With more than 120 attorneys, GvW Graf von Westphalen is one of Germany’s largest independent law firms. The firm’s client base is the internationally active German Mittelstand and large multinational corporations with business interests in central Europe. With its German offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, GvW is represented in all major German business centers. The Shanghai office serves the clients regarding their business dealings in China and also meets the increasing demands of Chinese companies for legal advice when entering the German and European markets. The Brussels office underscores the relevance of the firm’s EU law practice.
Banking and Banking Supervision
Commercial Criminal Law and Tax Criminal
Employment and Labor
Foreign Trade and Customs
Insolvency and Restructuring
IP, IT and Media
Law on Food and Animal Feed
Mergers and Acquisitions
Real Estate and Construction
State Aid and Subsidies
There are significant changes in the German Act on notification of conditions governing an employment relationship (“Nachweisgesetz“) as of 1 August – companies are at risk of fines. Click here for a letter from GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany) for additional details. Please forward this information to your clients who have employees in Germany.
GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany) announced that there are significant changes in the German Act on notification of conditions governing an employment relationship (“Nachweisgesetz“) as of 1 August – companies are at risk of fines. Click here for a letter with additional details. Please forward this information to your clients who have employees in Germany.
January 2022: GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany) announced Melanie Eilers and Dr. Dominic Köstner as Equity Partners. Melanie is a specialist in private construction and architects’ law, advising on property developer law and construction claims. Dominic is admitted to the bar in Germany and has been working at the firm’s Shanghai office since 2017. The firm also shared Christof Kleinmann and Dr. Robert Theissen were confirmed as Co-Managing Partners of the firm for another two years, respectively, and Duesseldorf Partner Dr. Bettina Meyer-Hofmann was appointed as a new member of the Partner Council, joining current Council members Dr. Ronald Steiling and David Wende. Additionally, five ‘homegrown players’ of the firm were appointed as Associate Partners: Dr. Michael Herold advises companies, associations, and the public sector on IT and data protection legal matters as well as on current legal questions of digitalisation; Uli Hochdorfer specializes in complex Directors & Officers and Professional Indemnity liability, and advises managers, auditors, and tax consulting firms on liability issues; Dr. Michael Kleiber focuses on public procurement, constitutional as well as commercial administrative and administrative procedure law; Laurens Klinkert works in the Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions area, advising in particular on cross-border transactions (strategic Mergers & Acquisitions deals as well as venture capital and private equity); and Moritz Koch is a member of the Construction Law team, providing expertise in private construction and architects’ law.
November 2021: GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany) has advised all shareholders of CORE SE on the sale of their shares to the German subsidiary of the US-American EPAM Systems, Inc. CORE SE is a Berlin based technology think tank and specializes in IT transformation projects and develops solutions with a focus on IT strategy und IT architecture. Under the lead of partners Dr Ritesh Rajani (Hamburg) and Dr Sven Donner (Berlin), the shareholders of CORE SE were advised on this M&A transaction by a team consisting of Jan Hüniken (Frankfurt), Laurens Klinkert, Gregor Mertens (both Hamburg), Lisa Maria Weyer, Sophia Volk (both Berlin; all Corporate/M&A), Arnd Böken (IT Law; Berlin) and Christian Kusulis (Antitrust; Frankfurt). Additionally, the shareholders of leading German drone developer and manufacturer AirRobot have sold 100 percent of their shares to Norwegian technology company Nordic Unmanned (Euronext Oslo «NUMND»). The transaction is subject to Investment Control Approval from German authorities and is expected to take place before year end. GvW advised the shareholders of AirRobot on this transaction through Titus Walek (lead, M&A), Jan Hüniken (M&A), Dr Michael Engel (tax), Karsten Kujath (Employment), Dr Joachim Mulch (IP) and Marian Niestedt (Foreign Trade). Carsten Beisheim joined the firm from the Werhahn conglomerate where he last served as Head of Group Compliance, Legal, and Data Protection including information security. He will be working for GvW out of the firm’s Düsseldorf and Stuttgart offices.
