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Robert Budde

Dr. Robert Budde


CMS Hasche Sigle
Kranhaus 1
Im Zollhafen 18
50678 Cologne
Languages Italian, English, German

Robert Budde is a commercial law expert, advising companies on their agency and distribution arrangements as well as on related German and EU competition law issues. He specialises in implementing and restructuring exclusive and selective distribution systems and also drafts complex framework supply agreements. Robert’s practice furthermore includes assisting his clients on all contract law issues related to procurement, production and distribution. In case of dispute, he represents his clients in court, often in an international context. Renowned law firm directories recommend Robert in their rankings, naming him as one of Germany’s leading distribution lawyers as well as a highly experienced litigator.

Robert is particularly experienced in advising Italian companies on their business activities in Germany. From 1996 to 2006, he acted as counsel of trust to the Italian Consulate General in Cologne and in 1999, he was presented with the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Ufficiale).

Robert has been a partner since 1994. Before joining CMS in 1990, he was a research assistant at the Research Institute for Social Law and the Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. He also worked for four years as associate with a litigation boutique law firm.

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„experienced”, competitor

JUVE German Commercial Law Firms 2021 (GCLF)

"Recommended" for Distribution and Franchising

JUVE German Commercial Law Firms 2021 (GCLF)


  • 1987: Admitted as a lawyer
  • Research assistant at the Research Institute for Social Law and the Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Research work for PhD on a topic related to Italian law at the Universities of Freiburg and Pisa
  • Law studies at the University of Cologne
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  • German Association for Distribution Law (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Vertriebsrecht)
  • German-Italian Business Association Mercurio
  • German-Italian Chamber of Commerce in Milan
  • German Bar Association Italy
  • Associazione di Giuristi di Lingua Italiana
  • German-Italian Lawyers’ Association
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  • „Sponsoring in der Krise“, Article on the effects of the continuation of the Bundesliga season in the form of "ghost games" on sponsorship contracts, Information Letter “Football in the Corona Crisis”, 3rd edition, with Philipp Rohdenburg, 14.5.2020
  • „Ist die ‚Gutscheinlösung eine Lösung“? Article on the new law according to which ticket holders should receive a voucher instead of the ticket price if an event is cancelled, Information Letter "Football in the Corona Crisis", 2nd edition, with Philipp Rohdenburg, 24.4.2020
  • „Auswirkungen der Corona-Pandemie auf Vertriebsverträge“. Blog post in CMS blog with Lars Eckhoff, 31.3.2020
  • “Haftung bei Absagen von Messen aufgrund des Coronavirus“, Blog post in CMS blog on economic consequences for organisers and participants in the event of cancellation of trade fairs, with Philipp Rohdenburg, 17.3.2020
  • "Findet AGB-Recht auf Kaufverträge, die unter einem Rahmenliefervertrag abgeschlossen werden Anwendung?“, ZVertriebsR 2019, S. 348
  • E-WINE – legal and economic aspects of online wine sales, Author of the Chapter “Online sale with European Consumers – Legal requirements and information obligations”, 2018
  • Termination of Franchising and Distribution Agreements in EU, Autor des Chapter IV “Germany”, 2018
