Our experts in the field of international trade specialize in comprehensive advisory services in a variety of industries and sectors, relating to national and international contract, commercial and distribution law. We use our expertise to support clients in designing and legally structuring distribution systems and in developing, negotiating and performing commercial contracts in a national and international context.

We support our clients throughout the entire supply chain, from sourcing and manufacturing to distribution. Examples of this include advising on complex framework and supply agreements, distribution systems and their (re)structuring, logistics, leasing, cooperation, outsourcing agreements, and standard agreements and terms. We are also often involved in advising on operating agreements in connection with corporate transactions. Precisely because there are so many points of contact between this area and other fields of law, our clients benefit from our extensive experience and the seamless and proven cooperation with specialists from other fields and jurisdictions. Our strong sector-specific knowledge means that we are familiar with the essential legal and commercial challenges and risks, and we know the most suitable solutions – whether complex transactions or day-to-day issues are involved. Our clients value not only our legal expertise but also our colleagues’ business-oriented way of thinking.

Regulation of business life is placing ever-greater demands on public sector contracting authorities and companies. We can support our clients in meeting these challenges of public business law. Identifying potential risks and solutions for managing them at an early stage is every bit a part of our advisory services as is the gauging of business opportunities in the regulated environment.

DLA Piper’s public business law/regulation area comprises a network of more than 380 lawyers worldwide. By constantly monitoring regulatory developments, we can consistently provide our clients with up-to-date information at the earliest possible stage. In this way, we can anticipate and react to impending regulatory changes. Rapid and efficient legal advisory services in all regulated fields is extremely important to companies and business combinations. Our clients – which include private, public and listed companies, public institutions and regulators – value our regional strength and local presence as well as our global resources and experience.

Our team members possess extensive expertise in all areas regulated internationally, Europe-wide and nationally.

Our government affairs team exerts influence on decisions by parliaments and governmental authorities, especially in the context of our Global Government Relationship programme. We draw up compliance plans both on a case-by-case basis and by employing proven solutions. We assist our clients in the event of legal disputes or investigations and uphold their interests vis-à-vis national, European and international authorities, institutions and courts. Our rapid response team gives our clients immediate access to a competent contact at any time, even in emergencies.

Our team is closely integrated with our international and national experts in other fields of law. When dealing with transactions, we cooperate closely with our M&A team. There is also a continuous exchange with our IPT group in terms of both product requirements and subsidies. We also work closely with our colleagues involved in insurance law. Furthermore, there are intensive points of contact with our teams in the areas of distribution, energy and criminal law.

You can benefit from our experience when it comes to harmonizing your business objectives with legal parameters at home and abroad.

Focus areas

Our advisory services cover the following areas in particular:

  • International commercial and distribution law, including CISG and Incoterms
  • International distribution systems, including authorized dealers, commercial agency and franchising agreements, and distribution antitrust law
  • Regulatory requirements for international distribution
  • International logistical and transport agreements
  • Infrastructure and transportation law (aviation, ports, railroads, ports)
  • German and European environmental law
  • Product safety law and product liability
  • Medical devices law and pharmaceuticals law
  • Subsidy law and EU state aid law
  • International trade law and customs law
  • Waste disposal law
  • Law on remediation of contaminated sites and on waterways
  • Chemicals law, especially REACH
  • Technology law
  • Occupational safety law
  • Law on public charges and private remuneration
  • Emissions trading law and protection against noxious intrusions
  • Privatization, re-municipalization and nationalization
  • Public construction and project approval law
  • European and international law
  • Constitutional and municipal economic law
  • Public contract law
  • Government relations, monitoring of legislation at a national, European and international level
  • Representation before governmental authorities and courts at a national and EU level and before international organizations


  • Advised an eastern European airport investor on the privatization of airports in Eastern Europe and Asia (hundreds of millions of euros)
  • Advised German airports on developing fee scales
  • Advised a German state on the privatization of a university hospital (hundreds of millions of euros)
  • Advised investors on the privatization of public utilities, supply and disposal systems, and airports, as well as in the area of health care
  • Advised a strategic investor (private equity firm) on acquiring interests in a chain of clinics (hundreds of millions of euros)
  • Prepared an expert opinion comparing product legislation in 21 countries for the Contergan Foundation
  • Advised a chemicals group on questions of chemicals law and waste disposal law in seven EU countries
  • Represented ground-handling service providers in proceedings before administrative courts and the German Federal Administrative Court
  • Advised and represented a company in the waste disposal sector regarding allegedly illegal shipments of waste
  • Advised a German state on EU state aid matters and on questions of cooperation with another state
  • Represented the Federal Republic of Germany in a government liability case before German civil courts and the ECJ (EUR 280 million in dispute)
  • Advised and represented an international food manufacturer regarding a chemical accident involving an emergency alert with regard to regulatory requirements and the creation of a new state of the art
  • Advised companies in various sectors on product safety and liability law
  • Advised and represented an industrial company as well as various ministries and associations before the ECJ in matters of Community law
  • Advised companies from the energy, chemicals, automotive and construction materials sectors regarding health, safety and the environment
  • Advised various companies, including insurance companies, on international trade law


  • 2012 JUVE Awards – Firm of the Year for Compliance Investigations