Just talking about values is not enough for us. We get involved pro bono where we share the same values. For this reason, we are particularly committed to young entrepreneurs (start-ups) and equal rights for all people. We not only act sustainably, we actively support sustainability. In academia, we help shape the future of our law and we share our knowledge and experience in teaching at universities.


Much has been written about the change in entrepreneurial culture. We have been an integral part of the start-up community in the Stuttgart region for years; one of our founders is, among other things, a founding member of Startup Stuttgart e.V. For many years, we have regularly been on site at colleges and universities in our region, where we either give lectures or offer consultation hours for founders. We are also actively involved in the numerous start-up programmes and support founders from the pre-founding phase onwards, in drafting their articles of association, in financing rounds (seed rounds, angel investments, Series A to Series C financing rounds) and in the sale of shares in their company (secondary sale, exit).

Many start-ups fail because the basis (i.e. the company) was set up inadequately and not prudently enough. With our experience of more than 350 start-ups, we know exactly which mistakes must be avoided. We see our task as taking the legal component off start-ups so that they can concentrate fully on realising their vision.

But it doesn’t stop there: a special feature of DORNKAMP is the special interest we take in developing and shaping the business model together with the founders, e.g. at the International Entrepreneurship Education Summit, where we reach numerous advisors of startups with our presentations. In this way, we design legally secure business models without restricting the founders in their creative work. From our many years of experience, we know that many new business models have to deal with legal problems that the founders either did not have in mind at all or at least underestimated their impact. Our expertise covers many areas of law that are regularly intertwined during start-up and development. In addition to corporate law, these include in particular data protection law, software law and IT law, competition law and advertising law, labour law, banking law and the entire field of e-commerce. We regularly give lectures on these topics for start-ups, offer workshops or open start-up consultation hours, for example at the Hochschule der Medien (HdM) in the Sandbox programme, for the Startup Campus 0711, at the Hochschule für Technik in the Plan G programme, for participants in the ASAP BW programme, at the Gründerwerk of the Hochschule Pforzheim, the Impact Hub Stuttgart in the Wizemann Areal, the Startup Center of the University of Tübingen and the M-Tech Accelerator, and many more. We have also been mentors at the techstars Startup Weekend for many years.

Innovative business models are often supported financially, although not all founders have to resort to outside capital (bootstrapped startups). When raising money, various considerations have to be taken into account. Often enough, the money on offer is tempting and makes caution take a back seat.

Loans from banks have the advantage that the founders do not have to give up any shares; however, founders must not disregard the fact that loans have to be repaid in full and with interest. There are a number of state-funded programmes; here, however, start-ups must observe the special requirements, for example, in the case of EXIST, the company must not have been founded before the funding commitment. Other programmes such as InvestBW have further requirements that must be taken into account when applying. Taking on investors means that the founders have to give up shares in their company. Promoters usually do not work altruistically, but with a focus on returns. For this reason, special caution is required and the cap table must not be lost sight of. We have experienced more than once that the desire for quick funding obscures the view of the further future; funding is often seen as an accolade – but it brings with it completely new challenges. Negotiating financing rounds (from the letter of intent to a term sheet to the notarised contract) may not be particularly challenging legally; many processes are standard. However, it can be observed time and again that such negotiations are sometimes artificially drawn out in order to increase fees. We draw on our years of experience in negotiating the necessary documents; we know which points are negotiable and which are not. This makes our advice efficient and goal-oriented. Moreover, we never lose sight of what is actually important: the start-up and its founders. We don’t tell our clients what to say, but speak our minds openly and honestly, because we see ourselves as part of the team.


Sustainability has a lot to do with responsibility. We take responsibility, for ourselves and for others. We design our office in a way that makes us and our employees feel comfortable. We see our office not as a stopover for our employees on their career path, but as the final destination.

At the same time, we try to constantly reduce our CO² emissions and thus save valuable resources. We provide employees with railcards and public transport tickets so that they can leave their cars in the garage.

We specifically support start-ups that think sustainably, such as Sirplus, a Germany-wide impact start-up that works against food waste and brings surplus food back into the cycle. This promotes sustainable consumption and climate protection.

At Pforzheim University, we support the Centre for Consumer Research and Sustainable Consumption (vunk) and thus the university’s interdisciplinary research activities on issues of the future society. This enables us to exchange ideas not only with legal scholars, but also with business economists and economists, market and opinion researchers, technicians, psychologists and design scientists within the framework of the centre of excellence.


Mutual respect and equality are a matter of course. We treat other colleagues who represent the opposing party with respect. Because a poisoned dispute culture – especially in corporate law – often only has a winner on paper.

In our society, equal rights still have to be appealed to far too often. We don’t just talk about it, but actively support young female lawyers and are partners of both the Women Entrepreneurs Law Clinic e.V. in Cologne and the Women in AI & Robotics e.V. in Munich, where we give lectures and workshops. We also support our female colleagues in our own law firm; we encourage our female students and trainee lawyers to accompany us in academic publications and to give lectures. Our female colleagues have meanwhile published more than two dozen academic publications as authors or co-authors.

Against discrimination and for the diversity of our society, the journal “Diversity in Law and Business” fills an important gap in the jurisprudential literature. We are part of the editorial advisory board and can thus actively contribute to the social discussion.


Science does not only create knowledge. It offers the opportunity to help shape the law instead of just applying it. We think ahead and develop the law for our clients and our society. Our lawyers are the authors of hundreds of scientific publications, which are heard and cited in the literature and case law. This, in turn, provides our clients with the certainty that we are not only well versed in our areas of specialisation, but that we set standards and deal with our issues comprehensively and prudently.

It goes without saying that we pass on our experience and knowledge to others. In addition to numerous specialist lectures in which we train other lawyers or judges, we regularly give lectures at various universities to young people who are still in training. For example, we have taught and continue to teach at the Esslingen Technical Academy (TAE), the Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW), the SRH University of Applied Sciences Heidelberg, the Ludwigsburg University of Public Administration and Finance, the Seeburg Castle Private University (Austria), the Ludwigsburg Protestant University of Applied Sciences and the Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences.