Dott. Francesco Senatore

Expertise and Practice

Francesco heads the Italian desk at our offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Milan. He has lead the international practice of our German-Italian firm since 2006. With his knowledge of the German and Italian legal systems, both languages and the corresponding intercultural competence, he is in a position to represent successfully our clients in cross-border legal matters between Germany and Italy. He uses his admission to practice law in both countries and his special dual qualification in particular for commercial, real estate, and inheritance law matters.

The focus of Francesco’s German law practice is on labor and employment law. He advises on employment agreements and termination, including warnings and actions for unfair dismissal in the field of labor law.

Additional Background

Francesco, our Italian partner and head of our Milan office, was born in Calabria in southern Italy. He spent his youth not far from Milan where he completed his legal studies with the degree Dottore in Legge. While looking for another challenge, he moved to Germany, learned German, and studied law at the University of Kiel. After passing the first state law examination, he participated in the postgraduate commercial law program in Hamburg. He completed his legal clerkship in Hamburg at the Fiscal Authority and Unilever Germany among other places. After passing the second state exam in law, Francesco first gained experience as in-house counsel before becoming a founding partner of ROSE & PARTNER.

Languages

Italian
German
English

Dr. Sebastian Conrad

Sebastian Conrad has more than ten years of experience in all fields of public law. He has an outstanding track record advising national and international clients in all aspects of public procurement, covering award procedures as well as appeal procedures. Moreover, he adivses clients in general corporate and commercial law, in international investments, in EU and regulatory matters and in real estate law where he has a broad experience in real estate transactions and property development. He has handled a wide variety of judicial procedures on a national and European level and has in-depth experience in the infrastructure, health, energy, transport and defence sectors.

Sebastian Conrad studied law at the Universities of Heidelberg and Montpellier. He completed his legal clerkship in Berlin, Speyer and Luxemburg (European Court of Justice). He obtained his doctoral degree at the Free University of Berlin (summa cum laude). In 2005, he was admitted to the bar in Berlin as a German lawyer (Rechtsanwalt). He worked for the leading German law firm Gleiss Lutz for more than six years and has been a partner with the specialized law firm HFK Rechtsanwälte since 2016.

Sebastian Conrad has published a large number of papers in leading legal journals and is a co-author of a handbook on public procurement law. He is a staff writer of the journal „Public Procurement Law“ and a member of the committee for qualified lawyers in procurement law at the Berlin bar as well as of the Berlin Brandenburg board of law examiners. His further memberships include the Federal Association of Public Law e. V., the German Society for Construction Law e. V. and the Society for Environmental Law e. V. He has held numerous lectures and seminars, particularly on topics of public procurement law.

Sebastian Conrad is fluent in German, English and French.

HFK Rechtsanwälte:

Founded in 1974, HFK has developed into one of the most renowned law firms in administrative, real estate, procurement and planning law in Germany. HFK is entrusted by clients with the most difficult and largest projects. Providing outstanding service to clients is the firm’s mission and HFK takes responsibility for this with personal commitment and top-quality advice.

Sebastian Graf von Wallwitz

Dr. Sebastian Graf von Wallwitz is an equity partner with the German law firm SKW Schwarz, specialising in corporate law and antitrust.

Dr. von Wallwitz studied law in Heidelberg, Freiburg and New York. He obtained a Ph.D. in law (University of Freiburg Law School) and an LL.M. (New York University). Prior to joining SKW Schwarz, Dr. von Wallwitz worked as an antitrust attorney in the Brussels office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

Dr. von Wallwitz advises national and international clients on mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, restructurings and antitrust matters, mainly in the technology, media, hospitality, retail and manufacturing sectors. His clients include Fenix Outdoor, Kadant, the Schörghuber Group, Perform Media Group, Sotheby’s, Orbian and Thomson Reuters.

The Corporate Law Practice:

Making strategic decisions requires reliable and experienced partners. This applies to corporate law issues as much as it does to M&A, start-up or family businesses, investors or large corporations.

SKW Schwarz has long-standing experience in legally designing important strategic decisions.

We advise companies of all sizes, whether corporations or partnerships, including medium-sized, often family-owned, businesses in all fields of corporate law. Primarily, this includes:

  • Advice on organizational structure (corporate governance)
  • Contractual agreements with executive bodies (general managers, members of executive, supervisory, and advisory boards)
  • D&O liability
  • Equity and debt financing (capital increases, shareholder loans)
  • Cash pools
  • Preparing and holding of shareholder and general meetings
  • Group law
  • Transactions under reorganization law (mergers, spin-offs, change of legal form)
  • Joint ventures and strategic partnerships
  • Matters of capital market law and restructuring

In addition, we advise our clients on all corporate compliance issues (preventive advice, including by drafting guidelines and training materials, and advice on handling compliance violations).

