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DLA Piper

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Antitrust - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

With its ‘outstanding level of serviceDLA Piper provides ‘timely and high-quality’ advice. The practice covers abuse proceedings, merger control and damage claim proceedings with particular expertise in the automotive, chemical, healthcare, finance and media sectors. In cooperation with the Brussels team the firm represented regular client Merck in proceedings against the Federal Cartel Office regarding distribution law issues; it also defended the client in resulting damage claim proceedings at the Regional Court Stuttgart. Continued antitrust advice to Qualcomm regarding the establishment of a joint venture with TDK Corporation also contributed to the steady work load. Ludger Giesberts and Jan Dreyer are recommended.

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Compliance - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s cross-practice approach is based on a close co-operation with the firm’s antitrust, IT, tax, employment and white-collar crime departments. With data protection work on the increase, the team handles various issues pertaining to the collection, processing and use of personal data, which includes the implementation of company-wide compliance programmes and data protection audits. It also focuses on product compliance with relevant expertise in environmental protection, health and export control, which is frequently called upon by companies from the pharmaceutical, insurance and automotive sectors, whereas financial industry players routinely instruct the team with white-collar crime and other criminal law matters. The team is led by Ludger Giesberts and was augmented with the addition of counsel Florian Gero Kirstein, who joined in June 2016 from the public prosecutor’s office of Hamburg. Jürgen Taschke and Christian Schoop are noted for their expertise in internal investigations.

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Employment - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s employment law team has impressive international reach and frequently works across various departments, which made it well equipped to guide Qualcomm through collective employment and pension law alongside data protection issues following its joint venture with TDK to integrate the German TDK corporations. In other work, the practice acted for a client from the steel industry in transfer of undertaking matters, which were handled by the Frankfurt team in co-operation with eight of its international offices. Led by ‘very good’ team head Kai Bodenstedt, the practice remains on a growth path, having elevated Eva Einfeldt, who is ‘reliable’ and noted for her ‘sound industry knowledge’, and Sascha Morgenroth from counsel to the partnership in May 2017. The renowned Michael Magotsch, however, moved to Bryan Cave LLP’s Frankfurt office in April 2017. Volker von Alvensleben is also recommended.

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Tax - ranked: tier 6

DLA Piper

Clients recommend DLA Piper’s tax law team for its ‘swift and professional work and pragmatic approach’. Instructions are traditionally international in nature and frequently involve tax law assistance with transactions and restructurings but the team is also well versed in handling compliance matters. As a highlight for the former segment, Konrad Rohde, who resigned from his position as team head to take on the role as country managing partner, advised the private equity company Lone Star on the tax aspects involved in the acquisition of a majority stake in ISARIA Wohnbau. New team head Claus Jochimsen-von Gfug joined the practice from the accounting firm PwC in April 2016 and Björn Enders was made partner in May 2017.

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Trade and distribution
Trade and distribution - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper predominantly acts for international companies such as Sixt Leasing, Domino’s Pizza and Levi Strauss & Co. alongside Hyundai Motor and Nintendo in various commercial and distribution law matters. The team advised Columbus McKinnon on purchasing, sales and distribution contracts while also assisting the client with contentious distribution law matters. ‘Very good and pragmatic’ team head Thilo von Bodungen is ‘very pleasant to work with’ and noted for his ‘excellent understanding of economic requirements’.

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Germany: Banking and finance

Lending and borrowing
Banking and finance: Lending and borrowing - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piperparticularly stands out for the team’s technical expertise and pleasant collaboration in comparison to other firms’; the finance practice provides an ‘extraordinarily high level of service’ advising on corporate and acquisition finance with a focus on the corporate and sponsors’ side. It assisted Sun Capital as sponsor and Flabeg Automotive as borrower and guarantor with the refinancing of the acquisition of the Flabeg group by Sun Capital and in the debt fund segment gained Proventus Capital and Rantum Capital as new clients in connection with a mezzanine Schuldschein loan by Cheplapharm. The team also advised an international company in the wind energy sector on a corporate financing by the European Investment Bank and relevant intercreditor issues in connection with the existing corporate line and high-yield bond, and assisted a German pharmaceutical supplier with Schuldschein loans. Additionally the firm occasionally positions itself on the banking side, expanded its work for DZ Bank, among others, and advised on a syndicated corporate financing for Poppe + Potthoff. The ‘level-headed and technically and legally extremely strongTorsten Pokropp is noted for his ‘outstanding skills and always makes clients feel they are in good hands’. The equally recommended former practice head Wolfram Distler, however, departed for Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in September 2017.

