Germany

From the largest economy in Europe and right at the center of the European single market, our team in Germany supports clients with reaching their business goals and successfully tackling legal risks.

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MoFo Germany at a Glance

  • 38 lawyers and growing
  • 20+ years of experience
  • Focus on innovation and digital transformation
  • Gateway to Germany and 1,000+ lawyers across Europe, the United States and Asia

We know the pressures our clients face every day, and we know they don’t have time to waste. With the combined experience of our German team, we help clients tackle their complex, often cross‑border legal issues. Operating in the largest European economy, we have the depth of knowledge required to guide our clients through the German and European regulatory environment.

With deep roots in the German business market and close ties to Silicon Valley, we have a strong understanding of the intersection of law and technology. We thrive on innovation, and we strive to provide our clients with skilled legal counsel and creative solutions that support their overall business strategy and growth. Among others, we routinely advise:

  • Technology companies
  • Financial markets stakeholders
  • Major Fortune 500 businesses
  • Real estate companies
  • Public organizations
  • Life science companies
  • Media and Entertainment Companies

Representative Experience

  • Supporting the supervisory board of major global automotive group Daimler AG with investigations by German and U.S. authorities into Diesel emissions.
  • Advising SoftBank Vision Fund, the world`s largest tech investment fund, as lead counsel in its approximately €460 million investment in Germany-based Auto1 Group, one of the largest venture capital transactions in German history to date.
  • Accompanying United Internet/1&1 to aid them with setting up the innovative “Single Sign-On” IDEA Platform in response to the reformed data protection standards for the EU. The platform has a range about 45 million users per month and is thus critical for the German digital and online media landscape.
  • Supporting Spark Networks SE in the acquisition of its U.S. rival Zoosk Inc. and the transactions financing as well as the listing of its shares through an ADS program at NYSE.

And, our achievements have not gone unnoticed. Our lawyers are regularly recognized in rankings by independent publications like Chambers, Legal 500, Best Lawyers and leading German legal directory JUVE.

Located in Berlin, the epicenter of the buzzing European startup scene, we are able to connect our entrepreneurial clients on the ground with tech and finance centers around the globe.

Within the last five years alone, the number of our German lawyers has more than doubled. Today, we have built a full-service office that services clients within Germany and well beyond.

„They are passionate, do their work for the right cause and have fun in their job, which is inspiring for those who work with them“.

Chambers über MoFo Deutschland

Our Practice Focus Areas in Germany

Our Industry Focus Areas in Germany

Corporate / M&A

Advising on M&A transactions is the main focus of Morrison & Foerster’s German corporate practice. We advise on complex deals like the multinational carve-out of a technology division, on private equity buyouts and joint ventures or a public take over. We are part of an integrated global team of 280 transaction experts at the world’s major business locations. Our legal expertise includes the entire range of German and European corporate law, restructuring and conversion, mergers, strategic alliances, and joint ventures, as well as German and European capital markets law. Further areas of activity are shareholders’ meetings, executive board remuneration systems, advising on capital markets compliance, the implementation of stock option programs, and other incentive programs, as well as corporate disputes. Whether you wish to grow or to refocus your enterprise, we get the most challenging deals, worldwide, done for you.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Mergers + Acquisitions
Public Companies Counseling + Compliance

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Compliance + Internal Investigations

We advise management boards and supervisory boards of domestic and international companies on compliance and investigation issues in Germany and worldwide. Our global network, which includes former high-level government officials of the U.S. administration, helps us handle cross-border compliance cases for our clients. We deal with German and international corruption law, the U.S. Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK Bribery Act, environmental law, money laundering prevention, and tax law, as well as economic sanction law. Specifically, we conduct internal investigations in case of suspicion, accompany state investigation procedures, and steer communication with authorities and other stakeholders. We provide legal representation in the examination and assertion of damage claims and for the implementation of corporate and employment law measures taken in response to compliance infringements. We advise, preventively, on establishing effective compliance organizations.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Investigations + White Collar Defense

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Stock Corporation and Capital Markets Law