Our work also focuses on representing clients in disputes, both before ordinary courts and in arbitral proceedings, for example in shareholder disputes or shareholder actions.

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte:

SKW Schwarz is an independent German law firm. We advise companies of all sizes, from owner-managed firms to listed corporations, and private clients in all major areas of national and international commercial law. With offices at Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg and Munich, we are present at major German business hubs and can serve our clients all across Germany.

SKW Schwarz is a firm which combines tradition and modernity. Some of our offices have existed for several decades. Many of our client relationships have been in place for years – a clear example of the importance we attach to stability. At the same time our expertise in media and entertainment law, IT law, internet and e-business law shows that we do not just keep in step with the latest trends, but help to shape the future.

With more than 90 lawyers, we regard ourselves as a medium-sized firm, which can nevertheless take on international assignments that are usually the domain of large law firms. Our cross-location cooperation procedures enable us to set up teams for more complex transactions which are comparable to those of considerably larger competitors.

Dr. Bettina Bokeloh

Bettina Bokeloh is a national partner in the Tax Department, focusing on advising private equity firms and strategic investors on national and international M&A transactions. She also has significant experience in advising multinational corporations on corporate tax matters, including cross-border tax planning and reorganizations, and regularly advises on capital markets transactions.

Bettina is fluent in German (native) and English.

Firm Overview:

Willkie is an elite international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers located in nine offices in six countries. For more than 125 years, we have represented companies across a wide spectrum of businesses and industries, most notably financial services. The firm is comprised of attorneys who are recognized as some of the world’s foremost practitioners in their respective areas.

Client Service

Willkie’s collaborative approach is entrepreneurially inspired and client focused. Clients grow with us over time. They hire us because of our reputation and our experience, and then build longstanding allegiances based on results and the collegial process by which they are achieved. Our focus on client service includes:

  • A pragmatic approach to the practice of law that puts the client first and forms the basis for longstanding relationships
  • Best-in-class practices that are frequently recognized by peers, clients and independent review publications
  • An attention to successful collaboration that encourages our bright and energetic lawyers to serve clients’ needs while maintaining high ethical standards and treating others with respect
  • Lawyers who possess the legal knowledge and experience to handle any transaction and the ability to communicate effectively with clients

Our International Reach

Willkie’s international experience—including the representation of U.S. and international corporations throughout all regions of the world—is both deep and broad. Located in key business centers throughout the world, Willkie is comprised of the best local market talent in shared strategic areas of practice. Each of our European offices is ranked and recognized within its country as a top local firm. This is an extraordinary distinction and speaks to our specific focus on having the best local talent in each office. Our ability to provide sound judgment and sophisticated legal advice, coupled with significant knowledge of a region’s particular rules and regulations, financial and political regimes, and customs and culture, ensures that clients seeking to conduct cross-border business get the maximum benefit from our vast experience.

Strategically Focused Areas of Practice

Our firm’s shared areas of concentration and services are aligned to ensure high quality and consistently responsive counsel across our international network of offices. Our continuous focus on the synergies within our firm is supported by a firm culture that values collaboration and cooperation.

Andreas Grünwald

Andreas Grünwald is a partner in the Global Antitrust Law Practice Group, and head of Morrison & Foerster’s German antitrust practice. He covers a wide range of antitrust and regulatory matters, with a particular focus on the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) sector.

Based in our Berlin and Brussels offices, Mr. Grünwald provides antitrust advice on M&A strategy, represents public and private corporations in merger control proceedings before the German Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission, and he has notable experience in coordinating multi-jurisdictional merger filings involving European, U.S., and Asian authorities. He also advises on other transactional matters such as sector-specific permit requirements as they often arise in regulated industries.

Mr. Grünwald also counsels his clients on a wide range of operational issues, for example on abuse of dominance issues, information exchange, vertical agreements, antitrust compliance, and internal investigations. Moreover, his practice includes antitrust litigation, specifically with regard to cartel damage claims, where he represents clients in German courts and advises on the application of German law in relation to cross-border cartels.

Mr. Grünwald’s regulatory practice is primarily focused on the TMT sector, where he advises clients on matters such as licensing requirements, access regulation, spectrum issues, platform regulation, youth protection, and price regulation under German and EU laws. This again includes representation before regulatory agencies (e.g., the German Federal Network Agency) and in court, and the development of public policy strategies. Mr. Grünwald also has extensive experience in handling multi-jurisdictional regulatory projects for TMT clients, e.g. providers of telecoms or internet services.

