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Germany: Competition 2017

Sixty-three impressive practitioners achieve listings in this chapter, and are recognised as leaders in counselling or litigating on various antitrust matters including merger control, the laws concerning cartels and the abuse of dominance. 

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Dirk Schroeder Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Cologne
Daniela Seeliger Linklaters, Düsseldorf
Albrecht Bach Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte, Stuttgart
Thorsten Mäger Hengeler Mueller, Düsseldorf
Romina Polley Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Cologne


Freshfields leads the research with an impressive nine listings. According to peers, Martin Klusmann is “clearly a top name” in the competition market. “One of the best-known antitrust lawyers in Germany”, he is known for his work on major cartel and merger cases. He is joined by the “very trustworthy” Uta Itzen, who is considered a “really brilliant” practitioner with “a great future ahead” of her. Frank Röhling is an “up-and-coming” lawyer in the field, whose practice covers German, French and European competition law across a range of sectors including automotive, media and medical devices. Tobias Klose is “an expert when it comes to cartel investigations”. He is praised by peers for his “great energy” and “hands-on approach” to cases. Clients think very highly of Peter Niggemann who is valued for his expert knowledge of merger control and merger filings.

Gleiss Lutz achieves six nominations this year, including head of the competition practice Ingo Brinker. He is “one of the leading figures in German competition law”, according to peers, and continues to impress with his top-tier work on merger control and cartel cases. Ulrich Denzel gains recognition for the representation he provides to clients in high-profile competition matters. He is particularly noted for his expertise in the automotive industry. Wolfgang Bosch is exceedingly well versed in German and EU competition law, regarded as a “really safe pair of hands in cartel and merger control cases”. The “extremely bright” Christian Steinle “does some phenomenal work in the European courts” in relation to antitrust litigation and merger control.

Four leading practitioners at Commeo are highlighted in this chapter. Johanna Kübler is a “first-class lawyer” who focuses her practice on merger control, competition compliance and cartel and abuse of dominance cases. Stephanie Pautke is widely recognised for her outstanding work in the field, particularly in relation to the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. The “brilliant” Dominique Wagener wins praise for her “sensational” antitrust work in the oil and gas, IT and chemical industries, while Jörg-Martin Schultze’s strong corporate understanding makes him an asset in merger control cases.

Peers “would really single out” Thorsten Mäger at Hengeler Mueller as a leading antitrust practitioner in the country. Sources comment that he is “an outstanding practitioner” whose “submissions are phenomenal”, earning him a superb reputation in the market. Alf-Henrik Bischke and Christoph Stadler also stand out as two of the firm’s leading competition partners.

At WilmerHale, Ulrich Quack represents both domestic and international clients before the German Federal Cartel Office as well as the European Commission. Alongside him, the “diligent” Stefan Ohlhoff counsels clients on antitrust matters arising from corporate activity such as joint ventures, as well as compliance and regulatory matters. The “remarkable” Hans Georg Kamann is regarded very highly by peers, who note his particular strength in competition litigation.

Noerr’s Kathrin Westermann is “a brilliant lawyer”. She impresses with her “comprehensive knowledge” of all aspects of German and EU competition law, including dawn raids, abuse of dominance proceedings and cartel cases. Alexander Birnstiel has an “outstanding competition practice” and is “very active in many cartel cases”. He acts on behalf of clients from a range of industries including financial services, pharmaceuticals and IT. Karsten Metzlaff is also highlighted as one of the firm’s leading practitioners.

Dirk Schroeder at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is “a must for inclusion”, say sources. He is described as “one of the top practitioners” in the country, and possesses great experience representing clients before the German Federal Cartel Office, the European Commission and national and European courts. Romina Polley is “an outstanding German antitrust practitioner”. Her highly rated practice encompasses cartel and merger control work.

Daniela Seeliger at Linklaters is noted for her “world-class” cartel work. She is known for the “superb advice” that she delivers to clients, who include Vodafone, Triton and Novartis. Carsten Grave is also recognised for his impressive work in state aid and merger control matters.

At Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte, Albrecht Bach is regarded as “a fantastic lawyer on the plaintiff side”. He works extensively on cartel damages claims, merger control, compliance programmes and other areas of antitrust law.

Markus Wirtz at Glade Michel Wirtz is “an extremely bright guy”, who has taken the firm’s competition practice “into the premier league of the German antitrust market”. He is joined by Silke Möller. She is identified for her great advisory style that has been described as “friendly and personable, but tough enough that she can successfully pursue the interests of the client”.

Maxim Kleine at Norton Rose Fulbright is “very visible in the market”, and regularly handles litigation, arbitration and investigations in relation to antitrust law.

Ulrich Schnelle at Haver & Mailänder runs an “excellent” cross-border practice that covers a variety of competition matters from merger control to abuse of dominance proceedings.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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