THE FIRM Baker & McKenzie is a leading light in both the IT and telecommunications sectors. Its global footprint enables it to handle major international mandates, such as advising Biogen Idec on a global data privacy audit involving 30 jurisdictions. Other matters include advising Hewlett-Packard on an outsourcing deal with E.ON, relating to E.ON's IT systems and computing centre. The firm's telecoms team earns a promotion to the top band following several top-flight mandates in this field, notably advising and representing E-Plus Mobilfunk in connection with the mobile spectrum auction.
Sources say: "The team is adept at co-ordinating across several countries, providing good work and a responsive service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers recognise telecoms head Joachim Scherer as "one of the top lawyers in the market," particularly for questions of public and regulatory law in the telecommunications, energy and transportation sectors. Matthias Scholz enjoys a stellar reputation for IT and IP law relating to the telecoms and media sectors. He recently advised Schott on a second-generation IT outsourcing agreement affecting data centre, networks and communication systems. Christoph Rittweger heads the firm's German-Austrian IT practice group and recently assisted Genpact with implementing a shared services centre for multiple European locations of a DAX 30 company. Wolfgang Fritzemeyer is well known for his expertise in data protection. Recent work includes major IT outsourcing projects for multinational clients. Caroline Heinickel enters the rankings thanks to fantastic client feedback. As one interviewee enthuses, she is "a very smart and focused adviser, who is extremely knowledgeable of telecommunications regulatory issues."
THE FIRM This firm has had a significant boost thanks to its newly opened office in Hamburg plus the addition of a 12-lawyer media team from Hogan Lovells. The firm remains a well-known name in the media sector, advising major players such as ProSiebenSat.1. Telecoms is another notable focus and the team advises on both transactional and regulatory-related work. Recent highlights include advising Motorola on compliance in the field of ICT convergence with roaming obligations. The IT group enjoys a strong market reputation, advising an impressive array of clients and frequently acting alongside international colleagues on multi-jurisdictional projects.
Sources say: "A top-class outfit with exceptional advisers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients praise Stefan Engels as "a very valuable adviser - he has worked for us for a long time and his advice has always been exactly right." Market sources anticipate Engels will provide a strong addition to the firm's media team. Sven-Erik Heun draws enthusiastic feedback for "knowing when we need very detailed advice and when to be more pragmatic. He has sound commercial and legal judgement." Alexander Duisberg leads the firm's German IT outsourcing practice and is lauded by market sources as "an exceptionally well-informed lawyer who is present on many major projects." Clients appreciate Markus Körner 's "calm nature, even when under pressure. He is an excellent lawyer, who always delivers high-quality advice on time." He handles trade mark, competition and design law related to the media sector.
THE FIRM This firm enjoys a prominent standing in technology, especially on outsourcings in the financial services sector. On the telecoms side the team is active on many significant mandates, notably advising Telefónica on the procedure for awarding GSM frequencies. Other highlights include the media team's representation of Netlantic against a proposed video-on-demand joint venture between RTL and ProSiebenSat.1.
Sources say: "The team offers market-leading know-how, experience and value for money." "This is a team that is constantly improving and increasingly visible in the market for major projects."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources highlight Axel Funk as "certainly one of the leading IT experts in the market, and well positioned to deal with large international BPO and ITO matters." Jens Neitzel has broad competition and regulatory experience across a range of industries, including postal, railway, media markets and telecommunications. Pietro Graf Fringuelli comes highly recommended for new media work, especially the exploitation of media content via new technologies. Malte Gruetzmacher advises IT companies, mainly in the context of software transfer, software production and outsourcing agreements. Clients enthuse that he is "like an in-house business adviser to us." Up-and-coming Andreas Heim "is relatively young but provides a very client-oriented service and is always sensitive to our commercial needs," say sources.
THE FIRM DLA Piper has a broad IT practice, combining transactional experience with sector-specific expertise. The firm's extensive global network means that it is well placed to handle multi-jurisdictional work, as evidenced by the team's role on several international data protection risk assessments and compliance programmes for multinational clients.
