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DR. PHILIPP MASSARI

Dr. Philipp Massari

As a teenager, I spent most of my free time either playing strategy games or engaging in political debates. I never planned to become a litigator. I actually started my career in structured finance.

However, once I started to practice law, I understood that thinking strategically and developing strong arguments is at the core of what a litigator does. It began to dawn on me that instinctively I had chosen a profession that allowed me to make a living out of my passions. What luck! Since then I have steadily worked on becoming a better litigator every day.

During my career as outside and inhouse counsel, I worked on high-stakes litigation and arbitration proceedings, which led to landmark decisions of German and European Courts.

If you want to learn more about those cases, please take a look below.

Thanks to my Italian father and my French wife, I speak Italian and French besides German and English.

As a teenager, I spent most of my free time either playing strategy games or engaging in political debates. I never planned to become a litigator. I actually started my career in structured finance.

However, once I started to practice law, I understood that thinking strategically and developing strong arguments is at the core of what a litigator does. It began to dawn on me that instinctively I had chosen a profession that allowed me to make a living out of my passions. What luck! Since then I have steadily worked on becoming a better litigator every day.

During my career as outside and inhouse counsel, I worked on high-stakes litigation and arbitration proceedings, which led to landmark decisions of German and European Courts.

If you want to learn more about those cases, please take a look below.

Thanks to my Italian father and my French wife, I speak Italian and French besides German and English.

Vita

  • Since 2020 Massari Olbrich, Munich and Zug, Partner

  • 2019-2020 Daedalus Law, Munich, Owner

  • 2013-2019 Philip Morris International, Lausanne, Senior Counsel Regulatory Policy & Strategy

  • 2009-2013 Hogan Lovells, Munich, Senior Associate

  • 2007-2009 G&P Law Firm, Nuremberg, Associate

  • 2006-2007 Freshfields, Frankfurt, Associate

  • 2006 PhD in Banking and Competition Law (summa cum laude)

  • 2005-2006 LL.M. at Tulane Law School, New Orleans (with distinction, Perfect Record Award)

  • 2002-2005 Research and Teaching Assistant to Prof. Dr. Dr. Stefan Grundmann and Prof. Dr. Thomas Ackermann, Erlangen

  • 2002 German bar admission, Second State Exam (top 10%)

  • 2000 Linklaters, London, Legal Trainee

  • 2000-2002 Nuremberg Higher Regional Court, Legal Trainee

  • 1999 First State Exam (top 1%)

Publications & speaking engagements

  • Massari/Burri: “Arbitrating Corporate Law Disputes: The new Swiss Law – A Model for Germany?”, journal article, forthcoming 2024.

  • Burri: “The Emerging Regulation of Third-Party Funding in Investor-State Dispute Settlement: A Snapshot of the Reform Efforts of ICSID, UNCITRAL, and the European Union”, book chapter, forthcoming 2024.

  • Burri: Review of “The Australian Class Action: A 30-Year Perspective by Michael Legg and James Metzger”, Journal of Civil Litigation and Practice, 2023, Vol. 11, pp. 70-73.

  • Burri/Ludin: “Zinsen auf Prozesskostenforderungen: Rechtliche und Ökonomische Überlegungen”, in: Nobel, Peter; Aliverti, Elias; Baumann, Alexander (eds.), Law and Economics in all seinen Facetten, Festschrift für Klaus Mathis, Schriften zur Rechtstheorie, Vol. 309, pp. 497-522, Duncker & Humblot 2023.

  • Burri/Nickl: “ECJ specifies right to compensation under Art. 82 GDPR in C-300/21 – Österreichische Post”, May 11, 2023, https://perfectlaw.co.uk/ecj-specifies-right-to-compensation-under-art-82-gdpr-in-c-300-21-osterreichische-post/

  • Burri/van Heusden: “Volkswagen and FCA cases show how foreign defendants can and cannot be brought into Dutch courts in WAMCA cases”, April 24, 2023, https://perfectlaw.co.uk/volkswagen-and-fca-cases-show-how-foreign-defendants-can-and-cannot-be-brought-into-dutch-courts/

  • Burri/van Heusden: “In WAMCA case against GXO Logistics, Dutch court refuses to apply opt-out principle to foreign claimholders”, April 19, 2023, https://perfectlaw.co.uk/in-wamca-case-against-gxo-logistics-dutch-court-refuses-to-apply-opt-out-principle-to-foreign-claimholders/