Mr. Grünwald teaches media and competition law at the University of Münster; he served, among other things, as expert consultant to the Council of Europe and the European Commission; and is a founding editor of the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy (IJCLP). He studied law in Würzburg and Münster (Dr. iur.); was a research fellow (1996-2000) with Professor Dr. Bernd Holznagel at the Institute for Information, Telecommunications and Media Law (ITM) in Münster; a visiting scholar at the Communications Media Center of New York Law School (1998); and an international fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School (1999).

Firm Overview:

Morrison & Foerster is a firm of exceptional credentials. Our name is synonymous with a commitment to client service that informs everything that we do. We are recognized throughout the world as a leader in providing cutting-edge legal advice on matters that are redefining practices and industries.

But the Morrison & Foerster name tells only part of our story. In the 1970s, when teletype was used to send overseas cables, the firm purposely chose “mofo” as our teletype address. The nickname stuck, and we later decided to use it as our domain name.

In many ways, the MoFo nickname is an affectionate reminder that while we are very serious about our clients’ work, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

We collaborate across a global network of 16 offices located in key technology and financial centers in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Our clients include some of the largest financial institutions, Fortune 100 companies, and leading technology and life sciences companies. We also represent investment funds and startup companies, and over the years have supported many in their growth and development as leading industry players and household brands.

Morrison & Foerster stands out for its commitment to client service. The BTI Consulting Group’s Client Relationship Scorecard regularly includes us on its prestigious list of “Power Elite” law firms, based on the results of interviews with general counsel and other decision-makers at more than 500 leading companies.

Dr. Volker Knies

Dr. Volker Knies is a founding partner of NESSELHAUF Rechtsanwälte. He is specialized in trademark law, unfair competition law, copyright law, design law, patent law and license agreements. He manages the trademark portfolios of a number of domestic and international advises in cases of intellectual property infringement.

Dr. Volker Knies is a member of the German Association for Intellectual Property and Copyright Law (GRUR Deutsche Vereinigung für gewerblichen Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht) and INTA (International Trademark Association). He is recommended by “LeadersinLaw” as a lawyer for trademark law in Germany and was awarded “AI Global” in 2017 as “Leading Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year – Germany”.

The by Dr. Volker Knies managed trademark department has been elected as “Trademark Law Firm of the Year in Germany” by “Corporate INTL” in 2015 and 2017 and has been awarded as “Practitioner of the Year for Intellectual Property in Germany 2016 (Acquisition International Awards 2016). As part of his education Dr. Volker Knies has worked at a law firm in Sydney, Australia.

Firm Overview:

NESSELHAUF Rechtsanwälte advise enterprises and individuals in all areas of media and press law, intellectual property, information technology and related branches of practice.

Dr. Kati Beckmann

Kati Beckmann is a partner in the German Finance Group with a special focus on investment law, acquisition and corporate finance as well as financial restructurings.

She advises sponsors and investors on fund formations, investments in and marketing of funds, as well as on regulatory requirements for specific institutional investors. Kati has also a wide-ranging experience in advising clients on the borrower and lender side regarding national and cross-border financing, refinancing transaction and in workout and insolvency scenarios or in connection with distressed loan investments (NPLs).

Prior to joining the firm, Kati spent several years working for Olswang Germany, the banking team of Freshfields in London and Frankfurt/Main and the finance group of CMS Hasche Sigle in Berlin.

Firm Overview:

Five decades ago, while at lunch in a South Florida deli, attorneys Mel Greenberg, Robert Traurig, and Larry J. Hoffman, saw an opportunity to establish a new breed of law firm for South Florida; one that mirrored a New York style firm. In 1967, they founded the law firm Greenberg Traurig Hoffman, a quality business law firm where client service and collaboration ruled.

This new model was strong and scalable: deliver the quality of legal work to which substantial U.S. commercial clients were accustomed; truly listen to and work hand-in-hand with clients to help them achieve their goals (not simply drown them in legalese); and do so while offering a decentralized structure that would help them control their legal costs. This approach would also allow the new firm to develop substantial and long-term relationships with some of the top businesses in the region and, eventually, the world.

In the early 1990s, the consolidation of firms had started to take off. The firm developed and executed a strategy that would allow it to deliver the United States to clients at much better value through quality lawyers in the key growth, financial, and political centers in the United States. Clients no longer needed to hire two different firms for the same matter. Because matters were priced locally and with flexibility, they could take advantage of market differences when it came to budgeting.

