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This Special Report covers 33 practice areas.

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Germany In Brief

The German legal market’s distinguishing feature is its multiple centres for different practice areas: Frankfurt, as the largest financial centre in continental Europe, has been long established as a hub for German leading banking and finance lawyers, while Munich is home to major multinational life sciences clients. The distribution of key sectors across several cities is central to Germany’s economic strength, and the corresponding demand for quality legal services is reflected by the country-wide distribution of leading individuals in our research. Frankfurt is home to the highest number of listed lawyers (237), while the strong representation of lawyers in Munich and Düsseldorf (164 and 152 respectively) demonstrates the cities’ continuing status as prime locations for the leading German and international firms. 

Contributors to our research also highlighted the growth of Berlin’s legal market as a key trend, and an increasing number of international firms have moved to establish a presence in the capital city in anticipation of its continued economic development. Morrison & Foerster recently opened its first German office in Berlin consisting of 30 lawyers, reflecting the city’s growing importance as a legal centre and the relative stability of key practice areas including TMT, M&A and real estate. We spoke with many lawyers who predict that the growth of Berlin’s legal industry will come to redefine the jurisdiction in years to come and have a noticeable impact on the number of prominent lawyers in other major cities.

More TMT lawyers are listed in our research than in any other practice area, reflecting Germany’s status as a key European jurisdiction for advisory work in the sector. Experts in the field were pleased to report an increase in TMT-related M&A activity over the past year, after a relatively quiet period in the preceding year. Transactional advisory work has been driven by the need for consolidation among leading telecoms operators throughout Europe, prompted by the likelihood of foreign companies moving into the highly competitive 4G and wireless markets. In addition, Telefónica recently won EU approval for its £6.89 billion acquisition of KPN’s German subsidiary, E-Plus, and the complex legislation surrounding telecoms mergers has resulted in a steady stream of work for regulatory experts as well as transactional lawyers. Several have mentioned the possibility of a merger between Deutsche Telekom and other former state-run providers, such as Orange, in order to compete with new entrants to the German market. The convergence of mobile operators and pay-TV companies is another contributing factor to activity in the sector.

Healthy activity in the TMT sector has also provided a boost to competition lawyers’ practices in terms of advising major clients on the complex regulatory environment. As one Berlin-based practitioner stated, “The level of merger control and cartel works in the regulated industries has been very encouraging.” Given the EU Commission’s ongoing review of several deals yet to progress past the 1st phase clearance stage, lawyers can expect the sector to be busy for the following year. In June 2013 both chambers of the German parliament approved the 8th amendment to the German Act against Restraints of Competition, which further aligns German merger control rules with the EU framework and reduces differences in the assessment of notified mergers. Lawyers have seen a subsequent surge in demand for regulatory advice, and the rise in damages claims from high-profile victims of cartels and follow-on litigation over the past year has provided another source of work for leading individuals in the field.

The German patent litigation system is the most prominent in Europe and continues to attract a high number of infringement cases, with clients drawn to the efficient procedures implemented by specialist chambers at 12 district courts as well as the reasonable costs involved in bringing a claim. A large percentage of cases are brought by foreign plaintiffs, who are also attracted to the German patent system’s “bifurcation”, whereby the issues of infringement and validity are handled by different courts. The major benefit of the different procedures for multinational plaintiffs is that they can enforce a first-instance injunction against defendants well in advance of a decision being handed down in parallel invalidity proceedings. Germany’s status as a key European battleground for patent disputes in the multibillion-pound “smartphone wars” is reflected by the ever-increasing demand for the services of leading patent litigators. In February 2014, a Mannheim court ruled that Apple did not infringe two patents asserted by Munich-based company IPCom in a suit valued at $2.2 billion. Despite the ruling, contributors are confident that non-manufacturing patent holders (commonly known as “patent trolls”) “will not go away lightly”, and as such lawyers will be able to capitalise on strong activity in the German market for another couple of years at the very least. The number of patent lawyers listed in our research has increased from 39 to 48 in comparison with last year’s edition, demonstrating the increasing number of practitioners deemed to be experts in the field by their peers and clients.

In this year’s Who’s Who Legal 100, four German firms garner inclusion while Germany and UK-based international firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is recognised as the leading firm in Germany, globally and for arbitration, M&A and competition law expertise. This demonstrates Germany’s huge importance both as part of the global legal market market and as a European leader for several practice areas including patents, competition and TMT. Throughout this edition our comprehensive research identifies the leading practitioners and firms in Germany across 33 practice areas.