  • Burri/van Heusden, Aad: “In Vattenfall case, Dutch Court clarifies temporal scope of WAMCA and wants to see funding agreement”, April 15, 2023, https://perfectlaw.co.uk/dutch-court-clarifies-temporal-scope-of-wamca-and-wants-to-see-funding-agreement-in-case-against-vattenfall/

  • Burri/Nickl: “ECJ opens floodgates for new wave of Diesel litigation”, March 30, 2023, https://perfectlaw.co.uk/ecj-opens-floodgates-for-new-wave-of-diesel-litigation/

  • Burri/Nickl: “Dutch Court Affirms Jurisdiction in WAMCA Case Against TikTok” March 15, 2023, https://perfectlaw.co.uk/dutch-court-affirms-jurisdiction-in-wamca-case-against-tiktok/

  • Burri/van Heusden: “Like It or Not: Collective Actions in the Netherlands Do Require (Some) Bookbuilding” March 15, 2023, https://perfectlaw.co.uk/like-it-or-not-collective-actions-in-the-netherlands-do-require-bookbuilding/

  • Burri/Solas: “Third-Party Funding under the EU’s new Representative Actions Directive”, Global Competition Litigation Review, 2022, Vol. 15(1), pp. 29-39.

  • Mathis/Burri: “Nudging in Swiss Contract Law? An Analysis of Non-mandatory Default Rules from a Legal, Economic and Behavioural Perspective” in: Mathis, Klaus and Tor, Avishalom (eds.), Nudging – Possibilities, Limitations and Applications in European Law and Economics, Economic Analysis of Law in European Legal Scholarship, Vol. 3, pp. 121-151, Springer 2016.

  • “Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration”, ASA PhD Day, Swiss Arbitration Association, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel (Switzerland), June 9, 2023.

  • “Regulating TPF of Class Actions – A Finance Perspective”, Research Seminar of Prof. Dr. Xandra Kramer’s NWO Vici Project ‘Affordable Access to Justice’, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam (Netherlands), March 3, 2023.

  • “A Finance Perspective on Lawsuits”, Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law Guest Forum, Luxembourg (Luxembourg), April 13, 2023.

  • “Litigation Finance”, Guest Lecture at Swiss Arbitration Academy, together with Franziska Studer and Simon Knupfer, Berne (Switzerland), June 25, 2022.

  • “Third-Party Funding for Collective Redress”, Guest Lecture at Seminar Series on Consumers and the Market, organized by Prof. Dr. Giorgio Afferni, University of Genoa, together with Lucas Macedo, Genoa (Italy), June 18, 2022.

  • “Regulation of Third-Party Funding of Collective Redress – Developments in Switzerland and the EU”, 1st Doctoral Colloquium of the International Network for Law and Economics – lucernaforum, University of Lucerne, Lucerne (Switzerland), April 19, 2022.

  • “Reasons for Regulating Third-Party Funding in Collective Redress – A Law and Economics Perspective”, European Doctorate in Law and Economics (EDLE) Seminar Series, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam (Netherlands), April 12, 2022.

  • “The Emerging Regulation of Third-Party Funding in Investor-State Dispute Settlement: A Snapshot of the Reform Efforts of ICSID, UNCITRAL, and the European Union”, 2nd Bucerius Conference on Investment Law & Arbitration, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg (Germany), April 3, 2022.

Memberships & miscellaneous

  • Since 2023 lecturer for “Storytelling in court proceedings” at the University of Heidelberg

  • Lecturer for Civil Procedure Law for trainees at the District Court Munich I (appointed by the president of the Higher Court of Munich)

  • Member of the board of the European Institute for Conflict Management (EUCON) in Munich

  • Co-Author of the EUCON Mediation Rules

  • Member of the German Arbitration Institute (DIS)

  • Business Mediator (Munich Training, Eidenmüller/Hacke/Fries)

  • Member of the German-Italian Lawyers Association

  • Certified offshore sailor

TILL OLBRICH

Till Olbrich

I have over two decades of experience in high-profile litigation as well as government affairs work.  At Philip Morris International, as the Deputy General Counsel, I guided the work of large teams of lawyers, advised senior management, and was involved in contentious matters literally around the globe.  Plenty of tough challenges! I had a terrific time at PMI.  It also included several years as the company’s head of regulatory policy and strategy.  Participating in multiple legislative campaigns, I got to stake out new frontiers at the interface of politics, science and law.  Before going inhouse, I earned my litigator chops at Hengeler Mueller in Germany and at Wachtell Lipton in New York.  Two fantastic firms.  Rounding out the picture, my earlier experience also included a brief stint as the CEO of a failed technology start-up.  Bummer, but I did learn a lot.

