Professor Dr Ulrich Franz
Certified Specialist for intellectual property law
Certified Specialist for copyright and media law
Presiding Judge at the Bar Court of Berlin
Honorary professor of business law at the htw
I’ve been a passionately committed lawyer since 1994.
The independence granted to me by law requires me to represent the interests of the client freely and independently of government influence. This freedom includes the obligation to act as a critical adviser and to tell clients the truth rather than trying to win a popularity contest. If the chances of success of an action are uncertain or litigation is not viable for cost reasons, I always advise my clients not to proceed. I can perform my task only by offering an autonomous service that also requires me to be independent of my client. A lawyer will be taken seriously by his opponent, the court and the authorities only if they view him as an expert and impartial third party rather than a lawyer who is for sale to the highest bidder.
In my work I aim to develop a relationship of trust with my clients over many years rather than fill up my books with short-term customer acquisitions. Every client receives the individual and personal care they need to address their particular concern. Only in this way can a relationship of trust be continuously developed. My many years of work for larger law firms have shown me that it is individuality, quality, reliability and trust which count over name and size.
Even though I specialise in the field of intellectual property with two specialist titles to my name, I need an understanding of the overall context if I am to achieve the client’s goals. This is why I also see myself as something of a generalist. You can only be a good consultant or contract designer if you have an understanding of litigation and have experienced for yourself how courts rule on consultancy services or contracts. I am a lawyer and enjoy going to court; I’m not a consultant, manager or counsel.
With regard to areas of the law in which I am not personally involved, the years I have spent in different law firms have allowed me to develop a large network with other colleagues and law firms, both at home and abroad, so that I can refer clients to other lawyers at any time with complete confidence that their needs will be fully met.
In a profession such as mine, taking on voluntary positions is a matter of course. With my teaching mandate as a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences, I devote as much time as I can to voluntary work. I don’t of course earn any money by doing so. There is, however, greater “profit” to be earned when, at the end of a semester, when a student announces that he has learnt a life skill as a result of an event of mine. My work for the Rechtsanwaltskammer (bar association) of Berlin as a member of the Anwaltsgericht (bar court) also means a lot to me. Self-government as opposed to state control and the freedom of my profession are valuable commodities which need to be defended every day and require commitment from everyone who bears the professional title of lawyer.