Dan Balke

Dan Balke is our exclusively recommended Advisory Services expert in Germany on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Dan directly using the contact details listed above.

Dan is Managing Director and Partner of LFS, with a multifaceted record of senior management positions in financial institutions as project manager in the area of Digital Finance and Digitization Projects, Small Business Finance, Housing, and Impact Finance Projects. Mr. Balke holds an MBA in Finance from the Manchester Business School and an M.Sc. in Economics. For several years he has been responsible for pushing forward the digital and technological agenda with AccessHolding. Dan has managed projects to success in major emerging markets worldwide.

Firm Overview:

LFS is an advisory and management firm based in Berlin, Germany. The company has been operating previously as LFS Financial Systems GmbH, and changed its name to LFS Advisory GmbH in 2018.

We specialise in banking and financial sector projects in developing countries. Our particular focus is on micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) finance. Starting in 1998 as a consulting firm, LFS is today also a manager and investor in MSME finance. We are proud to have brought together a team that combines a variety of professional, academic, and regional backgrounds, but shares a commitment to excellence and integrity.

Christoph Schmitz-Schunken

Christoph Schmitz-Schunken is our exclusively recommended Full Service Law expert in Germany on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Christoph directly using the contact details listed above.

Christoph is a lawyer as well as a certified tax adviser. His clients commission him on the one hand as General Counsel with wide expertise and on the other hand as an experienced corporate and tax lawyer to accompany them in their national and international challenges.

Firm Overview:

Getting started in Europe can be a windy road with all kind of barriers and unexpected costs. Since 2001, DHK has helped international businesses and individuals achieve their goals in an efficient and practical manner.

Today, we are a leading law firm with offices in the triangular area of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, with lawyers that practice in more than 20 areas of law.

Our clients range from individuals to multi-national corporations. To meet the needs of this diverse client base, our attorneys dedicate themselves to understanding the unique issues facing each of our clients. As a full-service firm with multiple practice groups, we can address virtually any legal challenge.

Our extensive relationships, a network we have established throughout Europe, continue to be an advantage to our clients. Since 2017 DHK is a member of LEGUS – International Network Of Law Firms. LEGUS is an international network of high quality law firms organised to provide client referrals in specific substantive and/or geographic areas and to provide education on effective law firm and law practice management techniques and strategies for enhanced client services. Member firms reside in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, with more than 70 firms in over 35 countries.

Dr. Matthias Lang

Offering extensive entrepreneurial knowledge and long-standing expertise in regulatory matters around infrastructure and energy, I am a partner in our international Energy and Utilities Sector Group and a member of our Regulatory and Administrative Practice Group.

I advise our clients on infrastructure, energy, regulatory, state aid and environmental law as well as issues arising from public commercial law. In addition, I have expertise in corporate law, administrative, European and real estate law, as well as standardisation.

With extensive experience in advising clients on all aspects of the German Energiewende (energy turnaround), I also advise on cross-border energy issues, including both conventional and renewable energy generation, oil and gas, planning and permit procedures for power generation, extra-high-voltage lines, gas pipelines and gas storage, as well as energy and other industrial installations. Over the years, I have worked on numerous complex infrastructure, energy efficiency and climate change projects, as well as transactions in regulated industries, including energy, healthcare, transportation, water and chemicals.

I represent our clients before the Federal Network Agency, ministries and other authorities in diverse administrative, regulatory or legislative proceedings, before national and European courts and in arbitration proceedings. Together with my team, I have advised on the transposition of European law, such as the Third Internal Market Package, the Energy Winter Package and other European environmental directives and regulations, including REACh, REMIT and MIFID.

Contributing regularly to legal publications, I write the section on permits for conventional power plants, wind farms, solar parks and the closure of nuclear power plants for the “Berlin Commentary on Energy Law” and cover international company law in the “Beck Online Commentary on the Limited Liability Company Act”. I have also published articles on oil and gas law in Germany, prosumer legislation, the digitalisation of the energy transition, state aid to the energy sector, grid expansion and environmental protection in the extra-high-voltage grid, on the permitting regime for HVDC lines and the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).

I’m a former chairman of the oil and gas committee and a member of the Council of Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL) Section of the International Bar Association. I also sit on the board of the German-American Lawyers’ Association (DAJV) for Düsseldorf. Furthermore I often speak at national and international seminars and conferences and teach postgraduate energy law courses at Technische Universität Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin.

You’ll find me listed as top legal practitioner advising on energy law in Euromoney’s 2018 Energy and Best of the Best Expert Guides, the 2019 Who’s Who Legal Germany and the 2019 Who’s Who Legal Energy.

Before studying law, I graduated with a degree in economics and worked as a banker.

Dr. Thomas Escher

Chemistry, including pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, life sciences, biotechnology, consumer goods, polymer chemistry, electrochemistry, nanotechnology; organic chemistry including synthesis, cosmetics, construction chemistry, adhesives, materials and inorganic chemistry, including ceramics, semiconductors, coatings, electronic components, metallurgy, alloys, and chemical process engineering, including particularly 3D printing and physical and chemical processes.

