Germany 2017 – GC Powerlist

Germany 2017

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Alexander Gommlich

General counsel | Deutsche Bahn

Industrials and real estate

Dr Alexander Gommlich leads the legal department of Deutsche Bahn, a German railway company formed by a private joint stock company with the Federal Republic of Germany being its single...

Alexander Steinbrecher

Head of Contracts and Legal Affairs Rolling Stock and Systems in CEE | Bombardier Transportation

Industrials and real estate

Alexander Steinbrecher has a highly important role to play in the strategic management of legal issues at Bombardier Transportation in addition to his more immediate responsibilities. As such, he is...

Alska Scherer

General counsel and director human resources | Star Alliance

Transport and infrastructure

The largest Airline Alliance in the world by passengers carried (almost 700 million as of late 2016), Frankfurt-headquartered Star Alliance is a cooperative entity between 28 of the most notable...

Amely Haußer

General counsel | TUI Cruises


Amely Haußer leads the legal, insurance and compliance department of TUI Cruises, a 50/50 joint venture of TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises, the second largest cruise company worldwide. Operating...

Andre Körtgen

Vice president legal and contracts and general counsel | Thales Deutschland

Industrials and real estate

With 28 people reporting to him indirectly, Dr Andre Körtgen’s broad responsibilities as head of legal and contracts and general counsel for international defence and security major Thales’ German operations...

Andreas Früh

Executive vice president and head of legal, corporate affairs | HypoVereinsbank (UniCredit Bank)


Italian-headquartered bank UniCredit has a worldwide presence, and in Germany provides several types of financial services spanning consumer and SME banking, corporate and investment banking, private banking and leasing through...

Andreas Hoffmann

General counsel and head of legal and compliance | Siemens

Industrials and real estate

Dr Andreas Hoffman is the general counsel for top ranked German conglomerate Siemens, a business that is ranked 50th on Forbes’ Global 2000 list and has 351,000 employees worldwide. As...

Andreas Liepe

Assistant general counsel | BMW

Consumer products

Having been employed by BMW since 2005, Dr Andreas Liepe has a large number of professional successes to look back on. He recalls his three-year assignment to China, where he...

Anja Kahle

General counsel | MANN + HUMMEL Group

Industrials and real estate

Previously heading legal departments at Compass Group, Draexlmaier Group and Erwin Hymer Group, Anja Kahle took over as general counsel of international manufacturing company MANN + HUMMEL in April 2016....

Arne Wittig

Group general counsel and head of legal | thyseenkrupp

Industrials and real estate

A highly renowned and well-respected general counsel with a formidable career history, Arne Wittig spent more than two decades with Deutsche Bank, ultimately in the role of general counsel for...

Christian Sommer

Chief legal specialist | Vodafone

Telecommunication services

Christian Sommer boasts an extensive and varied career at Vodafone, the telecommunications giant which accounts for 33% of mobile market shares in Germany. Sommer joined Vodafone in 2001 in the...

Christian Unsinn

General counsel | DDB - Lemon Group

Christian Unsinn leads the five-person legal team of Lemon Group Services, the shared services centre of advertising powerhouse DDB Germany, and oversees legal matters for 23 group agencies. In addition...

Christian zur Nedden

General counsel and corporate compliance officer | Continental

Consumer products

Continental is a German multinational tyres and technology leader that has been in business since the 19th century. A staple of the sector, Continental first opened a production plant in...

Christina Sontheim

Chief legal and compliance officer (CLCO) | Postcon Deutschland

Transport and infrastructure

A leading mail company Postcon Deutschland is responsible for delivering billions of letters per year. Christina Sontheim now leads a team of eight individuals in her role as chief legal...

Christof von Dryander

Co-general counsel | Deutsche Bank


Having amassed over two decades of experience as a partner in notable international law firm Cleary Gottlieb, Christof von Dryander brought a wealth of experience to the in-house sector upon...

