The customs and foreign trade practice group at GvW Graf von Westphalen remains unchallenged in first place in Germany as the JUVE editorial board clarified in the rankings in the Handbook for Commercial Law Firms 2019/2020. Competitors praise the team of 10 attorneys headed by practice group leader Dr Lothar Harings for the team's "extreme depth of specialized knowledge" and its "great practical experience; the team exclusively provides advice in the areas of export controls, sanctions, customs law, import value added tax, excise taxes and state aid law.
Several well-known companies relied on the advice of the practice group least year as well. According to the Handbook, the practice group is ahead of all other firms with regard to the broad range of matters and a large number of high-end clients they represent. The large amount of experience in designing and implementing internal compliance programs (ICP) for customs and export controls is mentioned specifically.
Among their most recent clients are the parents of the US student Otto Warmbier who was tortured in North Korea and died subsequently. The law firm is supporting the Warmbiers in their demand to close the City Hostel in Berlin. The hostel is operated in the center of Berlin next to the North Korean embassy in violation of EU and UN sanctions, (more).
The Handbook contains frequent recommendations for: Dr Lothar Harings ("extremely knowledgeable about the material“, "competent“, "well-connected", competitor); Dr Gerd Schwendinger ("a quintessential professional“, competitor); Marian Niestedt ("very knowledgeable “, competitor, "professionally very strong with a wide range of knowledge" “, competitor about the team). Dr Lothar Harings and Marian Niestedt are also listed as "Leading Partners for Foreign Trade Law“ - With this GvW Graf von Westphalen is the only law firm with two attorneys in this category.