Sources say: "For IT matters the team is very strong and well organised. It has excellent knowledge and knows exactly what clients need."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Munich-based Jan Geert Meents heads the German IP and technology group and maintains a broad practice in the TMT field, encompassing corporate law, IP and other related disciplines. He is particularly well regarded for his experience in large-scale BPO and ITO projects. Thomas Jansen is the Munich office managing partner and is recognised for his in-depth knowledge of commercial IT contracts, outsourcing agreements and technology transfer agreements.
THE FIRM One of the premier TMT outfits in Germany, Freshfields has exceptional expertise in each of the three areas. The team excels on cross-border mandates and recent work includes advising Deutsche Telekom on its EUR400 million acquisition of a 10% stake in the Greek telecommunications company Hellenic Telecom. On the technology front the firm advised KfW on one of Germany's largest ever IT procurement projects for a public bank. A standout mandate for the media team was advising RTL Group on its attempted acquisition of certain TV and publishing assets of the Dogan group in Turkey.
Sources say: "The team has great legal expertise and is well connected to the regulators. It acts very quickly and always provides top-notch advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Klaus Beucher "is one of the standout media law advisers in the country. A go-to lawyer for the most complex issues," say sources. His broad practice also includes advice to IT and telecoms companies on a range of operational and regulatory matters. Michael Haidinger is a highly respected corporate adviser focused on transactions in the telecommunications, media, IT and energy sectors. Haidinger was recently involved in Liberty Global's EUR3.16 billion acquisition of Kabel Baden-Württemberg. Thomas Tschentscher advises clients on all issues of German administrative and commercial law, with a strong focus on regulated industries. Peers say: "He definitely deserves his excellent reputation." Jochen Dieselhorst maintains a broad practice, encompassing IP, licensing, IT, multimedia, e-commerce, life sciences and biotechnology. He recently advised Eurogate on its IT outsourcing to T-Systems. Head of the firm's patent litigation practice, Peter Chrocziel is sought after by domestic and international technology companies for advice on a wide range of matters, ranging across patents, competition/antitrust and licensing. The "brilliant" Norbert Nolte wins praise for "really caring about his clients." Recent highlights include advising Daimler on the IT aspects of the Tognum acquisition, including transitional services agreements and service level agreements.
THE FIRM This IP, media and technology team handles a broad range of TMT work, including gaming law, production and distribution, and contentious issues. It acts at both a domestic and international level and recent mandates include advising Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt on various IT law issues.
Sources say: "The team has a very pragmatic approach and provides specific, precise advice. It does not make the issue bigger than it needs to be."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Dirk Stolz comes highly recommended for telecoms, with clients regarding him as "a very intelligent lawyer who responds quickly and provides very practical advice."
THE FIRM Commentators remain confident in this firm's capabilities in TMT, despite several departures over the past year. The team handles the broad spectrum of TMT work, and often draws on its international resources for multi-jurisdictional cases. Notable highlights include advising Axel Springer on appeal proceedings before the Federal Administrative Court, regarding a review of the prohibition of its proposed merger with ProSiebenSat.1. On the IT side the firm acts for an impressive line-up of major global clients, such as Amazon.com, eBay and Lockheed Martin.
Sources say: "The team has excellent knowledge of the media industry and is very business-focused."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christoph Wagner co-heads the firm's global TMT industry sector team and is especially sought after for his "strong media industry knowledge and solid understanding of the regulatory environment." Stefan Schuppert advises clients on IT and new media. He is particularly known for handling complex data protection issues. Sources appreciate Andreas Grünwald's regulatory and competition law expertise in the media and telecoms industries. Recent work includes advising Siemens Enterprise Communications on issues related to the introduction of an innovative telephony and data service.
THE FIRM This firm has greatly strengthened its TMT practice thanks to the addition of well-known media and IT expert Wolfgang Büchner, formerly of Hogan Lovells. The team remains highly active in the telecommunications market, notably advising E-Plus Mobilfunk on the acquisition of frequencies in the 4G auction, which involved advice on telecommunications regulatory law, competition law and litigation before the Federal Administrative Court.
Sources say: "A strong team with strong ties to industry."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients laud Wolfgang Büchner as "an exceptional adviser" for both regulatory and transactional advice in the media and technology sectors. Regulatory law expert Holger Neumann primarily focuses on the telecommunications and aviation sectors. He recently advised Verizon on several cases before the German regulator in respect of mobile termination rates of Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile.