Christoph Hammerl

General counsel | The Linde Group

Materials and mining

With approximately 60,000 employees in over 100 countries and a 2016 revenue of nearly €17bn, The Linde Group is one of the world’s leading gas and engineering companies. In charge...

Christoph Witte

Group general counsel and head of compliance | Marquard & Bahls

Energy and utilities

Overseeing the dual role of group general counsel and head of compliance at Marquard & Bahls, a Hamburg-based company that is active in a number of fields including those of...

Claudia Junker

General counsel | Deutsche Telekom

Telecommunication services

Leading the legal department of Deutsche Telekom, Dr Claudia Junker has been the general counsel of the German telecommunications giant since November 2010. A multi-faceted lawyer with a tremendous amount...

Claus Kaufmann

General counsel | Avira

Information technology

Tech-savvy general counsel Claus Kaufmann possesses a comprehensive range of international experience and networks, and provides comprehensive, solution-driven advice. With a strong track record of building and managing global teams,...

Constanze Jacobs

Vice president, senior legal counsel | IKB Deutsche Industriebank 


An investment funds specialist, Dr Constanze Jacobs was brought in to IKB Deutsche Industriebank to lead the legal support of a new investment business line for the company, now a...

Cornelia Inderst

General counsel | Generali Deutschland


Dr Cornelia Inderst is the general counsel for Generali Deutschland, a Germany holding company consisting of approximately different 20 insurance companies. Leading its legal division for the last two years,...

Cornelius Koke

Director of corporate law | Evonik Industries

Materials and mining

Undertaking responsibility for the oversight of all corporate legal affairs for one of Germany’s biggest businesses and the largest specialty chemicals company in the world, Dr Cornelius Koke can boast...

Daniel de Bruycker

Senior department head legal | McDonald's Deutschland

Food, beverages and tobacco

Talented lawyer Daniel de Bruycker’s holds a multi-faceted role at McDonald’s Deutschland, heading two areas within the German legal department, franchise law including environment law, as well as IP/IT matters...

Daniel Schmachtenberg

Head of legal region Europe south and head of EMEA hub legal on-site | The Linde Group

Materials and mining

With qualifications in a Germany, France and the UK and a highly successful private practice career at such firms as Ashurst, Simmons & Simmons and Baker McKenzie under his belt...

Dennis Frederic Heidschmidt

Head of wholesale banking legal | ING Commercial


Dieter Haag Molkenteller

Group general counsel and chief compliance officer | Metro Group

Consumer products

Düsseldorf based Ceconomy underwent a recent corporate transformation in early 2016, splitting its operations into two different, independent companies that each deal with separate business areas: a leading international wholesale...

Eberhard von Klinggräff

Vice president corporate legal affairs and compliance management | Beiersdorf

Consumer products

Eberhard von Klinggräff was appointed as head of the legal function at personal-care company Beiersdorf, owner of a number of household brands, including Nivea and Elastoplast, in 2013. Since 2001...

Erik Staebe

Head of antitrust procedure and regulatory law | Deutsche Bahn

Industrials and real estate

Dr Erik Staebe currently serves as the head of antitrust procedure and regulatory law within the central legal department of Deutsche Bahn, a position he has held since 2007. Recent...

Florian Drinhausen

Chief governance officer and head of global governance  | Deutsche Bank


Dr Florian Drinhausen was afforded the perfect introduction to Deutsche Bank when he moved from his highly successful private practice career, in which he was a partner at Linklaters. ‘When...

Frank Dassler

Group general counsel | Adidas

Consumer products

Known the world over, leading sportswear manufacturer adidas employs more than 60,000 people in over 160 countries to produce over 850 million product units every year and generate global sales...

Frank Forster

General counsel | Aurelius


Dr Frank Forster has been an integral part within a huge transformation of pan-European investment organisation Aurelius Group over the nine years he has been with the company. He explains...

