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  • Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution
  • Technology
  • Energy & Infrastructure
  • Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

Jaak Poldma International Associate Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution


Jaak is a dual-qualified lawyer (New York and England & Wales) and represents large companies in litigation and international arbitration. Most of his clients are in the technology, energy, and infrastructure sectors. Jaak has a wide range of experience in key aspects of dispute resolution, including discovery, oral advocacy, trial proceedings, and enforcement of arbitral awards. As a former professional tennis player, he is a competitive and passionate advocate for his clients’ needs. 

Jaak is currently working on several international arbitration matters in the energy and infrastructure sector. He is representing international companies in ICC and LCIA proceedings which arise from disputes in Africa, CIS countries, and the Gulf region. When practicing in the U.S., he represented Oracle in Oracle v. Google, a high stakes copyright trial known as the "World Series of IP." Jaak is also active in Orrick's pro bono program, having acted on behalf of single mothers in the New York Family Court and a Nigerian citizen facing deportation. In addition to his disputes-related work, Jaak has written and spoken on legal issues affecting blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies and advised companies in this space.

Jaak graduated in the top 10% of his class at U.C. Berkeley and, during law school, was a judicial extern to the Honorable Jon S. Tigar at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Before his legal career, Jaak was a professional tennis player. He is a three-time NCAA champion and was a member of the Estonian Davis Cup team.



  • Compensation & Benefits

Michael Y. Yang Partner Compensation & Benefits

Santa Monica

Michael Yang is a partner in Orrick's Compensation and Benefits Group. He is based in the firm's Santa Monica office.

Michael's practice focuses on the representation of U.S. and international public and private high technology companies, as well as executives, management teams and founders with compensation and employee benefits issues in the context of M&A transactions, spin-offs, venture capital financings and IPOs.

Michael also advises on day-to-day tax, employment, accounting and securities law issues in connection with the design, administration and implementation of executive compensation and equity compensation arrangements, including employment agreements, severance arrangements, change in control carve-out plans, stock option plans and employee stock purchase plans with a particular focus on Code Sections 409A, 280G and 162(m). In addition, he advises on nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, tax-qualified retirement plans and welfare benefit plans.

Prior to practicing law, Michael was a Certified Public Accountant with Ernst & Young.



  • Supreme Court & Appellate

Sheila Baynes Managing Associate Supreme Court & Appellate

Washington, D.C.

Sheila is a member of the firm's Supreme Court and Appellate practice, where she represents clients in appellate and trial-level litigation.

Prior to joining Orrick, Sheila was an Honors Attorney at the Department of Justice.  At DOJ she handled all aspects of litigation in a diverse array of matters, from shepherding complex cases through discovery to briefing and arguing dispositive motions in federal courts coast to coast.  Sheila has also successfully briefed and argued appeals in the Fifth and Ninth Circuits.

Sheila graduated from Harvard College and NYU School of Law, where she was an Articles Editor on the New York University Law Review.  Immediately following law school, she served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

Before law school, Sheila had a decade-long career in education and leadership development, including stints as a high school teacher in coastal Alaska and in the research and curriculum department of an education nonprofit in Wyoming.  Sheila is a Senior Field Instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), where she teaches wilderness skills and leadership in remote settings. 



  • M&A and Private Equity
  • Corporate
  • Funds
  • Restructuring

Dr. Oliver Duys, LL.M. (UNSW Sydney) Partner M&A and Private Equity, Corporate


Dr. Oliver Duys is a member of the M&A/Private Equity Group.

He has extensive experience in complex corporate transactions including private equity and venture capital transactions, real estate portfolio deals, joint ventures and fund formation as well as restructuring. He also advises on Management Participation Programs and liability issues in this context.

Oliver Duys is Managing Partner of the German Orrick offices along with Dr. Christoph Brenner. 

Oliver Duys worked for Slaughter and May and Hengeler Mueller. Following his partnership at Hölters & Elsing since 2006, Oliver Duys is a partner at Orrick since 2008.

  • D: +49 211 3678 7138


  • Corporate
  • M&A and Private Equity

Vanessa Sousa Höhl Associate Corporate, M&A and Private Equity


Mrs. Vanessa Sousa Höhl is an associate in the Düsseldorf office and a member of the Corporate and Private Equity Group.

Her practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions transactions and general corporate counseling. She joined Orrick in 2017.



  • International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution
  • Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • M&A and Private Equity
  • Corporate

Dr. Karsten Faulhaber Partner International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution, Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution


Dr. Karsten Faulhaber, a Düsseldorf-based partner in the International Arbitration Group, brings more than a decade of experience as counsel and arbitrator. However, his proficiency goes beyond just arbitration, as he has deep knowledge in dispute resolution in many forms, and his background in transactional law allows him to provide solutions to clients’ problems – often before they even reach a courtroom.

