The “hot topic” of the past year has been the growing strength of the franchisee bar and the debate as to whether franchisees are employees. Levels of work have remained steady with lawyers reporting a good volume of inbound activity. However, according to those we spoke to, outbound activity has tapered off and German-based companies seem reluctant to expand beyond their German-speaking neighbours. Eight “first-class” individuals are singled out for their expertise in this section.
Environment lawyers in Germany reported another busy year with chemicals and recycling the “hot topics”. Identified as a growth area of practice, the legal market has recently become more competitive as larger international firms look to develop their expertise in this field. Despite this, specialist firms are retaining a good market share and the 20 lawyers listed below reflect the varied legal market.
Germany’s energy reform plans, laid out in 2010, set a target for 80 per cent emissions reduction by 2050. Following criticism from businesses about rising energy prices and falling competitiveness in global markets, Angela Merkel announced her aim to curb the renewable energy subsidies to lower the pressure as part of her election campaign in June. Despite this, major uncertainty surrounds the shape of the new relevant energy framework following the recent elections. Once the framework is established, sources anticipate a busy upcoming year dealing with the inevitable new regulations, particularly in the renewables market. There are 18 lawyers listed in this chapter.
Germany introduced a new corporate tax law in June 2013 including changes to the transfer pricing rules, an extension of the scope of the group exemption provision for real estate transfer tax purposes and an expansion of the limits on offsetting losses related to reorganisations, among others. We select 46 lawyers to appear in this chapter who will be guiding businesses through these changes.
Over the past year, the trend of increasing inbound immigration, facilitated by the 2005 immigration law, has continued as numerous German companies actively seek skilled workers across a range of industries. Low unemployment levels mean that the jurisdiction remains an attractive destination for qualified workers, who are looking to take advantage of increasing demand for the talent in the health care and engineering sectors in particular. Traditional advisory work constitutes a large part of immigration practice in the region, and clients continue to seek the services of renowned immigration experts. In this chapter we highlight five practitioners with “established reputations” in the field.
Corporate governance remains an important issue in Germany as lawyers strive to assist companies in building effective structures to ensure their businesses are properly managed. We list 26 leading practitioners in this chapter.
The construction industry remains a key sector of the German economy despite the current economic difficulties the industry is facing. While certain high-profile players have made cutbacks in their workforce, there remain positive signs including a boom in home construction. Eighteen lawyers feature in this chapter.
The increase in the prosecution of cartels in Germany has continued throughout 2013.The Federal Cartel Office has consolidated its emphasis on enforcement and is looking to step up efforts to address foreign-to-foreign mergers over the course of 2014. Last year also saw a new amendment to the German Competition Act which came into force at the end of June. The principal purpose of the amendment is to align German merger control with EU law, to clarify provisions on unilateral conduct and to increase the overall effectiveness of the German antitrust system. Competition lawyers have been very busy advising clients on the likely impact of the amendment and our research identifies 51 practitioners who “stand out” for their expertise in the competition field.
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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.