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The Legal 500 Germany 2021

The latest edition of the handbook for Germany 2021 has been published - and we are very pleased with the result: Friedrich Graf von Westphalen is recommended in the following ten areas:

Construction Law, Company Law, Health, Trade, Distribution and Logistics, Trademark and Competition Law, M&A - Medium-Sized Deals, Product Liability, Environmental and Planning Law, and Insurance Law. Our strengths are described as follows:

"(FGvW) has partners and staff who combine a high level of strategic understanding with in-depth knowledge of the relevant legal subject matter, resulting in very practical solutions and negotiation successes."

"The strengths are certainly the competence, professionalism and speed of response."

"Diverse areas of expertise; one contact person, this is a big plus and makes FGvW unique. Very good and comprehensive advice, goal-oriented, timely and on-time work. Very pleasant manners."

Tobias Lenz ("Leading Name") and David Kipping ("Next Generation Name") are highlighted by name, as well as further lawyers in the individual consulting areas - described in detail here

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JUVE Handbook Commercial Law Firms 2020/2021

Entrepreneurially oriented, transaction-strong Mittelstand consultant, who sets the course for further growth with the establishment of a notary's office in Frankfurt and the opening of an office in Berlin.

Recommended for: Employment; Corporate Law; Health; Conflict Resolution; M&A; Brands and Competition; Insurance Contract Law; Sales.

Analysis: As a full-service law firm with distinctive M&A expertise, a well-established international network and a pragmatic approach to advice, FGvW has long been firmly established with upper Mittelstand companies and family-owned businesses such as the Haufe Group, Hansgrohe or Festo. It also provides consulting services to a number of international companies. The firm is also a regular advisor to a number of international corporations, particularly in the healthcare sector, where the medical technology company Getinge Group or the spectacle lens manufacturer Essilor rely on the firm. The respected IP practice and participation in landmark proceedings play an important role here. For example, the pharmacy law expert Morton Douglas advocated for a mail-order pharmacy up to the Federal Supreme Court in order to have DocMorris' dispensing machines banned. But M&A expertise is also in demand: Schölly Fiberoptic, for example, was advised by FGvW on the entry of a US investor.

But time and again, the rather down-to-earth law firm also shows itself to be willing to expand. After the Cologne real estate team had already been expanded, FGvW opened a notary's office in Frankfurt with a real estate lawyer from Gerns & Partner in April 2020. In addition, the law firm brought on board an experienced labor lawyer there, who has extensive in-house experience.

However, the opening of the office in Berlin is likely to be more decisive: With this move, FGvW not only achieved a nationwide presence. With three partners of BRL Boege Rohde Luebbehuesen, who are well networked in the city, it gained transaction-savvy experts for corporate law, venture capital and tax law.

Perspective: From the new Berlin representative office, an axis was quickly formed to the Freiburg team, which is already familiar with start-up structures and regional economic development.This can be built on if the firm succeeds in extending this axis to the associated law firm Kellerhals Carrard and to the large start-up desk in Zurich, thereby also addressing international investors. Further potential lies in quickly linking the Berlin start-up consultancy with the disciplines of other locations, such as the highly regarded trademark or distribution law teams.

The addition of a tax lawyer in Berlin broadens the spectrum in the transaction business, be it M&A or real estate. Although the broadening of the practice entails the risk of losing some referral mandates from MDP companies, in the end the advantages should outweigh the disadvantages if the newly gained expertise can be put to broad use.

Clients' voices: Clients are positive about a remarkably large number of lawyers and fields of consultancy. "The most varied contractual matters in international business - all to our complete satisfaction", one of them summarizes. There is also praise for the "fair and transparent" billing.

Service: FGvW is approaching the digitization of its work processes carefully with the help of a newly hired IT expert. However, the consulting service itself remains unaffected by this.

Internat. integration: Close cooperation with the Swiss partner law firm Kellerhals Carrard and bpv Hügel in Austria. Cooperation law firms in Brussels, Alicante, Shanghai, Istanbul, São Paulo. Well maintained ww. network, especially for the health sector.

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JUVE Handbook Commercial Law Firms 2019/2020

FGvW has established itself as a consultant in the upper Mittelstand with distinctive M&A competence. In international deals and in the health sector, the firm even plays well above the Mittelstand league. This is demonstrated, for example, by the mandate of the French eyewear manufacturer Essilor (including Ray-Ban) to reorganize its companies in the German-speaking DACH region following the merger with the Italian Luxottica Group. The close involvement of the IP and IT lawyers in the transaction business, such as in advising the main shareholders of Abas Software, also attracts the attention of competitors.

Work in the healthcare sector has meanwhile developed into a showcase area. The trademark team is one of the key players when it comes to IP litigation in the industry, be it for a pharmacy chamber against DocMorris, or for regular client B. Braun and Wilkinson in a dispute against Procter & Gamble. FGvW advised the private equity investor Emeram Capital on the purchase of a provider of pharmacy software and accompanied the Aesculap joint venture Schölly Fiberoptic in a cross-border carve-out with subsequent sale in the USA. The industry specialists are recognized for the fact that even law firms without their own health lawyers regularly seek their help with transactions. While this expansion of competence was mainly driven by the Freiburg team, the Cologne office has been systematically strengthened in recent years with lateral entrants. After the additions in labor and real estate law, a public law team was recruited there.

Here, the two managing partners Carsten Laschet and Barbara Mayer have moved a great deal forward - even without a strongly influential style, which is not part of the self-image, especially since both partners with strong acquisition skills and their own consulting business have remained very visible. (…)

Strengths: High competence in cross-border M&A. Respected corporate law advice, also in the event of conflict. Many years of experience in trademark and competition law. Good networking in the healthcare and biotech industry. A considerable international network.

