Dr. Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts

Managing Partner

Dr. Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts primarily acts as arbitrator and counsel in domestic and international arbitration proceedings.

He has been involved in proceedings under the rules of the ICC, the DIS, the SCC and the LCIA as well as in ad hoc proceedings. Nils also represents international and domestic clients in proceedings before German courts and assists them with the enforcement of foreign awards and judgments. His focus lies in the areas of international trade, sales law, construction law, corporate law, energy, infrastructure and post-M&A.

Nils holds a Doctor of Laws in international sales law (CISG). Before joining Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte, he worked for several years with CMS Munich in the team headed by Dr. Klaus Sachs. Nils is a visiting professor lecturing on arbitration and CISG at the Universities of Berlin, Freiburg and the European Business School. He regularly speaks at international conferences and is the author of a number of publications. Nils speaks German, English, French and Spanish.

As Arbitrator
Chairman, Sole Arbitrator and Party-Appointed Arbitrator in more than 20 domestic and international ICC, DIS, DIA, Swiss Rules and ad hoc arbitration proceedings

As Counsel in arbitral proceedings
Representation of domestic and foreign companies in ICC, DIS, SCC and LCIA as well as in ad hoc arbitration proceedings

As Counsel in state court proceedings
Representation of domestic and foreign companies before German courts (i.a. enforcement of arbitral awards and follow-on-damage claims)

Co-Counsel and expert
Co-counsel and expert arrangements with domestic and foreign law firms

