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Patricia Volhard is Managing Partner for the firm in Paris and Frankfurt, and also spends substantial time in the London office as head of the firm’s European Funds Regulatory practice.

She is a member of the firm’s Corporate Department, and Private Equity and Funds/Investment Management Groups. She is also a member of the firm’s core group of ESG partners. Her practice focuses on advising private funds and fund managers on structuring and setting up funds for a European investor base, as well as advising on European financial regulatory aspects for fund managers and corporates, including on SFDR, CSRD, CSDDD and other ESG-related regulation.

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. She is Chair of Invest Europe’s Financial Services/Regulatory Working Group, a member of its SFDR working group, and former Chair of its Tax, Legal & Regulatory Committee. She is also a member of the Investment Management Consultative Working Group of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). In Germany, she is a member of the Board of the BVK, and heads its Legal Committee. In the UK, she is a member of the regulatory committee of the BVCA.

Ms. Volhard has been named amongst Europe’s most influential lawyers by Financial News and by Private Equity News, and has also been consistently recognised by the major legal directories as a leader in her field. She is recommended by JUVE (2023/24), where she receives praise for her “unbelievable knowledge of the law and of market standards,” and where sources note “she negotiates calmly but unerringly in the interest of her clients.” The Legal 500 UK (2024) recognises her for her regulatory practice, where clients note that she is “excellent, commercial, committed, helpful and extremely knowledgeable.” In previous editions of the guide, she has also been described as “a standout performer – top of her field.” In The Legal 500 Deutschland (2023), she is described as “a real partner” who delivers “excellent solutions.” In previous editions of the guide, she has received praise for her ability “to apply the law, think through tricky situations and offer commercial, pragmatic advice.” Her practice is said to be “one of the few in the private equity market that can address global regulatory issues with a partner-led, solutions-oriented approach.” She has also been described as “one of the pre-eminent investment fund lawyers in Germany (if not Europe)” and “very solution-oriented” with clients noting her “good know-how” and “good eye for clients’ needs.” 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 ranked in Band 1 by Chambers Europe (2023), where clients say she is “one of the best regulatory lawyers in Europe with outstanding expertise.” She has also been described as “very experienced and renowned, with a strong reputation in her field.” She is said to be “very well connected and involved in legislation processes” and therefore also has “very good insight into the regulator’s current way of thinking.” The guide has further described her as “superb,” “very thoughtful, practical, and a real asset,” “a major jewel of the crown” and 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.” Sources also note that she has a “deep knowledge of fund structuring, offers a high level of flexibility and effectiveness, and is perfect for complex situations.” She is also recognised as a National Leader for Investment Management by Who’s Who Legal Germany (2020) which highlights her strong regulatory practice. 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 “Recent Trends In European ESG-Related Shareholder Activism,” Law360 (October, 2023); “Debevoise Discusses How EU’s Sustainability Reporting Directive Affects Private Equity,” CLS Blue Sky Blog (September, 2023); “Is the UK keeping pace with its regulatory peers?,” Sustainable Investment (July, 2023); “Baby don’t harm me,” The Drawdown (July, 2023); “Addressing ESG Considerations in the M&A Context,” a chapter in the latest edition of GLI Mergers & Acquisitions, published by Global Legal Insights (July, 2023); “How EU ESG Regs Affect US Financial Market Participants,” Law360 (May, 2023); ”Does a rise in ‘greenbleaching’ warrant new regulation?,” Sustainable Investment (April, 2023); the Germany and European Union chapters in ESG Comparative Guide, published by Global Legal Post (March, 2023); “How the European Green Deal is enabling sustainable finance,” Sustainable Investment (March, 2023); “Debevoise & Plimpton: How SFDR is impacting LPs,” Private Equity International (December, 2022); “ESG-linked carried interest - A new impact-based financial incentive?,” Sustainable Investment (October, 2022); “Sustainability: The new corporate standard,” Sustainable Investment (September, 2022); “SFDR Explainer: Five Key Points,” Sustainable Investment (July, 2022); “Debevoise Discusses European Parliament’s Response to EC’s Proposal to Review AIFMD,” CLS Blue Sky Blog (June, 2022); “Taxonomy: What are the new sustainable standards?,” Sustainable Investment (April, 2022); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses European Commission’s Views on Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation,” CLS Blue Sky Blog (August, 2021); “What Brexit means for fund marketing,” Private Equity International (June, 2021); “Cross-border financial services after Brexit: searching for certainty,” Practical Law Magazine (May, 2021); “Germany: Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence,” Compliance & Enforcement (May, 2021); “Retail investment funds in Germany,” a Q&A chapter in the Retail Investment Funds Global Guide, part of the Practical Law Global Guides series; “Neue ESG-Offenlegungspflichten zum 10. März 2021,” BVK Mitgliederinfo (March, 2021); “Der Markt passt sich schnell an,” VentureCapital Magazin (February, 2021); “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); and “Debevoise On Brexit: The ‘No-Deal Deal’,” CLS Blue Sky Blog (February, 2018).

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.

Education

  • Université de Strasbourg Robert Schuman, 1993, DEUG de Droit
  • Université de Strasbourg Robert Schuman, 1996, Maîtrise en droit
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, 1996, First State Examination
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, 1998, Second State Examination
  • London School of Economics and Political Science, 1999, LL.M.

Bar Admissions

  • Frankfurt
  • Paris