The Cologne lawyers are particularly respected in the fields of D&O and product liability cases (insurance contract law, trade and liability) as well as distribution law. However, the expansion of the practice, which was also built up with lateral entrants, is becoming more and more noticeable.

Focal points: Labor; corporate law, health; M&A; trademarks and competition; succession advice; construction law including litigation; trade and liability; insurance law; distribution law. Start-up desk; South America desk and advice on Iran business.

Recommended for: Labor; Corporate Law; Health; Trade & Liability; M&A; Trademarks & Competition; Insurance Contract Law; Distribution.

International Integration: Close cooperation with the Swiss partner firm Kellerhals Carrard and with bpv Hügel in Austria. Cooperation offices in Brussels, Alicante, Shanghai, Istanbul, São Paulo. In addition, a well-maintained worldwide network, especially for the health sector.

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"Germany's Best Lawyers 2020" - FGvW recommended by "Best Lawyers"

Once a year, the US publishing house "Best Lawyers" asks business lawyers about their recommendations from other law firms. The results are now available, and we are delighted with the result: 21 lawyers from our firm are among the "Best Lawyers" in Germany, including seven partners nominated for the first time.

The recommendations are distributed among these specialist areas: Labor law, banking and finance law, construction law, corporate law, intellectual property law, commercial and distribution law, real estate law, IT law, mergers & acquisitions, public law, planning law, product liability law, arbitration, insurance law and competition law.

For the first time, the following partners of our law firm have been admitted to the "Best Lawyers" circle:

Tom Erdt (real estate law), Frankfurt
Sabine Schröter (labor law), Frankfurt
Werner Bachmann (IT Law), Freiburg
Jan Henning Martens ( corporate law), Freiburg
Markus Beaumart (real estate law), Cologne
Ben P. Elsner ( banking and finance law), Cologne
Arnt Göppert ( mergers and acquisitions), Cologne

Once again, as in previous years, the following partners were also recommended:

Morton Douglas ( intellectual property, competition law), Freiburg
Christoph Fingerle (labor law), Freiburg
F. Christian Genzow (mergers and acquisitions, commercial and distribution law), Cologne
Andreas Imping ( labor law), Cologne
David Kipping ( intellectual property), Cologne
Olaf Konzak ( public law, planning law), Cologne
Carsten Laschet ( product liability law), Cologne
Tobias Lenz ( product liability law, corporate law and insurance law), Cologne
Gerhard Manz ( corporate law), Freiburg
Barbara Mayer ( corporate law ), Freiburg
Wolfgang Schmid ( intellectual property ), Freiburg
Uwe Steingröver (real estate law), Cologne
Friedrich Graf von Westphalen (arbitration proceedings), Cologne
Jörn Zons (building law), Cologne

This year, Olaf Konzak was also awarded the title "Lawyer of the Year for Planning Law" in North Rhine-Westphalia.

We are very pleased about this recognition. Best Lawyers is one of the leading international recommendation portals for lawyers in commercial law. The rankings only include lawyers who have been recommended by other professional colleagues already listed in an elaborate procedure. This ensures a high reliability of the recommendation lists. In Germany, the rankings have been published exclusively by Handelsblatt for many years.

JUVE Award Mittelstand 2018_EN

JUVE Handbook Commercial Law Firms 2018/2019
Firm of the year for the Mittelstand

Under the careful leadership of the management duo Barbara Mayer and Carsten Laschet, the firm scores with a dynamic that is second to none. The expansion course includes all three locations equally and makes the firm more entrepreneurial and international. With clever junior staff development and successfully integrated lateral entrants, the firm has been able to build up a strong team of more than 80 people. The personnel strategy also includes taking experienced associates into corporate responsibility. The former career level Counsel was upgraded to a Local Partner level in 2017 and offers the junior partners participation rights at the respective location.

For cross-border transactions of its clients, the firm has long established a resilient network of law firms. This was followed by a second international initiative for high-calibre advice in the healthcare sector. "You can see that everyone is really interested in the firm's progress and success," reports an insider. With this drive, the recently strengthened labor law team was also able to play a central role in the sensational restructuring of the Paracelsus hospital group.

The expansion course of recent years is now paying off: With the enlarged team spread over 3 locations, the firm can now handle highly complex mandates within weeks. This was demonstrated by the example of the restructuring of the Paracelsus Group under labor law. At the same time, in the midst of the biggest insolvency on the German hospital market to date, the law firm proved how well it has already arrived in the healthcare sector: largely unnoticed by competitors, it has brought in lateral entrants with experience in this sector, such as labor lawyer Sabine Schröter, and has also encouraged her young partners to deepen their knowledge of medical products and pharmaceutical law. In addition to its international practice, the firm has also been active in the field of medical devices and pharmaceuticals. In addition to its international network of law firms for cross-border transactions, the firm has also established a second network for specialised advice in the highly regulated healthcare sector. This not only enables it to secure deals for clients such as the medical technology group Getinge across national borders, it also gives it new mandates via this network, such as advising on the market entry of a listed pharmaceutical manufacturer. Even its established practices, such as trademark and competition law, have recently been more visible in the healthcare sector.

International M&A and corporate law are actually the core of the firm. (...) Larger transactions are still frequently managed by the Freiburg team, which is much stronger in terms of personnel. Instead, the smaller part of the practice in Cologne plays out its strengths primarily in transactions limited to the region, often with real estate law implications. In labor law, the partner Andreas Imping, acquired last year, contributed extensive mandates such as the restructuring of one of the Paracelsus clinics and the Zeppelin Group. Until the end of 2017, the distribution practice was headed by the Cologne partner Christian Genzow, who changed to of Counsel status for reasons of age. Sven Köhnen, who has a strong presence in this industry with numerous mandates for car dealer associations such as Fiat or Mercedes-Benz, took on this task. In insurance law, FGvW continues to be one of the most renowned addresses, especially in D&O law. In addition to being involved in important manager liability cases, the team around Tobias Lenz and Carsten Laschet maintains close market connections to many insurers, e.g. AIG or Allianz.