We cover the entire range of German capital markets law. With regards to equity capital markets, we advise issuers and investment banks on IPOs, capital measures, including offers of subscription rights and private placements, as well as on the issuance of equity-linked products and convertible bonds. We are a capital markets partner of Deutsche Börse. Via our network, we offer our clients access to capital markets law expertise in the UK, U.S., Japan, and China. Cross-border capital market transactions are one of our main areas of expertise. We further focus on capital markets compliance, e.g., advising on questions of MAR (Market Abuse Regulation), shareholders’ meetings, management board remuneration systems, as well as the implementation of stock option programs and other incentive programs. In the area of debt capital markets, we advise issuers or investment banks on the issuance of bonds that are placed with European investors (Eurobonds), promissory notes, and registered bonds.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Corporate Finance | Capital Markets

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Private Equity

Apart from the actual acquisition of an equity interest, together with our clients we develop special transaction structures, typically for the seamless integration into the fund structure of an investor or for corporate governance following the acquisition (for majority/minority acquisitions or joint ventures). Thanks to our global network, our clients are the first to benefit from new trends arising from current developments in the U.S. and Asia. After a successfully completed acquisition, we further assist our clients in their investments. We provide support in add-on acquisitions, as well as in the preparation and implementation of a successful exit or initial public offering. Our PE team is particularly experienced in technology transactions in the areas of healthcare, software, high-tech, and media. Thereby, we make available to our clients our special expertise as a leading tech law firm for transactions in the areas of technology and software. We operate our own Private Equity Real Estate (PERE) team with special experience in advising on cross-border PE investments in the real estate sector.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Private Equity Investments + Buyouts

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Venture Capital

Our venture capital team is specialized in cross-border transactions and supporting international investors – especially from the U.S. and Asia. We advise around the globe on promising investments, e.g., SoftBank Vision Fund on investments in Germany, the UK, China, and the U.S. Thus our clients profit from the know-how of our colleagues in Northern California. In accordance with the newest developments in Silicon Valley, we manage global transactions for them. We also assist start-ups, especially in their international expansion, as well as unicorns that have already achieved a stock market listing in Germany or the U.S. Examples include: Delivery Hero, Zalando, SoundCloud, Fyber, or Spark Networks.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Emerging Companies + Venture Capital

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Finance – Banking and Debt Capital Markets

We advise borrowers, lenders, sponsors, investors, and funds on national and international transactions. The scope of our expertise in banking includes acquisition and growth financing, syndicated and bilateral bank loans and vendor loans, promissory notes, bonds, and receivables financing, leveraged buyouts, venture debt financings (through loans and bonds), receivables financings, financings through FinTech, companies, borrowing based financings, real estate, and asset financings.

Our debt capital markets practice offers expertise to meet evolving and diverse funding requirements such as issuances of Nordic or Eurobonds, private placements through Schuldscheindarlehen, regulatory capital, derivatives, and commercial paper. We cover EMTN programs, as well as liability management transactions and our global network allows us to facilitate offerings and listings of German law governed securities in Europe, Asia, or the U.S.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Lending + Financial Transactions

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Technology Transactions/IT/IP

We advise our clients on complex legal and economic challenges resulting from technological change, especially from the digital transformation of their business models. Additionally, we support them in purchasing, developing, utilizing, and commercializing new technologies and intellectual property rights.

In particular, we support in all matters of patent law, copyright law, and the law on protection of trade secrets, as well as in IT law, software law, and Internet law. We focus on negotiating complex technology-related and IP-related agreements that frequently span multiple jurisdictions. These include, e.g., patent license agreements, research and development agreements; agreements about software development and licensing; IT outsourcing agreements; agreements about digital platforms and services (e.g., Cloud computing platforms, SaaS, TV, music, and film-streaming services, e-commerce/m-commerce offerings); agreements along the production-, supply-, and distribution-chain; and also take into account antitrust and sector-specific regulatory requirements. Together with our experts in corporate law we are ready to assist you in the acquisition of technology companies or in the structuring of joint ventures and other corporate law issues to launch your innovations successfully. Furthermore, we can support you in litigious IP disputes in Germany and abroad, especially in the area of patent and trademark law.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Technology Transactions

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Privacy and Data Security

Especially in the technology sector, data protection is a great challenge for many companies. As part of the global Data Privacy Group of Morrison & Foerster, we particularly advise on issues of data protection in national and international firms, in connection with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR), national and global compliance audits, the introduction of data protection guidelines, and IT guidelines, as well as whistleblowing systems. We represent our clients regularly in dealing with serious data protection infringements and impending or ongoing investigations by data protection authorities. To support our clients in the best possible way, we additionally founded the Global Privacy Alliance (GPA), in which well-known privacy decision-makers exchange their viewpoints on current topics.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Privacy + Data Security

