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Dr. Wilhelm Hartung

Dr. Wilhelm Hartung is a partner in the firm’s Berlin and Frankfurt offices and its corporate and transactional practice group. His practice focuses on complex international/cross-border M&A and commercial transactions as well as internal corporate and regulatory investigations.

His transactional experience covers structuring, drafting and negotiating mergers and acquisitions, strategic joint ventures and alliances, and high-end commercial contracts, with an emphasis on clients in regulated industries, including in transportation/aviation, telecommunication, and oil and gas/energy. Aviation projects have included advising passenger and cargo airlines, airline catering, and airline maintenance providers. His advisory work on telecoms transactions has primarily been in the mobile sector, including the negotiation and drafting of national and international roaming and infrastructure sharing agreements.

His corporate investigations experience includes reviews of large strategic projects, alleged accounting fraud, whistleblower allegations, corporate governance and internal controls, and compliance issues, whether against the background of ongoing or expected regulatory proceedings, or in preparation for litigation/arbitration.

Wilhelm is dual qualified in Germany and England and Wales and practices out of the Berlin, Frankfurt and London offices. He joined K&L Gates in March 2008 from a major international U.S. law firm where he had been based in London and Germany. Prior to reading law at Bonn University, he trained as a banker at Dresdner Bank AG and in 1996 worked as a junior lawyer in the legal department of Dresdner Bank, New York.


  • Aviation Club of the U.K.
  • British-German Association
  • Friends of the Museum of Photography, Berlin, Member of the Board
  • The American Academy in Berlin, Patron

Wilhelm regularly publishes and speaks on issues concerning his practice, more recently:

  • “Organisational Risk and Crisis Management; How prepared are you?”, ACC Europe, Amsterdam, Netherlands, March 15, 2018.
  • “Sapin II - Organisational Risk and Crisis Management,” K&L Gates Webinar, June 15, 2017.
  • “Organisational Risk and Crisis Management; How prepared are you?”, ACC Europe, Madrid, Spain, April 5, 2017.
  • “Organisational Risk and Crisis Management; How prepared are you?”, ACC Europe, Lugano, Switzerland, March 22, 2017.
  • “An International Approach to Legal Privilege Issues – Snapshot of Germany,” webinar, American Bar Association, January 13, 2015.
  • “Doing Business in Germany,” presenter, webinar K&L Gates, October 9, 2014.
  • “Corporate Internal Investigations – The ethics of compliance in situations of crisis,” presentation given together with Professor Dr. Björn Fasterling, EDHEC Business School France, at the EBEN (European Business Ethics Network) Annual Conference, Berlin, June 12–14, 2014.
  • “An International Approach to Legal Privilege Issues,” presenter, teleseminar of the ABA, cosponsored by the Section of Antitrust Law and the ABA Center for Professional Development, August 2012.
  • “More Enforcers at your Door - Preparing for and Responding to Increased Government Investigations and Actions,” moderator/presenter, London/Frankfurt, November 2009.
  • “Corporate Internal Investigations and Proportionality - Nine Recommendations for Conducting a Fair Investigation,” presented with Dr. Björn Fasterling, Prof. of Law, EDHEC Business School, France, at The 22nd EBEN (European Business Ethics Network) Annual Conference, Athens/Greece, September 2009.
  • “Fifth Annual Conference on Critical Legal and Regulatory Issues for Investment Managers and Funds,” presentation on M&A issues in the industry, London, January 2009.
Additional Thought Leadership Pages
  • Chapter on Compliance in: Lappe/Gattringer: Carve-out transactions – legal, tax and accounting aspects of the drop-down and divestiture of business units (Carve-out-Transaktionen – Recht, Steuern und Bilanzen bei Ausgliederung und Verkauf von Unternehmensteilen), C.H. Beck, Munich, second edition, 2021
  • Market Intelligence M&A 2020 Global Interview Panel, Lexology, January 2021
  • “Corporate Investigation, Independent Investigation” in: Handbook Compliance-Management, Wieland/Steinmeyer/Grüninger (editors), 3rd edition, Berlin 2020
  • Cross-border investigations: When are documents developed in the course of an internal investigation protected by legal privilege?Thomson Reuters, 15 October 2018
  • “Coordination of flight schedules, Introduction/International Legal Background (together with Gesine Schulte-Nossek) and Slot Trading (together with Michael Holter), in Cologne Compendium on Air Law in Europe, edited by Professor Dr. Stephan Hobe, Nicolai von Ruckteschell and David Heffernan, Cologne 2013
  • “The English Limited (Die Englische Limited),” co-author together with Volker G. Heinz, 3rd edition, 2011
  • Introduction, Trading with Slots in chapter “Airport coordination” (co-author with Michael Holter), Kölner Kompendium des Luftrechts/Cologne Compendium of Air Law, Hobe/v. Ruckteschell (editors), volume 2, Cologne 2009
  • “Internal investigations: overshooting or a standard tool of a modern compliance management system?”, Der Betrieb, Status: Recht; SR as of March 6th 2009, volume 3, pages 83–84.
  • “Independent Internal Investigations: a tool of good corporate governance in Europe too?,” von Hehn/Hartung, article in PLC Cross-border Quarterly, Oct.–Dec. 2005
Additional News & Event Pages
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