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The Legal 500 Germany 2024

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner's client base includes automotive suppliers and dealer associations as well as medium-sized companies and start-ups from the healthcare and technology sectors. These companies rely on the team's broad expertise, particularly in the drafting of dealer and supply contracts and in supply law disputes. The practice group is jointly led by Hendrik Thies, who has knowledge of commercial law at the interface with corporate law, and the distribution antitrust lawyer Sven KöhnenFrank Jungfleisch also offers clients advice on contract law at the interface with IT law, while Stephan Dittl's IP expertise comes into play in franchise issues. Other core lawyers are Jan Henning MartensAlexander Hartmann and Meike Kapp-Schwoerer.

"Very strong knowledge of international contracting. Very flexible and customer-oriented. Professionally excellent. Very pleasant contact person and excellent negotiating skills."

"Extremely practical. The industry-specific consideration and explanation of risks is very good. The contractual requirements are presented to my colleagues and our contractual partners in a way that is very easy to understand. The personal support in customer contract negotiations is very much appreciated. Very creative and, above all, successful."

"The practice of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen in Freiburg is consistently geared towards the needs of the supra-regional clientele, which is mainly made up of medium-sized companies. This manifests itself both in the degree of specialization (most partners and lawyers are familiar with several subject areas) and in the understanding of the interest in pragmatic, legally viable solutions."

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JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms - FGvW is Top-50 law firm

The JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms in Germany 2023/2024 was again published at the end of October. As in previous years, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner has maintained its position among Germany's TOP-50 law firms.

Recommended lawyers for Trade and Distribution are Sven Köhnen and Hendrik Thies ("always motivated and positive with a lot of experience and good intuition, both professionally and personally"; "pleasantly solution-oriented").

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The Legal 500 Germany 2023

Companies from the automotive dealership sector count on the expertise of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner in the area of trade, distribution and logistics. Here, the practice group can advise across all forms of distribution and is closely linked to the firm's antitrust expertise. In addition, clients from other sectors such as medical technology and the IT industry also turn to the team led by Sven Köhnen and Hendrik Thies. Issues relating to data protection are handled by Lukas Kalkbrenner, while Frank Jungfleisch's advice is linked to IT law in particular. Stephan Dittl shines in setting up distribution systems and enforcing franchisors' rights in court.

JUVE Wirtschaftskanzleien 2023/2023

JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms 2022/2023 - FGvW is TOP-50 law firm

The JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms in Germany 2022/2023 was published again in October: Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner has - as in previous years - maintained its position among the TOP-50 law firms in Germany.

We are also particularly highlighted in the area of distribution law.

Sven Köhnen and Hendrik Thies are often recommended here.

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The Legal 500 Germany 2022

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.

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JUVE Handbook of Business Law Firms 2021/2022

Comment: The distribution practice traditionally focuses on advice to and litigation for car dealers and associations, which have again recently relied on Cologne partner Köhnen for advice on issues relating to contract terminations and compensation claims. At the same time, the firm is steadily expanding its advice on distribution law to other sectors. This is particularly successful in cooperation with the healthcare practice in the medical technology sector, where the team led by Freiburg partner Thies counts companies such as the Swedish Getinge Group and eyeglass manufacturer Essilor among its regular clients. FGvW also regularly provides cross-border advice for its mainly Mittelstand clients, integrating law firms from its international network and coordinating work from Germany. An example of this is the advice given to design furniture manufacturer Vitra on the revision of its global distribution network in the USA and various Asian countries as well as the development of a commission agent model. The opening of a Berlin office also makes FGvW attractive for technology start-ups in the capital.

Strengths: Dealership law in the automotive and agricultural machinery sectors, distribution of medical products.

Often recommended: Stefan Zipse ("fair in disputes", competitors), Sven Köhnen, Hendrik Thies.

Team: 6 Eq. Partners, 1 Sal. Partner, 7 Associates

Focus: Comprehensive advice mainly in Cologne to dealers on dealership and commercial agency law as well as litigation for car dealers and their associations. With interface to corporate law and antitrust law. In Freiburg, mainly advice to manufacturers and medium-sized companies, also on international distribution, industry focus on healthcare.

Clients: Distribution systems: Vitra, inter alia on commission agent model and distribution network in the U.S. and Asia; Getinge group, inter alia on model specialist trade agreement and worldwide distribution agreement; Igedos on Opel service partner agreement. Ongoing: Essilor, Huhtamaki, Berry, Ghost Bikes, Otto Ganter, Nagel Group, Propan Rheingas. Processes: Autohaus am Westbahnhof vs. Mitsubishi for compensation claims; chin. Chinese sales representatives against German manufacturers for commission and compensation claims. Ongoing: dealer associations, including Hyundai, Honda, Kia, Iveco, Volvo, Citroën.

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The Legal 500 Germany 2021

The distribution law practice around practice leaders Sven Köhnen and Hendrik Thies, which primarily focuses on the automotive industry and automotive dealers, also advises clients in the IT, financial services, insurance, medical and consumer goods sectors. "The combination of a central point of contact combined with the comprehensive range of specialists called in as needed provides support across a broad front." Frank Jungfleisch specializes in assisting Turkish companies ("equally competent and pragmatic, makes practical suggestions").

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JUVE Handbook Business Law Firms 2020/2021

The good reputation of the distribution law practice is based, among other things, on advising motor vehicle dealers and dealer associations on compensation claims against manufacturers. However, since the departure of a renowned Of Counsel 3 years ago, the firm has increasingly opened up new fields of advice, especially in the health sector. For example, the Freiburg team advises various German medical device manufacturers on the conversion of supply contracts and the drafting of their European distribution agreements. One of the partners based in Frankfurt advises on international distribution systems and commercial agency law, often also in litigation. At the same time, a certain focus on the automotive industry remains in Cologne. However, FGvW is continuously breaking away from this narrow specialization. Especially the comprehensive advice to startups offers great opportunities for the practice. The aim is to establish new contacts via the Berlin office, which will opened in spring 2020.

Practice strengths: Law governing authorized dealers in the automotive and agricultural machinery sector, distribution of medical products.

Often recommended: Stefan Zipse, Sven Köhnen, Hendrik Thies ("highly competent and flexible", client)

Team: 6 equity partners, 1 salary partner, 8 associates
Focal points: Comprehensive advice on the dealer side in the law governing authorized dealers and commercial agents as well as litigation for car dealers and their associations. With interface to corporate law and cartel law. In Freiburg, mainly advising manufacturers and medium-sized clients on international sales, with a focus on the healthcare sector.

Clients: Car dealership at Westbahnhof railway station in dispute over compensation claims against Mitsubishi; Igedos on new service partner agreements; mechanical engineers on distribution systems worldwide; Vitra on revision of worldwide franchise distribution network; publisher in connection with online store; ongoing: dealer associations (including Hyundai, Kia, Volvo, Citroën), Huhtamaki, Berry, propane Rheingas, Ghost Bikes, Getinge Group, Otto Ganter, medical device manufacturers.

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The Legal 500 Germany 2020

The trade & sales team around Hendrik Thies also boasts niche knowledge in the field of design furniture and "has a goal-oriented negotiation tactic". The field of expertise of co-practice head Sven Köhnen is traditionally particularly focused on the automotive industry, where the team primarily represents the dealer side, but clients from the insurance and financial services industries are also gaining in importance.

The team offers comprehensive advice in complex legal cases where commercial, civil and administrative law meet.

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