The firm’s cultural strategy attracted the highly ranked attorneys, who were already perceived as leaders in their community. These individuals wanted to join a firm of positive people who valued working together and shared experience and clients for the benefit of all involved.

The new firm was (and remains) non-bureaucratic. When clients needed a decision, they knew they were talking to someone who could make it happen.

From the beginning, Greenberg Traurig selected laterals not solely on traditional criteria, but also on how well they fit this new culture of collaboration. Additionally, the firm focused on creating a business staff roster that aimed to be the best in the profession.

Early on, Greenberg Traurig developed a strong commitment to giving back to the community. Attorneys and business staff striving to make a difference by leading, volunteering, and donating to a rich spectrum of causes.

Fifty years after its founding, Greenberg Traurig has more than 2,000 attorneys and 38 locations on three continents.

As each new office opened, this unique culture was replicated, but never dictated. The firm grew by way of laterals who fit in and had a passion for quality work and collaboration, and in response to client needs. Greenberg Traurig has never added lawyers through a merger and remains one firm. Each new office can be traced to an opportunity to better serve clients.

There never has been a headquarters office. From Day 1, people have been empowered to do the right thing and the best thing no matter where they were sitting. These qualities have allowed the firm to thrive along with its valued clients, attorneys, and staff.

We are proud of our achievements and grateful to our founders and to all those who continuously work harder and smarter to expand their vision.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Höppner

Prof. Dr. Thomas Höppner is a Partner at Hausfeld in Berlin, specialising in EU and German competition law and intellectual property law. His practice covers the full range of contentious and non-contentious competition law matters, including related regulatory areas such as media, telecommunications, broadcasting and energy.

He has spearheaded complaints before the European Commission and taken competition claims before German courts, particularly in the context of an abuse of dominance and damage claims. Thomas has particular expertise in technology, media and network industries where he regularly advises clients in complex proceedings and litigations at the interface of competition law, sector-specific regulation and intellectual property law. Recent cases include representing several complainants in investigations relating to Google and YouTube at European and national levels, private enforcement of competition law claims to compulsory licenses as well as advising on regulatory reforms in the area of digital markets.

Having studied in Berlin, Glasgow and Dundee, Thomas holds a Ph.D and an LL.M in competition law. He is a professor of business law and intellectual property law at the Wildau Technical University of Applied Sciences and a Visiting Professor for telecoms law at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Thomas has published, inter alia, three books on the regulation of networks and regularly speaks on current topics of competition and intellectual property law.

Thomas has been recommended by Legal 500, noting that clients commend his “great expertise in the area of digital economy” and consider him as a “valued strategic adviser”. The German legal directory JUVE recommended him as “simply a first-rate lawyer.”

Prior to joining Hausfeld, Thomas worked several years in the competition and TMT groups of Hogan Lovells and Olswang in Berlin and London.

Hausfeld Rechtsanwälte LLP:

Hausfeld is a leading global law firm that clients trust with their most complex legal disputes and competition matters.

Our international reach enables us to advise across multiple jurisdictions and pursue claims on behalf of clients worldwide. We work closely with clients to deliver outstanding results, while always addressing their business concerns.  We do so by anticipating issues, considering innovative strategies, and maximizing the outcome of legal disputes in a way that creates shareholder value. Our risk-free approach ensures that our interests are closely aligned with the interests of our clients.

Creative Solutions to Complex Legal Challenges

Hausfeld lawyers have, throughout their careers, consistently applied forward-thinking ideas and creative solutions to the most vexing global legal challenges faced by clients. As a result, the firm’s litigators have developed numerous innovative legal theories that have expanded the quality and availability of legal recourse for claimants around the globe that have a right to seek recovery. We understand the cost of litigation and the constraints on in-house legal budgets. Accordingly, we have developed unique and flexible engagement structures in which we share the risks of litigation with our clients. This was recently recognized by the Financial Times, which awarded us the “Most Innovative Law Firm in Dispute Resolution of 2013” for our engagement and funding offering in Europe.

 

Christian Zierhut

Christian is an IP attorney with over 14 years of experience advising clients on intellectual property issues. Christian is recognised as a Trademark Lawyer & Brand Protection Expert providing a full trademark, design right, copyright and patent advisory services to a broad range of businesses globally.

Christian has a diverse intellectual property practice focused on trade mark prosecution and trademark right infringement litigation, with special emphasis on clients in the fashion, sport and entertainment and car parts sectors. He is also an expert in complex unfair competition and copyright matters.

