Schalast | Dispute Resolution

Conflicts are an inevitable aspect of conducting business. Our Dispute Resolution team stands out for its profound understanding of your business viewpoint. A significant number of our Partners has extensive in-house experience, granting them direct insight into the corporate perspective.

Thus, we conduct proceedings together with you, in constant transparency. You control the decisions yourself, with us serving as your advisors. Our primary goal is always to secure the best economic results for you, for which legal and court proceedings are often only one component.

Schalast has particular expertise in complex litigation and its resolution - also through innovative approaches. A key area of focus is also defending against mass claims directed at companies in their various forms, whether as a multitude of individual lawsuits, alternative bundling methods such as assignment models, or through statutory mechanisms like collective redress or model proceedings under the KapMuG (the Capital Markets Model Case Act). Moreover, our Dispute Resolution team possesses considerable experience in banking and capital markets litigation, as well as in D&O liability cases and corporate disputes.

Our high level of substantive expertise further strengthened by the seamless collaboration between the Dispute Resolution team and other practice groups, along with auditing firm Schalast Auerbach Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft.

We also provide top-tier advice on litigation finance solutions, both on the plaintiff and defendant side. With such litigation finance solutions, you can reduce the burden on your balance sheet, minimise risks and enhance your cash flow. Given that the Head of our Dispute Resolution team has prior experience as General Counsel for a litigation financier, we offer invaluable experience and exceptional insight in this area.

Internationally, in collaboration with our partner law firms within the global Multilaw network, we frequently handle cross-border proceedings across various legal domains, whether before national and institutional courts or international arbitration tribunals.

Complex Dispute Resolution 

Commercial disputes are frequently characterized by a high degree of complexity and can have substantial consequences for our clients. Therefore, they demand skilled and efficient representation, a service we at Schalast have repeatedly demonstrated.

A prime example of our prowess in managing complex legal disputes is the “Metal on Metal” case, wherein Prof. Dr Andreas Walter persuaded the highest judicial bodies, including the Federal Court of Justice, the Federal Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice, of our legal stance on multiple occasions. This was achieved despite initial adverse decisions from lower courts, leading to ground-breaking new case law. Such challenging cases underscore Schalast lawyers’ unwavering commitment to securing the best possible outcomes for our clients.

We advise to both German and international clients, ranging from detailed investigations of intricate economic matters to the successful advocacy of their interests, both in and out of court.

Examples of our successful work in Complex Dispute Resolution include:

  • several test cases up to the Federal Court of Justice, the Federal Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice concerning fundamental copyright issues, including repeated success with our constitutional complaints at the Federal Constitutional Court (“Metal on Metal”) (notably BVerfG in NJW 2016, 2247; ECJ in GRUR 2019, 929; BGH ZUM 2023, 836; BGH GRUR 2020, 843; BGH GRUR 2017, 895 etc)
  • representing Commerzbank AG against claims relating to derivative transactions, including with regard to the powers of the supervisory authority and the restrictions on the acting of municipalities in commercial transactions
  • representing a former member of the management board of a DAX-listed company against D&O liability claims and in coverage proceedings against the D&O insurance company
  • representing a leading credit institution in various D&O liability matters
  • representing a buyer in post-M&A proceedings
  • achieving a fundamental settlement on loan agreements (in particular on interest rates, processing fees, consumer status)
  • enforcing shareholder rights in a group structure
  • representing a large number of credit institutions and issuers in proceedings with BaFin regarding disclosure and publication obligations
  • advising various offshore SPVs on potential claims by investors in connection with capital requirements under the CCR
  • representing several media companies to achieve inclusion in the distribution system of Europe’s largest marketer (e.g., BGH WM 2022, 391)
  • representing a large German bank regarding pension fund claims
  • obtaining a landmark decision in proceedings concerning the amount of loan interest and the syndication of a corporate loan
  • representing an insurer in complex proceedings, including loan claims and life insurance liabilities
  • advising and representing a major international bank in an interbank dispute
  • advising and representing a major international bank in arbitration proceedings in post-portfolio transaction disputes
  • advising an offshore company in connection with a multi-million lawsuit brought by investors against a former German state bank
  • advising and - jointly with our Dutch partner law firm - representing a German bank in a claim for damages in excess of EUR 40m before Dutch courts
  • enforcing the recognition of software to detect infringements in peer-to-peer networks
  • representing, inter alia, a general contractor on the issue of competing general terms and conditions and specifically on the shifting of liability for the soil bearing capacity of a power plant site (notably BGH NJW-RR 2016, 498)
  • representing municipal energy suppliers before the European Court of Justice in proceedings under cartels law and competition law
  • representing municipal energy suppliers in US discovery proceedings in connection with arbitration proceedings pending in Germany (e.g., US Supreme Court, Case 20-650; US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Case 19-2480-cv)
  • action for damages and repayment before the Commercial Court (Stuttgart Regional Court) in connection with the failed manufacture of an automation system for automated processing and packaging
  • major competition law proceedings in summary proceedings and on the merits, including disparaging, misleading and obstructive advertising
  • representing a manufacturer of sustainable coffee capsules in a cancellation application concerning the trademark protection of the Nespresso capsule (BPatG GRUR 2018, 522)
  • representation in proceedings on influencer marketing, including successful admission to the Federal Constitutional Court (MMR 2022, 387, GRUR-RR 2021, 318)
  • representing a preferential creditor in asserting claims for asset reduction liability against the debtor’s general managers from the insolvency administrator’s assigned rights (EUR 10 million); landmark decision of the Federal Court of Justice regarding the validity requirements of such an assignment in favour of our client (BGH IX ZR 232/17)
  • enforcing claims for damages by the heirs of a group of companies against the executors of a will
  • representing companies in lawsuits for the granting of partially rejected corona bridging aid

Defending mass litigation claims

Collective litigation claims against companies have been on the rise, a trend not just sparked by the “diesel scandal”. Specialised law firms, advanced IT support models and new legal frameworks are contributing to an increasing number of lawsuits across various industries.

Schalast has considerable expertise in handling such mass proceedings and their various forms. We have successfully represented clients in cases involving thousands of individual claims, at times concurrently across all regional courts in Germany. Our years of in-depth experience extend to multiple methods of claim consolidation, including the well-known KapMuG model proceedings and the more recent introduction of representative and redress actions. Our profound understanding of these mechanisms allows us to leverage their unique procedural advantages for our clients’ benefit. In all cases, we employ cutting-edge legal tech solutions to ensure efficient outcomes and constant transparency for our clients.

Our work in mass litigation focuses on banking and capital markets law, as well as defending claims for damages under data protection law.

Highlighted examples of our successful engagements include:

  • representing the largest credit reference agency in the face of thousands of claims for damages asserted under Article 82 GDPR
  • acting for a financial services provider against thousands of investor lawsuits at all German regional courts
  • pioneering the use of model proceedings under the Capital Markets Model Case Act on behalf of a defendant
  • defending a DAX-listed company against thousands of investor lawsuits in the inaugural model proceedings under the Capital Markets Model Case Act
  • representing a leading German bank in hundreds of investor protection lawsuits
  • advocating for an international insurance company against numerous plaintiff law firms