Flanked by the well-rehearsed management duo Carsten Laschet and Barbara Mayer, networked working along the Rhine has increased significantly. An important hinge in Frankfurt is formed by 2 labor lawyers who previously worked for Taylor Wessing.

On the Upper Rhine, the firm has acquired a strong position and from there secures the trademark portfolios of its core clientele worldwide. For the upper Mittelstand, which it also regularly assists with its experienced labor law practice, it regularly manages cross-border M&A transactions from Freiburg. However, universities and local authorities along the Rhine also like to use the respected unit as a strategic advisor. This unit regularly manages to build up entrepreneurial young partners from its own ranks. Not least thanks to the flourishing healthcare and biotech industry in the region, these young partners are able to quickly establish their own business and distinguish themselves, for example, in medical products and distribution law.

FGvW is known for its sustainable training policy, especially in Freiburg, where associates praise the "open and helpful atmosphere" and local competitors enviously blink at the squad of committed young lawyers. (…)

Strengths: M&A and merger control law support, experience with complex joint venture formations and cross-border mergers; very good international network; high competence in trademark, design and competition law, litigation practice in D&O and product liability cases, experienced sales law unit.

Focal points: Labor; corporate law including shareholder disputes and succession; health; trade and liability; M&A; trademarks and competition; construction law and litigation; trade and liability; health; insurance law; distribution law. Start-up desk; South America desk and advice on Iran business.

Recommended for: Labor law; corporate law; health; trade and liability; M&A; trademarks and competition; insurance contract law; distribution.

International Integration: Close cooperation with the Swiss partner firm Kellerhals Carrard and bpv Hügel in Austria. Cooperation offices in Brussels, Alicante, Shanghai, Istanbul, São Paulo. In addition, a well-maintained worldwide network.

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"Germany's Best Lawyers 2019" - FGvW recommended by "Best Lawyers"

Once again this year, the US publisher "Best Lawyers" has identified Germany's most renowned legal advisors exclusively for the Handelsblatt in an extensive peer-to-peer process. Accordingly, only lawyers are asked about the reputation of their competitors. The latest results are now available, and once again we have every reason to be pleased: 13 lawyers from our law firm are among the "Best Lawyers" in Germany. read more >

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JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2017/2018

This firm made a name for itself nationwide in a number of specialist disciplines, incl. distribution and insurance as well as litigation in managerial and product liability cases. Just how well positioned FGvW already is here was underscored by work for the new federal company for the storage of nuclear waste involving liability and insurance aspects. The firm also raised its headcount for cross-border transactions by hiring two lawyers with expertise in Iranian and South American legal relations. This demonstrated the firm’s readiness to respond to the needs of its core client base of high-end Mittelstand companies active in exports.

The fact that FGvW is still among the firms at the top of the market in Freiburg is largely thanks to its steady nurturing of young talent, which ensures the firm’s long-term development. The next partner generation is given freedom to establish its own work. In this, FGvW focuses on forming sector specialties and occupying interfaces, a strategy that is already working in the healthcare sector and capital markets. Competitors are increasingly noticing young partners in M&A deals as well, although the lead role in these still tends to be played by the established partners. The corporate practice, which is regularly active for international corporates, is also still largely dominated by the two senior partners Gerhard Manz and Dr. Barbara Mayer.

Recommended for: Commercial litigation and liability, corporate, distribution and franchising, insurance contracts: litigation and product advice, M&A, trademarks and unfair competition.

International network: Cooperation offices in Brussels, Alicante, Shanghai, Istanbul, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Well-established global network.

Developments:While interoffice and interdisciplinary work is advancing cautiously, FGvW stepped up cooperation with Swiss firm Kellerhals Carrard, which paid off in advice to startups. The young partners played a pivotal role in the firm branching into this growth area.

Though the other offices are catching up in terms of personnel, the south German office is still the firm’s powerhouse. But this should not overshadow the fact that the Freiburg office has to cope with growing competition in Baden-Württemberg (…) This makes it all the more important that FGvW continues with its long-term training policy and retains young talent by offering real career opportunities: abolishing the counsel title in favor of the local partner status is a step in this direction. As well as business responsibility, the new partners are also granted more rights to participate.

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The Legal 500 EMEA 2018

The current edition of the legal directory for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has now been released, and Friedrich Graf von Westphalen is recommended for the following 6 practice areas: corporate, M&A (mid-sized international deals, €100 – €500m), dispute resolution – product liability, insurance – insurance litigation, intellectual property – trade marks and unfair competition, trade and distribution.

Tobias Lenz (insurance – insurance lititation) and Christian Genzow (trade and distribution) are part of the elite list of „Leading Lawyers“.

Furthermore, 14 of our lawyers are recommended in The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa 2018:

Focus Spezial 10/2017: Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner among Germany’s Top Law Firms

Once again, the German news magazine “Focus” lists Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner among “Germany’s Top Lawyers for Business Law”. The survey of approximately 9,500 lawyers and 3,400 in-house counsels of leading companies’ legal departments brought our legal experts out on top in 3 categories: Corporate Law, Commercial Law and Insurance Law. On an over proportional basis we are being recommended by our colleagues and, in the Insurance Law area, by our clients. Thanks to these results we have once again been admitted to the Top 50 ranking of German business law firms.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen also comes off well in the rankings of our lawyers’ individual performance in specific areas of law: Our partner Dr. Stefan Daub belongs to the Top Lawyers of the practice area Employment Law. Furthermore, our partner Dr. Matthias Jünemann was again recommended by his competing candidates as one of the Top Lawyers in the practice area Inheritance Law.

