Personal statement on the foundation of the law firm

It was with boundless enthusiasm that I founded the law firm in 1994. Choosing a name was easy. It was just me. Emil Epp - Deutsch-Französische Rechtsanwaltskanzlei.

This enthusiasm was so boundless that it deliberately and combatively ignored the official doctrine of the time, namely that foreign attorneys had no right to establish a legal practice in France. After a short time, the European Court of Justice gave legal approval for the somewhat adventurous initiative.

When I said it was just me, that wasn’t exactly true. There was also someone else, not far away. Dominique Spindler. He headed up Euro-Droit (, which I founded in parallel, and still does so today as managing director and partner.

Ilka Ehret, the first employee and translator hired in 1994, is still working for us today.

Building up a full service law firm for companies in the German-French market niche

Our greatest challenge was to establish a top-class full-service structure within the Franco-German niche.

We were only able to achieve this through constant growth and through the specialisation of our attorneys and teams. For years, the only certainty on 1 January was that the previous year’s revenue would match the costs of the coming year.

The focus

Our stated objective from the outset was to support German-speaking companies and their French branches by providing practical advice in the German language for their business in France. We began to offer expert guidance for French companies on German law not long after that.

We have been able to achieve long-term success by focusing our energies on this niche while deliberately rejecting strictly national mandates.

Attractive for independent thinkers

The essential leadership principles of our firm have always been the promotion of personal freedom combined with the demand for personal responsibility. This attracts people with a strong sense of responsibility. They choose to stay because they value and help shape our flexibility, which is actively supported. Many of our attorneys and employees have been with the firm for a long time and turnover is very low.

Entrepreneurial support for business relations on the other side of the Rhine

Our firm takes a highly entrepreneurial approach to consulting. We want our work to be perceived as expert guidance provided by entrepreneurs for the benefit of businesses.

Our aim is to listen carefully, to understand the client’s project, and to act in a supportive role as part of that project.

We seek to understand the economic essentials and implement what is legally feasible. Our mission is to provide result-oriented advisory services that take into account the language and culture as well as the institutional characteristics on both sides of the Rhine.

Profile of our attorneys and employees

In order to fulfil the needs and demands of this approach, our attorneys must have a German and French legal education, a strong understanding of economic relationships and special expertise in cross-border issues.

Our experienced translators provide ongoing support for our consulting work by efficiently producing bilingual documents and papers.

All of our employees understand and value the culture of France and its German-speaking neighbours.

Development of affiliated companies that are oriented towards the needs of our clients

Euro-Droit was established at virtually the same time as the law firm. Its service portfolio complements the German-French consulting area of our firm. Competent bilingual employees handle payroll accounting, personnel administration, regular business management evaluations and the administration of German-speaking companies. They will also carry out the required secondment formalities and submit VAT returns to the French authorities on their behalf.

CBBL - Cross Border Business Lawyers, founded in 2005, combines German-speaking business attorneys from more than 60 countries in a global network. They consider their core activities to be providing consulting and support to German-speaking companies in their international business. We individually selected the exclusive CBBL partner in each country and made on-site visits to the local law firms.

Since 2020, FFU - Frankreich für Unternehmen has been bringing together experienced service providers in the French business sector on its own German-language internet portal, where they present their fields of activity. The service providers, who have proven their value over many years in the day-to-day business with German-speaking companies, cover all relevant areas, in particular banks, insurance companies, personnel consultants, tax consultants and attorneys.

Vis-à-Vis is a French-German domiciliation company, founded in 2021 to complete our legal services for French-speaking clients wishing to establish their business in Germany. Vis-à-Vis offers a wide range of services, and can provide your company with an address, an equipped workspace (including a meeting room) and/or a head office in Germany.

Emil Epp

Teamwork is what makes us strong

Our law firm has been committed to bringing together diverse talents for years.

The cohesive leadership team, internally called G-5, occasionally transforms into G-7

Dorothée Stumpf, liaison to CBBL and an essential figure in the law firm

Sabine Bournot, responsible for Business Development

Posted Monday, February 28th 2022

Founding shareholder