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Analysis: Germany

Arbitration Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of arbitration.

Asset Recovery Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of asset recovery.

Banking Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of banking.

Business Crime Defence Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of business crime defence.

Capital Markets Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of capital markets.

Competition Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of competition law.

Construction Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of construction.

Corporate Governance Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of corporate governance.

Corporate Immigration Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of corporate immigration.

Corporate Tax Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of corporate tax. 

Energy Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of energy.

Environment Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of environment.

Franchise Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of franchise.

Insolvency & Restructuring Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of insolvency & restructuring.

Insurance and Reinsurance Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of insurance and reinsurance. 

Investigations Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of investigations.

Investment Management Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of investment management.

Life Sciences Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of life sciences.

Life Sciences Practice Area Review

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Christine Kanz and Florian Gerhardt, Reimann Osterrieth Köhler Haft

Litigation Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of commercial litigation.

Management Labour & Employment Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of management labour & employment.

Mediation Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of commercial mediation.

Mergers & Acquisitions Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of mergers & acquisitions.

Patents Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of patents law.

Private Client Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of private client.

Product Liability Defence Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of product liability defence.

Project Finance Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of project finance.

Public Procurement Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of public procurement.

Real Estate Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of real estate law.

Sports & Entertainment Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of sports and entertainment.

Technology, Media & Telecoms Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of technology, media and telecommunications.

Trade & Customs Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of trade & customs.

Trademarks Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of trademarks law.

Transport Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we single out the leading practitioners and firms in the field of transport law.

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Firm Profiles: Germany

CLIFFORD CHANCE

Global law firm Clifford Chance has a long-standing reputation in Germany with offices in Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf. The firm has established itself as one of the leaders in the market and advises a significant number of German and international companies on a range of business law matters. Our research identifies the firm in 20 practice areas with a total of 39 listings.

CMS HASCHE SIGLE

CMS Hasche Sigle, a member of the international CMS network, is one of the leading firms in Germany, with over 600 legal professionals. With eight offices across the country and a further four internationally – in Beijing, Brussels, Moscow and Shanghai – the firm can offer advice to clients on cases across a range of jurisdictions. In this edition we highlight individuals at the firm 27 times across 16 practice areas.

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER

Freshfields enjoys an enviable position in the German legal market due to its long history in the country and its ability to draw on experience and services from across its global network. The German practice is home to more than 500 lawyers covering a full range of practices from its offices in Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. The firm emerges as our leading German law firm by number of listings in this edition with 64 mentions across 25 practice areas.

GLEISS LUTZ

Founded in Stuttgart in 1949, Gleiss Lutz now boasts over 300 lawyers, including 84 partners, across six offices in Germany as well as an office in Brussels and associated offices in Budapest, Prague and Warsaw. The firm is home to “market-leading experts” across an impressive range of practice areas and is especially strong in the fields of labour and employment, competition, M&A and corporate governance law.

HENGELER MUELLER

With offices in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, as well as international offices in Brussels and London, Hengeler Mueller is well positioned to advise leading German and international companies and financial institutions. The firm’s impressive roster of clients includes 22 of the 30 DAX companies and 14 of the 30 companies listed in the Dow Jones. In this edition Hengeler Mueller achieves 47 listings across 15 areas of legal practice.

HOGAN LOVELLS

International law firm Hogan Lovells enjoys an enviable reputation in the German legal market. With offices in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich, the firm is well positioned to advise clients across the country in a range of industries. In this edition, we recognise lawyers at the firm 26 times across 13 distinct legal practices.

NOERR

Since establishing itself in Munich over 60 years ago, the firm has become a recognised powerhouse in the German legal market and by extension throughout central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with 12 offices in total. In addition, the firm has looked to expand its networks beyond these borders, establishing offices in the US, England, Belgium and Spain. Currently the firm employs over 500 professionals across 11 countries. As a result, Noerr is recognised as one of the “best connected and influential” firms based in the CEE region. With such a strong establishment, the firm yields a commanding presence in this publication with leading practitioners listed across 18 different practice areas.

PLUTA - Professional Notice

pluta

For more than 30 years now, we have been an expert in restructuring and turning around companies that have been affected by a crisis. With more than 330 employees in over 40 offices in Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland, we have been one of the leading restructuring companies for many years, as shown by listings in INDat, JUVE, Wirtschaftswoche, Focus, Handelsblatt and Who’s Who Legal.

Reimann Osterrieth Köhler Haft - Professional Notice

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Reimann Osterrieth Köhler Haft is a law firm working exclusively in the field of intellectual property law. The firm was established in 2004 and operates with 23 attorneys.

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