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JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2016/2017

The firm’s strongest practices – distribution and insurance in Cologne, as well as corporate and trademarks in Freiburg – operate successfully. Re-opening in Frankfurt three years ago with a small team gave the firm not only the chance to broaden its offerings but also the opportunity to improve integration at the firm by introducing lawyers and practice areas which belonged to neither one nor the other. Thus the arrival of employment lawyer Dr. Sabine Schröter from Taylor Wessing was a significant step.

The narrower setup of the Cologne office is highly successful, esp. in its specialized fields: it is particularly strong in managers’ liability and litigation concerning cross-border product liability. It was important that there were new laterals, the first since the arrival of corporate lawyer Arnt Göppert three years ago: a trademarks lawyer from CMS and a construction lawyer from Hogan Lovells have given Cologne capacity in areas which were previously present only in Freiburg.
 
In contrast, the Breisgau office remains the strongest firm in the region. Few Mittelstand-oriented firms can boast a series of public takeovers. The firm also has the ability to attract a different class of young lawyer compared to most other local firms, also retaining them until partnership. It is an important development that the next generation is emerging strongly behind the senior partners of the practice, Gerhard Manz and Dr. Barbara Mayer.
 
Recommended for: Administration and procurement, commercial litigation and liability, corporate, distribution and franchising, employment, insurance contracts: litigation and product advice, M&A, private construction, taxes, trademarks and unfair competition, trading.
 
International network: Cooperation offices in Brussels, Alicante, Shanghai, Istanbul and São Paulo. Well-established global network.

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„Germany’s best Lawyers 2017“ – FGvW recommended by „Best Lawyers“

For the 9th time, the US publisher “Best Lawyers” determined the most renowned German legal advisers exclusively for the German daily newspaper “Handelsblatt” in an extensive peer-to-peer procedure, in which only lawyers are questioned on the reputation of their competitors. Now the current results are available. This year, too, we have every reason to be happy: In the practice area of Product Liability, Tobias Lenz is “Lawyer of the year 2017”. Furthermore, 12 of our lawyers are among Germany’s “Best Lawyers”. read more >

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The Legal 500 Germany 2017

Besides its key areas Corporate Law and M&A, the team of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner specializes on Employment and Trademark Law, while also being experienced in Real Estate and Construction Law. With its additional offices in Frankfurt and Cologne, the firm has a national presence and continues to be internationally oriented. Under the lead of Barbara Mayer, the team offered its advice to Endress+Hauser during its investment in Analytik Jena, a listed manufacturer of analytic and bio-analytic measuring techniques. The firm also supports start-ups like neuroloop and NexWafe in their negotiations with investors and at the conclusion of shareholders’ agreements. The consultation of the majority shareholders of Duravit, a manufacturer of design bathrooms and wellness systems, during the acquisition of shares and the subsequent sale to Franke is further noteworthy. Christoph Fingerle, who leads the Employment Law Department together with Stefan Daub, advises the Solar-Fabrik during staff reduction measures in the course of insolvency proceedings.

15 Lawyers are recommended in the editorial part of The Legal 500 Germany 2017:

Corporate Law and M&A – Corporate Law

Corporate Law and M&A - M&A - international medium-sized deals (€100m – €500m)

Industrial Property Rights – Trademark and Competition Law

Commercial and Distribution Law

Regional Firms – Commercial Law – metropolitan region Rhine-Neckar

 Insurance Law – Dispute Resolution

2 Lawyers are listed under “Leading Names” which makes them part of the small circle of Germany's outstanding lawyers.

Commercial and Distribution Law : Christian Genzow
Insurance Law – Dispute Resolution: Tobias Lenz

Corporate LiveWire Legal Awards 2016

After closely observing firms, teams and individuals on a national and global level with regard to their consistent excellent performance, dedication and client-satisfaction throughout the past year, the Corporate LiveWire judge panel has once again honoured Barbara Mayer with the Corporate LiveWire Legal Award 2016 as “Corporate Lawyer of the Year”. Furthermore, we are pleased that Jörn Zons is being announced “Construction Lawyer of the Year” by the same board.

Focus-Spezial 10/2016

Once again, the German news magazine “Focus” lists Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner among “Germany’s Top Lawyers for Business Law”. The survey of approximately 9,500 lawyers and 3,400 in-house counsels of leading companies’ legal departments brought our legal experts out on top in 3 categories: Corporate Law, Commercial Law and Insurance Law. On an over proportional basis we are being recommended by our colleagues and, in the Insurance Law area, by our clients. Thanks to these results we have once again been admitted to the Top 50 ranking of German business law firms.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen also comes off well in the rankings of our lawyers’ individual performance in specific areas of law: Our partners Dr. Stefan Daub and Dr. Christoph Fingerle belong to the Top Lawyers of the practice area Employment Law. Furthermore, our partner Dr. Matthias Jünemann was again recommended by his competing candidates as one of the Top Lawyers in the practice area Inheritance Law.

The Legal 500 Germany 2016

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner advises medium-sized German and international businesses in the power industry, health care, IT, real estate and construction, automobile and media sectors, as well as financial service providers and public employers with regard to all commercial law aspects. Besides the Freiburg office, the Frankfurt office is also a contact point for international, mostly transaction-based business. The corporate law practice, led by Barbara Mayer and Gerhard Manz continues to be a main focus, which is based on special expertise in the field of restructuring, contract drafting in stock corporation and antitrust law, as well as joint venture advice. FGvW advised Maquet Medical Systems with regard to the preparation and closing of a controlling and profit-and-loss transfer agreement with Pulsion Medical Systems. In addition, the firm advised Haufe-Lexware with regard to the acquisition from the publishing group Handelsblatt of the Schäffer-Poeschel publishing house and the Indian automobile group Samvardhana Motherson with regard to its acquisition of Scherer & Trier.