June 2021: GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany) is advising the BGE on many aspects of procedures for a search of a repository site for high-level radioactive waste, ranging from administrative and procedural issues to specific questions regarding the interpretation and application of the GeolDG. Advising is a team across several offices, headed by Dr. Sigrid Wienhues and including the following further team members: Dr. Carsten Bittner (deputy lead, both of Hamburg), Juliane Hofmann (Berlin), Jana Gretschel (Munich) as well as Jennifer Wagner, Nadine Höhn, Nora von Laer, Dr. Stefanie Ramsauer and Dr. Ronald Steiling (Hamburg). Also, GvW remains in the lead for the ranking in customs and excise tax in the JUVE Manual for Tax Law with a 5-star rating and gains a strong rating in tax law. “No other law firm is represented as frequently at proceedings at German and international courts of law – including those dealing with fundamental questions,” says the new edition of the manual. GvW advised Scienta Scientific AB of Uppsala, Sweden, on its acquisition of the German company ENVINET GmbH. ENVINET is the leading manufacturer of environmental radiation monitoring networks. GvW advised Scienta Scientific through a team headed by Dr. Marco Zessel and further made up of Jan Hüniken (both M&A), Karsten Kujath (Employment Law), Christian Kusulis (Competition Law), Andrea Torka (Finance), Dr. Bettina Schmitt-Rady (Real Estate Law), Dr. Kristofer Bott (IP), Felix Prozorov-Bastians (Commercial), Dr. Michael Engel (Tax Law), Tom Kleine Jäger (IT Law, all of Frankfurt a.M.), Marian Niestedt (Customs and Foreign Trade Law), Christian Triebe (IP), Renata Rehle (State Aid and Subsidies, all of Hamburg) and Dr. Joachim Mulch (IP, Dusseldorf). GvW continues to move forward on its fast-track path of strategic and dynamic growth. The latest additions to the firm are equity partners Dr. Maximilian Emanuel Elspas, Dr. Sebastian Heim, and Dr. Axel von Walter, who are joining the firm with their teams from Beiten Burkhardt and will strengthen the Energy and Digitalization & Technology Focus Areas. Dr. Maximilian Emanuel Elspas is a seasoned expert in the energy sector and is set to head GvW’s Energy Practice Group. Working out of Munich, an international patent hub, Dr. Sebastian Heim and his team provide their clients with highly specialized advice in patent law, trade secret protection, and on matters of technology-related IP law. Together with his team, Dr. Axel von Walter advises on all aspects of digitalization and electronic business models. He also lectures media and information law at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and is renowned for his work in data protection. OQmented GmbH, the technology leader for MEMS-based VR/AR, LiDAR, and 3D-camera solutions, has successfully concluded a multi-million-euro seed financing round. The international consortium of investors is led by Vsquared Ventures and includes BioNTech supervisory board chairman Helmut Jeggle and a renowned Chinese tech entrepreneur. GvW Graf von Westphalen advises Vsquared Ventures on this financing round.
March 2021: GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany) advised ChyronHego on the acquisition of the weather data and weather services business of US-based business information services provider DTN. ChyronHego acquired the shares in the company through an asset deal. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. GvW also advised Invesco, acting as lead advisors on all insolvency and restructuring issues associated with the insolvency proceedings over the assets of TOG. TOG is one of the biggest insolvency cases in the hotel industry since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Dr. Thomas Schuster joined the firm to support clients with their issues at the intersection of public and IT/data protection law. Having worked at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the German Federal Constitutional Court [Bundesverfassungsgericht], Dr. Schuster has specialized in public data and information law. In addition to the subject of eGovernment, Dr. Schuster works above all in the area of classic administrative (litigation) law and constitutional law.
December 2020: GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany) continues to expand its IP expertise with the recruitment of Nicolas Dumont as Equity Partner. Mr. Dumont’s practice focuses on patent litigation and product privacy, particularly in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Göttingen and regularly advises medical device manufacturers in injunction proceedings relating to patent infringements. GvW has also promoted Corinna Lindau and Dr. Hartmut Henninger to Equity Partners effective 1 January 2021. For the fifth time, the firm was shortlisted for “Law Firm of the Year: Germany” in the 2020 edition of The Lawyer European Awards. As in previous years, The Lawyer selected a shortlist of law firms from 15 jurisdictions and territories across Europe. Other SCG Legal firms on the shortlist include Lydian (Belgium), Szecskay Attorneys at law (Hungary,) and Moroglu Arseven (Turkey).
October 2020: GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany) opened its sixth German office in Stuttgart, the firm is now located in all major German commercial cities.
