Birgit Spiesshofer

Dr. Birgit Spiesshofer M.C.J. (N.Y.U.)

Born 1960, Aalen, Germany


Universities of Tuebingen and Freiburg; Trainee (Referendar) at the regional courts of Stuttgart and Heidelberg, at the European Commission, Directorate General XI (Environment, Consumer Protection and Nuclear Safety); ph.D (Dr. jur.) at the University of Heidelberg, 1988; New York University School of Law, M.C.J., 1990.

Professional career

1989 – 1993, Associate/Junior partner Feddersen Laule, Frankfurt/Main (now White & Case); 1990 Foreign Associate Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler, Washington D. C. (Environmental Department); 1993 – 3/2010 Hengeler Mueller, Frankfurt/Main and Berlin (Partner since 7/1995); 1998 – 2002 member of the Hengeler Mueller Management Committee. Since 4/2010 Of Counsel, DENTONS Europe LLP, Berlin; since 2016 lecturing CSR/Business and Human Rights at the Freie Universität Berlin and since 2017 CSR and (International) Environmental Law at Universität Bremen. 2018 Habilitation at Universität Bremen, venia legendi for International Business Law and Business Ethics (expected).


Birgit Spiesshofer advised international clients on International, European and German law, in particular on constitutional law, zoning and planning law, environmental law, in industrial permitting and remediation procedures, drafting of legislation, regulatory issues and Compliance and CSR. She was a member of the Federal Ministry of Finance Expert Group on the Environmental Assessment of East German Enterprises and advised Treuhandanstalt (East German Privatization Agency) in the establishment of guidelines for the handling of environmental remediations in East Germany and served as legal expert on the boards of large remediation projects. She assisted international clients in the acquisition of enterprises, in industrial settlements, privatizations and the formation of public private partnerships. She represented i.a. the Berlin State in the Public Private Partnership/privatization of the Berlin waterworks including the drafting of environmental and privatization legislation and its defense in the Berlin Constitutional Court. For more than 10 years she has advised clients in public procurement law and related corruption issues and won a landmark decision (“Münzplättchen II”) for bidders to challenge award decisions in public procurement courts. She assisted clients in the drafting of codes of conduct and evaluated the organizational implementation and supervision of CSR policies.

Other engagements

Since 1989 Birgit Spiesshofer is a member of the International Bar Association and served in various positions, i.a. as chair of the European Environmental Subcommittee, vice chair of the International Environmental Committee, member of the Professional Development Committee. She was Co-Chair of the CSR Committee and a member of the Global Financial Crisis Task Force. She was a founding member and treasurer (2000 – 2005) of Walter- Hallstein-Institute for European Constitutional Law e.V., a member of the advisory board to the project “Environment and Federalism”, directed by Prof. Dr. Michael Kloepfer, Humboldt University, Berlin. Since 2002 she is a member of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), from 2011 - 2017 she served as Chair. Until 2014 she was on the board of the Constitutional Law Committee and the Human Rights Committee of the German Lawyers Association. From 2013 - 2017 she was on the board of Generali Zukunftsfonds. As of July 2015 she is founding member and Chair of the Compliance and CSR Committee of the German Lawyers Association. She is i.a. a member of the Forum Compliance & Integrity, of the CSR Committee and the Commission on Environment and Energy of the International Chamber of Commerce, of the International Law Association, the International Commission of Jurists, the European Law Institute and the German American Lawyers Association.