Dr. Christian Schmitt
Litigation, Arbitration & Investigations Partner, Frankfurt
“Dual-qualified in German and English law, I am a litigator assisting clients to find and pursue the most effective ways of resolving their major disputes. I am strategic, analytical and calm under pressure.”
Education and qualifications
Christian is highly experienced in complex litigation and regularly represents some of the most prominent members of the financial community from Germany, Europe and further afield across a broad range of disputes, including insolvency litigation, banking and capital markets-related litigation and contentious regulatory matters, including white collar crime.
In his insolvency litigation practice, Christian acts for banks and businesses on a wide range of insolvency-related issues such as rebutting and challenging insolvency (avoidance) claims, “waterfall” claims in insolvencies and claims involving former managers of businesses, as well as acting for insolvency administrators on the same issues.
In his banking and capital markets litigation practice, Christian inter alia advises on prospectus claims, misselling and mistrading issues, derivatives and swap litigation and investment advice liability.
Christian represents clients in all courts and tribunals in Germany (except for the German Supreme Court) as well as being a certified business mediator.
Christian has acted for and represented clients in many major disputes. His cases include advising:
- Barclays: representing in more than 500 cases in Germany in connection with hedge fund-linked notes, including a German class action (KapMuG procedure) and proceedings before the German Supreme Court, as well as the coordination of parallel 118 proceedings in Austria.
- An internationally operating custodian bank: advising on potential civil law claims for damages of its clients under German law in connection with the replacement and reclaim of previously issued capital gains tax certificates (cum/ex).
- Representing in a dispute with its former affiliate Lehman Brothers Bankhaus about the ranking of a client money placement amounting to US$1bn in the insolvency proceedings as well as the rebuttal of an insolvency avoidance claim amounting to US$1bn.
- An investment bank: advising on rebutting alleged insolvency avoidance claims from insolvency administrators of former carbon certificate traders which allegedly had been part of a VAT fraud carousel.
- An international investment bank: advising on its involvement in the Land Salzburg Financial Scandal (alleged claims based on misselling and on the transactions purportedly being void for being either ultra vires or being entered into without the persons representing Land Salzburg having the appropriate authority).
- J.P. Morgan: representing in proceedings in Germany and before the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which resulted in the case being heard before the English High Court under Art 22 No. 2 of the Judgment Regulation (now Art 24 No. 2 of the Brussels Ia Regulation).
Christian is a lecturer at the University of Speyer, which trains German administrative clerks on issues such as, banking supervisory law and bank restructuring.
Education and qualifications
Christian studied law at, and holds a doctorate from, the University of Würzburg.
He speaks German and English.
Christian writes regularly for trade and learned journals, some key publications include:
- “Investment Advice, Ultra Vires and Jurisdiction Arbitrage”, part of the chapter on “Compliance and Financial Derivatives” in Zerey (ed.), “OTC financial derivatives”, 4th ed. 2016
- Author and editor of Jahn/Schmitt/Geier Handbuch Bankensanierung und -abwicklung, author of the chapters on “legal protection with regard to bank recovery measures” and “legal protection with regard to bank resolution measures”, 1st ed. 2017
- Determination of the applicable law on prospectus liability under Rome II, ICCLR 2014, 233