Friederike Rotsch

Group general counsel and member of the management committee | Merck


Group general counsel of the €15bn revenue Merck Group Dr Friederike Rotsch describes how the company has changed significantly during the time she has been with it, and how she...

Gabriel Harnier

General counsel | Bayer


Dr Gabriel Harnier became general counsel of Bayer in autumn 2016. He replaced the long-serving Dr Roland Hartwig, who had served as Bayer’s general counsel for 17 years and was...

Georg Rützel

General counsel, executive vice president legal and compliance | Senvion Holding

Energy and utilities

Formerly a partner with Clifford Chance and Sidley Austin, Georg Rützel joined GE in 2009 and has held various positions within the Group since then; alongside his latest role as...

Gordon Weber

Executive vice president legal service and chief compliance officer | Deutsche Post

Transport and infrastructure

Headquartered in Bonn, Deutsche Post is the world’s largest postal service and international courier company and offers a range of services to its customer base that is present across the...

Günter Hugger

General counsel | Commerzbank


Achieving the status of being Germany’s second largest bank, DAX30 listed Commerzbank offers a wide range of banking and other financial services to its international customer base in the retail,...

Günther Sailer

General counsel | HSE24

Ismaning-based omnichannel retailer HSE24 – standing for Home Shopping Europe- has seen changes in its most senior legal role as Günther Sailer was appointed general counsel and executive vice president...

Guntram Würzberg

Head of legal and compliance | E.ON

Energy and utilities

Taking charge of a legal department that contains approximately 60 lawyers, the managerial and people skills of E.ON’s head of legal and compliance, Guntram Würzberg, are unquestionable. Equally as impressive...

Hans-Konrad Ress

Group general counsel | Allianz


A lawyer of nearly 20 years, Dr Hans-Konrad Ress is a celebrated and extensively accomplished general counsel based in Munich, having collected a wide amount of financial legal services skills...

Helge Köhlbrandt

General counsel | Nestlé Deutschland

Food, beverages and tobacco

Spending over a decade providing legal advice and business support within the food and beverage industry, Helge Köhlbrandt is the current general counsel for Nestlé Deutschland, the German subsidiary company...

Hilka Schneider

Member of the group executive committee – group director legal, compliance and board office | TUI Group


Hilka Schneider has been a member of the group executive committee group director legal, compliance and board office of TUI Group since 2014. In this position she is in charge...

Holger-Kirsten Rosenbauer

Legal director | Hochtief

Industrials and real estate

Since its founding in 1874, Hochtief has developed into Germany’s largest construction company with currently over 51,000 employees and a sales volume of €19.9bn in 2016. Legal director Dr Holger-Kirsten...

Hubertus Nölting

Head of legal | Edeka

Consumer products

Leading the provision of legal advice at Germany’s largest supermarket corporation Edeka, Dr Hubertus Nölting is one of the most outstanding in-house lawyers in the region by virtue of his...

Hyun-Soo Kim

General legal counsel Europe, chief compliance officer | Hyundai Motor Europe

Consumer products

A highly respected general counsel who has been at the forefront of some of the most complex and innovative legal projects in Europe – being awarded by multiple sources in...

Ingo Koehler-Bartels

General counsel DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) | Sodexo

Consumer products

General counsel for the Germany, Austria and Switzerland areas of French food services and facilities management company Sodexo, Ingo Koehler-Bartels has successfully filled this position for the last three years....

Ivana Kollarova

Legal director Central Europe | Reckitt Benckiser

Consumer products

Ivana Kollarova has been responsible for the legal affairs of Reckitt Benckiser for the last five years, overseeing the Central Europe area, which covers Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia,...

Jan Bredehöft

Head of legal Germany | Huawei Technologies

Telecommunication services

Head of legal for international telecoms equipment giant Huawei Jan Bredehöft leads a team of six lawyers in total with a broad array of responsibilities. Previously a partner and an...

