Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – Germany 2018

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

This litigation team is at the forefront of the market in the lawyer scene. Of all the leading litigation firms FBD has the smallest team following the move of renowned Munich partner Chrocziel, but it is still very hard-hitting. The Düsseldorf team, with the experienced and highly visible Hufnagel and the young yet established Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont, conducts high-profile proceedings for loyal clients. In the series of proceedings for Apple and Nikon, FBD works closely with Hogan Lovells lawyers due to its team size and the complexity of the case. Cooperation with the patents teams in London and Amsterdam is intensifying – a good development in view of the UPC. In the overall firm’s ongoing strategy of maintaining a stronger focus, this should also help the patents team to unlock further growth potential. Despite the reduced headcount, the team is well positioned in telecoms cases and is seen at a high level in pharmaceuticals proceedings, with litigation for notable regular clients like Bayer or Novartis.

Strengths

Pharmaceuticals and telecoms litigation, advice on the interface with antitrust.

European strategy

The German practice is a central part of a well-oiled European team with further strong pillars in Amsterdam and London. In the latter office, FBD boosted its presence by bringing in a well-regarded Arnold & Porter team. But compared to competitors like Hogan Lovells or Bird & Bird, the staff structure is rather slim. FBD foregoes proven patent experts in Paris, where it intends only to cooperate with the general dispute resolution team in UPC cases. This strategy may be in line with the firm’s stronger focus as a whole, but limits the patents practice in its UPC positioning.

Recommended individuals

Dr. Frank-Erich Hufnagel, Wolrad Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (“first-class team leadership and coordination of proceedings”, competitor).

Team

2 partners, 8 associates

Partner moves

Prof. Dr. Peter Chrocziel (to Bardehle Pagenberg).

Practice

Patent litigation, licences, transactions. Close cooperation with trademarks and unfair competition, antitrust and commercial litigation and liability.

Clients

Litigation: frequently for Apple, e.g. against Qualcomm concerning memory chips (public knowledge); Ericsson against TCL and Intellectual Ventures; Nikon against ASML/Carl Zeiss SMT regarding chip production; frequent work for Bayer, Novartis.

Location:

Düsseldorf, Munich