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2015/2016

The firm is rather unusually positioned. Although FGvW belongs to the medium-sized law firms, due to their excellent network, the Freiburg M&A lawyers business is more international than that of some large law firms. FGvW is present beyond Germany to an extent that competitors envy them for. In addition, the firm dominates the mid-cap transactions in Southern Germany more clearly than any other regional law firm dominates its regional market.

In the course of the growing M&A business, FGvW could further build on this strength. The percentage of listed companies among the clients is continually growing. Two public takeovers in 2014 have led to corporate mandates, such as restructurings and squeeze-out procedures, which continue to take up the team’s full capacity. The corporate practice group was also very busy with compliance due diligence and restructuring transactions, such as for the Indian Samvardhana Motherson or the Solar-Fabrik AG. It is particularly remarkable in this practice area, that that the younger generation of lawyers behind the renowned Freiburg corporate lawyers Barbara Mayer and Gerhard Manz is becoming more present.

The two main offices continue to focus on different practice areas: The Freiburg office focuses on corporate law and intellectual property law whereas the Cologne office focuses on insurance and distribution law. The Cologne team is especially renowned for manager liability and product liability cases. However, the firm is successfully trying to combine its practice areas across offices. Two years ago, Arnt Göppert (from Hogan Lovells) joined FGvW and laid the foundation for an M&A practice in Cologne. In the meantime, several transactions are led by partners of both offices together. Since David Kipping joined FGvW from CMS, Cologne also has a partner in the IP sector.

The traditional core competences of the Cologne office of the renowned firm are the distribution and insurance law practices. The firm advises its clients with regard to contractual law matters in these practice areas. Over the years, FGvW has established itself as representative in proceedings with automobile dealers and associations. In addition, FGvW’s partners belong to the nationwide renowned specialists in manager and product liability cases and have longstanding relationships with the industrial leaders Allianz and AIG. (…) Jörn Zons, who has many contacts to project developers, joined FGvW from Hogan Lovells and contributed to the further development of the construction law practice.

Strengths: Litigation practice in D&O and product liability cases. Experienced distribution law team. Strong international network.

Recommended for: Employment law, corporate law, commercial law and liability, M&A, trademark and competition law, private construction law, administrative and procurement law, insurance contract law, distribution systems.

International involvement: Partner offices in Brussels, Alicante, Shanghai, Istanbul and São Paulo in addition to a strong worldwide network of friendly, independent law firms.

The Legal 500 Germany 2015

Since the opening of the Frankfurt office in January 2014, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner offers advice on the complete spectrum of economic law out of three different German cities. The Freiburg office is especially praised for its “high level of advice”, “tailored solutions” and “reasonable advice with a transparent cost structure”. The practice team corporate law advises clients such as the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Glatt as well as recently Maquet Medical Systems in relation to the acquisition of shares in Pulsion Medical in a three-digit million amount. The firm is also very renowned in the field of employment law and is continuously mandated by the regional association of church hospitals (Regionalverbund kirchlicher Krankenhäuser) und the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg. Advising the timber business Fürst zu Fürstenberg in relation to the large relocation abroad of products, during which the firm led the legal negotiations with respect to lawsuits against unfair dismissal (Kündigungsschutzverfahren) was another highlight. The practice field construction- and architectural law was strengthened by the partnership of the renowned Friederike Schäffler. Norbert Hebeis, Barbara Mayer and Gerhard Manz are also recommended.

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2014/2015

Both main offices of the Freiburg-Cologne based law firm are very renowned in their respective regions and have profited from the fact that they are located remote from the large agglomeration areas of law firms and therefore rather exotic. The Freiburg office dominates the regional market and almost has a monopoly position with respect to interesting corporate mandates in its home region, which is true for hardly any other law firm in its local market. In addition, the firm has from the beginning maintained pronounced international relations, which enabled it to prove its remarkable strength when cross-border M&A transactions blossomed. These strengths include private M&A transactions as well as medium-sized public takeovers and strong Asian in- and outbound business activities. Cologne remains the centre for distribution law and insurance law practice. It was only in the past year that an own corporate practice was founded there. (…)

The Freiburg office: A leading law firm in the region, which continues to be the driving force in the Southwest and which has strong corporate/M&A and trademark departments. (…) The number of associates has considerably grown in Freiburg. (…) Nevertheless, there is even more potential to be realised, given that the combination of the full-service approach and pronounced international experience continues to be a distinctive feature in this region.

The strong D&O department of the much valued law firm in Cologne distinguishes itself from competitors with a broader placement and combines extensive knowledge in corporate-, tax- and insurance law.  Although the firm is not the only law firm with a strong focus on insurances (competitor Bach Langheid Dallmayr is also very strong in Cologne) it is nevertheless very successful with its stringent course. Loyal top clients such as Allianz and AIG Europe which regularly consult FGvW in relation to D&O claims prove the firms good standing. Arnt Göppert who joined the firm last year, extended the corporate practice area‘s consulting services to real estate and additionally filled an important gap by offering advice in relation to the financing of real estate transactions.

Strengths: Lawsuits in relation to D&O- and product liability claims. Experienced distribution law team. Strong international network.

Recommended for: Employment law, corporate law, trade and liability, M&A, trademark and competition, private construction law, tax, insurance law, distribution law, distribution systems, administrative and public procurement law.

International involvement: Cooperation offices in Brussels, Alicante, Shanghai, Istanbul and São Paulo. In addition, a well maintained worldwide network of friendly, independent law firms.

