FRIEDRICH GRAF VON WESTPHALEN & PARTNER

Comment: This litigation practice is respected first and foremost for its work in connection with product liability and D&O. It did a good job of standing the loss of a renowned partner, who left FGvW to set up his own firm. Instructions tend to emerge via Lenz and Laschet’s close ties to the insurance sector. The firm recently managed to strengthen its relationship with Zurich, for instance, when Lenz helped the insurer settle a dispute between Ford and a supplier arising from US arbitration proceedings. The practice was also extremely present in liability matters associated with the final disposal of atomic waste. FGvW asserted itself in a tender here and is advising a specially formed, federally owned company on liability and insurance matters. Beyond the firm’s core areas of D&O and product liability, it is apparent that the litigation experts, which are also prominent e.g. in the strong distribution practice, are not integrated in the firm as a whole.
Strengths: Many years of experience in major claims; advice on D&O coverage and liability.
Recommended: Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz (“extremely prudent, very easy to work with”, client), Carsten Laschet (“strategically skilled”, competitor; esp. product liability).
Practice: In product liability, focus on (international) recalls. Regular advice to ?insurers. Also ?distribution disputes and project-related disputes, also arbitration. (2 partners, 6 associates)
Clients: ?? Federal company for radioactive waste disposal (BGE) on liability and insurance law; Zurich in dispute concerning liability and insurance coverage between Ford and supplier; regular advice to AIG on product liability and insurance coverage, also in connection with the Cologne city archive; supplier in connection with complaint proceedings concerning truck recall by Mercedes-Benz Actros (regional court); Swiss insurer on insurance coverage in connection with gas storage leaks.
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