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Patricia Volhard is a partner in Debevoise’s Frankfurt, Paris and London offices and 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 corporates, including on the full range of European regulatory issues, including SFDR, CSRD 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, 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’s also a member of Invest Europe’s SFDR working group, where she is heavily involved in commenting on the ESG legislative drafts and the interaction with regulators the Commission. In addition, she is a member of the Board of the BVK, the German private equity association, and heads its Legal Committee.

Ms. Volhard has been named amongst Europe’s most influential lawyers by Financial News, and has also been consistently recognised by the major legal directories as a leader in her field. She is recommended by The Legal 500 UK (2022) for her regulatory practice, where clients have described her as “a standout performer – top of her field.” In The Legal 500 Deutschland (2022), she receives 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.” 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 investment fund work by The Legal 500 EMEA (2022), where she is described as ”one of the pre-eminent investment fund lawyers in Germany (if not Europe).” In previous editions of the guide, she is described as ”very solution-oriented” with clients noting her “good know-how” and “good eye for clients’ needs.” 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.” 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 “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); “Addressing ESG Considerations in the M&A Context,” a chapter in the latest edition of GLI Mergers & Acquisitions, published by Global Legal Insights (July, 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); “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