Jan Liersche

Head of legal and compliance, general counsel and chief compliance officer | Asklepios


The second-largest private hospital and healthcare provider in Germany, Asklepios boasts approximately 150 healthcare facilities in the country and 45,000 employees. Jan Liersche began his tenure with the company in...

Jochen Lederhilger

Global director legal affairs | Puma

Consumer products

Jochen Lederhilger is global director of legal affairs for Puma – one of the world’s most recognisable sportswear brands – and is a legal professional that has risen to this...

John F. Harris

Vice president legal affairs Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa | Ford Motor Company

Consumer products

From his base in Cologne, where Ford of Europe is headquartered, John F. Harris is in charge of the management and execution of all matters related to legal, compliance and...

Jörg Dreyhsig

Global head of litigation and opposition, global intellectual property | Fresenius


Experienced European patent lawyer Dr Jörg Dreyhsig, is the vice president for patents for medical instruments company Fresenius, which has a turnover of $14bn and employs 86,000 people. Dr Dreyhsig...

Judith Eckl

General counsel | Hugo Boss

Consumer products

Now general counsel, Judith Eckl has immense experience of the legal function for global brand and iconic fashion company Hugo Boss, having been employed with them since 2000. Eckl mentions...

Julia-Christina Friedrich

Chief compliance officer and company lawyer | Inter Hannover


Julia-Christina Friedrich was recruited in 2014 by Hannover Re to assist in the relocation of its primary insurance subsidiary, Inter Hannover, from London to Hannover. This was the first time...

Jürgen Reul

General counsel | BMW

Consumer products

The German automotive sector has famously benefited from the close links manufacturers have established with engineering faculties at the country’s leading universities. BMW’s hugely influential general counsel, Dr Juergen Reul,...

Kai Mielke

Head of legal Germany/Europe | Konica Minolta

Information technology

Japanese-owned international technology company Konica Minolta is particularly known for its many printer and copier lines for the business and industrial market. Kai Mielke has been with the company since...

Kai Recke

General counsel | Eyeo

Information technology

An enthusiastic self-starter, Kai Recke has consistently displayed an ambitious streak throughout his legal career, pushing him to succeed within the online domain in giving premier legal guidance to creative...

Karsten Hardraht

General counsel | Kfw


The strength of Germany’s banking and financial services sector is well-known, and Frankfurt headquartered KfW (also known under the previous name of KfW Bankengruppe) operates within this sector having developed...

Klaus Cannivé

Head of legal and compliance | HARIBO Group

Food, beverages and tobacco

Head of legal for family owned and globally recognised brand HARIBO, Klaus Cannivé manages and drives the legal and compliance team which supports the ambitious international expansion of a company...

Konrad Wartenberg

General counsel | Axel Springer SE

Since its founding in 1946, Axel Springer SE has grown into Europe’s leading digital publisher and currently employs over 15,000 people in more than 40 countries earning over €3bn in...

Manfred Döss

Head of group legal affairs | Volkswagen

Consumer products

Marcel Ritter

General counsel | Telefónica Germany

Telecommunication services

Telefónica Germany accounts for roughly one-third of the mobile telephone service market in Germany since its acquisition of the E-Plus Group in 2014, making it one of the major players...

Marcus Heppner

General counsel, senior vice president, global legal | Grünenthal


With ultimate responsibility for pharmaceutical company Grünenthal Group’s 17-person global legal team, Marcus Heppner has a number of career highlights to look back on. For instance, he recalls that ‘the...

Marcus Stüting

Group general counsel | FTI Touristik


Appointed to the role of group general counsel of FTI Touristik in October 2016, Marcus Stüting has developed a reputation for excellence across a range of legal practice areas and...

Marion Welp

Chief of human resources and legal affairs officer | Esprit Group

Consumer products

With 11 direct reports and a team of roughly 150 reports globally, Dr Marion Welp was promoted from head of law for Europe to global general counsel, merging the previously...