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Germany: Compliance

Internal investigations
Internal investigations - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Following a multi-disciplinary approach, DLA Piper’s clients benefit from the team’s close co-operation with the firm’s antitrust, IT, tax, employment law and white-collar crime departments, leading to a steady flow of internal investigation mandates. As a result, the team led by Ludger Giesberts, which recently increased its bench strength by adding counsel Florian Gero Kirstein from the public prosecutor’s office of Hamburg, acts for various manufacturing industry clients in internal investigations pertaining to foreign trade and antitrust violations alongside subsidy fraud, corruption, bribery and tax evasion allegations. Jürgen Taschke and Christian Schoop are recommended.

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Germany: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A: Corporate - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is particularly rated for its restructuring and reorganisation expertise, both at a German and an international level. A recent example is advising H.I.G. European Capital Partners on the corporate reorganisation of its German and Luxembourg fund structure. The group also handled D&O liability, cross-border changes of legal form and compliance matters, and was able to expand its insurance sector work. Nils Krause is the sole practice head since Kirsten Girnth’s departure to Bryan Cave LLP in January 2017. Simultaneously, Michael Burg left for PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) and Jan Schinköth for Sidley Austin LLP. However, the group was strengthened by the addition of Mathias Schulze-Steinen, Andreas Füchsel and Claudius Paul, who came from K&L Gates LLP.

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M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m)
Corporate and M&A: M&A: mid-sized international deals (€100m-€500m) - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper was able to defend its excellent position in the German market again with its ‘client-focused advice’. Recently, the group advised Columbus McKinnon on the acquisition of STAHL CraneSystems from Konecranes and IGM Resins on the acquisition of BASF's global photoinitiator business from BASF. Different country desks ensure a steady flow of instructions from abroad. For example, Nils Krause and Florian Hirschmann are responsible for the China business and Benjamin Parameswaran for the India business, while the Africa desk is gaining more and more attention. The group saw three departures in January 2017 and and three additions in May 2017: Kirsten Girnth left for Bryan Cave LLP, Michael Burg for PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) and Jan Schinköth for Sidley Austin LLP; while Mathias Schulze-Steinen, Andreas Füchsel and Claudius Paul joined from K&L Gates LLP.

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Germany: Dispute resolution

Arbitration (including international arbitration)
Dispute resolution: arbitration (including international arbitration) - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Praised for its ‘straightforward and comprehensive advice’, the team at DLA Piper has a strong profile for handling damage claims alongside contentious post-M&A and contractual matters. In ICC arbitration, Daniel Sharma defended a large international company against damage claims, and in DIS arbitration, he defended a German company against claims for damages based on a terminated supply contract. In other significant work, the team acted for a company in an ICC post-M&A arbitration. Other key individuals include Thomas Gädtke and counsel and international arbitration specialist Friederike Landauer. Stefan Dittmer moved to Dentons.

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Clients appreciate DLA Piper’s ‘uncomplicated co-operation and comprehensive advice’ on commercial and contractual disputes, which frequently stand in relation to D&O, insolvency law and compliance. Daniel Sharma represented a client in damage claim proceedings against a former subcontractor before the Regional Court of Stuttgart. Counsel David Buntenbroich, who stands out for his ‘excellent legal analysis’, is recommended along with Thomas Gädtke and team head Ludger Giesberts. Stefan Dittmer moved to Dentons.

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Germany: IT and outsourcing

Data protection
IT and outsourcing: data protection - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Data protection now forms one of the most important pillars of DLA Piper’s well regarded IT practice and besides GDPR expertise clients seek the team’s data protection knowledge in the context of the connected car, cloud computing and online business models. In 2017 highlights included Jan Geert Meents’s advice to automotive manufacturers regarding the establishment of a global data protection monitoring system and in connection with big data projects and counsel Verena Grentzenberg’s advice to a German media corporation on data protection aspects of an innovative online business model. Cyber security and data protection compliance are other areas of expertise.

Next generation lawyers

Verena Grentzenberg - DLA Piper

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Information technology (including contracts)
IT and outsourcing: information technology (including contracts) - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s IPT practice frequently handles large IT projects and advises on cloud computing, eCommerce and the connected car. The team led by Jan Geert Meents recently assisted IT service management company Proversia with its German market entry in the course of its acquisition of the ITO (infrastructure technology outsourcing) and MWS (mobility workplace services) business from Hewlett Packard Germany; advised a gas company on IT security matters regarding the renewal of its remote control and communications technology; and handled IT law matters in connection with a research project on smart cities for a German higher education institution. Thomas Jansen and counsel Britta Hinzpeter left for Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek in July 2017, while Sylvia Ebersberger already joined as counsel from White & Case LLP in 2016.

