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Prof Dr Stefan Engels

Excellent lawyer and very good strategist and tactician who is excellently networked and has very deep knowledge of the media industry and the media business.
Legal 500 EMEA

Prof Dr Stefan Engels focuses on intellectual property (i.e. advertising and unfair competition law as well as copyright law), media and freedom of expression law (e.g. defamation and privacy) and broadcasting and internet law (media law). He acts in an advisory capacity and is, in particular, engaged in contentious matters.

He primarily advises national and international retailer, manufacturers of branded goods as well as media and communications companies, (e.g. publishing houses), broadcasters, direct marketing and other media companies (e.g. agencies, online service providers) regarding contract drafting, sales, marketing and advertising, title and product launches as well as digital matters.

Stefan heads the German Intellectual Property and Technology group of DLA Piper. He is a visiting lecturer for e-commerce, advertising and press law at the University of Hamburg and he also lectures at the Hamburg Media School.

Professional QualificationsRechtsanwalt admitted with Hanseatische Rechtsanwaltskammer Hamburg


  • Advice and representation of large German publishing houses, broadcasters, news agencies and online platforms regarding press and freedom of expression law matters.
  • Advice and representation of media and advertising companies in copyright law issues (especially contentious).
  • Representation of broadcasters and online providers in advertising and unfair competition law issues (e.g. permanent advertising, product placement, design of commercial inserts, labeling).
  • Representation of a leading German media group against online ad-blocker.
  • Representation regarding online offers (e.g. price comparison platforms, news services, shops) in disputes against competitors and consumer organisations (price advertising/unique position/e-commerce/misleading advertisement).
  • Advice and representation of several e-commerce and direct marketing companies regarding questions of irritating commercials (§ 7 German Act on Unfair Competition Law).
  • Advice and representation in civil law enforcement of public law norms (esp. GDPR violations)
  • German
  • English
  • University of Hamburg, First State Examination, 1992 
  • Higher Regional Court of Hamburg, Second State Examination, 1997
  • University of Hamburg, Ph.D., 1997

    Specialist Lawyer for copyright and media law, 2010

    Appointed professor by the University of Hamburg (§ 17 HmbHG), 2016

Awards & Recognitions

  • JUVE Handbook 2023/2024: Leading name for press law and right of speech, frequently recommended for trademark and design law as well as competition law, media: contracts and copyrights, regulatory, transactions and financing; “excellently networked and has very deep knowledge of the media industry”; client “very experienced and broad expertise”, competitor (2022/2023)
  • Legal 500 Germany 2024: Leading individual for press and publishing law and recommended for media: entertainment as well as intellectual property: trademarks and unfair competition and information technologie: data protection, information technology and digitalisation as well as IT-transactions and outsourcing; "Prof. Dr. Stefan Engels represents the team’s strengths in an absolutely ideal and exemplary manner. The collaboration is based on trust and is based on the highest level of competence and professionalism", "Stefan Engels is particularly valued by us as an excellent lawyer and a very good strategist and tactician who is excellently networked and has very deep knowledge of the media industry and the media business. What should be emphasized is his commitment and ability to look beyond the specific mandate and to work comprehensively on behalf of the client", "The team around Stefan Engels is competent and reliable and always spontaneously on hand and there seems to be a good atmosphere among each other. Good communication, creative and goal-oriented solutions", "Stefan Engels: Many years of experience, very good knowledge of the industry, good strategist, thinks entrepreneurially", "Stefan Engels and his IP team are active in media law both in an advisory and forensic manner for all matters for our company. The reason for the ongoing cooperation is, in particular, the excellent broad coverage and therefore good integration in the areas of intellectual property rights and media law, so that advice and support is guaranteed “from a single source"
  • Chambers Europe Germany 2024: Recommended for TMT: media; "Stefan Engels is a very good tactician with in-depth knowledge of the media industry and legal matters", client
  • Handelsblatt in cooperation with Best Lawyers 2024/2025: Recommended for intellectual property law, media law, information technology law and advertising law
  • WirtschaftsWoche 2022: Recommended as “top lawyer” for data protection
  • Kanzleimonitor 2020/2021: Top 20 of the most recommended lawyers in Germany; recommended for media and press law as well as for intellectual property
  • Managing IP  IP STARS 2024: Recommended as “Notable Practitioner”


  • 'Getting the Deal Through, 'Country contribution Germany' (Länderbeitrag Germany'), in: Advertising & Marketing 2019, London 2019 (together with Beatrice Brunn)
  • 'Germany: Labeling requirements for fashion influencer marketing − more transparency can also lead to restrictions, 20 May 2019
  • Commentary on sections §§ 22, 23 KUG re rights regarding one's own image, 47-50, 60-63 Copyright Law, in: P. Möhring/K. Nicolini, Copyright Law, Munich 2018 (4th Edition) and Beck Online Kommentar
  • Best Practice Guide: 'New law in dialogue marketing' ('Neues Recht im Dialogmarketing'): UWG 2015 / UKlaG 2016 (German Unfair Competition Act), Brochure of the DDV (Deutscher Dialogmarketing Verband e.V.)
  • 'AdBlocker on the test bench'('AdBlocker auf dem Prüfstand'), GRUR Prax 2015, p. 338-340
  • 'Dialogue marketing in Germany' ('Dialogmarketing in Deutschland'), in: transfer - Werbeforschung & Praxis, 04/2014, p. 43-45
  • 'Current Topics of broadcasting commercial law' ('Aktuelle Fragen des Rundfunkwerberechts'), ZUM 2014, p. 946-957 (w. Jana Semrau)
  • 'Telephone marketing' ('Telefonmarketing') , in: H. Holland (publisher), Digital Dialogue marketing, 2014, p. 497-513
  • 'The Franchise Law Review - 2nd Edition - Germany' (w. Bahne Sievers)


Recurring events

  • Media Workshop Media and PR Law, Hamburg (for current dates see link)
  • Online Marketing Law (Hamburg Media School), Hamburg (for current dates see link)
  • Lecture Advertising and eCommerce Law, (listen to all lectures here link)

One-off events

  • 9 October 2020, Comparative Advertisement (Webinar)
  • 23 September 2020: Media Law in digital communications - Legal aspects on the Internet and Social Media (Webinar)
  • 14 September 2020, Copyright and Personal Rights in Marketing & PR (Webinar)
  • 8 September 2020, Advertising and Marketing Law conference 2020; Advertising Battlegrounds: Challenging your competition (Webinar)
  • 24 September 2019, Deep Dive OMR: Instagram Marketing Seminar, Hamburg (link)
  • 7 February 2019, IPT Lecture Series: Media regulation 4.0 from the perspective of private broadcasting, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg
  • 19 October 2018, #INLAW-Panel, INREACH, Berlin

Prior Experience

During his law study in Hamburg, Stefan worked for five years in the SAT.1-news department. Afterwards he worked as a research assistant at the Hans-Bredow-Institut für Rundfunk und Fernsehen.

Since 1997 he operates as a lawyer and since 2003 he has been Partner in two international corporate law firms, in which he took the part of inter alia the Head of Personnel department Germany and being the Sector-Head of Media Group.


  • Stefan Engels is visiting lecturer for Press Law, E-Commerce and Advertising Law at the University of Hamburg and he lectures at the Hamburg Media School.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Expert Committee within Hanseatic Bar Association for Advertising- and Competition Law
  • Working group of Publishing House Counsels
  • Study group for press law and freedom of the press
  • German Association for industrial property protection and copyrights (GRUR)