Cologne is a major economic center separated from Düsseldorf by only 30 miles. What the city lacks in industry it makes up for with its stable Mittelstand and important companies from the chemical and petrochemical industries. Cologne is also a trade fair site and a major insurance center.

Significant developments:

- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer closes its doors in Cologne in order to pool its resources in Düsseldorf, making its lawyers rich pickings for rivals and causing a shift in the balance of power.