Insight

An Interview With Eberhard Braun of Schultze & Braun

The 2019 "Law Firm of the Year" winning firm was recognized in Germany for Restructuring and Insolvency Law.

Eberhard Braun Interview
Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers

November 20, 2018 02:23 PM

For Eberhard Braun of the 2019 “Law Firm of the Year” award-winning firm Schultze & Braun, the success of the bankruptcy lawyer isn’t always found in large or flashy cases, but in what he calls the “ordinary work.” Below, he discusses his firm’s recognized restructuring and insolvency practice with Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer.

What achievements do you feel contributed to your 2019 "Law Firm of the Year" award?

We started the firm in 1975 and have quite a history of achievement. In 1981, I picked up my first bankruptcy case as an administrator. Since then, we’ve developed our restructuring and bankruptcy business and taken bankruptcy work all over Germany. We realized the importance of sharing costs early on. To do this most effectively, we sought to cover as many cities as possible, provided they had bankruptcy courts. We’ve since covered almost three-quarters of them, if you look at where our offices are. Certainly, our skill in achieving this size (and thus sharing costs) led to our successes in bankruptcy for the last 40 years.

Can you tell me about one or two landmark cases over the time since you started this practice and its growth that stand out as pivotal cases for you?

The Fairchild Dornier case stands out. Fairchild was an American company when it took over the aircraft builder Dornier, so the case was closely tied to the United States. When we got their bankruptcy case, we had two liquidating Chapter 11 filings in the U.S. parallel. Another landmark case was the criminal case involving FlowTex, in which someone was running a pyramid scheme; It led to the biggest fraud case we’ve ever had in Germany.

What kind of programs do you institute to guarantee success for your practicing attorneys?

The training and mentorship programs are a little bit different in Germany. From the start, our firm decided that we should educate our future administrators on our own. We hire young attorneys just graduating from university and their preparation course with the Ministry of Justice and train them for around five years. After this substantial period of training and education, these attorneys are expected to join an office or create an office of their own. If they are successful, they can start to educate the next group of new, young colleagues and continue the cycle.

In what way has technology affected this practice?

In truth, we haven’t seen a huge impact on our practice from new technologies in the way that you might think. Where technology has really made changes is in the consumer area. In the criminal area, where we focus the bulk of our work and resources, there hasn’t been much change. Of course, the instruments within the practice are growing all the time. In fraud, there are new tools for finding out how someone hides money, to give one example. But technology, for me, is not necessarily the key for future improvements.

How does your firm stay agile against competitors in this practice?

It’s a matter of attitude and a dedication to all aspects of bankruptcy law. We believe in this system. Those who don’t believe tend to fail. That’s something we’ve seen quite drastically in the last year or two, actually: Firms who had been our competition in bankruptcy went out of business after deciding they wouldn’t take so-called “ordinary” work and elected for only big cases. Personally, I think it’s wishful thinking if you believe that you can cherry-pick the size and status of your cases. You will always need to do the ordinary work of bankruptcy within the daily business that is retail—that is the basis. There are plenty of bankruptcy firms, but there aren't many that have this same mentality and are willing to work in the same way that we do. Some firms have a broader basis and do more legal, civil law work, arbitration, or court work. We are very focused on restructuring and bankruptcy.

What else about your firm’s structure lends itself to your success?

We have an international board, which is specifically designed to support administrators in all cross-country problems. That is something about the firm that I’m very proud of. Administrators who have assets outside of Germany—in other European states or in the U.S. or Poland—might have a case where the main connection goes through France or Italy that they need help coordinating. Crucially, the costs of these departments are shared across as many offices as possible, because it’s not a service any one individual might need too frequently. This department was, in my view, a key for improving quality and sharing costs.

The second is the department where we are focusing on criminal absorbencies to trace assets to explore balance sheets which have been used to commit a crime. Then you have to think that ordinary balance sheets what someone has and you can discuss if the evaluation is correct, but in a criminal absorbency, you always need to understand the crime, to know where you need to look to investigate and to finally, hopefully, get some funds for the estate.

