Our Germany-based lawyers concerned with litigation and arbitration have many years of experience dealing with business disputes in a wide range of technical and economic fields. This allows us to provide effective advice to our clients with a clear strategy, even in complex and sensitive legal disputes.

Our clients are as diverse as the cases in which we advise them. We represent leading international companies from industry and from the insurance, financial and service sectors, as well as creditors and administrators in insolvency proceedings. But we also serve small- and medium-sized businesses and governmental entities in legal disputes arising from contracts with their suppliers and customers.

In a globalized world, disputes often transcend borders. We are well-versed in the particular requirements of procedural law that might be encountered in this context. If necessary, we can involve colleagues from our international team and apply a coordinated approach to legal disputes that are simultaneously taking place in a multitude of countries.

Our litigators cooperate closely with specialists in other fields as needed. In this way, we can offer our clients optimal advice and support through teams tailored to each individual case.

We handle disputes before ordinary courts as well as arbitral tribunals. Our expertise in arbitration law includes the drafting of arbitration clauses in contracts, support in selecting appropriate arbitrators, conducting proceedings in German or English, and recognizing and enforcing arbitral awards – or defending against them, as the case may be. In doing so, we can draw on a rich archive of earlier proceedings conducted according to the rules of a variety of arbitration institutions as well as ad hoc arbitration proceedings.

Whenever possible, we provide advisory services even before a potential future conflict has arisen. Pre-trial correspondence between the parties is often what decides the outcome of legal disputes. In this lead-up stage, we are able to set directions that are critical to our clients’ success.

Even if avoidance is the best solution to legal conflicts, contentious disputes are sometimes the only way to safeguard one’s interests; other times they are imposed by the other party. Our guiding principle is to manage impending legal disputes as early as possible and to make sure at all times that our clients are clear about the risks and opportunities of the actions available to them, and the associated costs.

Compliance

Compliance has lately become a key challenge for businesses in all fields. Companies must avoid liability risks and reputational damage.

DLA Piper has one of the biggest and best compliance groups operating internationally, with outstanding experience. We can advise your company worldwide in all relevant fields of legal risk – such as corporate criminal law, antitrust law, banking regulation and data protection law. Our compliance services also include public commercial law, such as in the areas of safety, health and environment (SHE compliance), and international commercial law. In providing advisory services, we do not limit ourselves to individual fields of law – we keep our eye on the full range of your company’s requirements with regard to risk.

One of the focuses of our advisory services in this context is comprehensive advice on pension arrangements, in particular for international companies. We can harmonize and help to coordinate the legal and cultural requirements that may be different in other parts of the world.

We will identify the risk fields that your company should be mindful of, and we will support you in implementing compliance measures, such as drafting policies and manuals, conducting training courses, providing online training tools and clarifying questions of current interest.

Investigations/representation before authorities and courts

Our advisory services are not only preventive, however; we are also available for crisis situations. This includes investigations by governmental authorities, such as public prosecutors or antitrust authorities, notifying employees or business partners of specific suspicions raised against them, and industrial accidents and product liability cases. It is often appropriate in such cases to conduct internal investigations so as to clear up the suspicion or be able to defend the company. We have an excellent reputation and many years of experience in conducting internal investigations, including in complex and international cases. When examining electronic data, we also use the latest and most powerful IT forensics that are suited to the specific case.

We can support your company in crisis situations by furnishing a team of advisers with outstanding expertise in the relevant fields of law, who will develop a comprehensive defence strategy as needed and can represent the company before government authorities and coordinate its defence.

Focus areas

  • Labour law
  • Banking and financial markets law
  • Compliance
  • Data protection law
  • Commercial law
  • Insolvency and reorganization
  • IT and telecommunications
  • Antitrust disputes
  • Corporate law
  • Cross-border legal disputes
  • National and international arbitration
  • Public commercial law
  • Regulatory law
  • Patent disputes
  • Product liability
  • Pharmaceuticals and health
  • Tax law
  • Environmental law
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Enforcement and asset protection
  • Competition law
  • Corporate criminal law

Experience

Litigation

  • Represented an international commercial airport in a state aid and antitrust dispute relating to an exclusive use clause for a hotel company

Arbitration

  • Represented an energy company in ICC arbitration proceedings situated in Zurich against a supplier relating to the delivery of defective products in connection with power plant projects in Europe
  • Represented a former member of a regional bank’s management board in ad hoc arbitration proceedings against the bank seeking compensation for losses in the hundreds of millions of euros that the bank allegedly incurred in connection with a financial market transaction approved in late 2007
  • Represented the Kingdom of Thailand in the international dispute with the Walter Bau-AG insolvency administrator concerning enforcement of an arbitral award obtained on the basis of a German-Thai investment protection treaty
  • Represented a private bank in interim injunction proceedings against the seller of shares in a food sector company concerning a contested disbursement to the seller of EUR 30 million held in trust
  • Represented a German DAX 30 company with international operations in defending against alleged claims based on purported infringements of German and U.S. copyright law
  • Represented a Swiss ingredients supplier in the food industry in civil liability disputes in connection with an action for damages brought by a German manufacturer owing to the purported contamination of intermediate products and product recalls
  • Represented a financial institution with international operations in several legal disputes with the insolvency administrator of a German department store chain relating to claims and counterclaims from failed financing
  • Represented a municipal gas distribution company in ad hoc arbitration proceedings with a major gas supplier relating to price adjustments (approx. EUR 250 million in dispute)
  • Advised the buyer of an Internet platform for travel bookings in arbitration proceedings with the sellers relating to adjustment of the purchase price
  • Represented an Austrian bankruptcy trustee against the administrator of the German holding company with regard to claims from rescission and a prohibited disbursement totalling around EUR 100 million
  • Represented an international consortium in review proceedings under public procurement law relating to a licence to award contracts for public works by the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Represented an international confectioner in German attachment proceedings, enforcement matters and proceedings on damages against a group of perpetrators in connection with the deliberate negotiation of disadvantageous terms of contract and kickback payments

Compliance/Investigations

  • Advised an international listed group of companies in connection with suspicion of cartel agreements and crimes committed by employees (internal investigation and defence of the company)
  • Advised a listed group of companies on formulating and introducing a worldwide compliance programme
  • Advised an international group of companies on formulating international policies on bribery and corruption and on anticompetitive agreements, including training
  • Advised an international listed company regarding suspicions of the disclosure of trade and business secrets (internal investigations, defence in the preliminary proceedings, formulating new policies and corporate legal dispute)
  • Advised an international listed company regarding a serious industrial accident (internal investigations, defending against investigative authorities, representation before regulatory authorities and revising internal policies)
  • Advised an insurance company about criminal, regulatory and civil law aspects of compliance in connection with cooperating with insurance brokers
  • Advised international companies on European and national requirements for specific products in the apparel and electronics industries, including the development of a strategy on possible claims from violations of those requirements
  • Advised an international company on the worldwide introduction of policies on conduct during searches and seizures, including training

Recognition

  • 2012 JUVE Award for Compliance Investigations