Leading individuals

Jan Geert Meents - DLA Piper

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IT and outsourcing: outsourcing - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has longstanding experience advising on the outsourcing of data centres and business processes, cloud solutions and IT outsourcings. The practice currently rests on the shoulders of Jan Pohle: The Cologne-based partner advised Lanxess Deutschland on the outsourcing of the group-wide IT infrastructure and the application management, among other matters. The practice recently also saw increased work for insurance companies.

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Germany: Industry focus

Industry focus: energy - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Best known for handling regulatory, contract and commercial expertise in the energy sector, DLA Piper also handles transactions and project financing. The Frankfurt-based Wolfram Distler is the name to note for the last-mentioned area, while Cologne-based Michael Cieslarczyk leads the energy practice. The latter advised Energetický a průmyslový for the first time concerning the acquisition of stakes in Gas Connect Austria. Another one of his highlight instructions was assisting Fluxys TENP and terranets bw with separate complaint procedures against the federal grid agency Bundesnetzagentur’s resolutions to charge a redistribution levy and to change the network development plan. Trianel is another client. Michael Burg and one associate left for PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal AG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft) in January 2017.

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Germany: Insurance

Advice to insurers
Insurance: advice to insurers - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s handling of instructions is based on a tight co-operation with the corporate and employment teams, which results in a particular strength dealing with matters at this interface, while handling pension insurance mandates, frequently including life insurance and product design elements, constitutes an increasingly significant portion of the practice’s workload. Recently, the team advised the Baloise Group on the sale of a closed life insurance portfolio held by the German branch of Basler Leben to the Frankfurter Leben Group, and on the sale of a 100% stake in the German insurance brokerage group Assekuranz Herrmann to the German Artus Group including related due diligence. In other work, Gunne Bähr assisted a client from the pension insurance sector with regulatory and contractual issues including executive board obligations in the face of the zero-interest rate environment. Jan Eltzschig is recommended.

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Insurance litigation
Insurance: insurance litigation - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Clients benefit from the close co-operation between DLA Piper’s insurance law team and the litigation and regulatory departments, resulting in particular strength in handling D&O-related coverage disputes, while the team was also able to further expand its pension insurance segment with the arrival of counsel Manuel Baroch Castellvi. This has led to an increase of instructions at the intersection of life insurance law and product design. Recently, Gunne Bähr advised an occupational pension provider on supervisory requirements and represented the client against a reimbursable member. In other significant work, the team acted in over 300 coverage claims under a tax consultancy liability insurance policy with regards to fund losses, and provided liability and coverage law advice to an insurance company, which arose from two lawsuits filed by insolvency administrators. Central figures include Christian Schneider and Thomas Gädtke.

Leading individuals

Thomas Gädtke - DLA Piper

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Germany: Intellectual property

Patent litigation
Intellectual property: patent litigation - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s patent practice ‘recently significantly gained in visibility in the market, not least due to the management’ under practice head Markus Gampp, who is considered a ‘very good litigation strategist’ and ‘always keeps an eye also on economic considerations. The ‘very dynamic, qualitatively excellent team’ is ‘efficient and pragmatic’ and ‘as part of an impressive global network in patent law also well positioned for multijurisdictional disputes’. Recent highlights include the representation of Robert Bosch in infringement and nullity proceedings in the automotive parts area against Mitsuba and acting for Alpinestars, a manufacturer of clothing and protective gear for motorsports and action sports, in several proceedings against competitor Dainese regarding a motorcycle jacket with an integrated airbag. Techtronic Industries is a new client in the tools sector. Philipp Cepl joined from Allen & Overy LLP in October 2017 and strengthened the team with expertise in mobile communications.

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Trade marks and unfair competition
Intellectual property: trade marks and unfair competition - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

In the past year, DLA Piper was able to attract a number of new clients such as Bayer Intellectual Property; the company has been receiving advice on the use of third-party trade marks as part of a product launch in ten different jurisdictions. In other significant work, the team represented Coty in several prosecutions, and advised the publisher Heinrich Bauer on a number of disputes pertaining to labelling requirements and the offer of extra publications. Stefan Engels and Thilo von Bodungen jointly head the team. Competition lawyer Stefan Dittmer moved to Dentons.

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Germany: Media

Press and publishing
Media: Press and publishing - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘very good’ press and publishing practice is primarily known in the German media landscape for providing comprehensive advice to prominent domestic TV channels, publishers and entertainment magazines, but also increasingly advises companies on crisis communication and in reactive press proceedings. In recent highlights recommended counsel Verena Haisch represented Pabel-Moewig Verlag and Freizeitwoche Verlag in numerous proceedings surrounding alleged fictional exclusive interviews in multiple publications belonging to the clients, and renowned practice head Stefan Engels acted for dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur in proceedings against the football player Hakan Çalhanoğlu regarding fundamental questions of victim protection in press law and for WeltN24 in publishing law proceedings against Björn Hocke in connection with a public contribution on Other clients regarding publishing law matters include Asklepios Kliniken, Deutsche Telekom, Samsung and Peek & Cloppenburg.

