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Patricia Volhard is a partner in Debevoise’s Frankfurt and London offices and is a member of the firm’s Private Equity and Funds/Investment Management Groups. Her practice focuses on advising private funds (including on a range of European regulatory issues and structuring funds for EU insurance companies and pension funds).

Ms. Volhard is one of Europe’s leading private funds regulatory lawyers and has played a prominent role in the ongoing development of the area, in part through involvement in Invest Europe (formerly the European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association). She is the former Chair of its Tax, Legal & Regulatory Committee, as well as the current chair of its Financial Services/Regulatory Working Group. She is also a member of the Investment Management Consultative Working Group of the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”); the Legal Committee of BVK, the German private equity association; the Alternative Credit Technical Group of the Alternative Investment Management Association; and the Regulatory Committee of the Listed Private Equity Association.

Ms. Volhard has been recognised by the major legal directories as a leader in her field. She is recommended by The Legal 500 UK (2021) for her regulatory practice, with clients describing her as “a standout performer – top of her field.” Who’s Who Legal names her as one of the foremost investment management lawyers in Germany and has stated that she is “first-rate on regulatory advice in relation to the management of private funds to clients.” She is also recommended as a leading lawyer for private equity and investment fund work by The Legal 500 EMEA (2020). In previous editions of the guide, clients note her “good know-how” and “good eye for clients’ needs.” She is ranked in Band 1 by Chambers Europe (2020), where clients say she is “a major jewel of the crown,” and “an impressive regulatory expert.” The guide has also described her as a “top-notch regulatory expert for funds matters in the EU,” who “has a firm grasp of the European regulatory environment and can quickly summarise the relevant issues.” In previous editions of the guide, sources note that she has a “deep knowledge of fund structuring, offers a high level of flexibility and effectiveness, and is perfect for complex situations.” Handelsblatt ranked Ms. Volhard as “Best Lawyer of the year 2019for Investment Law. She is also recognised as a National Leader for Investment Management by Who’s Who Legal Germany (2020) which highlights her strong regulatory practice. JUVE Handbuch Wirtschaftskanzleien (Handbook of Commercial Law Firms) (2016/2017) notes that she is “almost without competition in her practice area.” Ms. Volhard is also listed by Expert Guides in its Best of the Best list for investment funds, as well as in its annual Women in Business Law list.

Ms. Volhard has commented in the media and written numerous articles relating to various aspects of her practice. Recent publications include “Germany Private Equity Rebounds Defiantly,” Private Equity International (December, 2020); “Keeping an eye on sustainability goals in times of the corona crisis,” Börsenzeitung (March, 2020); “Private Funds CFO: What EU ESG rule delays mean for investment funds,” Private Funds CFO (October, 2019); “Brexit Roundtable,” Real Deals (January, 2019); “The Impact Of MiFID II On Private Equity Fund Managers,” Ipes (December, 2017); “Why Brexit Impact On Funds May Be Limited,” Private Debt Investor (September, 2017); “Terms and Structure of Debt Funds,” Private Equity (July, 2016); and “Keeping on top of the paperwork,” Private Equity International (July/August, 2016). She is also a co-author of the Germany chapter in Global Legal Insights Guide to Fund Finance (March, 2019); “Still planning for a no-deal Brexit,” Private Funds Management (November, 2018); “Regulatory Implications Of A No-Deal Brexit,” Private Funds Management (October, 2018); “Weighing Sustainability Risks In Private Equity,” Private Funds Management (September, 2018); “Brexit: A Summer Flurry Of Activity But Still No Clarity For PE,” Private Funds Management (September, 2018); “Private funds in Germany: regulatory overview,” Practical Law Global Guides (July, 2018); “First-Time Fundraising Barometer,” BVCA Report (July, 2018); the Germany chapter, “Fund financing in Germany,” in Global Legal Insights to Fund Finance: 2018 (February, 2018); “Debevoise On Brexit: The ‘No-Deal Deal’,” The Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog (February, 2018); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses Contingency Planning For Brexit,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (December, 2017); “Brexit And The AIFMD: Impact For US Private Fund Sponsors On Their Marketing And Advisory Activities In Europe,” American Investment Council (May, 2017); “Debt Funds for Institutional Investors: Current Developments in German Regulatory and Tax Law,” FYB Financial Yearbook (2016); and “Liberalisation of the German debt fund market,” Private Equity International (2015).

Ms. Volhard studied law in Frankfurt/Main, Strasbourg, and at the London School of Economics, where she obtained her LL.M. in 1999.

Ms. Volhard is admitted to practise in Germany and France, and speaks fluent German, French and English.


  • Université de Strasbourg Robert Schuman, 1996, J.D.
  • Universität des Saarlandes, 1992, First State Examination
  • London School of Economics and Political Science, LL.M.

Bar Admissions

  • Frankfurt
  • Paris