Mark Adolphs

Director, head of special projects and associate GC EMEA | Fresenius


Distinguished professional Mark Adolphs is director, head of special projects and associate general counsel EMEA for Fresenius, a healthcare company based in Bad Homburg which provides a variety of product...

Markus Gerd Kraemer

Group head of legal services international | ERGO Group


Markus Gerd Kraemer has served as the group head of legal services for the international operations of ERGO Group for the last seven months. In this short time frame, Kraemer...

Martin Eschbach

Head of legal global product and portfolio strategy | Novartis Pharma


Distinguished in-house lawyer Martin Eschbach has been operating in the legal market for over 20 years. Eschbach joined global pharmaceutical giant Novartis in 2001 as a legal counsel, subsequently assuming...

Martin Fröhlich

General counsel | Krüger Group

Food, beverages and tobacco

Dr Martin Fröhlich joined the Krüger Group in 2015, a business with a €2bn turnover and 4,500 employees in several business units and legal entities around the world. Upon his...

Martin Schwarz

Senior corporate vice president and general counsel | Boehringer Ingelheim


Dr Martin Schwarz was appointed senior corporate vice president and general counsel at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), one of the world’s leading pharmaceuticals companies and the only family-owned company among the...

Martin Wagener

General counsel | Audi

Consumer products

General counsel for leading German automobile manufacturer Audi, Dr Martin Wagener has been with the company for the last 17 years, growing professionally with the business over the years. After...

Martina Seidl

Senior corporate vice president and general counsel | Boehringer Ingelheim


IT services goliath Fujitsu maintains a significant presence around the globe, and Germany is no exception. General counsel, vice president legal and commercial for Central Europe Martina Seidl has around...

Matthias Meckert

Head of legal | PGIM Real Estate Germany

Industrials and real estate

Formerly a partner with Mayer Brown in Frankfurt, Matthias Meckert took over as head of legal for PGIM Real Estate in Germany and Luxembourg in 2013. Meckert recalls the company...

Maxim Letski

General counsel  | Open-Xchange

Information technology

Established in 2005, Germany-based software developer Open-Xchange has since emerged as a globally-present and rapidly growing provider of flexible and agile solutions to its business customers, including the only integrated,...

Michael Fischer

General counsel | UBS


An M&A expert with a highly impressive legal background in the financial services sector, Dr Michael Fischer has practiced as an in-house and private practice lawyer in both the US...

Michael Junge

Executive vice president and group general counsel | SAP

Information technology

Michael Junge joined SAP AG in 1993 as head of the legal department. In his current role Junge is responsible for the global legal function, which covers all legal matters...

Michael Zeck

General counsel and data protection officer | HD PLUS

A pioneering company in its field, HD Plus provides customers with the option to watch a broad range of HD channels for a regular subscription fee. Michael Zeck, general counsel...

Peter Macheiner

Head of legal department | SYNLAB Group


Described as an ‘analytic legal counsel with over 20 years’ experience in the technology and media industries’ by nominating sources, Dr Peter Macheiner is head of the legal function of...

Reinhard Nützel

Head of legal | DZ Bank


As head of legal for the second largest bank in Germany by asset size, and the central institution for more than 1,000 co-operative banks and their 12,000 branch offices, Nützel...

Rolf Giebeler

General counsel  | Rheinmetall

Industrials and real estate

Formerly an equity partner at Clifford Chance, where he was a part of the German management team and a member of the partner selection group, Rolf Giebeler moved from this...

Sebastian Biedenkopf

General counsel | Bosch

Industrials and real estate

Dr Sebastian Biedenkopf became the general counsel for corporate giant Bosch in September 2013, having achieved numerous previous successes in a career that has taken him through prestigious law firms...

Stefan Brügmann

General counsel | Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba)

Food, beverages and tobacco

Leading the legal department in his role as general counsel, Dr Stefan Brügmann provides support to publically-held commercial bank Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba) across all of its business ventures. These span...

