against the fine notice of the Federal Cartel Office arising from the beer cartel. Merger control proceedings are another area of focus: Nicolas Kredel advised Knorr-Bremse on phase-II proceedings of the EU Commission concerning the acquisition of Swedish automotive supplier Haldex. Cartel damages matters are also increasingly prominent in the team’s workload; on the claimant side, the firm represents Eckes Granini in proceedings against parties involved in the sugar cartel, defendant work includes acting for Ideal Automotive against claims arising from the first automotive supplier cartel.

Construction (including construction litigation) Tier 4

At Baker McKenzie, the team has core strengths in infrastructure and plant engineering sector-related construction litigation. Jörg Risse and Ragnar Harbst regularly act in contentious matters arising from wind farm, airport and rail transport projects and Jürgen Schramke is best known for handling contentious private construction law matters. Counsel Stephan Götze’s focus is on handling infrastructure project-related contractual matters for public sector clients.

Lending and borrowing Tier 4

Benefiting from its global reach, the team at Baker McKenzie frequently works in conjunction with various offices from its international network. Led by Oliver Socher, the team focuses on handling syndicated loan matters as part of trade and export finance, acquisition finance and restructuring mandates, but had to face a significant loss when securities expert Martin Kaiser moved to Ashurst LLP in September 2017 followed by real estate and asset finance specialist Filip Kurkowski in January 2018. As a counterbalance, the practice added real estate finance partner Patrick Mittmann from Hogan Lovells International LLP in August 2018. Recent highlights include advising Standard Chartered Bank on a two-currency loan facility valued at $306m and €956m respectively and issued to Yapı ve Kredi Bankası, which required co-operation with the firm’s Istanbul and London offices. In other work, Socher assistedo Credit Suisse with a unitranche financing and a facility feature, and acted for Commerz Real Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft on the acquisition of a wind farm for its CR Institutional Renewables Energies Fund. The latter mandate was handled in co-operation with colleagues from the M&A and energy law groups and demonstrates the team’s growing capabilities in energy sector work. In further demonstration of this, the team advised a consortium consisting of 13 European and Asian banks on the financing of the acquisition of ista International, a global provider of efficient energy services. In real estate, Kathrin Marchant assisted a banking consortium with the financing of the acquisition of the Sony Center in Berlin.

Patent litigation Tier 4

Due to Jochen Herr’s dual qualification as attorney at law and patent attorney with a focus on mechanical and process engineering, Baker McKenzie is particularly well versed in these two areas. Herr, who heads the team together with Günter Pickrahn, represented Becton Dickinson in European disputes against B. Braun Melsungen; in addition to handling the German proceedings, the group were also involved in coordinating proceedings in Belguim, the Netherlands and Austria. In another highlight matter, Herr acted for RealD in infringement proceedings against Volfoni and associated opposition proceedings at the EPO regarding three patents. Giesecke & Devrient, Orion and Pelikan Group are also clients.

Planning and environment Tier 4

The four-partner public commercial law practice at Baker McKenzie, headed by Marc Gabriel, advises on environmental, planning, construction and waste law issues; It is also particularly experienced in product-related environmental law and in the infrastructure and automotive sectors, as the instruction by Daimler shows. In addition, the firm advises on environmental, construction and planning law aspects of transactions and financings in the real estate and energy sectors. A 2018 highlight was providing assistance on regulatory matters to several companies in the heating and pump technology related to technical regulation, product safety, energy efficiency and environmental law. A market-leading manufacturer of consumer electronics was a client in the areas of product-related environmental law and litigation. The core team also includes Susanne Mertens in Berlin and Ulrich Ellinghaus in Frankfurt.

Restructuring Tier 4

Baker McKenzie’s five-partner restructuring team advises creditors, debtors, shareholders and insolvency administrators. In recent work, practice heads Holger Ellers and Dorothée Prosteder assisted a foreign industrial producer with the sale of a German subsidiary at risk of insolvency. The group advised another company from the service sector on the acquisition of an insolvent company. In other highlights, it handled a defence against claims arising from the avoidance of insolvency, advised on the corporate and tax restructuring of balance sheets, as well as on the handling of current contracts in connection with a transport sector company’s insolvency. Burkard Göpfert left the firm in November 2017 and joined the renamed employment law boutique KLIEMT.Arbeitsrecht. In 2018, Giannina Kreutz joined Dentons.

Venture capital Tier 4

Baker McKenzie was able to significantly expand its consulting capacities by adding several former Dechert LLP lawyers: Berthold Hummel and counsel Katja Heuterkes joined in autumn 2017 and counsel Julia Braun was a new arrival in January 2018. The core business includes advising financial and strategic investors on investments in start-ups, although Michael Bartosch also assists start-ups with financing rounds: he recently advised Cleverciti Systems on a €13m growth financing, and assisted Munich-based start-up Reactive Robots with its second financing round, in which Dr. Doll Holding and MTIP MedTech Innovation Partners participated, among others. Other work included advising Forbion Capital Partners on CatalYm’s €10m series A financing round.

Real estate Tier 5

At Baker McKenzie, the group advises national and international clients on real estate sales and acquisitions as well as the financing of residential, commercial and specialist properties. In recent work, Frankfurt-based Kathrin Marchant advised a consortium consisting of Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg and ING Wholesale Banking on the financing of the acquisition of the Sony Center in Berlin. Key contact Florian Thamm assisted Al Zayani Investments with the acquisition of the Kreiller 214 project development in Munich and acted for an Asian pension fund on the acquisition of a German logistics portfolio. Filip Kurkowski joined Ashurst LLP in early 2018.

Transactions Tier 5

Baker McKenzie acts for financial investors, private equity funds, strategic investors and family offices in national and cross-border transactions. It significantly expanded its practice with the addition of Berthold Hummel, counsel Katja Heuterkes and counsel Julia Braun, who were previously at Dechert LLP. Highlights included advising Avedon Capital Partners on the acquisition of the Altendorf group (led by practice head Ingo Strauss and M&A lawyer Heiko Gotsche), and assisting Deutsche Beteiligungs AG and its DBAG Fund VII with an investment in duagon (for which the group cooperated with the Zurich office). Gerald Schumann joined DLA Piper in September 2018.

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Photo Name Position Profile
Dr Barbara Deilmann  photo Dr Barbara Deilmann
Dr Heiko Gotsche  photo Dr Heiko Gotsche
Herr Christian Horstkotte  photo Herr Christian Horstkotte
Dr Nicolas Kredel  photo Dr Nicolas Kredel
Dr Juergen Mark  photo Dr Juergen Mark
Dr Stephan Schnorberger  photo Dr Stephan Schnorberger
Dr Ingo Strauss  photo Dr Ingo Strauss