My wife Steffi and I have four children. I love football, play volleyball, enjoy reading easy courtroom novels and obsessively follow politics.  I speak English, German and French and can order beer in about 11 additional languages.

I have over two decades of experience in high-profile litigation as well as government affairs work.  At Philip Morris International, as the Deputy General Counsel, I guided the work of large teams of lawyers, advised senior management, and was involved in contentious matters literally around the globe.  Plenty of tough challenges! I had a terrific time at PMI.  It also included several years as the company’s head of regulatory policy and strategy.  Participating in multiple legislative campaigns, I got to stake out new frontiers at the interface of politics, science and law.  Before going inhouse, I earned my litigator chops at Hengeler Mueller in Germany and at Wachtell Lipton in New York.  Two fantastic firms.  Rounding out the picture, my earlier experience also included a brief stint as the CEO of a failed technology start-up.  Bummer, but I did learn a lot.

My wife Steffi and I have four children. I love football, play volleyball, enjoy reading easy courtroom novels and obsessively follow politics.  I speak English, German and French and can order beer in about 11 additional languages.

Vita

  • Since 2020 Massari Olbrich, Munich and Zug, Partner

  • 2005-2019 Philip Morris International, Lausanne and New York

    • Deputy General Counsel

    • Regional GC for Latin America & Canada

    • Vice President Regulatory Policy & Strategy

  • 2003-2004 Wachtell Lipton, New York, Foreign Associate

  • 2001-2002 Hengeler Mueller, Frankfurt, Associate

  • 2001 Spider M AG, Nürnberg, CEO

  • 1999-2000 Hengeler Mueller, Düsseldorf, Associate

  • 1999 German bar admission, Second State Exam (top 1%)

  • 1999 Dan Assan Law Firm, Tel Aviv, Legal Trainee

  • 1997-1999 Nürnberg Higher Regional Court, Legal Trainee

  • 1997 First State Exam (top 1%)

Publications & speaking engagements

  • History of Innovation and (Legal) Controversy in Art. Petersburg, May 15, 2019.  St. Petersburg International Legal Forum

  • What They Don’t Teach in Law School? (panel discussion). May 15, 2019.  Petersburg International Legal Forum

  • Not Whether But How: The Role of Regulation: Blocker or Propeller for Innovation. Manila, Philippines, March 20, 2019.  Ateneo Law School

  • Damned if you do, damned if you don’t? Legal approaches to innovation for less harmful products (keynote speech).  Mexico City, March 12, 2019.  Foro Internacional Innovacion +Derecho

  • Harm reduction, innovation and law (lecture). St. Petersburg, May 18, 2018.  LF Academy

  • The Exponential Law Department: an Oxymoron? IICJ Vol.10 No.38 (2017) (with J. Dengo)

  • Whatever Happened to EU Subsidiarity? Project Syndicate, December 8, 2015 (with R. Rayle)

Memberships & miscellaneous

  • Since 2023 lecturer for “Storytelling in court proceedings” at the University of Heidelberg

  • Guest lectures at the University of Neuchatel and the Business School of Lausanne

  • ASA – Swiss Arbitration Association

  • Swiss Legal Tech Association

  • Association of International Business Lawyers (AIBL)

  • Deutsch-Russische Juristenvereinigung e.V.

  • Deutsch-Israelische Juristenvereinigung e.V.

  • Advisory Board of Rainmaker Online Training Solutions Private Limited, Mumbai, India

OUR EXPERIENCE IN MAJOR MATTERS

If you are interested in our previous experience, have a look at this selection of a few matters we have worked on in our roles as inhouse counsel and external litigators, respectively. They should give you a flavor of the type and the range of work for which we have particularly strong experience.

Pioneering

Pioneering cartel damage claims in Germany

Until the early 2000s, cartel damage claims were at best a theoretical concept in Germany.  Rules on standing were missing just as much as standards of proof.  Things began moving after 2001, when the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) found in Courage that individual actors had to be able to claim damages for losses caused to them by anti-competitive behavior.  ORWI, an insolvent printing press company and victim of the carbonless paper cartel, was such an actor.  ORWI assigned its cartel damage claims to its bank, and Philipp together with his colleagues at the time represented that bank before the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Karlsruhe.  The court agreed with the bank’s arguments that ORWI had valid claims and that there was sufficient evidence of damages. On further appeal, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) established specifically, for the first time, who can bring a claim for cartel damages and which standard of proof applies.  This pioneering lawsuit laid the groundwork for cartel damage claims in Germany for years to come.