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Besides legal expertise, conflict resolution, and particular litigation, require strategic thinking and, above all, a pragmatic attitude. Particularly in international conflicts, there is always more than just one solution. Therefore, we do not only use common approaches but also think about innovative solutions, in order to swiftly resolve complex disputes. Together with you, we develop the solution most efficient for you, from an initial strategy prior to legal action, all the way to cross-border enforcement. We advise and represent you in all types of in-court and out-of-court disputes, including summary proceedings, business mediation, out-of-court settlement negotiations and arbitration proceedings. We frequently work together with in-house experts from our other areas of expertise and jointly conduct civil proceedings on matters of telecommunications law, capital markets law, or in relation to data protection.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Litigation

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Antitrust + Regulatory, Public Procurement

We advise on the entire range of German and European antitrust law. This includes merger control proceedings before the German Federal Cartel Office and the EU Commission, as well as the global coordination of such proceedings at other national authorities. Often, this involves trendsetting industries, such as autonomously-driven vehicles, semiconductor technology, or the IT sector. On numerous occasions, we have successfully defended our clients against allegations of abuse of market power and advised on antitrust compliance and matters of daily business operations, for example on distribution antitrust law. We represent you in antitrust damage claim proceedings – on both the plaintiff and the defendant side. In all aspects of our antitrust practice, we work closely together with our colleagues in Brussels, the U.S., and Asia.

We focus on sector-specific regulation and in particular on the technology, media, and telecommunications industry (TMT). Thus, our team has long-term experience and close contacts with the relevant regulation authorities in the field of broadcasting law, telecommunications law, and youth protection law. We have advised on all important industry topics of the past few years, for example on cable consolidation, on convergent youth protection systems, on legal policy matters regarding the ongoing development of media law, on frequency auctions (3G, 4G, 5G), and on the regulation of Over-the-top (OTT) services. Our regulatory advice often means accompanying multinational companies in their market entry and the expansion of their businesses in Germany and Europe. Most recently, we dealt with cases of e-mobility and relating to Brexit. Furthermore, we are active in public procurement law and public subsidy law, where we advise on all matters of compliance and represent clients in public procurement review proceedings, as well as in public subsidy notification proceedings.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Antitrust Law
Government Contracts + Public Procurement

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Sanctions + Export Control

Compliance with EU sanctions and co-occurring U.S. sanctions has become increasingly challenging for global companies. Together with our experts on US sanctions from our office in Washington, DC, we advise on all matters of foreign trade law in order to avoid or to minimize possible risks to our clients, also in case of conflicts of law. In the area of export control we have special experience in regards to technology and software. In global M&A transactions we represent investors from Asia and others in investment control proceedings before the Federal Ministry of Economics; we work closely together with our US colleagues in parallel audit proceedings of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Our team – consisting of the global practice groups National Security, CFIUS, Sanctions + Export Controls, etc. – has in-depth knowledge in the area of security-relevant telecommunications infrastructures, of cyber security, and other data- and technology-driven matters of national security.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Global Risk + Crisis Management
National Security, CFIUS, Sanctions + Export Controls

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Tax

Our team has long-standing experience in providing tax law advice on domestic and cross-border transactions, reorganizations and structuring matters, especially in the media, technology and real estate industry. We advise domestic and multinational companies on complex tax restructuring procedures and their implementation, on M&A and on finance transactions such as factoring and sale-and-lease-back. As part of a global team of tax experts we ensure that our clients benefit from the know-how and experience of our tax experts in the U.S., China, Japan and the UK. We also advise governmental bodies, as well as their industrial operations. We enjoy the confidence of executive boards and management in complex tax compliance matters and support our clients in highly intricate tax audits and fiscal proceedings, including representation all the way up to the European Court of Justice.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Global Tax

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Employment

We advise our German and international clients in all areas of individual and collective employment law. We particularly advise on employment law implications of international transactions and restructurings, including cross-border mergers and Societas Europaea (SE) conversions. We regularly support our clients in negotiations with employee representatives reconciling different interests and setting up social compensation plans. We also advise on the employing of board members, managing directors, and senior executives. Another focus area is legal representation in conventional employment law disputes, primarily in German employment law courts, including the Federal Labor Court.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Employment + Labor