Key Activities:

  • Advice on establishing IP rights portfolios of national and international patents, trademarks and designs
  • Defense of both domestic and international IP rights in opposition, invalidity and cancellation proceedings
  • Provision of technical and strategic advice in the area of both domestic and international IP rights infringement
  • Advice on and conducting of negotiations regarding out-of-court settlements in IP rights disputes
  • Preparation of infringement opinions
  • Enforces property rights in court
  • Defense and enforcement of IP rights at trade fairs
  • Representation in legal disputes prior to and at trade fairs
  • Advice on strategies for the registration of designs and trademarks
  • Representation in design matters before the design authorities and courts
  • Advice on and preparation of filing and legal dispute strategies in Asia
  • Conducting opposition and invalidity proceedings against patents
  • Advice on matters relating to research, development and licensing agreements
  • Establishment of freedom-to-operate opinions
  • Preparation of IP due diligence analyses
  • Preparation of validity opinions

Professional Background:

Degree in Chemistry at the Universities of Bielefeld, Heidelberg and Bristol (UK), doctorate – Many years’ experience in the patent department of an international consumer goods manufacturer – Patent attorney training at dompatent von Kreisler and admission as a German patent attorney – training to become a Professional Representative before the European Patent Office and admission as a European Patent Attorney, training and admission as an authorised representative before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).


Chamber of German Patent Attorneys (Patentanwaltskammer), epi, VPP, German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR), AIPPI, FICPI, Association of German Chemists (GDCh)

Additional Activities:

Tutor at the Centre d’Études Internationales de la Propriété Industrielle (CEIPI) in Strasbourg and Cologne for European Patent Law. Consultant for patent-related topics in the areas of chemistry and pharmaceuticals – Consultant for trademark-related topics – Voluntary consultation for inventors at the Chamber of Industry & Commerce in Cologne – Voluntary adviser for patent law matters at selected events at Cologne Trade Fair and Exhibition Center.

Firm Overview:

Our experts in intellectual property rights– everything from a single source

Such to ensure the successful protection of your innovations, our experts work efficiently together in the preparation and filing of intellectual property applications, the monitoring and pursual of intellectual property rights infringements, the defense of intellectual property rights, combating trademark piracy or carrying out patent or trademark searches. At dompatent von Kreisler, you get all these services from a single source. You have direct contact to your trusted attorney and their team.

What can we do for you?

  • Your own personal contact
  • Sound advice
  • Experts in all fields
  • Efficient approach
  • Prompt execution thanks to direct communication

Our strengths for your benefit

Our patent attorneys are also qualified engineers and scientists. We have experts in all relevant areas of technology and science – from biotechnology and chemistry to electronics and electrical engineering, from mechanical and automotive engineering to gene technology and pharmaceuticals, from nanotechnology, medical technology and process technology to IT, physics and software.

Of course, in addition to patent law, we can also advise and represent you in all matters concerning trademarks, utility models, designs, licence agreements and patent-related competition issues. Our experts are registered German patent attorneys, European patent attorneys, European design attorneys and European trademark attorneys.

Antonius Herbers

Antonius Herbers is the Office Managing Partner within Audit & Assurance at BDO’s Lübeck office.

Focus Areas:

– Annual and consolidated financial statement audits in line with HGB
– IFRS consolidated financial statement audits
– International group enterprises
– Medium-sized businesses
– Municipal enterprises

Industry Expertise:

– Shipping/shipbuilding/port handling
– Publishing/radio
– Mechanical and bespoke engineering
– Trade/services
– Public administration/public companies

BDO Network:

Internationality is an important aspect of the services we offer. We are a founding member of the international BDO network (1963). With nearly 68,000 employees across 158 countries, this is currently the only globally active auditing and consulting organisation with European roots. We can always offer the perfect point of contact for your needs – any subject, anywhere in the world.

Stephan Eilers

Stephan Eilers is one of the leading tax structuring lawyers in Germany. He is also managing partner of the firm and a member of our international tax group.

Stephan provides practical solutions to his clients (especially in the private equity sector) and ensures that these solutions are accepted by tax authorities – in tax audits, for example.

He specialises in all tax issues of M&A transactions, initial public offerings and similar capital markets transactions, and also advises on double taxation treaty issues, with an emphasis on the UK, US and China.

Stephan speaks German, English and French.

Recent Work:

– Advising Air Berlin on proceedings before the German Federal Fiscal Court regarding the submission of the Civil Aviation Tax Act to the Federal Constitutional Court.
– Providing continuous tax instructions for Warburg Pincus, Advent, Permira and Goldman Sachs PIA in private equity transactions.
– Advising Airbus Defence and Space on various tax matters.
– Advising DAX 30 companies in tax litigation regarding the treatment of pension reserves.
– Advising the Meyer shipyard in its acquisition of Meyer Turku.



– Universities of Bonn in Germany (Dr iur), Geneva in Switzerland and New York in the US (LLM, tax)

Professional Memberships:

– Fachinstitut der Steuerberater (Institute of Tax Advisors), Germany
– Tax commission of the Wirtschaftsrat, Germany
– Scientific committee of the Berliner Steuergespräche, Germany

Additional Responsibilities:

– Professor of tax law at the University of Cologne (2009)

About Us:

The world’s biggest international organisations rely on us to help them make the right decisions in a fast-changing world. We combine the knowledge, experience and energy of the whole firm to solve our clients’ most complex challenges, wherever and whenever they arise.