Bloomberg News

Law Firm Representing Deutsche Bank in Kirch Litigation Quits

March 02, 2012

One of three law firms that represented Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) and its former Chief Executive Officer Rolf Breuer in the decade-long dispute with Leo Kirch’s media group resigned from the case.

Sernetz Schaefer Rechtsanwaelte told told the Munich appeals court hearing two related cases on Feb. 27 that they no longer work for the lender or Breuer, Manfred Wolf, a lawyer at the Munich-based firm said in an interview today. He declined to say why his firm decided to withdraw.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, yesterday rejected a proposal to settle the litigation tied to comments by Breuer in 2002 about the Kirch group’s creditworthiness. The bank said it made the decision after a “thorough review,” which included considering internal and external legal advice.

Deutsche Bank and Kirch’s heirs discussed a settlement of the claims that Breuer’s comments caused the collapse of the media group. The amount talked about was 800 million euros ($1 billion), a person with knowledge of the negotiations said last month. The Frankfurt-based bank was said to have previously rejected a 775 million-euro settlement proposed by a Munich court.

Detlev Rahmsdorf, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, declined to comment.

The two other German law firms that represent Deutsche Bank and Breuer in the matter are Hengeler Mueller and Gleiss Lutz.

The Munich appeal court today scheduled new hearings in one Kirch damage suit for April 18 and May 2. In the second case pending at that court, no hearings have been scheduled, according to court spokesman Wilhem Schneider.

To contact the reporter on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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