As an Of Counsel in our Düsseldorf practice I provide legal, strategic and political advice to national, European and international clients in the energy, telecommunications, railways and other industrial sectors.
I also benefit from my experience as an economic adviser to three Federal Chancellors and afterwards as a regulator at the national and European level.
My clients are national and international companies (investors, the manufacturing industry, providers of telecommunication services) and national and European public institutions. My special business case is the 'holistic concept'. I am not just offering legal advice but also try from the very beginning to take all technical, economic, strategic and political aspects into account, concentrate on the essentials and attach great importance to the comprehensibility of my advice. My target group are decision makers, not just experts.
The holistic concept is based on my experience as a former advisor to Federal Chancellors Kohl, Schröder and Merkel in the fields of energy, industry, telecommunications, innovation, foreign trade and financial markets. Equally, I draw upon my experience as Vice Chairman of the Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railways (BNetzA), Vice President of the Council of European Regulators (CEER) and a board member of the Agency for the Cooperation of European Energy Regulators (ACER).
As most infrastructure projects are the subject of political discussions, an early dialogue with political and administrative representatives at both the top and operational level is indispensable and generally helpful. The same applies to the dialogue with the citizens concerned. I have experience in successfully supporting investors in presenting their projects credibly and thus opening doors to the government, the EU Commission and the regulatory authorities.
Having been personally involved in the German 'Energiewende' I have broad experience with the German 'Energy Transition' and many practical, legal and political issues associated with it. The areas I am focusing on are the Energy Industry Act (EnWG), the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the laws of accelerated construction of power transmission lines (EnLaG; NABEG), the construction and operation of offshore grids as well as a multitude of implementation regulations.
I also have special practical expertise in European energy and environmental law and its impact on German law. This is especially true for the 'Third Energy Package', in the negotiation of which I was involved as a regulator, and the 'Fourth Package' ('Clean Energy Package'), which is currently being implemented. Among the important issues in this context are the regulations on trading in electricity and gas (eg market coupling) as well as on the prevention of market abuse and market manipulation, in particular REMIT, which I personally initiated as a regulator, and the energy-related financial market regulation (MIFID II/MIFIR).
An important focus of my work is to preserve the legitimate political and legal interests of the energy-intensive Industry. This includes the increasingly important promotion of the flexibility of industrial power consumption through temporary shutdowns as well as the participation in the supply of balancing energy and redispatch. I am also intensively engaged with preserving the necessary discounts on electricity surcharges, in order to mitigate competitive disadvantages that foreign competitors do not have as well as carbon leakage risks. In doing so, I draw on many years of experience with European state aid law.
Rising new challenges: Both the German energy transition and coherence problems in the completion of the European internal market, which is already heading for an Energy Union, pose significant risks to the security of supply. I am currently dealing with the question of who might be liable for possible supply disruptions. This will be a new focus of my activities. Still a niche but another new opportunity: I am starting with the 'export' of specific German regulatory solutions adapted to the individual needs of foreign countries or sectors. As Germany has one of the most sophisticated energy regulations in the world, this could become a new market.
I am co-author of a handbook on infrastructure investments and of the 'Berlin Commentary on Energy Law'. As Chairman of the CEER Training Academy Advisory Board I am involved in the legal training of European regulators in connection with the implementation of the European Energy Union. Last but not least, I also speak at national and international conferences.