Legal Areas


Conflict Resolution

The experts of our Litigation & Conflict Resolution Practice Group are recommended.

JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms 2017/2018

It’s not always possible to avoid conflicts in commercial life. BEITEN BURKHARDT has the experienced trial lawyers you need for these often very complex cases. We have the necessary tact to help prevent conflicts and find solutions for all – even cross-border - commercial disputes: we can advise and represent you in relation to alternative dispute resolution (ADR), arbitration and litigation.

“BEITEN BURKHARDT performs ‘very good’ work ‘overall’”
(Legal 500 Germany 2017)

National and international ADR (Out-of-court and pre-trial)

  • Developing case management systems; conflict prevention
  • Analyses of existing conflicts: evaluating options and risks
  • Advising on the suitability of ADR mechanisms
  • Developing ADR strategies
  • Out-of-court settlement negotiations
  • Representing parties in all types of ADR (mediation, conciliation, expert determination, arbitration, etc.)
  • Acting as a mediator

Case management (national and international)

  • Interim relief – national and international (including enforcement)
  • Litigation before national courts (including enforcement)
  • Managing and coordinating parallel proceedings in multiple jurisdictions
  • Providing support with the collection and taking of evidence in Germany for use in proceedings in other jurisdictions
  • Enforcement and implementation of national and foreign judgments and interim relief decisions

Arbitration (national and international)

  • Drafting tailored arbitration agreements
  • Representing parties in national and international ad hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings (e.g. International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), German Arbitration Institute (DIS), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), Vienna International Arbitration Centre (VIAC), Swiss Rules and others); we act as coordinators and local experts, too
  • Acting as arbitrators in national and international arbitration proceedings (institutional or ad hoc)
  • Recognition and execution of or challenges to national and foreign arbitration awards in Germany and abroad

Labour law disputes

We represent companies in:

  • individual labour law disputes before the labour law courts (especially claims for unfair dismissal and claims for payment)
  • collective law disputes concerning collective bargaining agreements or works constitutions in conciliation committee or arbitration board proceedings or before labour law courts
  • court proceedings in relation to employee co-determination in companies, including status proceedings and challenges to elections

You can find further information under Labour Law.

Energy Law Disputes

We advise all actors in the energy sector on any legal disputes that arise and represent them both in and out of court: domestic and foreign energy producers and suppliers, electricity and gas grid operators, energy vendors and infrastructure operators, as well as companies involved in renewable energies and cleantech, and banks that finance cleantech projects. We advise and represent companies in particular in relation to:

  • Disputes concerning access to networks or storage, or fees for use
  • Legal disputes in connection with supply, trade or service agreements
  • Planning permission and site approvals: providing support with respect to dealings with the responsible authorities at Federal and Laender level and representation before administrative courts
  • Proceedings before the Federal Network Agency, the regulatory authorities of the Laender and competition authorities, as well as before the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA), the “Clearing institution EEG/KWKG” (facilitator under the Renewable Energies and Combined Heat and Power Acts) and the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt)

You can find further information under Energy Law and Energy.

Finance and capital market disputes

  • Case management, including the coordination of class action lawsuits, mass actions and model case proceedings under capital market law (KapMuG)
  • Enforcement of/defence against damages claims in relation to investment advice and brokerage, prospectus liability, etc.
  • Representation in administrative offence proceedings
  • Representing executive bodies in criminal proceedings, e.g. for market manipulation
  • Advising on interactions with supervisory authorities (German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), German Federal Central Bank (Bundesbank), European Banking Authority (EBA))

You can find further information under Banking, Finance & Insurance Law and Capital Market Law.

Tax disputes

We represent companies and private individuals in discussions with tax authorities and in matters before the fiscal courts, in particular:

  • Challenges to tax assessments;
  • Challenges to other administrative fee notices (customs duties, tax or interest assessments, etc.)
  • Appeals to the Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof)
  • Enforcement of interim measures

Corporate Litigation

  • Pre and post-M&A disputes: enforcement of claims for
    • breaches of statutory or contractual obligations to provide information
    • breach of warranty
    • purchase price adjustments, etc.
  • Disputes between shareholders, executive bodies and companies, such as on the exit or change of shareholders
  • Enforcement of and defence against claims of director liability (including disputes with D&O insurance providers)
  • Actions to set aside or on the invalidity of resolutions
  • Disputes under stock corporations law, such as special audits or proceedings for leave to bring an action
  • Settlement and valuation issues in a corporate law context

Contentious shareholder meetings

We assist and represent shareholders in contentious shareholder meetings, advise the executive board, chair meetings and advise our clients on all strategic, technical and legal issues in connection with such meetings. Our experience in this respect is not limited to the most common legal forms of the limited liability company (GmbH) or limited partnership with a limited liability company as the sole general partner (GmbH & Co KG); we advise on shareholder and member meetings of less frequent forms of association, such as associations, cooperative societies or general partnerships (GbR). Our goals are to ensure that meetings run smoothly and to avoid issues with resolutions, which may result in legal action, such as claims to have resolutions declared as null and void. Our work includes the thorough preparation of the meetings, drafting guidelines and minutes, preparing statements and making provisions for unexpected risks.

We advise and represent companies in the exercise of their interests vis-à-vis majority shareholders, management or meeting chairpersons, prepare proposals and speeches and arrange shareholder meetings for shareholders.