Leading individuals

Stefan Engels - DLA Piper

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Germany: Public sector

Public sector: PPP - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper acts in many fields of the infrastructure industry, with the group consisting of experts in dispute resolution and public, construction, procurement, corporate and regulatory law. The main contact person, Ludger Giesberts, has been representing the Cologne/Bonn airport company in a dispute – concerning the admission of further airport hotels despite contrary contractual agreements – since 2013. Newly made-up partner Guido Kleve, who has developed a specialisation with regard to port instructions, is representing NiedersachsenPorts in a dispute before the Lueneburg higher administrative court concerning the provision of port space to port users.

Next generation lawyers

Guido Kleve - DLA Piper

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Planning and environment
Public sector: Planning and environment - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Public sector: product-related advice - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

Guido Kleve, who made partner in May 2017, and Ludger Giesberts are the key contacts for environmental and planning law at DLA Piper. Alongside counsel Thilo Streit, Ludger Giesberts advised the Finnish company Ernsto in connection with the acquisition of Ritter Starkstromtechnik; the key areas addressed were soil contamination and environmental liability matters. Another new instruction is the advice on a water permit for Mondelēz’s production plant in Bad Fallingbostel. Köhler Renewable Energy and GE Healthcare are other clients.

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Germany: Real estate and construction

Real estate
Real estate and construction: Real estate - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘excellent service level is based on its strong interdisciplinary co-operation, professional work ethic and high levels of experience and commitment’, while clients also praise the team’s ‘quick response times, which are maintained even when dealing with high volumes of transactions’. In 2017, the team was faced with several significant changes: together with three lawyers, former team head Carsten Loll moved to Linklaters, while new and ‘very knowledgable and service-oriented’ practice co-head Lars Reubekeul, who provides Superdry with long-term advice on its European expansion, joined the firm from King & Wood Mallesons along with Florian Biesalski and five other lawyers. The new arrivals boosted the practice’s Asia capabilities and bring additional experience in dealing with data centre transactions. Other frequently recommended individuals include co-team head Fabian Mühlen, who has ‘strong negotiation skills and deep sector-specific knowledge’, and counsel Christian Lonquich, who is noted for his ‘tremendous transactional experience and economic understanding’. Together, they advised Deutsche Fonds Holding on the sale of all shares in the property 20 Moorgate in London to Asian Growth Properties. Other key members of the team include ‘assertive, experienced and well-connected’ financing partner Frank Schwem ), the ‘calm, factual and extremely knowledgableTorsten Pokropp and the ‘solution-oriented’ Martin Haller, whose ‘work effort is tireless’ . The latter two advised Aareal Bank and Allianz Real Estate on the granting of an Europe-wide real estate loan to Invesco Real Estate.

Next generation lawyers

Christian Lonquich - DLA Piper

Martin Haller - DLA Piper

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Germany: Restructuring and insolvency

Restructuring and insolvency: Restructuring - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

DLA Piper increasingly provides transactional advice to distressed portfolio companies. It also covers restructurings, refinancings and the representation of insolvency administrators in contentious matters. Practice head Dietmar Schulz recently advised the lenders of frozen fish products producer Pickenpack’s insolvent shareholders regarding the refinancing of the insolvency administrator and the satisfaction of creditors. In another highlight he assisted Lone Star Funds with the acquisition of the Dutch bad bank Propertize. Besides banks and investors, clients also include creditors and companies. Another key figure is Mike Danielewsky.

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Germany: White-collar crime

Advice to companies
White-collar crime: Advice to companies - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper stands out for its expertise in handling cross-border instructions, which frequently include compliance elements and are dealt with in co-operation with colleagues from its global network. Large manufacturing groups in particular benefit from the team’s capabilities in preventative advisory work and its expertise in criminal proceedings, and, as a result, regularly instruct the team to assist with internal investigations and with the defence against allegations of corruption, bribery and breach of trust, among others. In recent work, the team advised a company on matters pertaining to the suspicion of corrupt payments, and assisted a different client with the suspicion of a breach of trust against an executive body member. The team has also been devoting more of its time to product compliance matters and to investigation assistance in product liability proceedings. Jürgen Taschke and Christian Schoop are the main contacts.

Next generation lawyers

Christian Schoop - DLA Piper

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Further information on DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

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