Stefan Fandel

Head of group legal services | Merck


Now head of the 26-person group legal services function at the €15bn-revenue Merck Group, Dr Stefan Fandel has had a meteoric rise in the organisation since he joined as a...

Stefan Heinisch

Chief legal counsel head of compliance | Hannover Re


Since October 2003, Stefan Heinisch has provided outstanding legal support to Hannover Re, the third largest reinsurance group in the world and has a network of subsidiaries, branches and representative...

Stefan John

Senior vice president legal | BASF Group

Materials and mining

From his base in Cologne, where Ford of Europe is headquartered, John F. Harris is in charge of the management and execution of all matters related to legal, compliance and...

Stephan Zilles

Corporate affairs and compliance | Deutsche Lufthansa

Transport and infrastructure

Operating within a remarkable organisation with a proud heritage, the group general counsel role of Deutsche Lufthansa has recently changed hands, with the highly-respected Dr Michael Niggemann moving to become...

Thomas Götz

General counsel and head of the legal department | Bertelsmann

Operating in approximately 50 countries around the world, Bertelsmann is a multinational media, services and education company that has 116,000 employees and generated revenues of €17bn in 2016. Among Bertelsmann’s...

Thomas Laubert

Vice president and group general counsel | Daimler

Consumer products

Accruing a revenue figure of over €153bn in 2016, Daimler is one of the world’s largest and most recognised automobile corporations. Particularly known for its luxury Mercedes-Benz brand, the company...

Thomas Riemann

Head of legal department | Verband der Vereine Creditreform


Dr Thomas Riemann heads the legal department of Verband der Vereine Creditreform, which currently has offices in 23 countries and provides an international expert network for credit reporting and debt...

Thomas Söbbing

Chief legal specialist | Deutsche Leasing


Dr Thomas Söbbing is chief legal specialist at market-leading firm Deutsche Leasing. Over the course of his career, he has held managing and advisory positions within high profile companies such...

Thomas-Gerd Kühn

General counsel and chief compliance officer | Henkel

Consumer products

Thomas-Gerd Kühn has occupied the role of general counsel and chief compliance officer at chemical and consumer goods company Henkel since 2007. Having started within the Henkel legal department in...

Timm Ebner

Head of corporate affairs legal | Heraeus

Materials and mining

Dr Timm Ebner joined Heraeus in July 2012, and was made head of corporate affairs legal in January 2013; prior to this he was a senior associate with Hengeler Mueller...

Timo Matthias Spitzer

Head of legal global corporate banking Germany, Austria and Switzerland              | Banco Santander


With a career rich in experience at some of the world’s most prominent legal and financial institutions, Timo Matthias Spitzer is the current head of legal global corporate banking in...

Uli Kühbacher

Vice president legal affairs | Deutsche Telekom

Telecommunication services

In his role as vice president legal affairs for Deutsche Telekom, Dr Uli Kühbacher has a range of responsibilities that are connected with monitoring and mitigating issues that have the...

Ulrich Freitag

General counsel | IKB Deutsche Industriebank


Responsible for founding the legal capital markets department for IKB Deutsche Industriebank in 2001, Ulrich Freitag’s extensive career with the bank started when he joined in 1997 and he has...

Valentina Daiber

Chief officer for legal and corporate affairs | Telefónica

Telecommunication services

Valentina Daiber leads the legal team at Telefónica Germany, a telecoms company with over 25 million customers. Joining Telefónica Germany, then known Viag Interkom, in 1999, she started as an...

Volker Daum

General counsel | B. Braun Group


With record revenues of €6.4bn in 2016, the B. Braun Group is in fantastic shape going into the future. This state of affairs is due in no small part to...

Volker Dürschlag

General counsel | Rewe Group


Responsible for a number of significant transactions in the recent past, Volker Dürschlag is the general counsel for Rewe Group, a German diversified retail and tourism co-operative group based in...

