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Dr Thomas Gädtke


Head of Cross Border Litigation Group, Europe

International Co-Head, Global Class Actions
Outstanding litigator, brilliant lawyer... excellent address with outstanding reputation in the industry.
Clients, JUVE Handbook and Legal 500 2022 - 2020

Dr Thomas Gädtke specialises in cross-border disputes, international arbitration and all types of national dispute resolution mechanisms (ordinary jurisdiction, arbitration, mediation). He heads DLA Piper's German Litigation & Regulatory practice group, the DLA Piper Global Class Actions Group and the DLA European Cross Border Litigation Group.

He represents companies and their boards in complex commercial disputes in various areas and industries. He has conducted mass litigation on a large scale (nationally and internationally), both for clients from the automotive industry (inter alia diesel) and the financial sector (prospectus liability), with a US connection in particular in the areas of commercial, D&O and product liability. He has also represented clients in major international arbitration proceedings in various sectors under different arbitration rules. 

Professional QualificationsRechtsanwalt admitted with the Rechtsanwaltskammer Munich


  • Mass proceedings: Representing a leading international automotive group in a mass litigation for warranty and damage claims relating to the specified exhaust gas values for diesel vehicles.
  • Mass litigation: Representing an international group with companies in Malta and Gibraltar in the legal defence of numerous claims for damages in Germany and Austria in connection with the offering of allegedly unlawful online gambling. 
  • Representing the insolvency administrator of BEV-Bayerische Energieversorgungsgesellschaft against the so-called model declaratory action (i.e. the current form of a class action in Germany) of a consumer protection association.
  • Representing a leading international pharmaceutical and biotechnology company a) in an international product liability dispute involving a large number of claimants as well as b) various D&O and E&O disputes arising from a high-volume transaction in North America.
  • Representing Deutsche Bank AG in connection with the lodging of claims for damages against its former Management Board Chairman, Dr. Rolf Breuer, as a result of the fallout from the Bloomberg interview in 2002 (published).
  • Representing a leading international high-tech company in an ICC arbitration concerning various high-volume disputes arising from a corporate transaction.
  • Representing a leading international IT-service provider in a DIS arbitration against an leading international service provider in the telecommunications industry regarding damages claims in relation to a comprehensive IT outsourcing project.
  • Representing various fund initiators and prospectus issuers in numerous court proceedings for defence against prospectus liability claims in connection with numerous closed-end funds (mass litigation).
  • Representing a leading international reinsurer in a large and complex dispute relating to an event cancellation insurance due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • German
  • English
  • Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Dr. phil. (philosophy), 2006
  • Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) Munich, second state examination (Zweites Staatsexamen),1997
  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, first state examination (Erstes Staatsexamen),1995

    Universities of Würzburg and Munich: Law, philosophy, modern history


  • JUVE Handbooks: Leading name for D&O advice (until the end of this category in 2022) and Dispute Resolution: corporate disputes (until the end of this category in 2020); JUVE Handbook 2023/2024: Frequently recommended for dispute resolution: litigation and product liability, insurance law; "refreshing approach, always has his finger on the pulse", competitor; "very competent", competitor
  • Legal 500 Germany 2023: Leading individual for insurance law: dispute resolution and recommended for dispute resolution: arbitration (including international arbitration) and commercial litigation as well as insurance law: dispute resolution; Arbitration specialist Thomas Gädtke is well versed in D&O liability alongside class actions and mass litigation. With his "enormous personal and professional competence, he manages to order and steer extremely complex and demanding multi-party matters"; This "supreme professional competence", "his special negotiating skills" and his "extensive practical experience are reflected in the quality of his advice at all times and contribute significantly to the development of viable solutions"; "Thomas Gädtke is an absolute expert in insurance law disputes".
  • Chambers Europe Germany 2023: Recommended for insurance; 2022: "Thomas combines extensive know-how on insurance law and excellent case handling." 2021: "He is singled out for his expertise in arbitration and described by clients as the top lawyer for D&O matters. Gädtke is an experienced adviser on cross-border mandates."
  • Handelsblatt in cooperation with Best Lawyers 2023/2024: Recognised as “lawyer of the year” for product liability litigation (2023 and 2021) and recommended for insurance law, product liability litigation, litigation and international arbitration
  • WirtschaftsWoche 2020: Listed as German “Top Lawyer” in the area of insurance law


  • GRUR-Prax, comment on BGH XI ZR 515/21 (forthcoming).
  • Bruck/Möller, Großkommentar zum VVG, 10th edition 2022, D&O insurance (together with Prof. Dr. Christian Armbrüster), AVB D&O.
  • 'Premium payment obligation and obligations of the policyholder', in: Lüttringhaus/Korch (eds.): Transaction insurance, 1st edition 2022.
  • 'D&O Disputes', in: Servatius (ed.), Corporate Litigation, 2nd edition 2021.
  • 'Intra-group enrichment in the case of coverage of prospectus liability claims in E&O insurance?', in: Festschrift on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Faculty of Insurance Sciences at the University of Hamburg.
  • 'Brussels Ia is coming - New rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement in civil and commercial matters from January 2015', in: Dispute Resolution Online Magazine, 12/2014.

(All publications are in German Language)

Prior Experience

Before changing to the Munich office of DLA Piper in 2011, he worked for another large international law firm (2005-2011).


Dr Thomas Gädtke is a lecturer at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich in the area of corporate law.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • German Institution of Arbitration (DIS)
  • German Bar Association (DAV)
  • Association of German Jurists (djt)
  • German Insurance Science Association (DVfVW)