Related Articles

How PLMJ's Unique Structure Shapes Its Insolvency Practice


by Best Lawyers

A leading attorney with the 2019 "Law Firm of the Year" winner for Insolvency and Reorganization Law in Portugal speaks to Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer.

PLMJ "Law Firm of the Year" Interview

Solving Insolvency


by Best Lawyers

Markus Fellner discusses emerging trends in insolvency and reorganization law and the work his firm has done with the visually impaired.

An Interview With Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner

An Interview With Norton Rose Fulbright


by Best Lawyers

Australia’s 2020 “Law Firm of the Year” in Insolvency and Reorganization Law

An Interview With Norton Rose Fulbright

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Germany™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Germany.

Black, red and yellow stripes

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Switzerland™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Switzerland.

Red flag with white cross

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Austria™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Austria.

Red and white stripes

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Italy™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Italy.

Green, white and red stripes

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in Colombia™


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in Colombia™

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in South Africa™


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

Announcing 2022 Best Lawyers in South Africa

The Next Chapter


by Patrick M. Shelby

Among its uncountable other disruptions, the pandemic upended U.S. bankruptcy procedures. Congressional relief, legislative changes, amended legal provisions: What lies ahead for those looking to file?

COVID-19's Impacts on Bankruptcy Procedures

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Switzerland


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Switzerl

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Germany


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms, including our inaugural Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recipients.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Germany

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Austria


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Austria

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Russia


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Russia

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Australia


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Australi

The 2021 Best Lawyers in Canada


by Best Lawyers

Featuring the top legal talent in Canada.

Best Lawyers Canada 2021 Homepage Image

Trending Articles

The Real Camille: An Interview with Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Camille Vasquez


by Rebecca Blackwell

Camille Vasquez, a young lawyer at Brown Rudnick, sat down with Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer to talk about her distinguished career, recently being named partner and what comes next for her.

Camille Vasquez in office

Announcing The Best Lawyers in The United Kingdom™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from the United Kingdom.

The Best Lawyers in The United Kingdom 2023

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: The Best Lawyers Honorees Behind the Litigation


by Gregory Sirico

Best Lawyers takes a look at the recognized legal talent representing Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in their ongoing defamation trial.

Lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Announcing The Best Lawyers in France™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from France.

Blue, white and red strips

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Germany™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Germany.

Black, red and yellow stripes

Education by Trial: Cultivating Legal Expertise in the Courtroom


by Margo Pierce

The intricacies of complex lawsuits require extensive knowledge of the legal precedent. But they also demand a high level of skill in every discipline needed to succeed at trial, such as analyzing technical reports and deposing expert witnesses.

Cultivating Legal Expertise in the Courtroom

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Belgium™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Belgium.

Black, yellow and red stripes

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in France


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms, including our inaugural Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recipients.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in France

Choosing a Title Company: What a Seller Should Expect


by Roy D. Oppenheim

When it comes to choosing a title company, how much power exactly does a seller have?

Choosing the Title Company As Seller

We Are Women, We Are Fearless


by Deborah S. Chang and Justin Smulison

Athea Trial Lawyers is a female owned and operated law firm specializing in civil litigation, catastrophic energy, wrongful death and product liability.

Athea Trial Law Female Leadership and Success

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Germany


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms, including our inaugural Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recipients.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Germany

U.K. Introduces Revisions to Right-to-Work Scheme and Immigration Rules


by Gregory Sirico

Right-to-Work Scheme and Immigration Rules in

Destiny Fulfilled


by Sara Collin

Was Angela Reddock-Wright destined to become a lawyer? It sure seems that way. Yet her path was circuitous. This accomplished employment attorney, turned mediator, arbitrator and ADR specialist nonpareil discusses her career, the role of attorneys in society, the new world of post-pandemic work and why new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson represents the future.

Interview with Lawyer Angela Reddock-Wright

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some


by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom


by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?