THE FIRM This boutique offers advice across the full spectrum of commercial and general business law, with a clear focus on media, IT and telecoms law. It is well equipped to handle domestic and pan-European matters thanks to its offices in Düsseldorf and Vienna.
Sources say: "The firm is outstanding for telecommunications and internet issues, and offers excellent value."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Highly respected regulatory lawyer Martin Geppert is active in the telecoms and energy sectors. "He is very present in the telecommunications market for regulatory issues," say sources. Clients enthuse about the "excellent" Marc Schütze, whose broad-ranging public law practice covers competition and cartel law, and regulatory law.
THE FIRM Despite its compact size, this team acts for some of the most important German companies in the TMT sector, including Deutsche Telekom, RTL and ProSiebenSat.1. Standout mandates include advising Deutsche Telekom on drafting a framework agreement with Turner Broadcasting covering German and Eastern European IPTV/cable-TV-broadcasting and video-on-demand services.
Sources say: "The team is very responsive and deals well with time pressure. It provides watertight advice, analysing risks very well and setting out solutions clearly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Co-head of the German TMT practice group Ralf Weisser impresses clients, who are "very happy to have him on our side rather than on the opponent's side. He is not overly aggressive in negotiations but is extremely effective." Weisser also co-heads the firm's licensing, technology and media affinity group. Fellow group co-head Wolfgang von Frentz is a highly respected commercial litigator, whom media and technology sector clients seek out for advice on complex projects, regulatory matters and commercial contract negotiations.
THE FIRM This firm remains an authority in IT and media law, and boasts one of the largest teams in the market. Media finance is an important focus of the group and it frequently co-operates with the firm's London office on international financings. Highlights include advising Universal Pictures on all legal issues relating to European feature film productions that are co-produced with German partners. On the IT front the firm has set up a number of internal groups in response to market demands, including an outsourcing and ITO group, an e-commerce group and a dedicated data protection group. Notable mandates include advising CBR Fashion Holding on setting up an online shop for several of its brands, including Street One, Cecil and OneTouch.
Sources say: "Noerr plays a critical role in structuring our agreements and co-operates very well with our in-house counsel. The lawyers are fast, responsive and effective negotiators."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Bräutigam is a market-leading IT law specialist and has tremendous experience advising clients on computer and data processing law, as well as on corporate transactions in the technology sector. Johannes Kreile remains one of the most prominent media copyright lawyers, active for clients across all sections of the media. He has in-depth experience in advising both domestic and international TV and film production companies. Joachim Schrey advises domestic and international clients from a broad range of industries on complex IT projects and issues of IT compliance. The highly respected Alexander Ritvay acts on many of the team's M&A transactions. Ritvay is also well known for cross-border financing and restructuring. Sources note Martin Diesbach's broad media and entertainment law practice, which encompasses copyright law, personality rights, broadcasting law, gambling law and film and TV law. Daniel Rücker is highly sought after for his data protection expertise. He co-ordinates the firm's new data protection group.
THE FIRM This four-partner media, communications and technology group continues to enjoy an excellent reputation in the media market and recently opened an office in Munich, thus extending its domestic reach. The team advises an impressive number of high-profile clients, such as Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures and ProSiebenSat.1, and comes particularly recommended for cross-border mandates. Recent highlights include working alongside colleagues in London and Madrid on advising key clients including Sony Pictures and CBS on the liberalisation of EU product placement rules.
Sources say: "The team is very responsive and the lawyers' expertise in this field is second to none."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Stefan Lütje has a strong standing in the film and television industries, advising on a broad range of issues from film financing to restructuring and securitisation issues. Georg von Wallis heads the firm's tax practice, with a strong focus on film finance and distribution issues. He is also frequently involved in M&A transactions within the media sector.
THE FIRM This firm offers highly specialised advice in the telecommunications, media, energy and healthcare sectors. The six-partner telecoms and media team acts for an impressive roster of clients, recently representing Vodafone against Deutsche Telekom in a claim for damages for abuse of a dominant market position. Other leading clients include Axel Springer, Sky Deutschland and eBay.
Sources say: "The team does not hunt for every last billable hour, but seeks to add value where its clients need it. Its professional efficiency is very impressive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients regard Jan Hegemann as being "in a class of his own" in the areas of press, media and copyright law. He advises Bloomberg on an ongoing basis in relation to press and media matters. Kornelius Kleinlein has significant experience in telecommunications and competition law. He recently represented and advised key client Vodafone on a host of regulatory matters.