He has been praised in Chambers Global for his “proactive and skillful” approach to arbitration. Karsten represents clients in arbitrations under various German and international rules but also regularly acts as arbitrator. In addition, he frequently represents global enterprises in international disputes before the national courts.

When he originally started practicing law, Karsten was an M&A lawyer, and as a result has extensive experience in contracts and their negotiation. But the opportunity to work in dispute resolution and especially arbitration appealed much to him. Calculating the strategy in complex disputes and the importance of thinking ahead, anticipating the moves of the other parties, the temperament of the opponents and ultimately the fight to win was simply more in line with his temperament.



  • M&A and Private Equity
  • Technology Companies Group

Dr. Sven Greulich, LL.M. (Cantuar), EMBA Partner M&A and Private Equity, Technology Companies Group


Dr. Sven Greulich, partner at Orrick's Düsseldorf office, guides technology companies of all stages and their financial sponsors through transformational corporate transactions. These deals include technology acquisitions, buy-out M&A of technology companies and strategic  cross-border investments/JV as well as later stage venture capital investments.

Sven advises technology companies on complex cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and private equity and venture capital investments, and provides general corporate counseling.

His clients include technology companies of all stages and their investors at all points in the company life cycle. Supported by a global and cross-practice team, he also counsels major corporations on expansion/market entry projects and has a special focus on in- and outbound German/US investments and joint ventures.

The Legal500 Ranking EMEA for 2018 recommends Sven for “mid-sized international Corporate M&A deals (€100m-€500m)” and the leading German market publication Juve ranks him as "frequently recommended for PE, M&A and corporate advice. In its latest yearbook 2019/2020, JUVE named Sven as one of Germany's top attorneys for venture capital (the highest recognition for this category awarded by JUVE).

Sven is passionate about building a bridge for his clients from Germany to the US and other international technology hubs and to help them succeed in the international market. With a dual background in business and law, an entrepreneurial spirit, and experience in over 100 M&A transactions and financing rounds across many industries (including energy, automotive, information technology, commerce and life science), Sven has a unique perspective, which inspires him to find the best strategic and commercially viable solution for his clients.

In the 2017 edition of its Innovative Lawyers Report Europe, the Financial Times named Sven’s work to connect start-ups with Germany’s Mittelstand (mid-sized companies) a standout “for making bridges between Silicon Valley and Germany”. In 2017 and 2018, he also received the “Acritas Star Lawyer” award from the leading international legal research company Acritas based on clients' praise for Sven's responsiveness and business-oriented advice for technology companies.

Sven volunteers with entrepreneur groups (such as Prepare! The Entrepreneurs Academy or the WHU Entrepreneurship Roundtable) and lectures at the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management.

  • D: +49 211 3678 7158


  • Technology Companies Group
  • Privacy
  • GDPR Readiness
  • Intellectual Property
  • Cyber, Privacy & Data Innovation

Robert Weinhold Technology Companies Group, Privacy


Robert, associate at Orrick's Düsseldorf office, is member of Data Privacy and Technology Company Group in Germany. He focuses on counseling in the area of Data Privacy, IP/IT and mergers and acquisitions in this field.

Robert has always been fascinated by new technologies and the digitization. Following his fascination, he focused his legal studies on media law, intellectual property law and data protection law. Prior to working at Orrick he also gained experience by founding a company provided a software as a platform solution and working for a German venture capital investor. His legal advice in mergers and acquisitions or legal assessments regarding data privacy will thus reflect not only his legal expertise but also his experience and fascination for new technology. For our clients, he prepares, among other things, privacy policies or data processing agreements or is involved in conducting a due diligence or drafting a shareholders' agreement. Robert is also advising in GDPR readiness and general data privacy compliance and works on various aspects of trademark and competition law.

He joined Orrick in 2017, after working as a scientific researcher in the field of Data Privacy.



  • Corporate
  • M&A and Private Equity
  • Technology Companies Group
  • Energy
  • Infrastructure
  • Fintech

Dr. Fabian von Samson-Himmelstjerna Partner Corporate, M&A and Private Equity


Dr. Fabian von Samson-Himmelstjerna, a partner in Orrick’s Munich office, is a member of the M&A and Private Equity Group. He focuses his practice on private and public M&A, Private Equity and Venture Capital, with an emphasis on cross-border transactions.

Fabian represents German and international financial institutions, corporate entities and financial investors, in particular on acquisitions and divestitures, public takeovers, joint ventures, carve-outs and portfolio transactions. He has specific industry expertise in the banking and financial services sector, in the engineering and automotive business as well as in the renewable energy sector.

Prior to joining Orrick, Fabian practiced with another leading international law firm. In 2012/13, Fabian was seconded to Deutsche Bank, where he worked on various cross-border M&A and integration projects.