Not only fashion and luxury brands trust his services: Also professional sportsmen and sport agencies trust his advice in trademark and copyright matters.  Christian did for example the contract drafting in connection with several world champion boxing fighters for their sponsors and TV broadcast events. He won several crucial trials for my clients amongst others a trademark infringement case for Germany’s Number 1 luxus & lifestyle magazine publisher against Axel Springer (Europe’s leading digital publisher).

PRACTICE AREAS:

Christian advises his clients on global anti-counterfeiting strategies, parallel import, including national and European-wide customs filings as well as related cross-border litigation. He acts for several billion dollar fashion labels for many years in relation to all its counterfeit and IP matters.

CLIENTS:

Christian’s clients includes media companies, athlets, race drivers, fashion designers and apparel companies; He consults his clients in all questions concerning trade marks, including the development of trade mark strategies, the supervision and administration of trade mark portfolios, the drafting and negotiation of licence agreements and the extrajudicial and judicial enforcement of trade mark rights. He acted for many years on behalf of Christian Audigier’s worldwide clothing and merchandise company, including all its European trade mark and licence matters. Clients like Valentino Rossi, Techart Porsche, among others the fashion brand Earnest Sewn and the World Boxing Association rely on me – for over 10 years now.

 

Dr. Thomas M. Nitsche

Dr. Thomas M. Nitsche, born 6 August 1970, studied law with focus on international business transactions (Prof. Dr. Oscar Hartwieg) at the Universities of Göttingen and Hannover, Germany, and Cambridge UK (Trinity College). He was a research assistant for foreign and international law at the Max-Planck Institute in Hamburg. During that time and later at the Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he wrote his dissertation with the topic: “Konzernfolgeverantwortung nach lex fori concursus”. The thesis deals with international corporate and insolvency law, especially EU/Germany/Argentina. Main focus is the legal risk assessment for the capital transfer and the processing of credit-financed commercial transactions.

He completed his legal clerkship at the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg. He gained practical experience in the German embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1999 as well as with the law firm Pritchard Englefield, London, Curschmann (Taylor Wessing), Hamburg, and with Arthur Andersen, AndersenLegal in Hamburg.

Dr. Thomas Nitsche works in international and national corporate and insolvency law as well as in trade law. Beside the recapitalisation of companies (corporate finance), he does consulting in risk assessment for project financing and international commercial transactions on the side of investors, banks and initiators.

Practice Areas:

– Corporate Law
– Insolvency Law
– Trade Law, UN Sales Law (CISG)
– Litigation and Arbitration
– Criminal Business Law

Languages:

– German
– English
– Spanish

Company overview:

The company, since 15 years

Brief overview of the law firm’s history and current national and international presence.

The firm was founded in 2003 in Hamburg by a former Andersen lawyer, Dr. Thomas M. Nitsche. By the end of 2005 nitschelegal has launched his own branch office in Berlin within a joint corporation with TLC. The Berlin office established within one year a well known reputation in tax law. nitschelegal is located in London, Hamburg, Berlin with affiliated offices in Buenos Aires, Rio, Santiago, Palma, Cannes, Roma, Milan, Düsseldorf.

The character of nitscheLegal

nitscheLegal is a typical corporate law firm. Within managing restructuring processes for small an medium sized companies, the firm could establish his own successful style based on the academic and practical experience of the founder. Doctorate thesis: “Konzernfolgeverantwortung nach lex fori concursus”. The firm gives advice in corporate finance matters, especially under comprehension of international and national insolvency regulations.

Due to the fact of this special expertise, the firm is now assigned by banks and private equity funds to execute due diligences for new projects. The main focus of nitschelegal is the company law field. The distinction of the nitschelegal boutique is the composition of corporate and insolvency law, which can not be found in equal law firms. The firm serves in national and international affairs and has a well known reputation , especially in Latin-American subjects.

Strengths and changes of the crisis

The main strengths of nitscheLegal is the daily update in all company, tax and insolvency legal matters.

The firm is now requested to assist in upcoming new projects, rather in the field of winding up processes. The restructuring praxis, distressed M&A is still one of the main items, but the assignment for structuring processes is taking a more and more important place. Same mistakes should not be done twice.

The most relevant point is, that the nitschelegal boutique is able to assist in critical situations very fast. The client can bank on the experiences of the well trained lawyers.

nitschelegal is part of IRG. This alliance has grown by practise experiences with these law firms, so all lawyers within this alliance do know each other an are able to manage cases cross border.