Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner (FGvW) offers a full range of legal services to national and international clients. The law firm supports large international company groups and medium-sized German companies with legal advice in the area of commercial law. Although the firm offers a comprehensive range of services, the focus is on mergers and acquisitions, liability and insurance and legal protection for industrial property and commercial distribution law. The law firm has its roots in Germany and maintains a global network. For many years FGvW partners have represented numerous companies with international operations throughout the world and in particular the successful German "hidden champions". FGvW maintains a flexible and proven international network which enables it to offer comprehensive service around the world.
Many partners of the firm, and in particular the name partner Prof. Dr. Friedrich Graf von Westphalen, are well renowned in many legal areas due to numerous publications. This high technical competence is also complemented by the efficiency, fast reaction times and availability of all partners. On the basis of an excellent reputation of the established practices in their respective segments, recommendations often lead to the acquisition of important new clients.
The law firm has its roots in Germany and maintains a global network. For many years FGvW partners have represented numerous companies with international operations throughout the world. FGvW therefore maintains a flexible and proven international network which enables it to offer comprehensive service around the world. There are joint ventures in China, India, Brazil and Turkey with leading local law firms and in all other economic regions there are extensive contacts to local law firms who are leaders in their respective fields and with whom FGvW enjoys an efficient and trusting professional relationship. Through integrated teams, clients have access to international legal services that are client-focused, cost-effective and result-oriented. A tailor-made team of lawyers from the respective legal areas is created for each case in question which is efficient, flexible and reliable. The client has a single point of contact and can rely on the team which FGvW has selected and co-ordinates.
Corporate & M&A
International business and international transactions have always played a central role in the work of the corporate / M&A team of FGvW. The team headed by Gerhard Manz and Dr. Barbara Mayer supports and advises its corporate / M&A clients on a worldwide basis. In the fields of corporate law and transactions, FGvW is one of the most renowned legal practices in Germany for mid-cap companies. The team supports an ever increasing number of international investors, primarily from Asia and the US, with extensive legal advice. The approach of co-operating and working with a selected circle of "best-friend" law firms all over the world has proved to be very successful. Through integrated teams, clients have access to international legal services which are client-focused, cost-effective and result-oriented. The M&A practice has established an excellent reputation for their committed, solution-oriented approach and quick reaction times. The core focus concerns all matters involving corporate law, i.e. establishing companies, reorganising group structures, preparing shareholder meetings and annual general meetings, joint ventures in Germany and abroad, corporate finance, and mid-cap M&A transactions including letters of intent right up to due diligence and closing of the deal.
Insurance law / D&O
The Cologne office of the law firm has made a name for itself in Germany for matters related to insurance law. Friedrich Graf von Westphalen is seen as one of the most reputable experts in insurance law in the country. Also the younger partners Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz and Björn Fiedler can boast some of the largest insurers and reinsurers as their clients. They are also seen, just as the partner Carsten Laschet, as recognised experts with regard to D&O questions and litigation matters. In 2011 the criminal law expert Dr. Michael Tsambikakis joined the team. He manages cases concerning commercial law offences and provides support for compliance consulting which is a further promising field.
The clients of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner include a sizeable number of reputable D&O insurers. The success of the insurance law team is mainly based on the expertise of its members and the fact that the processing of complex D&O claims necessitates the interaction and overlap of different legal areas. The insurance team offers comprehensive legal advice in relation to all these overlapping areas including, in particular, corporate law, criminal law and insurance law. The heads of the practice belong to a small circle of highly recommended and well known-lawyers in the area of manager liability and D&O insurance in Germany.
Trade & Distribution
The distribution law team headed by Prof. Dr. F. Christian Genzow, is one of the leading practices in its field in Germany. The main focus of the distribution practice is on the areas of automotive, medical and pharmaceutical, insurance and financial services. Legal advice is given on all distribution law forms, including the law relating to commercial agents and authorised dealers, franchise law, and direct sales. The team can draw on substantial experience in relation to the implementation of distribution law structures. In particular, the law firm has been providing legal advice in the automotive segment for some time including legal advice on important questions of principle and maintains an impressive network with the most important associations in the industry. In addition, the team's litigation practice has an excellent reputation. Members of the distribution team are regularly involved in national and international arbitration proceedings.
The overlap between German and European antitrust law is increasingly gaining in importance. The team focuses on recognising and avoiding antitrust pitfalls, finding lawful solutions and structures, avoiding risks and making the most of opportunities in the context of M&A transactions. Services range from checking distribution agreements and systems through to merger control, and from assessing the competitive behaviour of companies with a strong or dominant market position through to proceedings before courts, the Bundeskartellamt [Federal Cartel Office] and the European competition authorities. The team has extensive experience in defending clients in national and European proceedings for the imposition of fines before cartel authorities and courts.
IP & unfair competition
Industrial property rights and competition law are a further core area for the law firm. In particular, FGvW has made a name for itself with the administration of company trademarks by the partners Dr. Morton Douglas and Norbert Hebeis. They manage thousands of trademarks around the world and also have considerable experience with proceedings before the office of harmonisation in Alicante. Clients include pharmaceutical groups such as Novartis and brand article manufacturers such as Wilkinson Sword. A key focus is legal advice in relation to pharmaceutical/medicinal products concerning unfair competition, with the main focus being on pharmaceutical advertising law, foodstuffs and energy. Dr. Hans-Georg Riegger has an excellent reputation in this area throughout Germany. Dr. Wolfgang Schmid adds many decades of experience in the area of competition and trademark law.
Due to its strong international profile, FGvW extensively advises medium-sized and large companies from all over the world doing business in Germany as well as German "hidden champions" in Germany and abroad. The partners of FGvW have a specific emphasis on the following industry sectors: automotive, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, biotechnology, energy, banking and insurance, IT / Telecoms, consumer goods (food, cosmetics), media and entertainment, public sector.