tobacco

A regulatory campaign at the interface of law, science and politics

Spanning over nine years, across 28 Member States and, of course, Brussels, the EU’s revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD2) was a major legislative initiative on public health and internal trade.  Achieving some positive impact on its outcome, especially as a stakeholder often ostracized by others, required the best possible combination of science, policy, legal analysis and evidence-based political advocacy.  For us, it was a journey with many twists and turns, from the Commission’s policy paper in 2007 all the way to the implementation at country level in 2016.  Importantly, despite some shortcomings, the TPD2 laid the groundwork for new, better alternatives to traditional cigarettes – an area of innovation that continues to rapidly evolve in the EU and elsewhere.

changing

Changing the investment arbitration landscape in the EU

Achmea, a foreign investor, brought claims for damages against the Slovak Republic under the bilateral investment treaty initially concluded between the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia. The Slovak Republic argued that the arbitration clause had become invalid with Slovakia’s accession to the EU. Submitting such a dispute to an arbitral tribunal would therefore go against the primacy of EU law.  The arbitral tribunal, however, disagreed, and the Slovak Republic then brought an action to set aside the arbitral award. Philipp and his colleagues at the time represented the Slovak Republic in these proceedings before the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Frankfurt am Main.  Ultimately, the Court of Justice of the European Union had the final word on this case.  The CJEU found in favor of the Slovak Republic – a landmark decision for EU law because it effectively rendered all intra-EU bilateral investment treaties obsolete.

bringing

Bringing down an international criminal network

Mr. X led a double life.  Seemingly a pillar of his local community in Germany, he acted as the criminal mastermind behind a sophisticated international cigarette counterfeiting operation, with factories in Dubai and North Korea and distribution in Europe, the U.S., and Africa.  It took Till and his colleagues several years of doggedly collecting the facts and building the case to finally bring down the criminal network.  The case required close cooperation with authorities literally across continents, including customs investigators, public prosecutors and police, while protecting the company’s employees against potential retribution. The effort ultimately paid off: Mr. X ended up going to prison and paying substantial damages.

from

From crisis to best practices: labor conditions in the tobacco supply chain

In 2010, Human Rights Watch published a report about serious problems in tobacco growing in Kazakhstan, accusing Philip Morris International of not having done enough to combat child labor.  The report resulted in negative headlines around the world, many questions from regulators and investors, and a congressional investigation.  Cooperating constructively and transparently sharing information, the company was able to weather this major crisis.  More importantly, under Till’s leadership, it completely overhauled, over several years, its approach for continuously improving labor conditions on tobacco farms worldwide.  This required not just a strong internal program based on a sound legal framework, but also building strong relationships with NGOs and regulatory stakeholders.  Today, PMI’s Agricultural Labor Practices (ALP) are often cited as a best practice for others.

unmasking

Unmasking an alleged public health measure as illegal state aid

In 2015, an EU Member State introduced a new tax on certain consumer goods, labeled as “health contribution”. The tax rates were steeply progressive, with very low rates for companies with a low turnover and significantly higher rates for companies with a higher turnover.  Philipp developed the argumentation that this new tax constituted in fact an illegal state aid under EU law. The European Commission agreed with the argumentation, opened an in-depth investigation, and suspended the tax.

negotiating

Negotiating and settling tax claims with governments

It’s a familiar pattern.  A government needs money.  So, they come after big companies with unexpected tax claims based on a novel interpretation of the tax code.  How to resolve such conflicts, especially when a decent relationship with the authorities is important for the ongoing business?  Typically, in the countries in question, the courts give a lot of deference to the government, so merely relying on sound legal arguments won’t be enough.  Using probabilistic assessments and empathy (i.e., putting oneself in the shoes of the government actors) – all in addition, of course, to a precise analysis of facts and law – often made a huge difference for finding solutions that were both financially reasonable and legally and politically tenable.

playing

Playing defense as well as offense - in litigation, arbitration and mediation

In Germany and abroad, we have participated in defending major banks and investment funds in lawsuits brought by shareholders, customers, and business partners.  These cases typically came with substantial financial exposure (up to the billion-dollar range) but often also garnered media attention and required delicately engaging with stakeholders.  But we can also play offense:  For instance, we were involved in bringing a multimillion arbitration claim for an international oil & gas company to get a price adjustment under long-term gas delivery contracts.  And we have also litigated on behalf of a major corporation against its former CEO and his D&O insurer.