The Legal 500 Germany 2022 - Leading Firm

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen recommended again by The Legal 500 Germany 2022

The latest edition of the handbook for Germany 2022 has been published - and we are very pleased with the result: Friedrich Graf von Westphalen is recommended in the following ten areas:

  • Labor Law
  • Construction Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Health Care
  • Trade, Distribution and Logistics
  • Trademark Law
  • M&A (medium-sized deals)
  • Environmental and Planning Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Competition Law

Our strengths are described as follows:

"The team is always responsive and available at short notice. The quality of the legal advice is outstanding and takes into account our corporate interests."

"The relationship of trust and understanding of the company's interests is extremely good and very professional."

"Always fast, pragmatic, technically sound support."

"Competent, resilient, highly professional."

"Individualized support from partners (when required), costs nevertheless in line, especially in relation to performance and results."

"Interdisciplinary set-up; efficient, organized and goal-oriented approach; one to two central project contact persons to whom all topics can be placed. Then, internally, FGVW passes the issues to the appropriate specialist lawyers/clerks and coordinates them. Instead of dealing with 5 - 6 lawyers, one appreciates central contacts who communicate internally coordinated solutions."

Tobias Lenz ("Leading Name") and David Kipping ("Leading Name") are highlighted by name, as well as the following lawyers in the individual consulting areas:

Labor Law

The advisory services are primarily tailored to the needs of medium-sized companies, although the client portfolio also includes some large corporations. These are assisted - often together with the corporate and M&A practices - in restructuring and reorganization processes or plant closures, including negotiations on reconciliation of interests and social compensation plans, as well as related proceedings for protection against dismissal. In addition, the second main pillar of the business is ongoing advice on individual, works constitutional and collective bargaining law. The core team includes Sabine Schröter, head of the Frankfurt office and an expert in labor law in the hospital sector, Christoph Fingerle (active in all aspects of labor law, including company pension schemes) and Stefan Daub (focusing on individual labor law) in Freiburg, as well as Andreas Imping, who heads the Cologne office together with Sven Köhnen; both cover various individual and collective labor law issues, and Imping also handles labor court litigation. Volker Marquart is another core lawyer.

Construction law

FGvW advises developers and contractors on all phases of a construction project, from urban land-use planning and building permits to construction and, if necessary, subsequent sale or leasing. The practice carves out a special niche at the interface between product liability, insurance law and plant construction, while also being well-versed in claims management. Uwe Steingröver, a specialist in construction and architectural law, heads the team and specializes in private construction law and litigation. In plant construction, Markus Beaumart handles energy in particular, where he regularly acts for power plant builders, and Jörn Zons is active in international plant construction and international alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Hannes Reiher handles all stages of a construction project.

Corporate Law

The corporate team is led by Gerhard Manz, Barbara Mayer and Arnt Göppert and specializes in advising mid-sized companies as well as German and international corporations from various industries, including recently increasingly the healthcare sector. The team covers the full range of corporate law, from contract drafting to restructuring and conflicts. If necessary, colleagues from the IP, insurance and distribution law groups are brought in. Annette Bödeker (venture capital and compliance in addition to corporate and M&A) joined in March 2021 from the now-defunct Arnold & Porter unit. Another core lawyer is Alexander Hartmann.

Healthcare

With its Freiburg office, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner has traditionally been very active in advising pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology companies. Numerous German medium-sized and small companies characterize the client portfolio, but the team around the two practice group leaders Barbara Mayer and Hendrik Thies is also a popular choice among international groups. The Frankfurt office is primarily home to labor law clients, for which Sabine Schröter is responsible, and transactions, the latter strengthened since the arrival of Annette Bödeker from the now-closed Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer office. The firm also saw growth in 2020 through synergies between its commercial and corporate practice, as well as IP and regulatory advice, particularly in the medical devices sector. In M&A, the firm is particularly active in the healthcare sector, where it was also able to expand its practice by winning new clients. Other areas of focus include drug advertising law, compliance, product liability and pharmacy law. The latter is one of the specialties of Morton Douglas (Freiburg). Other core attorneys are Jan Henning Martens and Meike Kapp-Schwoerer.

