Comment: A leading practice for arbitration and litigation which is on another level in many respects with its work for VW in the diesel scandal. This instruction is viewed as the biggest product liability case the world has ever seen; in Germany alone it is exhausting the capacities of a dozen partners as proceedings in around 50 countries have to be coordinated from a regulatory, civil law and criminal law perspective. In this respect, FBD is entering a whole new dimension not just in terms of legal advice but also in terms of organization, e.g. with the use of legal tech. Besides this, the firm also managed to strengthen its position as defense counsel against claims for cartel damages alongside the strong ?antitrust practice – an instruction that primarily involves Mallmann and Kreifels. The healthy age structure of the partners and the high number of up-and-coming lawyers known in the market are the result of many years of strategic groundwork. Thanks in part to a much expanded associate tier, the practice is visible in future-oriented topics, e.g. supply chain compliance ( ?compliance) and increasing attempts by NGOs to expand the civil liability of corporations to encompass areas such as human rights abuses and climate damage, despite it already being stretched in its core disciplines. In dividend stripping (“cum-ex”) proceedings, which are giving rise to a huge amount of work for competitors, Freshfields was, by contrast, nowhere to be seen due to its previous advice on the disputed financial products.
Strengths: Broad practice with international arbitration practice. Global interdisciplinary team for in-house investigations ( ?compliance).
Recommended: Dr. Christian Duve (“commanding overview in litigation on swaps and derivatives”, client), Dr. Rolf Trittmann, Dr. Thomas Kreifels (“extremely competent in defense against cartel damages”, client), Dr. Boris Kasolowsky (“always well prepared”, competitor), Dr. Michael Rohls (“gets straight down to business but friendly and prudent”, client; “also represents unpopular positions consistently”, competitor), Dr. Martina de Lind van Wijngaarden, Dr. Roman Mallmann (“excellent legal specialist”, competitor), Moritz Becker (“ambitious, dedicated, has the magic touch when dealing with clients”, competitor).
Practice: Litigation in complex ?corporate disputes: post- ?M&A and JV disputes. In ?banking and financial products ( ?debt issues and structured finance) esp. prospectus liability and defense against investor claims. Defense against actions for damages regarding ?antitrust. Also insurance/D&O, ?distribution contracts and in connection with insolvencies. Arbitration in the ?energy sector as well as in plant construction, investment protection. (11 partners, 4 counsel, 70 associates)
Clients: ?? Volkswagen on global scale against civil suits related to diesel scandal and in implementing US settlements; Oman Investment Fund in ICSID proceedings against Bulgaria; Scottish Widows in defense against class action in Germany; BayernLB against Austria due to loan and debt securities concerning Heta; RWE in defense against claim regarding potential liability for climate change and constitutional complaint concerning nuclear phase-out.
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