Volker Mansfeld

General counsel | Altana

Materials and mining

Volker Mansfeld encompasses an extensive career at Altana, a German chemical company, created in 1977 through the spin-off of divisions of the Varta Group. Mansfeld started at Altana as a...

Wolfgang Haas

General counsel and president legal, tax and insurance | BASF Group

Materials and mining

Ludwigshafen headquartered BASF Group is the world’s largest chemical producer and contains a legal department comprised of approximately 190 in-house lawyers. The Group’s legal division is spearhead by Dr Wolfgang...

Yves Bock

General counsel energy management | Siemens

Industrials and real estate

As general counsel for the highly significant energy management strand of Siemens’ diversified operations, Dr Yves Bock has a team of 33 reporting in to him, a broad set of...

With a reputation for industry, enterprise and productivity that is renowned globally, and an esteemed position at the heart of the European economy, Germany is a particularly interesting market in which to operate as an in-house counsel. Europe’s largest economy and second-most populous state boasts a plethora of world-leading companies, many of whom are the largest in their respective fields, and these immensely successful business entities require correspondingly elite legal support and expertise in order to retain their prominent place in the global economy.

The general counsel, heads of legal and other senior in-house lawyers featured in the GC Powerlist: Germany, however, go beyond simply providing excellent legal knowledge towards and support of their companies’ objectives. Rather, they are integral components of the business and trusted to input heavily on strategic commercial decisions as highly valued advisors. Indeed, many of the individuals featured in these pages hold management positions in addition to their legal responsibilities.

They are at the forefront of innovation in in-house legal work globally, and a majority of those we spoke to have pioneered new technologies, internal structures and working practices within their teams, which have led to a corresponding increase in efficiency. Additionally, some of the largest, most lucrative and complex deals and transactions of recent years have been managed, supported and overseen by these lawyers.

For these reasons and many more, the outstanding group of in-house lawyers featured in the GC Powerlist: Germany represent the cream of German internal counsel. By extension, they should be considered among the very best in-house lawyers globally.

I would like to express my personal thanks to our sponsors, BEITEN BURKHARDT, for supporting this publication. A special mention must also be made to all the in-house personnel who spoke to us during the course of the research for the GC Powerlist: Germany, and the research team who completed the project, led by senior research analyst Joe Boswell.

Beiten Nurkhardt

Beiten Nurkhardt logo

The German economy has defied many uncertainties in the current year and continued to develop at stable rates. Current economic forecasts expect the growth to be between 1.4 and 1.6 per cent in 2017. This is, in particular, related to the strong first half-year; instead, the second half is expected to turn out to be somewhat weaker. Due to stable consumer prices the domestic demand has especially contributed to this positive development and stimulates the consumers’ consumption.

But also at an international level the German economy was able to continue its growth trend despite a strong euro. In spite of the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the varying signs from the United States, the world economy proves to be shaped by positive dynamics, especially driven by developments in the Asian emerging markets but also by the developed economies as well. Economic forecasts point upward and inspire growth in the euro zone,
a trend German companies could benefit from.

These past positive developments have also had legal implications for German companies. Progressive digitisation has contributed to strong economic growth in all aspects of the world of business, yet at the same time has brought about the creation of a new judicial space which is to be filled with new legislation. At the beginning of the year legislature has, for instance, already issued provisions on alternative dispute resolutions with respect to consumer contracts and adopted the so-called “Hate Speech Act“. In addition, the opportunities of digitisation open up new business concepts such as FinTech and InsurTech enterprises which complement and support previously existing business models but also establish new competition which even long-established companies cannot avoid to face.

Other major legislative amendments in 2017 concern the 9th amendment to the German Act Against Unfair Competition or the alleged clarifications on the Tariff Unity Act. Here legal experts of all instances are required to get involved and contribute to developing solutions. Moreover, HR departments will have to spend more and more time on dealing with the implications of the German Remuneration Transparency Act and the changes in the German Maternity Protection Act in close cooperation with the legal departments. Furthermore German companies will have to get ready for the implementation of the European General Data Protection Regulation and make respective preparations.