July 2020: GvW Graf von Westphalen‘s telecommunications team has produced a synopsis of the new telecommunications law. In Jeffries Expert Briefing, Ms. Nacimiento illustrates the relevance for the digital economy. Click here to learn more. Also at GvW, they have developed a new Tool to check reporting obligations in cross-border business transactions (DAC 6). The free Tool helps you to identify the reporting obligations. Here you can find the link to the Tool.
June 2020: GvW Graf von Westphalen has advised Miron Technologies on the acquisition of the personal dosimetry service facility (“AWST”) from Helmholtz Zentrum München Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH) („HMGU“) in the context of an auction process. Click here to read the full press release. Also, GvW Graf von Westphalen has advised the technology company Ubimax in the successful closing of a Series B financing round. Fielmann Ventures GmbH is joining as a new investor. In addition, one of the existing investors, Westcott LLC (Dallas, Texas), is increasing its stake in Ubimax. Click here to read the full press release.
March 2020: Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen has bundled its expertise in the insurance industry to form a new insurance specialty group. Johan van der Veer, who specializes in insurance law, insurance supervisory law and insurance distribution, heads the new practice group together with Dr. Wolfram Desch. In addition to insurance companies and insurance intermediaries, such as insurance offices, brokers and broker pools, the firm’s clients also include technology companies, also known as insuretechs. The group also advises industrial clients in all legal matters related to the insurance industry.
February 2020: Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen has named Karsten Kujath, Felix Wolf and Dr. Andreas Wolowski equity partners. Mr. Kujath focuses his practice on employment law. Mr. Wolf advises German and international clients in purchasing and selling businesses, financing rounds and joint ventures, as well as in corporate law. He is also an expert in Franco-German legal matters and heads the firm’s French desk. Dr. Wolowski specializes in administrative law, with an emphasis on public construction law. In addition, Martin Knoll, Birgit Lotz, Stephen-Oliver Nündel and Johannes Räther have been appointed associate partners. Messrs. Knoll and Räther are members of the firm’s construction and real estate practice. Ms. Lotz specializes in public contracting law and in advising the healthcare sector. Mr. Nündel is a litigator whose practice focuses primarily on prospectus liability and directors’ and officers’ liability and compliance. Finally, Ming Yi has joined the firm’s China practice as its newest local partner.
November 2019: ÄHF Immobilienfonds GbR has sold Ärztehaus Friedrichshain to Canada’s NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT. By deal volume, the transaction is one of the largest in the asset class of ambulant health centers in Germany. With this health center, NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT will further expand its portfolio of healthcare properties in Germany. The Canadian company invests worldwide in healthcare properties such as clinics, hospitals and medical centers, primarily in its main markets of Canada, Brazil, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen provided legal advice on the sale and liquidation of the fund under the leadership of Dr. Lorenz Czajka. Others on the team include Dr. Sven Donner, Johannes Räther, Dr. Holger Kühl and Dr. Magnus Dorweiler.
August 2019: Germany member firm Graf von Westphalen advised U.K.-based Redgate Software Group on its acquisition of Flyway, the biggest cross-platform database migration tool. Headquartered in Cambridge, England, Redgate develops software used by over 800,000 IT professionals and is the leading Microsoft SQL Server tools vendor. More than 100,000 companies, including 91% of companies in the Fortune 100, use Redgate tools. Partner Dr. Ritesh Rajani led the acquisition team, which included partner Christian Mayer-Giessen, partner Dr. Christian Triebe, partner Lutz Leonard Lamprecht, associate partner Karsten Kujath, associate partner Dr. Maren Mönchmeyer, associate partner Johan van der Veer and associate Laurens Klinkert. Also at Graf von Westphalen, another team led by partner Dr. Ritesh Rajani made up of partners Christian Kusulis, Christian Mayer-Giessen, Dr. Joachim Mulch, Marian Niestedt and Dr. Patrick Wolff and associates Laurens Klinkert and Sven-Erik Holm advised shareholders of Insitumed GmbH on the sale of the company to Key Surgical. Hamburg-based Insitumed GmbH is a leading supplier of flexible medical endoscopy. The acquisition is subject to closing.
July 2019: Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen advised Morgan Stanley on the sale of its participation in DocuWare, which was acquired by Ricoh last month. A leading provider of content services software, DocuWare operates in 90 countries with headquarters in Germany and the U.S. The GvW team advising Morgan Stanley on this transaction was made up of mergers and acquisitions partner Titus Walek and Zehnah Sino, an associate in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice group. GvW Graf von Westphalen also advised IVARIO, Germany’s leading online platform for drinking water testing, on its sale to the GBA Group. The firm’s team, which was led by partner Dr. Ritesh Rajani, included Dr. Christian Triebe, Dr. Malte Evers and Sven Erik Holm. GBA was advised by Fieldfisher.