At a glance

  • Call and organisation of meetings
  • Developing and defending strategies
  • Preparing guidelines and coaching the meeting chairperson
  • Assisting and representing shareholders
  • Drafting and providing assistance with resolutions
  • Representation in court proceedings involving challenges to resolutions (e.g. claims concerning defective resolutions)

Insolvency law disputes

We represent insolvency administrators, debtors, boards and creditors in all types of insolvency law disputes:

  • Claims for the establishment of amounts receivable under the insolvency schedule
  • Enforcement of or defence against claims for damages caused by a delay in filing for insolvency or a violation of the capital maintenance rules
  • Enforcement of/defence against claims challenging the validity of the insolvency or claims of creditors
  • Enforcement of/defence against shareholder financing commitments
  • Enforcement of/defence against the use of securities and proceeds, preferential rights, or the right to the separation and recovery of assets

You can find further information under Restructuring, Reorganisation & Insolvency.

Real estate law disputes

We represent owners, investors, lessors, tenants, family offices, asset managers, planning offices, contractors and their customers, brokers and further actors in the real estate sector before arbitration panels and courts in disputes involving any part of the “life cycle” of a property.

  • Defence against/enforcement of claims under a contract for the sale and purchase of property
  • Defence against/enforcement of claims in relation to commercial lease agreements, leasehold agreements, residential tenancy agreements and brokerage agreements
  • Defence against/enforcement of claims under private construction and architecture law: defects, delays, site acceptance, warranties, payments, etc.
  • Defence against/enforcement of claims under public construction law, especially concerning building permit processes (obtaining, enforcing and defending construction rights)

You can find further information under Real Estate.

Intellectual property law disputes

  • Representation in litigation before German courts in all areas of industrial property law (patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights, etc.) and unfair competition law, in particular in relation to interim relief proceedings
  • Representation in procedures with a form established under statutory provisions (e.g. in opposition and cancellation procedures) in connection with trademark, design or patent law disputes before the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), European Patent Office (EPA), or the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), or before the German Federal Patent Court (BPatG)

You can find further information under Patent & Technology Law.

IT law disputes

  • Disputes in the case of failed software projects
  • Assisting companies with data protection disputes e.g. claims to have data erased (“right to be forgotten”), claims for information or for damages
  • Disputes following data breaches, especially damages claims and mass actions against companies

You can find further information under Information Technology & Telecommunications Law.

Antitrust disputes

  • Representing clients in fining and/or administrative offence proceedings for infringements of antitrust law
  • Enforcing or defending against cartel damages claims both in and out of court

You can find further information under Antitrust Law.

Media law disputes

  • Representing media companies in disputes involving the freedom of speech
  • Copyright disputes
  • Unfair competition disputes, especially interim relief proceedings

You can find further information under Media, Music, Entertainment, Culture, Publishing.

Product liability, product recalls and product safety

  • Defence against product liability claims, including case management
  • Notification proceedings involving authorities: advice and representation
  • Product recalls: strategic advice and management
  • Recall costs: enforcement of or defence against claims for recourse

White-collar crime, compliance and internal investigations

  • Defence of individuals in
    • criminal proceedings (e.g. fraud, misappropriation of funds, corruption, tax evasion)
    • administrative offences (in all areas of law)
  • Internal investigations
    • Clarifying irregularities (employee interviews, investigations, evaluation of data)
    • Handling complex compliance cases (managing external defence teams, witness counsel, expert witnesses, etc.)
    • Interfacing with authorities (e.g. prosecutors, central customs offices, fining and criminal investigation units of tax authorities, tax investigators and auditors, criminal investigation divisions of the police)
  • Defence against the imposition of fines and other sanctions on companies
    • Fines imposed by associations, breach of supervisory duties
    • Black lists, self-cleaning measures
    • Seizure of assets, etc.
  • Compliance advice
    • Implementation of Compliance Management Systems (CMS)
    • Compliance training (on-site training, webinars, web-based training)
    • Compliance helpdesk (for compliance officers)
    • Risk-based preventative advice (e.g. anti-corruption advice, etc.)

Brussels

We support and represent our clients in proceedings before the European Court of Justice, the General Court of the EU and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as before national courts in cases with a connection to EU law. Our clients include EU institutions and national governments, as well as private and state-owned undertakings.

We have particular expertise in cases involving antitrust, state aid or anti-dumping law, as well as with infringement proceedings, especially for breaches of public procurement law.

Our team includes court-recognised mediators and specialists for mediation between states.

Russia

The primary objective of our practice is the individual and effective resolution of conflicts. We have extensive experience and broadly diversified expertise in accordance with the core areas of our work. This allows us to provide prudent and proficient advice on all issues related to your commercial activities in Russia.

At a glance

  • Commercial law disputes (e.g. supply, lease and service agreements)
  • Corporate litigation
  • Construction and real estate disputes
  • Disputes involving government procurement
  • Insolvency proceedings, e.g. representing the interests of creditors
  • Protection and defence of intellectual property
  • Consumer protection and product liability
  • Representation before state commercial courts (Arbitrage Courts) and regular courts
  • Arbitration proceedings in Russia and abroad
  • Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards

China

We represent our clients in arbitration proceedings throughout China and act as party representatives and arbitrators. Our experience with proceedings before the CIETAC (China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission) is of note.

We have a strong track record in numerous sectors and industries, including mechanical engineering, trade, construction, telecommunications and media and the energy sector.

As a foreign law firm, we are not entitled to represent our clients before Chinese courts. To assist our clients in this respect, we have developed close contacts to experienced Chinese law firms over many years. This allows us to ensure that our clients are represented in courts throughout China according to our own high standards.

We work with Chinese litigation lawyers to develop the legal and litigation strategy, prepare court appearances and oversee the handling of the case.

At a glance

  • Representation in arbitration proceedings (party representatives)
  • Preparing and overseeing court proceedings
  • Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments
  • Overseeing and implementing enforcement measures