The legal departments of the companies will thus be faced with substantial challenges that remain to be mastered in order to positively influence the company’s economic success. To achieve this, on the one hand in-house counsels must regularly undergo training and professional updates to be able to answer those new questions and on the other hand law firms must adapt to multiple changes. At BEITEN BURKHARDT our differentiated industrial sector approach ensures that the respective industry experts expand and deepen their specific knowledge and are, thus, prepared to answer current questions. In addition, we maintain an office in Brussels in close proximity to European legal practice which has an impact on German companies. The earlier we learn about decisions and inform our clients on the related consequences, the sooner German companies will be able to respond to new developments.

Just as for law firms, it will also be necessary for legal departments to monitor and promote innovations in the legal industry. Adhering to the status quo will not be possible in light of the new business models, chances and risks outlined above. Even if European/German legislation develops slower than many economic innovations/changes, constant progress is being made and can be ascertained. The new judicial spaces are successively filled, introducing new guidelines and benchmarks. The respective legal departments then have to communicate these guidelines and benchmarks in the entire company, raise the awareness of staff and take responsibility for their implementation. This requires flexible and innovative in-house counsel.

In order to ensure that Germany’s legal industry actively promotes legal changes and the economic success of companies, it is necessary to establish an exchange at all levels and across all fields of law. Today’s legal, tax and business management issues arising from any entrepreneurial activity often require an impartial view and competent advice from a third party. Above all, however, the demand of in-house counsel to always have a competent legal expert at their side who does not differentiate fields of law, is legitimate and substantiated. And the law firms must also change their perspective and start “seeing things from a company’s angle” so that they can jointly develop solutions with in-house lawyers.
In the light of current global challenges, success in business now more than ever requires strong partners and full confidence in the innovative capacity of the entire legal industry. The GC Powerlist brilliantly features this innovative power and capacity and provides law-related company projects with a stage. In-house teams can discover new possibilities that may be applicable to own challenges, and exchange information on similar or same topics with other in-house lawyers. By supporting the GC Powerlist award, BEITEN BURKHARDT seeks to promote the opportunities of information exchange and networking. We further wish to provide an adequate platform to discuss legal developments and respond to judicial issues. Together we can promote and further develop the legal industry in Germany and make it fit for the future.

What our partners and lawyers have in common with the in-house lawyers is the passion and enthusiasm for our profession. Just as in-house lawyers maintain relationships with the respective company staff, we also seek to develop close personal and confidential relations to our clients, building and maintaing long-term relationships and bonds.

In the name of all lawyers, auditors and public accountants of BEITEN BURKHARDT I would like to most warmly congratulate all winners included in the GC Powerlist: Germany 2017.

GC Powerlist: United Kingdom 2023

On the evening of September 18th, 2023, The Legal 500 gathered with great enthusiasm at the charming JW Marriott Grosvenor House in the heart of London to launch the GC Powerlist: United Kingdom 2023. This special event was made possible thanks to our incredible partners, Pinsent Masons and Laurence Simons. Esteemed legal experts from across the country came together to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

The evening began with a warm welcome from Sara Maggi, the deputy editor for The Legal 500 GC Powerlist Series, who set the tone for the evening by sharing some of the key research findings. Following her, Andrew Masraf, the managing partner at Pinsent Masons, addressed the audience. He emphasised the significance of this gathering in recognising excellence within the legal community and highlighted some of the challenges currently faced by general counsel in the United Kingdom, underscoring the importance of collaboration in overcoming these challenges.

After this exciting start, our esteemed guests moved to the ballroom for a thrilling time at the Legal Business Awards.

This gathering was undeniably a great success. Congratulations to all those who were recognised and featured in this prestigious celebration of legal excellence!