Back to overview: Our practice focus areas in Germany

Technology

With our roots in Silicon Valley, advising the tech-sector is part of our DNA and a key aspect of our practice. Our clients range from innovative start-ups to world-famous brand names, which rely on our legal advice in business matters that are crucial to their success. They include some of the largest companies from Europe, the U.S., and Asia. In Germany, we provide legal advice to United Internet, BCG Digital Ventures, TeleColumbus, and SoundCloud, just to name a few examples. Whether our clients are challenged with a complex M&A transaction, a business-critical legal dispute or a strategically significant antitrust or regulatory matter; whether they seek specialized advice on topics such as patent disputes, rights to use data or the global structuring of their IP rights and licenses – at Morrison & Foerster Germany, they will find a trusted expert to support them in ensuring their competitive advantage.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Technology

Back to overview: Our industry focus areas in Germany

Financial Services

We regularly support German and international financial institutions in matters of finance and capital markets law, of data protection, in building strategic alliances, in the implementation of their growth strategies or in internal investigations, and compliance matters. Our interdisciplinary collaboration ensures that our clients get custom-fit solutions. We are well acquainted with the international financial markets and know their characteristics. In Germany, Europe and worldwide, our clients include investment banks, insurance companies, credit card firms, mortgage banks, regional banks, asset management companies and investment advisors, money transfer services, and other financial service providers.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Financial Services

Back to overview: Our industry focus areas in Germany

Real Estate

In the area of real estate investments, we have been advising for many years, both on the buyer as well as the seller side. This helps us to successfully manage transactions for our clients. Often, we are also responsible for bringing both sides together. Thus, Morrison & Foerster Germany provides support in all key areas along the investment cycle: Our Real Estate Group includes real estate lawyers, lawyers from the areas of corporate law/M&A, tax law, and financing, who are used to collaborating and advising in a pragmatic manner. Besides real estate transactions, we are managing large real estate project developments and complex rental agreements. We advise on all asset classes – in Germany and cross-border. Our clients include private equity funds, asset managers and institutional investors, banks, and financial service providers, as well as public companies.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Real Estate

Back to overview: Our industry focus areas in Germany

Media + Entertainment

We advise on practically all important legal matters in the media sector, and scarcely a relevant media deal takes place without involving Morrison & Foerster. Our team particularly advises on national and cross-border media transactions, as well as on film productions, regulatory questions, or contractual and copyright matters. The media sector is constantly changing, and, therefore, we increasingly provide legal support in the area of trend-setting media platforms (TV and online), social media and influencer topics. A particular highlight is our annual Berlinale event, with more than 300 guests and decision-makers from the media sector, where we address the most challenging new media topics in a panel discussion format.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Media + Entertainment

Back to overview: Our industry focus areas in Germany

Life Sciences + Healthcare

Our German Life Sciences team is part of the global practice of Morrison & Foerster, which supports over 500 life science enterprises from around the globe in the fields of pharmacy, medical technology, diagnostics, digital health, and biotechnology. Besides general healthcare, we have proven industrial know-how in the field of agriculture. Our legal advice comprises matters of patent law and software law, licensing law, data law, employee invention law, and matters related to the protection of know-how, as well as regulatory matters in the area of data protection and antitrust law. We offer support on all complex legal issues in the areas of development, licensing, and distribution, also in connection with joint ventures and other corporate law constructions. If necessary, we assert the intellectual property rights of our clients before the court.

Our particular strength is closely collaborating with our Patent Group. In addition, in-depth experience in other technology fields enables us to cover the important interfaces between life sciences and computer science, data analytics, blockchain, AI, augmented reality, robotics, and IoT.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Life Sciences + Healthcare

Back to overview: Our industry focus areas in Germany

Energy

Our global team specializes in the energy and raw materials industries and advises leading multinational enterprises, financial investors and sovereign funds, export credit agencies, and public institutions/governmental entities. With our know-how, we cover the entire spectrum of the energy and raw materials industries, and in particular, renewable energies and new technologies.

Learn more about our worldwide practice here:
Energy + Infrastructure

Back to overview: Our industry focus areas in Germany

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