June 2019: Germany member firm Graf von Westphalen last month represented the shareholders of Simi Reality Motion Systems in its sale to ZF Friedrichshafen. Simi specializes in image-based 3D systems to identify and analyze human movement, a critical element in integrated safety for driverless vehicles. ZF is one of the largest suppliers of automotive safety technology with passenger protection systems such as safety belts, airbags and sensor-equipped steering wheels. ZF is currently in 40 countries with 149,000 employees at over 200 locations. The GvW team was composed of Titus Walek, Felix Wolf, Zehnah Sino, Dr. Philipp Wiesenecker, Julia Kusmijtschuk, Dr. Kristofer Bott, Dr. Frank Tschesche and Dr. Michael Engel.
May 2019: Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen has advised EXHEAT Group on its acquisition of the German SEICO Group. The UK-based EXHEAT Group is a world class provider of hazardous area heating and control solutions with extensive experience globally in electrical, mechanical and thermal design. With over 20 years of experience serving operators and contractors in the design and manufacture of electric process heaters and control systems, EXHEAT’s products can be found in a diverse number of applications in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. The SEICO Group is a Germany-based manufacturer of industrial heating and cooling systems with over 80 years of experience. Led by Hamburg-based partner Dr. Ritesh Rajani, the EXHEAT Group team included partners Andrea Torka, Dr. Christian Triebe, and Dr. Frank Tschesche; associate partners Marius Bodenstedt, Dr. Maren Mönchmeyer, Johan van der Veer and Dr. Andreas Wolowski; and associates Laurens Klinkert and Dr. Michael Engel.
February 2019: The Lawyer has shortlisted Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen and Ireland member firm Mason Hayes & Curran as the 2019 Germany Law Firm of the Year and the 2019 Ireland Law Firm of the Year, respectively. Finalists are selected by an independent panel composed of both in-house and outside counsel from across Europe. Winners of The Lawyer European Awards 2019 will be announced at a ceremony March 19th at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
January 2019: Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen represented DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung subsidiary DFS International Business Services in its recent acquisition of a 23.6% stake in Unifly NV, becoming the largest shareholder of the Belgian software development company whose operational system enables unmanned aircraft systems to be integrated into air traffic management. Founded in Antwerp in 2015, Unifly NV operates in Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Denmark, Malawi, China, Japan, and the United States. Belgium member firm Lydian also took part in the transaction, advising on matters pertinent to Belgian law. Also at Graf von Westphalen, Grace Nacimiento has joined the firm’s Düsseldorf office as a partner in its telecommunications practice. She will be joined by Carolin Küll, who will serve as counsel. Ms. Nacimiento’s practice will focus primarily on such issues as spectrum management, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things.
December 2018: Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen has advised Plant Systems & Services in the acquisition of Veltec Group from Leadec Group. The closing of the transaction is still subject to antitrust clearance. PSS was advised by a team from various offices led by Düsseldorf partner Dr. Malte Hiort (corporate/M&A), including partners Dr. Frank Tschesche (co-leader, tax law), Christian Kusulis (antitrust law), Dr. Wolfram Desch (restructuring), Dr. Malte Evers (employment law), Marian Niestedt (export control), Dr. Christoph Hauptvogel (pensions), associate partner Dr. Felix Wolf (corporate/M&A) and senior associates Dr. Michael Engel (tax law) and Anton Kastenmüller (employment law). Leadec was advised by Freshfields. The acquisition of Veltec by PSS is the latest matter in which GvW has acted in a mid-cap transaction in the industrial sector. The firm was recently named one of the three most well-known German medium-size law firms for M&A transactions.
September 2018: Germany member firm Graf von Westphalen recently advised the Midwich Group on the acquisition of Nuremberg-based Bauer und Trummer GmbH, which trades as New Media. The Midwich Group, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom, is one of the leading distributors of technology solutions in the audiovisual sector with operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Iberia, the Benelux and Australasia. Midwich has longstanding relationships with over 330 vendors including blue-chip organizations such as Samsung, LG, Epson and NEC. The Graf von Westphalen team was led by Dr. Ritesh Rajani and included partners Dr. Malte Evers, Dr. Frank Tschesche, Stephan Menzemer and Dr. Patrick Wolff, associated partners Dr. Christian Triebe, Lutz Leonard Lamprecht, Johan van der Veer and Dr. Andreas Wolowski, and associates Dr. Michael Engel and Sven-Erik Holm. The sellers were advised by KPMG Law in Nuremberg.