THE FIRM This firm fields one of the largest dedicated IT teams in Germany, with 13 partners based throughout the firm's six offices. The team attracts starring roles in many of the market's most important IT cases, recently advising Microsoft on data protection issues in all product areas. The firm also enjoys an excellent reputation in the media sector, advising on both traditional media as well as innovative multimedia projects. Notable mandates include advising Deutsche Post on the creation and operation of an online journalistic platform.
Sources say: "It offers excellent, pragmatic advice. A very strong practice overall."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christian Frank comes recommended for complex domestic and international technology-related transactions. He counts Fujitsu and Toshiba amongst his key clients. Kai Westerwelle is noted for his expertise across all fields of IT law. He recently advised ICBC on its entry into the online banking market, involving regulatory issues and data protection. Gregor Schmid's wide-ranging practice includes IT, e-commerce, copyright and media law. Clients value his "fast, reliable advice, which considers both the legal and economic concerns."
THE FIRM This leading TMT team is especially prominent in IT and outsourcing transactions within the financial services sector. The firm also wins praise for its telecommunications practice, which covers both transactional and regulatory work. The firm has tremendous international capability and is frequently involved in significant multi-jurisdictional mandates. A notable highlight includes co-operating with the firm's Silicon Valley office to provide ongoing advice to Facebook on various data protection laws and regulatory issues related to the German website.
Sources say: "Exceptional lawyers who provide valuable, commercial advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jost Kotthoff is a prominent player in IT and outsourcing transactions, and has a particular focus on the financial services industry. Clients enthuse about his "exceptional knowledge in this area." Detlev Gabel maintains his activity in domestic and international ITO and BPO transactions. Sources describe him as "highly skilled in both technical work and client care." A highly regarded regulatory and public law expert, Norbert Wimmer focuses on the infrastructure and transport, media and telecommunications sectors. He recently represented the Berlin-Brandenburg State Media Authority in a dispute against a radio station regarding the tendering of a licence.
Market observers attribute the increased presence of Kleiner Rechtsanwälte in the telecommunications market to the arrival of Grace Nacimiento
from B·B·O·R·S Kreuznacht. Naciemento has a well-known public and administrative law practice with a particular focus on telecoms regulatory law. Clients appreciate Piet Bubenzer
of Klinkert Zindel Partner, saying: "He is always available and his work is always on time."
His previous music industry experience is also a big draw for clients, who say: "He knows exactly what we expect from him."
Sources hail Matthias Lausen
of Lausen Rechtsanwälte as "a leading authority on media copyright."
Other areas of his practice include software, digital media, film and radio broadcasting issues. Following the dissolution of Bartsch & Partner, Michael Bartsch
founded Karlsruhe-based commercial firm Bartsch Rechtsanwälte. He wins praise for his contractual law expertise, particularly in IT. At Schreiber Hahn Sommerlad Rechtsanwälte, Klaus Sommerlad
draws praise for his breadth of practice, which covers general commercial law, product liability, IP and IT. Alexander Niethammer
of Heisse Kursawe Eversheds advises on commercial and IT law, impressing clients with his "very pragmatic and solution-driven approach."
IT law expert Martin Braun
specialises in outsourcing and data protection law at WilmerHale. He acts for both clients and developers on the full spectrum of IT law issues. Rupert Vogel
of Vogel & Partner is a well-known IT law specialist with a focus on complex IT contracts, licensing and project management. He also comes recommended for copyright and media law, as well as French civil and commercial law. At Schulte Riesenkampff, clients enthuse about Andreas Lober
's expertise in computer and video gaming, highlighting his "incredible knowledge in this field, providing very quick, hands-on and pragmatic advice." Michael Rath
of Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH specialises in IT law and competition law. "He always prepares thoroughly and delivers good advice,"
say clients. Raimund Schütz
of Loschelder Rechtsanwälte has market-leading expertise of the regulated industries. Sources hail his knowledge of domestic and EU law relating to the TMT and energy sectors. Nadine Herrmann
recently joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan from Allen & Overy. Sources say "she is an impressive lawyer with notable technical expertise."