  • “3 Jahre Garantie” – Warum Werbung mit Herstellergarantie gar nicht so einfach ist, blog post in CMS blog about Risks of a manufacturer's warranty on sales packaging, 27.9.2018
  • "Contratti di agenzia internazionali, la disciplina in Germania", zusammen mit Avv. Alessandro Limatola, Il Sole 24 Ore – Guida al Lavoro 21.4.2017.
  • "Der Handelsvertretervertrag in Italien – Besonderheiten des italienischen Rechts", zusammen mit Dr. Francesco Gozzo, LL.M., ZVertriebsR 2017, 77.
  • Handbuch des Vertriebsrechts, Autor des Abschnitts "Rahmenlieferverträge", 4. Auflage 2016
  • Handbuch des Vertriebsrechts, Autor des Abschnitts "Italien", 4. Auflage 2016
  • "Quando un cliente acquisito dall'agente deve essere considerato un nuovo cliente", Agenti e Rappresentanti di Commercio, n. 3/2016, S. 21
  • Distribuzione, anche in Germania il concessionario ha (quasi) sempre diritto all'indennità di fine rapporto, Il Sole 24 Ore (Online) 26.4.2016
  • Seit 2012 monatliche Beiträge im Newsletter der Deutsch-Italienischen Handelskammer Mailand, zu Themen des Handels- und Vertriebsrechts sowie des internationalen Prozessrechts
  • "Anforderungen an die außerordentliche Kündigung von Handelsvertretern und Vertragshändlers wegen zu geringer Umsätze", zusammen mit Christoffer Gruppe, ZVertriebsR 2014, S. 71.
  • „Ausweg aus der Fristversäumung – Wer zu spät kommt, dem fällt manchmal noch was ein“, blog post in the CMS Blog about the termination of distribution agreements without notice despite expiry of the "reasonable deadline", 19.9.2012
  • "Rechtssicherheit und Verringerung der Transaktionskosten? – Das GEKR aus dem Blickwinkel der Praxis", Beitrag zus. mit Lars Eckhoff in: Hahn (Hrsg.), Gemeinsames Europäisches Kaufrecht, Verlag C.H. Beck 2012
  • Rahmenlieferverträge - ein Instrument zur Verfestigung von Vertriebsbeziehungen, ZVertriebsR 2012, S. 37
  • „Wer reklamieren will, muss reisen …“, blog post in the CMS Blog about the place of performance for subsequent performance in Sales Law, 3.6.2011
  • Handbuch des Vertriebsrechts, im Kapitel "Internationales Vertriebsrecht" Autor des Abschnitts "Italien", 3. Auflage 2010
  • Das neue Recht des Ausgleichsanspruchs, zus. mit Lars Eckhoff, CMS-Report XVI, 2009, S. 22
  • Il Contratto di Agenzia in Germania - un aggiornamento, zus. mit Francesco Gozzo, Agenti e Rappresentanti di Commercio 2009, Heft 2, S. 20
  • La Nuova Normativa sulla Indennità di Fine Rapporto, Agenti e Rappresentanti di Commercio 2009, Heft 4, S. 26
  • Auswirkungen des AGG auf Vertriebspartner, BB 2007, S. 731
  • Rahmenverträge erfolgreich abschließen, Autor des Beitrags "Leistungsstörungen und Kündigung", 2007
  • Das Ende der Einstandszahlung im Handelsvertreterrecht?, DB 2005, S. 2177
  • Gli Strumenti di Garanzia nel Diritto Tedesco, Beitrag zum Tagungsband A.I.G.L.I. "Le Garanzie nel Commercio Internazionale", 1999
  • Il Contratto di Agenzia in Germania, Zeitschrift der Deutsch-Italienischen Handelskammer 1999
  • L'Agente Commerciale nel Diritto Tedesco, Agenti e Rappresentanti di Commercio 1998, Heft 1, S. 27
  • La Responsabilità della Società Madre per Debiti della s.r.l. controllata nel Diritto Tedesco, Zeitschrift der Deutsch-Italienischen Handelskammer 1996
  • La Tutella dalle Imitazioni nel Diritto Tedesco, Zeitschrift der Deutsch-Italienischen Handelskammer 1995
  • Verspäteter Ausspruch der fristlosen Kündigung eines Vertragshändlervertrages, WiB 1994, S. 198
  • Verwirkungen der Maklerprovision und Mitverschulden, MDR 1986, S. 896
  • Verweisungen im BGB, Jura 1984, S. 578
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Lectures list

