BARRISTERS / Litigators

 

BERNHARD SCHMEILZL
(HEAD OF CHAMBERS)

CALLED 2001

Graduated from Regensburg University Law School (hons.) in 1998. German Bar Exam in 2000. Called to the Munich Bar in 2001. Master of Laws degree (hons.) from University of Leicester in 2004. Associate lawyer with the international law firm Beiten Burkhardt. Now: Managing partner and head of litigation department of GP Chambers Graf & Partners LLP.

 

KATRIN GROLL
 

CALLED 2004

Graduated from Regensburg University Law School (hons.) in 2001. German Bar Exam in 2003. Called to the Nuremberg Bar in March 2004. Katrin is a partner since 2008. She specialises in labour law, traffic accidents, professional malpractice and debt collection, including the enforcement of foreign judgements in Germany.

 
 
 

ELISSA JELOWICKI

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British and Canadian Citizen. Graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2004. Law degree from London BBP Law School in 2007. Admitted to the Rolls of Solicitors in 2010. After working for a niche media firm in London she moved to Munich where she qualified as Registered European Lawyer (REL) and was admitted to the Munich Bar. She specialises in commercial and media law as well as British German legal matters in general.

 

MAGDALENA GEGENFURTNER

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Graduated from Passau University Law School in 2014 (with hons). Magdalena completed her German Bar Exam in 2016 and was called to the Nuremberg Bar in January 2017. Before joining Graf & Partners, Magdalena obtained legal training at a law firm in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), where she gained experience in national and international succession law, real estate law and contract law. As a litigator, Magdalena specialises in civil litigation, contentious probate cases and business disputes. In addition to speaking German and English, Magdalena is also fluent in Spanish.

 
 

CLERKS / Paralegals

 

SILVIA BREUNDL
(HEAD CLERK & HEAD OF ADMINISTRATION)

Silvia trained as a Clerk in 2008 and graduated from the Nuremberg Bar Association as best of her class in 2011. During her full time employment with our chambers, Silvia then went on to pursue a degree of Bachelor of Business Administration and Operations (CCI). In addition to keeping the ship on course administratively, Silvia is the head clerk (paralegal) for commercial and corporate cases. She understands not only the legal side but also the business needs of in-house lawyers and managers.

 
 

ANGLO-GERMAN TEAM

GP Chambers, with its international expertise, is well equipped to advise and represent clients from the UK, the USA and other English speaking countries. Head of chambers, Bernhard Schmeilzl, along with several other lawyers in our litigation team, have studied and worked or are even qualified as lawyers in Britain. As a result, GP Chambers have established a unique and impressive legal practice, which focuses specifically on British-German and German-American legal cases and issues. Our Anglo-German team is headed by British and Canadian citizen Elissa Jelowicki, a qualified English solicitor, and Registered European Lawyer, admitted to the Munich Bar Association. In light of this, clients and instructing solicitors from the UK are able to discuss their specific case with a native speaker, who also knows the English legal system.

 

EXPERTISE

Our litigation lawyers appear before German law Courts throughout the country and are also experienced in (Commercial) Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution. We provide bespoke and specialist legal advice, support and advocacy services in all commercial and civil law matters, ranging from contract disputes, corporate litigation and employment, to damage claims and contentious probate. In addition, our family law experts deal with international divorces and child custody matters. In relation to other legal areas, e.g. criminal law or tax, we will be happy to recommend qualified German lawyers from other chambers, who are also fluent in English.

 

TERMS

In Germany, the client lawyer relationship, from professional confidentiality to mandatory minimum fees, is regulated by statutory rules (German Civil Code and Bundesrechtsanwaltsordnung BRAO). These statutes are complemented by binding Rules of Professional Conduct for German Lawyers (BORA) adopted and constantly amended by the German Federal Bar Association (Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer, BRAK). In regards to forensic matters, the rights and duties of a German litigator are of course also regulated in the German Code of Civil Procedure

Thus, detailed letters of engagement are uncommon in Germany. A German lawyer is usually instructed rather informally. However, a client is in most cases asked to sign a fee agreement and a power of attorney (Vollmacht), because it is customary – and sometimes even legally required – for a German lawyer to provide written evidence of having been mandated to the other party’s lawyer or to the court.