“Focus-Spezial”: Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner among Germany’s Top Lawyers / Law Firms

The German news magazine “Focus” regularly determines “Germany’s Top Lawyers”. We are among these top lawyers once again: FGvW is being recommended for its “professional competence and expertise” in the commercial law and insurance practice areas. The rating is based on 10,000 recommendations from lawyers for their colleagues in six different practice areas.

“Focus-Spezial” lists 800 leading lawyers and commercial law firms from all relevant practice areas and provides its readers with key information on how to obtain the required legal services. The edition “Germany’s Top Lawyers” provides an inside view into renown law firms specialising in 24 legal practice areas ranging from antitrust and trademarks to freight and maritime trade, explains the most important facts on rental, tax and family law, clarifies the new penalty-point rules for drivers, and assists in locating appropriate experts.

The list of top lawyers is based on approximately 10,000 recommendations provided by participating lawyers for their colleagues in six different practice areas. In order to determine Germany’s top law firms, Focus interviewed more than 2,600 lawyers at private law firms and in-house.  The selection was then made based on the frequency of recommendations made. In addition, the recommendations of the previous year’s enquiry were taken into account, in order to satisfy the requirements for a continuously high reputation. The lawyers and law firms that are amongst Germany’s leading lawyers and law firms according to Focus’ nationwide comparison receive the award “Top Lawyer 2014” or “Top Law Firm 2014” for the relevant practice area.

Focus’ deputy chief editor Markus Krischer stated: “When dealing with complex legal issues, companies and private individuals are reliant on the know-how of experts. Our list of lawyers assists our readers in finding the appropriate top lawyer for each important practice area, and thus to obtain the required legal services. In addition, Focus provides much useful advice on current issues”.

Kanzleien in Deutschland [Law Firms in Germany], 15th edition, 2014

The firm advises international corporations and small and medium-sized businesses in all areas of commercial law. Although the firm’s intention is to provide full service, its focus definitely lies on corporate/M&A, liability and insurance law, antitrust, intellectual property and competition law, trade and distribution and employment law. Its main business sectors are automotive, banking and insurance, energy, healthcare/life sciences, real estate and building, IT/ telecommunications, food, machines- and plant construction, media and entertainment, as well as the public sector.

After its restart in 2010, Friedrich Grad von Westphalen has successfully established itself on the market. The Freiburg office led by Gerhard Manz and Barbara Mayer continues to be one of the most renowned firms in the mid cap field, while the Cologne office is known for its expertise in insurance law and was able to achieve considerable growth in this area. Through the systematic use of synergy effects between the Freiburg and the Cologne offices, the firm has become an extremely efficient and high-quality law firm which will further profit from the newly established office in Frankfurt. International legal business has continually grown, enabling the firm to compete with large competitors on the market.


JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law 2013/2014

With its offices in Freiburg and Cologne [FGvW] by no means has to hide in the shadows of its competitors. The Corporate Practice around the Co-Managing Partners, Dr. Barbara Mayer and Gerhard Manz, and primarily based in Freiburg, is strongly focussed on international mid-cap M&A business. In Cologne the corporate advice so far still results from the work of the renowned D&O Liability and Insurance Practice that centres on the extremely eminent Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz, who is based there. However, this is due to change: In the summer of 2013 a long-term Hogan Lovells partner [Arnt Göppert] joined. He specialises in corporate and finance transactions, particularly in real estate management. His addition makes Cologne more independent of Freiburg when assisting with transactions and at the same time offers the opportunity of developing up the "Rhine" client base, also for corporate advice, with united forces.

In addition, many corporate issues are dealt with at FGvW in the context of the work of its recognised D&O Liability and Insurance Practice. In this line of business the office benefits from its good reputation with D&O insurers and continues to work for AIG in connection with the D&O liability actions in relation to SachsenLB. Due to staff fluctuations, the Firm has bolstered this practice area with new associates from, inter alia, Flick Gocke, and the specialist broker Ecclesia.

In addition to the Corporate Practice, the Distribution Law Practice also has a presence across Germany managed from the Cologne office as does the small, but very specialised Trademark and Competition Practice, which advises prestigious clients out of the Freiburg office. (...) Other practice areas, such as the Employment Law Practice and Public Law Practice have are strongly represented, especially in the Freiburg region.

FGvW's Freiburg office continues to be one of the leading firms in Baden-Württemberg. Hardly any other Corporate Practice in the region is more internationally oriented.  The best friends network extends as far as China, India and Brazil. The small, but very specialized Trademark and Competition Practice, advises prestigious clients; most recently a young partner drew attention to himself with important litigation for the pharmacy industry. FGvW is in a comfortable competitive position to date: It can build on well-served, long-term client relations with the region's most well-known companies. Other law firms still have a long way to go before they become serious contenders.

FGvW encourages a good balance between work and life - also at partner level - especially by being flexible in the way it allocates work  and allowing a high degree of entrepreneurial freedom. That is a big plus point in the job seekers market, which is becoming increasingly sensitive to these issues.

Strengths: A strong, well-maintained international network with associated law firms, which are likewise independent; Litigation Practice in D&O and product liability cases. Experienced Distribution Law Practice.

Recommended for employment law; corporate law; M&A; trade and liability; trademark and competition law; private construction law; tax law; insurance contract law: Representing and advising clients in litigation, distribution systems, distribution law, administrative and procurement law.

Kanzleien in Deutschland [Law Firms in Germany], 14th edition 2013

The Firm advises large international groups as well as medium-sized enterprises on all areas of commercial law. The Firm provides a full-service but there are nevertheless areas, in which it has a definite specialisation, namely in company law/M&A, liability law and the insurance business as well as competition law, trade mark and patent law as well as employment law. Here the main sectors covered are the automotive sector, banking and insurances, the energy sector, healthcare/life sciences, property and construction, IT/telecommunications, foodstuffs, equipment and plant construction, media and entertainment and the public sector.