  • „Vendere online, vendere in store?”, Lecture on current cases on selective distribution systems (Amazon, Sisley, Coty) at a panel discussion, Verona 21.11.2019
  • „E-Commerce in Germania: Attenzione alle diffide per violazioni del GDPR e l’uso di clausole nulle nelle condizioni generali di vendita“, Lecture at an interdisciplinary congress of the University of Verona and the Association “Scambi sul Mercato, Verona 23.11.2018
  • “Termination of Distribution and Franchise Agreements - Cessazione die contratti di concessione di vendita e di franchising”, Lecture to the Milan Bar Association 11.5.2018
  • "Ineffective clauses in distribution and supply contracts: Known and proven does not necessarily mean effective", Commercial Roadshow Cologne 22.02.2018, Düsseldorf 28.02.2018
  • "Vendita diretta tramite online-shop - Confronto con la distribuzione tramite concessionari", Lecture at an interdisciplinary seminar of the German-Italian Chamber of Commerce in Milan on online sales to Germany with legal, fiscal and marketing aspects, Milan 9.11.2017
  • "Contratti online. Informazioni ai consumatori", Lecture at a congress of the Italian Wine Law Association UGIVI on legal and economic aspects of the online distribution of wine, Castello di Grinzane Cavour 22.9.2017
  • "Direct sales via online shop or online distribution via resellers? – Legal requirements and possible restrictions", Lecture at a seminar on e-commerce, Verona 4 November 2016
  • "Le clausole di esonero/limitazione di responsabilità nei contratti internazionali - Germania", Congress of International Association of Italian speaking Lawyers, Milan, 14 May 2016.
  • "La distribuzione in Germania – i tre canali principali: Agenzia, Concessione di vendita, Stabile organizzazione", Interdisciplinary seminar on distribution to Germany, Verona, 8 April 2016
  • "Strategies to avoid/reduce claims to compensation in German Agency and Distribution Law"Seminar of the "German Bar Association Italy", Milan, 11 December 2015
  • "Liability without Limits – International Comparison of Liability Clauses" Commercial Roadshow Düsseldorf 24 November 2015
  • "La distribuzione in Germania – con spunti comparatistici con l'Italia", with Avvocato Italo de Feo, Seminar of the German-Italian Chamber of Commerce, Milan, 1 October 2015
  • "La distribuzione del vino in Germania – Principali problematiche e soluzioni percorribili", XXII. Seminar of the Italian Association of Wine Law "UGIVI" in occasion of the trade fair "Vinitaly", Verona, 22 March 2015
  • "Separating from an Unloved Distribution Partner – The Pitfalls of Termination Without Notice", Commercial Roadshow, Cologne, 12 November 2014
  • "General Terms and Conditions – More Than Just Small Print", 12th SMEs Conference Cologne Rhineland (Mittelstandstag KölnRheinland), Cologne, 26 June 2014
  • "Thoughts on the Structuring of the Distributions Partner's Compensation Claim", Fourth Symposium of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Vertriebsrecht (German Association for Distribution Law), Leipzig, 28 March 2014
  • "Hell to Pay? – The Distribution Partner's Compensation Claim", Commercial Roadshow, Cologne, 13 November 2013
  • "Obligation to Conclude Contracts in Master Supply Agreements" and "Securing Supplier's Ability to Deliver", workshops with the Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft Einkauf und Logistik (German Association for Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics), Cologne, 15 May 2012
  • "Master Supply Agreements – Always Test the Ties That Bind", "Commercial Roadshow", Cologne, 15 November 2011
  • Workshop "Purchase and Supply Agreements in Times of Crisis – From the Perspective of the Buyer", German Association Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics, Cologne, 17 November 2009
  • "The Contractual Partner in Crisis – A Non-Controllable Risk?", roadshow "Economic Downturn – Chances in the Crisis", Cologne, 4 March 2009
  • "Problem Clauses in Distribution and Supply Agreements – A Workshop", workshop Düsseldorf Chamber of Industry and Commerce, 21January2009, in modified form as client workshop, Bergisch-Gladbach, 16 March 2010
  • "Typical Problem Clauses", "Commercial Roadshow", Cologne, 6 November 2008
  • "Contractual Design as Illustrated by an Authorised Dealer Agreement", in-house seminar, Cologne, 5 March 2008
  • "'False' Clauses in Distribution Agreements – A Workshop", workshop, "Commercial Roadshow", Cologne, 6 November 2007
  • "Pitfalls in Import and Export Transactions", "Commercial Roadshow", Cologne, 14 November 2006
  • "Typical Sources of Errors in Distribution and Purchasing Agreements", "Commercial Roadshow", Cologne, 24 November 2005
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