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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Global Leader

Arbitration 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is “a class act who is very business-oriented and very strategic”, commend sources who consider him “a very smart and well-prepared arbitrator”.


Dr Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is a partner with Hanefeld, a boutique dispute resolution firm based in Hamburg, Germany. Before joining Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte, he worked for several years in the arbitration group of a major international law firm in Munich, Germany.

Nils primarily acts as arbitrator (chairman, sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator) as well as counsel in domestic and international arbitration proceedings. He has been involved in more than 60 cases under the rules of the ICC, DIS, SCC, LCIA, DIA and VIAC, and Swiss Arbitration Rules, as well as in ad hoc proceedings.

In addition, he represents domestic and international clients in litigation proceedings before German state courts and assists them with the enforcement of foreign awards and judgments.

Nils has also acted as counsel in various international dispute adjudication board (DAB) proceedings.

He has particular expertise in the areas international trade, international construction, post-M&A, energy (including offshore wind energy) and competition (in particular follow-on damages claims).

Nils holds a Doctor of Laws in international sales law (CISG) and is a visiting professor on international arbitration at the University of Freiburg. Nils also is a co-founder of the international dispute resolution LLM programme and a visiting professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He also regularly speaks at international conferences and is the author of a number of publications.

Nils was a member of the ICC commission on arbitration and ADR’s task force on maximizing the probative value of witness evidence; and regional coordinator of the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF), the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG) and the DIS40 Group. He has, inter alia, been named the "shooting star" of the German arbitration scene (JUVE) and “one of the most promising young German arbitration lawyers” (GAR). He is fluent in German, English and French.

Nils’ professional background goes hand in hand with the international focus and practice of Hanefeld. The unique background and experience of the firm’s lawyers ensures that clients benefit from a particularly profound knowledge and familiarity with the perspective of parties’ counsel, arbitrators and mediators, as well as that of arbitral institutions. Hanefeld’s expertise encompasses commercial and investment arbitration. In addition to representing parties before arbitral tribunals and state courts, all members of the firm regularly act as arbitrators or experts on German and international law. The firm also advises on specific procedural issues in arbitration proceedings, provides risk-assessment and strategic advice, and assists parties in enforcement proceedings either as lead-counsel or as co-counsel in cooperation with domestic and international law firms. Hanefeld’s clients include large and medium-sized companies from a variety of sectors and jurisdictions, together with state entities and sovereign states. In 2017, Hanefeld received the prestigious JUVE Award for Law Firm of the Year for dispute resolution in Germany and has been distinguished as having “become a benchmark […] with the scope and number of international arbitrations handled by the Hanefeld team as arbitrators or counsel [being] rather comparable to that of big law firms than boutique firms.”

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended
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