Commercial, Distribution and Logistics

FGvW operates its distribution practice from its offices in Cologne and Freiburg, where it provides extensive advice on national and international distribution structures and agreements. In addition to industry focuses in the automotive and medical technology sectors, advising startups in particular is a growth driver for the practice group. Furthermore, the practice group is able to advise on the interface with other areas of law such as corporate, commercial and IP law. This expertise is also reflected in the close integration of the distribution law and M&A practice areas in the Freiburg office. Distribution antitrust law, franchising and dispute resolution are further components of the wealth of experience. The practice management consists of Sven Köhnen and Hendrik Thies. The area of contract drafting is handled by Köhnen and Thies, while the former also has expertise in antitrust law and assists in the design of distribution systems. Other core lawyers are Frank Jungfleisch and Stefan Zipse.

Trademark Law

FGvW's Freiburg office, where Norbert Hebeis and Morton Douglas are based, works primarily for large pharmaceutical groups and well-known brand-name companies, which rely on the firm both for the development and implementation of filing strategies and for significant contentious proceedings. Thanks to the corporate specialists also based in Freiburg, the IP team there is also well-versed in transactional mandates. The Cologne office has a renowned soft IP lawyer in David Kipping, who also has proven product labeling expertise, including textiles, cosmetics, food and electronic goods. In the Frankfurt office, Stephan Dittl focuses on design, copyright and competition law. Of Counsel Wolfgang Schmid and Douglas in Freiburg are also experts in the pharmaceuticals, medical devices and pharmacy sectors. Anne Bongers-Gehlert, who works extensively in IP, was appointed local partner in January 2021. Practice leaders are Norbert Hebeis, Morton Douglas, David Kipping and Stephan Dittl, and another core lawyer is Eva Kessler.

M&A (mid-sized deals)

FGvW's team is regularly mandated by German family businesses and start-ups as well as by foreign groups and listed companies for transactions in the mid-market segment. The close exchange with the firm's liability and insurance law specialists is particularly noteworthy in this regard. Gerhard Manz, whose practice area includes corporate finance advice, corporate and commercial law expert Barbara Mayer and Arnt Göppert, contact for funds and financial institutions, share the practice group leadership. Other core lawyers are Hendrik Thies and Jan Henning Martens.

Environmental and Planning Law

The focus is on advising on environmental and waste law as well as chemicals and substances law. For example, the team supports clients on cross-border waste shipments, waste fees and the Packaging Act, which was amended in 2021, while advising national and international companies on public construction planning law is another pillar of the practice. Olaf Konzak is considered an "absolute specialist in environmental and licensing law" and heads the team from the Cologne office.

Insurance law

FGvW is distinguished by its integrated dispute resolution practice, which allows it to combine corporate and insurance law expertise in a strong litigation practice. Under the leadership of Tobias Lenz and Carsten Laschet, the firm has particular expertise in the areas of manager liability and D&O. In the context of product liability, the team can serve not only Europe but also the jurisdictions of the USA, Singapore, Australia and South Korea. In addition, property damage and product recalls from various industries are handled. Laschet is also experienced in contract law and Lenz at the interface with corporate and commercial law.

Competition law

FGvW has special expertise in advising pharmaceutical groups, medical device manufacturers and pharmacies, particularly at the Freiburg office with Morton Douglas, Norbert Hebeis and Of Counsel Wolfgang Schmid. David Kipping in Cologne provides comprehensive advice on product launches and advertising measures and has many years of experience in litigation. In Cologne, Stephan Dittl looks after the areas of competition, copyright and design law. Anne Bongers-Gehlert, who in addition to competition law also comprehensively covers various other areas of intellectual property law, became Local Partner at the Freiburg office in January 2021. Another core lawyer is Eva Kessler.

Some of you may have contributed to this result by participating in the Legal 500 interviews and saying something positive about working with us. Many thanks for that!

Carsten Laschet
Barbara Mayer

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