Michael Molitoris has many years of experience in handling complex German and international litigation, arbitration and ADR proceedings in more than 25 countries and is considered one of the most renowned experts in product liability and product safety in Germany / Europe.
He advises and represents domestic and foreign companies, as well as wealthy individuals, in the areas of Commercial Disputes / Damage Claims, Tort Law, Insurance and Reinsurance Law, Banking Law and Commercial Criminal Law. He also has particular expertise in mass litigation and group / class actions, in which he often provides strategic advice.
Michael Molitoris also frequently acts as an arbitrator.
I am a truly passionate litigator who handles his cases himself - in a leading role - and puts all his energy into representing his clients and their interests. Successful litigation is not an end in itself, but unfortunately it is not always avoidable. When one disputes, one must do it systematically, determine and evaluate the facts of the case precisely from the outset, consider all dispute options, and then clearly point out the existing opportunities and risks to the client. Success - resolving the dispute while asserting the client's interests - requires "tact," but also realism and "keeping one's feet on the ground". ...Michael Molitoris:
Track Record (current, ongoing, exemplary)
- Continuous representation / counseling of the companies of a worldwide leading automotive group in product liability and product safety matters (litigation, expert opinions, organizational counseling, assistance in product recalls, assessment of product liability risks of new products)
- Advice / representation of an automobile manufacturer in the "diesel exhaust complex", proceedings in Germany; class action in the Netherlands
- Various arbitration proceedings (Ad-hoc, ICC, DIS) as arbitrator / presiding arbitrator
- Advising a tier-one supplier (automotive supply industry) against an automotive manufacturer regarding cost recourse after two major recalls
- Advising a manufacturer of automotive safety technology (inter alia airbags) in connection with product liability and product safety (largest worldwide product recalls to date)
- Advising an Austrian developer of automotive technology against a foreign automotive manufacturer regarding claims for damages in connection with the postponement of an SOP
- Product safety law advice to a supplier of rail vehicle technology regarding a large number of international projects
- Representation of a loan provider in a lawsuit against a debtor (investor in a company in need of reorganization)
- Representation / advice of an automotive supplier regarding possible field measures after a fatal truck accident
- Advising / representing the seller in a post M&A dispute
- Advice / representation of a manufacturer of motor homes (and its dealers) in the "diesel-emissions-complex".
Track Record (historical, exemplary):
- Advising after collapse of a central bank in Bavaria specializing in property development and builder models, defense of deputy chairman of supervisory board in criminal proceedings, representation of acquiring bank against ex-board members and directors
- Representation of a German-Danish manufacturer of wood preservatives in a series of product liability cases throughout Germany, defense of the managing director in criminal proceedings
- Various large inheritance disputes / succession arrangements, inter alia in aristocratic houses and entrepreneurial families
- Litigation for various banks and savings banks in Germany
- Representation and (successful) defense of the then President of the Federal Health Office in the "AIDS Haemophiliacs Complex", (Bundestag investigation committee, criminal proceedings)
- Representation of a German pharmaceutical manufacturer in the "L-tryptophan complex" (first major "genetic engineering accident"); defense of product liability claims in Germany, recourse litigation in Japan against the upstream supplier, defense in criminal proceedings
- Representation of a leading manufacturer of cigarettes in the first wave of "Smoking & Health Litigation" in Germany, chair of the Steering Committee - dismissal of all claims up to BGH / BVerfG
- Representation of AUDI in the "TT Complex", defense of product liability claims (and group claims), (successful) defense of CEO in criminal proceedings
- Representation of leading reinsurers in the BayCol/LipoBay, Enron, WorldCom/Deutsche Bank complexes
- Representation of a Brazilian textile manufacturer against a German manufacturer of textile production equipment (installed in Recife) for defects
- Product liability expert opinions for manufacturers of consumer products due to potential health hazards
- Representation of the Government of Hong Kong in a dispute against a German liability insurer for fraudulently induced construction defects in the construction of high-rise buildings in Hong Kong, mediation in London
- (Successful) representation of a German company against a Russian company in arbitration proceedings in Moscow (Moscow Chamber)
- Representation of an international cigarette manufacturer against another cigarette manufacturer due to termination of a worldwide license, ADR proceedings
- (Successful) representation of a German manufacturer of firearms in proceedings against cities, counties and states of the USA
- (Successful) Representation of a German manufacturer of hydraulic technology in a NY class action related to the "Kaprun tunnel accident".
- Advising / representing a Belgian manufacturer of gearboxes for wind turbines against the German upstream supplier and the Danish turbine manufacturer - settlement in mediation
- Strategic advice / support of a German pharmaceutical manufacturer in a US multi-district litigation (approx. 4000 plaintiffs) due to alleged side effects of a new drug
- Advising a German manufacturer of railroad technology in connection with the railroad accident on the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark
- Advising / representing operators in two other train accidents (maglev train, Zugspitzbahn)
- Product liability law advice to the manufacturer of an airplane after a passenger plane crash, later found to be caused by the co-pilot
- Product liability law advice to a manufacturer of special e-vehicles
- (Multiple) Arbitrator in the break-up of a large German / international law firm
- Party representative in an arbitration between a US pharmaceutical manufacturer and its Turkish distributor in London
- Presiding arbitrator in an arbitration between two energy companies concerning large gas storage facilities
- Party-appointed expert for German law in an arbitration in Singapore
- Participation / legal representation of domestic and foreign clients in other legal disputes in USA, Canada, France, UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.
- Various other arbitration proceedings (ad-hoc., ICC and DIS) as party representative and arbitrator / presiding arbitrator (various topics)
Education & Engagement
- Before starting as a lawyer, Michael Molitoris was an assistant at the Chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Criminology at the University of Würzburg.
- From May 1988, he worked as a lawyer in another leading Munich law firm, where he became an equity partner on January 1, 1995. In this law firm he built up the Dispute Resolution Practice Group
- On an international level, he became a member of the Board of Directors of Lex Mundi, the leading international network of independent law firms, and later it’s Chair (2008/2009).
- Having joined SZA with a team of specialized litigators, he now has a close, global network of lawyers and (independent) law firms with whom he works closely on international matters.
- University of Würzburg
- Languages: German, English
Michael Molitoris is considered one of the leading product liability experts in Germany, with further prowess in handling class actions.Chambers Europe 2022: Michael Molitoris ranked personally for Dispute Resolution – Litigation Germany - in “Band 2”
Listed under "Party Representatives in Arbitration Proceedings, In Conflict Resolution / Dispute Resolution: Often Recommended ... Michael Molitoris "Versatile and Experienced", CompetitorJUVE Handbuch 2022/2023
Michael Molitoris named as one of the top 30 leading practitioners in Product LiabilityExpert Guides 2022 – Best of the Best Global
Michael Molitoris named for Arbitration and Mediation, Insurance Law, Litigation and Product Liability Litigation.2023 The Best Lawyers in Germany
Michael Molitoris recognized as TOP lawyer 2022 for Litigation.Handelsblatt / Wirtschaftswoche 1.12.2022