Internationally, the Firm can call upon an extensive network of "Best Friends". In Shanghai FGvW has a strong partner in EunaCon, which, as a Chinese law firm under German management, is also permitted to advise locally on local law. ...

The law firm Friedrich Graf von Westphalen has  successfully established itself on the market after its "re-launch" at the end of 2010. The Freiburg office around Gerhard Manz and Dr. Barbara Mayer is still one of the most eminent practices for corporate and transaction law for the mid-cap sector. The lawyers at the Cologne office are particularly well-known for their expertise in insurance law and have been able to record considerable growth in this area. The targeted use of synergy effects between the two offices has allowed the firm to grow together to become an extremely efficient and high-quality commercial law firm. This is a  good premise in order to be able to also compete with larger competitors on the market.

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2012/2013

"A leading law firm in Baden-Württemberg". "Competitors and clients often emphasize the high degree of expertise of individual partners across all of the practice groups", "Top in all areas". Leading names: Gerhard Manz

"The esteemed unit in Cologne has managed to rank in subjects that are topical." The development in insurance and liability law is particularly emphasized. Tobias Lenz and Björn Fiedler are mentioned by name.

Kanzleien in Deutschland [Law Firms in Germany], 13th edition 2012

It did not take law firm Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner long to establish itself on the market after its "re-launch" at the end of 2010. The Freiburg office around Gerhard Manz and Dr. Barbara Mayer remains one of the most renowned practices for the mid-cap corporate / M&A sector. The lawyers at the Cologne office are particularly well-known for their expertise in insurance law.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner advises large international conglomerates, as well as medium-sized enterprises on all matters of commercial law. While being a full-service law firm, the main focus is on M&A, liability and insurance law, as well as intellectual property and distribution law. Internationally, the firm relies on its extensive network of "best friends". In Shanghai, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen has a strong partner in EunaCon, which, as a Chinese law firm under German management, distinguishes itself by being permitted to advise on Chinese law as well.

The Freiburg office of FGvW has always been known for its expertise in company and corporate law matters, particularly as regards M&A transactions. The office in the most south-western part of Germany has never had difficulties in positioning itself well nationally, or to hold its own as regards international deals. The firm exclusively focuses on the mid-cap sector in advising on joint ventures, restructurings and equity financing, and does so with great success: It was the corporate practice group, which was able to grow most strongly last year in terms of revenue development and new clients (including Tognum, Vitrashop and Ausy SA). FGvW has already succeeded in this area with what many other law firms - including large law firms - are increasingly trying to do: Networking with medium-sized businesses (the so-called German Mittelstand). Baden, in particular, has an incredibly large number of successful medium-sized businesses (such as the local Sparkassenverbände), with which the firm maintains excellent relations, often acting as an outsourced legal department - not only due to the lack of local competition. In addition, the Freiburg office of FGvW also benefits from the synergy with the Cologne offices of FGvW. Beforehand, many did not think this possible. However, several prestigious M&A mandates, which were referred by the Cologne colleagues, prove otherwise.

The corporate / M&A practice group reported significant personnel growth last year. In addition to four new associates joining the team, Dr. Hendrik Thies was appointed as partner at the beginning of 2011. Gerhard Manz continues to retain an outstanding reputation as a transaction and corporate lawyer - even beyond the national borders - and is without doubt one of Germany's most prestigious corporate and transaction lawyers. With his lead role in advising and assisting Tognum AG, an MDAX-listed company, on the sale of a business division and on a cross-border joint venture, and by advising a technology group on various joint ventures in the USA, Gerhard has once again proven that he is regularly trusted by companies that are industry leaders. Gerhard frequently works together with Dr. Barbara Mayer, who is considered by clients and colleagues alike to be extremely well-versed in transaction matters. She regularly succeeds in taking on the lead role in prestigious deals such as the restructuring of the word's leading finnish packaging manufacturer Huhtamäki, with the result that even partners from renowned large law firms have to adjust their strategy to suit hers. Dr. Albert Schröder is also held in extremely high regard, and is known to act with much foresight.

FGvW's Cologne office has long made a name for itself in Germany in the area of insurance law. Years ago, Prof. Dr. Friedrich Graf von Westphalen already wrote his dissertation on American product liability law and was, for a long time, considered to be the only expert on so-called Hermes-guarantees. He has decades of experience in this field and is one of the country's most renowned insurance experts. Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz, who also has a wealth of know-how, has several of the largest insurance and re-insurance companies as his clients. Like his partner Carsten Laschet, he is also a recognised expert in D&O and litigation matters. Björn Fiedler, who has continuously built a reputation for himself over the past few years, completes this team of experts. With Dr. Michael Tsambikakis, a new partner who joined FGvW from a "criminal defence law firm" in September 2011, the intention is to grow an economic and white collar crime practice group in Cologne,  which would complement the practice group well.

Who's who legal, Germany 2012

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen in Cologne is an „acknowledged authority", praised for the quality of his writing as well as for his work as expert and arbitrator.

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2011/2012

"FGvW is the leader of the pack of law firms in Freiburg. This is especially because of the growth in the contacts, which its corporate practice has in the three-border region, as well as the internationally orientated IP department.

FGvW is one of the leading law firms in Baden-Württemberg with recognised corporate law, employment law and trademark law practices. .... A particular feature is its large share of international M&A business. The fact that the Firm succeeded in finding a new cooperation partner precisely in China is of particular importance especially for the corporate lawyers because they work mainly across borders. ... One person praised the "high degree of expertise" of the employment and corporate lawyers and the fact that they are "solution-driven".

