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Heike Schmitz

Heike Schmitz


Heike is a partner in our Düsseldorf office who focuses on advising the insurance industry, fund managers and asset managers on investments, investment processes, general regulatory issues and the integration of sustainability and ESG considerations. 



In addition, she supports her clients in the establishment and structuring of funds, in the onboarding of investors as well as in the distribution of funds and the establishment of distribution structures in Germany and the EU. A particular focus of Heike is advising funds and insurers on ESG and sustainability issues, especially on the requirements of the EU Sustainable Finance Strategy.

Having worked both as inhouse counsel for a European insurance group and as external legal advisor to the insurance and asset management industry during her 15+years professional career Heike is very experienced in working with different company functions and integrating legal considerations in company strategies and processes.

Heike is recommended as a "capital investment specialist" by Legal 500 Germany 2021 (Insurance law/advice to insurance companies).

Heike's experience includes advising:

  • Athora Group, a specialist solutions provider in the European insurance market with €15 billion assets under management, on various matters including the investment of assets, treasury matters and the set-up of German special AIFs.*
  • Generali Group on various matters relating to the investment of assets, insurance regulatory and financial regulatory matters.*
  • Gothaer Group on various corporate and investment related matters (among other investments and mezzanine participations in renewable energy companies).*
  • Allianz Real Estate on German investment law and AIFMD with regard to an investment in an Australian real estate unit trust focusing on student housing.*
  • Harbert Management Corporation, a US based investment management firm focusing on alternative assets with approximately $6.4 billion of assets under management, on the marketing of its Luxembourg multi-compartment and multi-strategy alternative investment fund platform to German investors.*
  • Heitman, a global real estate investment management firm with $41.7 billion in assets under management, on the eligibility of its next generation pan European core living open-ended real estate Luxembourg alternative investment fund for German insurance investors.*
  • Generali Real Estate on Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, German insurance regulatory and investment law aspects of most of their fund projects as part of a multinational team.*
  • Barings, a European real estate asset manager, on the impact of a large number of real estate acquisitions throughout Europe on the eligibility of their Luxembourg real estate fund structures for German insurance and fund investors.*

*prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills


Heike graduated from the University of Cologne. Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills in 2021, Heike worked for German and international law firms in Germany and as an inhouse counsel for a European insurance group. A German native speaker, she is fluent in English and French.

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