Prof. Dr. Christian Rohnke
Barrister at the
Federal Supreme Court

Curriculum Vitae

Science and
legal practice

I have studied law in Munich, Geneva and Austin (Texas). The University of Texas has awarded me the degree of Master of Comparative Jurisprudence. I have received a doctorate from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich for a dissertation on international antitrust law.

My career started as an attorney-at-law in New York. Subsequently, I worked as a German Rechtsanwalt in corporate law firms in Munich and Hamburg where I focused on litigation, in particular in the field of intellectual property, and on antitrust law. Before I was elevated to the Supreme Court bar I was a partner in a leading international law firm for 13 years, and head of their Hamburg office and member of the German management.

I have been admitted to the Supreme Court bar since 2014. In addition to my appellate work before the Supreme Court I also serve as a legal expert witness and as arbitrator.

During my whole career I have also been active in academic research and teaching. I have published numerous articles and books and was one of the editors of the leading work on the German Trademark Act. I have been a lecturer in law at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena and the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg that has made me an adjunct professor for patent law in 2003. In addition, I have lectured in numerous courses and seminars.


Reference cases

Judgement of May 16, 2023 – VI ZR 116/22

In this fundamental decision, the Federal Supreme Court overturns the judgment of the court of appeals and finds in favor of the media company represented by me. According to the judgement, the publication of the diaries of a banker involved in a financial scandal is legal. The court also significantly limits the relevance of a criminal statute that prohibits the publication of documents contained in court files.

Order of December 8, 2022 – IX ZB 72/19

In a leading case the Federal Supreme Court upholds the jurisdiction of the German insolvency courts despite a competing insolvency application in a third country. The administrator represented by me can thereby prevent the application of a foreign law that would be unfavorable to the creditors.

Order of September 27, 2022 – KZB 75/21

In this groundbreaking order the Federal Supreme Court decides that arbitral awards are subject to unlimited judicial control as far as they are based on antitrust law. The arbitral award that had been unfavorable to my client is therefore mostly vacated.

View CASE archive

My approach

Competence and cooperation


My approach is informed by my long experience as a trial attorney and my academic rigor. It is focused on the specific case and my client's objectives. I consider details, engage with academic controversies and take no shortcuts. I look for the decisive point and a creative solution.


Successful litigation is based on teamwork. I cooperate closely with the client's external and in-house attorneys and other team members. Of course, I am open to discussing my draft briefs and am happy to participate in meetings. If the client desires, I will also advise on litigation pending in the lower courts or in anticipation of impending cases.


At every stage of the case I provide clear assessments and recommendations. The necessary steps result from this analysis. Decisions are made jointly but the ultimate responsibility for the conduct of the litigation always rests with me.