May 2018: Titus Walek has joined Germany member firm Graf von Westphalen in its Frankfurt office as an equity partner in the firm’s M&A practice. He focuses his practice in the areas of M&A, private equity and venture capital. His clients include financial investors and strategic investors as well as mid-size German family-owned enterprises. A transaction specialist with a “proven track record in private equity and venture capital transactions” (Chambers Global Europe), Mr. Walek began his career as an attorney in the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He later joined Heymann & Partner, where as a partner he was involved in numerous national and international transactions, including most recently San Francisco-based SmartRecruiters’ acquisition of Jobspotting GmbH in Berlin.
April 2018: Hitachi Europe has developed the Hitachi Energy Trading Optimizer, or HETO, a software tool that operates on the basis of self-learning algorithms, with which public utilities and energy companies can commercially optimize their trading and operation of production plants. Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen provided Hitachi Europe with an interdisciplinary team skilled in the areas of energy and digitalization to assist the company in the development of this product. The firm’s Hitachi Europe team consists of Helmut Kempf (team leader, energy), Arnd Böken, Stefan Menzemer (data protection and IT security), Dr. Patrick Wolff (regulatory), Dr. Dietrich Drömann (public procurement), Dr. Jochen Mulch (intellectual property) and Dr. Maren Mönchmeyer (contract structuring). Hitachi Europe is active in 13 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in the fields of semiconductor performance systems, information systems, particle radiation therapy systems, digital media and consumer goods, industrial components and materials, procurement and purchasing as well as smart cities.
March 2018: Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen has launched an aviation practice, drawing upon the expertise of a broad swath of its attorneys, representing different specialties and from multiple offices, in order to provide its clients customized legal solutions in this burgeoning area of the law. Having previously assisted clients in multiple transactions in the aerospace industry, the firm’s newly constituted practice group will expand the range of services it provides aviation-related companies to include collective bargaining, insolvency, state aid, subsidy law and procurement law. The practice will be headed by Düsseldorf partner Dr. Malte J. Hiort, who has had considerable experience working with U.S. companies in the area of corporate law and with handling their mergers-and-acquisitions work in Germany. Also at GvW Graf von Westphalen, the firm reports that it generated €42.2 million ($52.2 million) in revenue in FY 2017, with RPL of €384,000 ($475,000) – a new firm high. Overall profits were €18.4 million ($22.8 million), up 12.2% over last year. At its recent partner meeting in Lisbon, Christof Kleinmann and Dr. Robert Theissen, who are largely credited with having engineered this achievement, were each returned to a fifth successive two-year term as managing partners.
February 2018: Benjamin Schwarzfischer of Germany member firm Graf von Westphalen has been promoted to associate partner. Mr. Schwarzfischer has been a member of the firm in its Frankfurt office since 2011. As a member of its mergers and acquisitions practice group, he focuses on advising German Mittelstand enterprises and family-owned businesses on corporate matters and mid-cap M&A transactions. He is active in acquisitions and business combinations of all types – mergers, acquisitions of shares, asset purchases and joint ventures. He recently advised German company H. Stoll AG & Co. KG in establishing an international joint venture with Myant, a technology and advanced manufacturing company in Toronto. Mr. Schwarzfischer is an active member of the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) and regularly publishes in legal journals on topics related to corporate law.
February 2017: For the third year in a row, U.K. legal publication The Lawyer has nominated Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen for one of its 2017 “European Awards.” Now in their eighth year, the awards were the first initiative of their kind to reward and celebrate excellence across the European legal market. This year the awards will focus on and recognize the growing importance of cross-border instructions to firms across the continent. Besides GvW Graf von Westphalen, other SCG Legal member firms nominated for one of the 2017 “European Awards” are Ireland member firm Mason Hayes & Curran, Poland member firm Doma?ski Zakrzewski Palinka, and Turkey member firm Moro?lu Arseven. This year’s awards ceremony will take place at Grange St. Paul’s in London on March 16, 2017. For more information about the event, go here.