  • International trade, transport, construction, energy (in particular, on and offshore wind energy), infrastructure and post-M&A
  • International contract law, commercial and corporate law, sales law (i.a. CISG), construction law and transport and distribution law, energy law, antitrust law
  • International private law, law of international civil procedure and comparative law
  • German
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Since 2011
    Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte, Hamburg
  • 2009 - 2011
    CMS Hasche Sigle, Munich (Member of the International Litigation and Arbitration Department headed by Dr. Klaus Sachs)
  • 2007 - 2009
    Legal traineeship including work experience with the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris, France, Hengeler Mueller in Berlin and the German Embassy in Cambodi
  • 2005 - 2007
    Doctor of Laws (Dr. iur.) and Research and teaching assistant at the Institute for Foreign and International Private Law, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 1999 - 2005
    University of Freiburg and University of Grenoble
  • Visiting Professor for International Arbitration and CISG at the Humboldt-University of Berlin and the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg
  • Co-founder of the International Dispute Resolution Master at the Humboldt-University of Berlin
2018Reform of the German Arbitration ActBerlinBerlinGermany
2017The right place of arbitration in case of BREXITKonstanzKonstanzGermany
2017Energy DisputesICC YAFDüsseldorfGermany
2017The impact of the energy revolution in Germany on electricity supply contractsICC YAFDüsseldorfGermany
2016Minimising unconscious bias - a checklist for arbitratorsUnconscious Bias & NegotiationViennaAustria
2016Roundtable moderator at the Co-Chairs’ CircleICC YAFHelsinkiFinland
2016Arbitrating East-West Disputes in the Time of SanctionsICC YAFHelsinkiFinland
2016Document production"YIAG meets Vis" event during the Vis MootViennaAustria
2016Damages under the CISGHanover PreMoot ConferenceHanoverGermany
2015Arbitral activism v impartialityKiev Arbitration DaysKievUkraine
2015N.N.LCIA/YIAG - Tylney HallLondonUnited Kingdom
2015Independence and impartiality – the new IBA GuidelinesICC YAF eventCopenhagenDenmark
2015Emergency arbitrators – success stories and challengesICC YAF eventCologneGermany
2015Challenges for a new generation of arbitratorsICC YAF eventFrankfurt am MainGermany
2014International ArbitrationYAAP roundtableViennaAustria
2014The future of investment arbitrationICC YAF conferenceHamburgGermany
2014Counsel ethics in international arbitrationYIAG conferenceIstanbulTurkey
2014Participation in the Europe Hall DebateICC YAF Regional conferenceRomeItaly
2013International Sales LawEuropean Business SchoolWiesbadenGermany
2013Arbitration and Project FinanceBaltic Arbitration Days 2013RigaLatvia
2013Managing the process: notice of the proceedings, appointing the tribunal, non-­payment of advances, fixing the procedure, managing the hearingASA Below 40 conferenceGenevaSwitzerland
2013German law in international contractsICC Austria SeminarViennaAustria
2013The CISG in ArbitrationICC YAF conferenceParisFrance
2013Groups of Experts: A New Approach to Expert Evidence"Evidence in Arbitration" conferenceWarsawPoland
2012Bridging the divide between party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expertsinternational conferences in Wellington and AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
2012N.N.International conference organized by the ICC YAFBerlinGermany
2012Sports ArbitrationDIS 40 meetingBerlinGermany
2012Integration of Technologies in Legal MattersN.N.DüsseldorfGermany
2012The CISG - a good choice for buyersIn-house seminarCologneGermany
2012Workshop on "German law as an alternative in international contracts"Seminar of the ICC AustriaViennaAustria
2012Sports Arbitration in Germany - The Rules and Practice of the DIS Court of Arbitration for SportsInternational conference on sports arbitrationWarsawPoland
2018The "Right" Place of Arbitration: How Germany Might Profit from BrexitSchiedsVZ, Heft 5
2015Enforcement of international arbitral awards in GermanyPractice Note for LexisPSL, published online in January 2015
2015Enforcement of international arbitral awards in GermanyPractice Note for LexisPSL, published in January 2015
2014Commentaries on the CISG in the leading German online commentary (Beck-Online) (Articles 25-27 and 71-73) as well as in a Swiss commentary (Articles 74-77)
2013Kommentar zur 2012 ICC Schiedsordnung und der 1998 DIS Schiedsordnung
2012Expert Teaming - Bridging the Divide Between Party-Appointed and Tribunal-Appointed ExpertsWellington Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 4 (2012), p. 653 et seq.
2011Anwendbares Recht bei Schiedsverfahren mit Sitz in DeutschlandSchiedsVZ (2011), pp. 267 et seq. (jointly with Dr. Philipp Höttler)
2010Expert evidence under the 2010 IBA RulesInternational Arbitration Law Review Vol. 13, No. 5 (2010), pp. 216 et seq. (jointly with Dr. Klaus Sachs)
2010Settlement Efforts in ArbitrationRevista de Arbitragem e Mediação No. 25 (2010), pp. 161 et seq. (jointly with Dr. Klaus Sachs)
2010Diverging concepts of the Principle of Competence-CompetenceNew Developments in International Commercial Arbitration (2010), pp. 1 et seq. (jointly with Dr. Klaus Sachs)
2010Experts - Neutrals or AdvocatesICCA Congress Series No. 15 (2010), pp. 135 et seq. (jointly with Dr. Klaus Sachs)
2010Introduction to the law of arbitrationJURA (2010), p. 520 et seq.
2010Recoverability of frustrated expenses under the CISGIHR (2006), p. 67 et seq.
  • He is going to be a big big star, he is incredibly good” (Who's Who Legal “Arbitration – Future Leader”)
  • One of the most promising young German arbitration lawyers” (Global Arbitration Review);
  • Recommended in Who's Who of Business Lawyers, Commercial Arbitration 2018
  • Recommended in Who's Who Legal Germany: Arbitration Lawyers 2019
  • Recommended in Who’s Who Legal Arbitration – Future Leaders 2017
  • Recommended in The Legal 500 Germany 2016
  • Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts is “a big star” in the German market, commended by international peers for his top-tier work as arbitrator.
    Who’s Who Legal
  • Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts [is an] 'extremely good lawyer'."
    The Legal 500
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Sachs (CMS Hasche Sigle) calls Dr. Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts "one of the most promising young German arbitration lawyers", who has "already developed remarkable experience" in the field.
    Global Arbitration Review
  • "Dr. Nils Schmidt-Ahrendts [is the] arbitration shooting star." ; "[is] committed, will not give up in rather hopeless cases".
  • Ex Regional Coordinator Europe & Russia ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF)
  • Ex Regional Coordinator Berlin German Institute of Arbitration (DIS40)
  • Ex Regional Coordinator Europe LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG)
  • Groupe ASA des Jeunes Praticiens de l’Arbitrage (ASA Below 40)
  • Young Austrian Arbitration Practitioners (YAAP)