Well-maintained international contacts.

Frequently recommended lawyers: Gerhard Manz, Dr. Barbara Mayer, Norbert Hebeis, Dr. Wolfgang Schmid"

"The esteemed Cologne office also progressed significantly because its specialist strengths remained unaffected by last year's reorganisation. The litigation and product liability lawyers, especially Laschet and Lenz, have assumed the leadership in Cologne and are stepping up exchange with the Freiburg office. There has been the first internal appointment to partner in the distribution law practice and various new recruits. ... The addition of Michael Tsambikakis, a criminal lawyer who specialises in economic and white collar crime, and his team, who come from a criminal law boutique, opens up a number of new options for FGvW. In addition to broader litigation services, it adds experience in the health sector and with manufacturers of medical devices.

The more stringent personnel planning in Cologne is just showing its first results with the growth in lateral recruits. A criminal lawyer, who specialises in economic and white collar crime [Dr. Michael Tsambikakis] and who is well-recognised in the region, now complements the services we offer in cases involving the liability of directors and officers, which have so far been confined to civil law advice.

Frequently recommended lawyers: Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz, Carsten Laschet, Björn Fiedler, Prof. Dr. Christian Genzow, Dr. Stefan Zipse"

Kanzleien in Deutschland [Law Firms in Germany], 12th edition 2011

"The Freiburg team continues to impress in areas of corporate law, transactions as well as intellectual property; the Cologne office's strengths lie in insurance law and contract law - in this respect everything has remained the same.

The Cologne office particularly specialises in the legal fields of insurance law, contract drafting and product liability law and, with Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz and Carsten Laschet, it has prominent representatives of the legal fraternity amongst its professionals; Prof. Dr. Friedrich Graf von Westphalen continues to have an illustrious name within the industry sector. The Cologne office has "the highest reputation" in the said fields (insurance law, contract law, product liability).

Trade and distribution law are also of great importance in Cologne with Prof. Dr. F. Christian Genzow.

Dr. Uwe Steingröver is a recognised expert in construction and property law, who came from DLA Piper to join the old law firm's Cologne office in May 2010; he now strengthens this area of law at Friedrich Graf von Westphalen."

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2010/2011

"The Freiburg law firm remains ... one of the leading law firms in the region. Unlike other regional competitors, FGvW has a great deal of experience in medium-sized M&A business, often with an international element. For example, it advised the American company Matthews on several acquisitions in Germany. Apart from its strong corporate practice, to which two new partners were appointed at the beginning of the year, FGvW adheres steadfastly to the concept of rendering all-round advice to small and medium-sized enterprises. A new focus it wishes to pursue is in the area of renewable energies, for which a lawyer with experience in this sector has joined ...

"The Freiburg team continues to impress in corporate law and transactions as well as intellectual property law ..." Gerhard Manz is, "no doubt one of the most prestigious German corporate lawyers and transaction specialists". By his side the managing partner, Dr. Barbara Mayer, stands out; they work very successfully together in the mid-cap area. More than half of their transactions have an international element.

Strengths: Well maintained international contacts.

Frequently recommended lawyers: Gerhard Manz, Dr. Barbara Mayer."

"The office in Cologne which continues to be esteemed concentrates ... on its core areas of contract and distribution law as well as its recognised insurance and litigation practice and remains unfailingly strong in these areas. In construction law the DLA partner, Dr. Uwe Steingröver, who is experienced in transactions and litigation, joined the Firm ...

Strengths: Contracts (distribution/trade/logistics) and a strong litigation practice involving claims for major losses.

Frequently recommended lawyers: Prof. Dr. Christian Genzow, Prof. Dr. Friedrich Graf von Westphalen, Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz ("very knowledgeable and experienced", client), Carsten Laschet.

"Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz: "pre-eminent expertise, a wealth of experience", client"

JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms 2009/2010

"A leading law firm in the region, which competitors consider succeeded in further extending its market presence, which was already at a high level. The strong corporate team has benefited from the increasing cost sensitivity of large companies and has acquired a multitude of new clients, some of whom are international.

For instance, the office advised the Finnish listed company Huhtamäki on the sale of a division. International clients make up a large proportion of the corporate business; however GvW is also firmly very well entrenched in regional companies and has been able to expand existing, important client relationships in this area. For example, the office has for the first time advised the investment company of its long-standing client, Sparkasse Freiburg-Nördl. Breisgau. Its large trademark law team, which has been slightly enlarged, is considered to be one of the leading teams in the region.

Particular strengths: The advice the Firm renders at an acclaimed level in conjunction with a good relationship between price and performance has proven to be an advantage, particularly in times of economic crisis.

Recommended for: Employment law; corporate law; dispute resolution; food law; M&A; trademark and competition law; media, information technology, TV, film and entertainment, public sector, public environmental and planning law, Public Private Partnerships and infrastructure, procurement law, tax law; distribution/trade/logistics."

"Drawing up contracts and distribution law remain - unchanged - the core segments of the esteemed law firm in Cologne. It is from here that GvW advises distribution and sales centres based in the Rhine-Ruhr region and various national authorised dealers, the latter particularly in the automotive and mechanical engineering sectors.

In this connection there was, due to the recession, much work involving advice on insolvency law, where an experienced lateral recruit from the previous year was able to make a strong contribution.

Internally the transition to the next generation is taking place in the core areas noticeably more slowly than in the areas of D&O or product liability, where the transition has already taken place. This development has led to the partners who work there having an increased market presence; latterly competitors have, for example, praised Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz and Carsten Laschet as "bright spark lawyers".

Particular strengths: Contract drafting (trade/distribution/logistics).

Recommended for: Litigation and arbitration (dispute resolution; fidelity insurance; D&O and product liability); insurance law; distribution/trade/logistics."

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