Dr. Stefan Kirsten
Stefan started his career as a lawyer in 2008 at the magic circle firm Clifford Chance. Working from Frankfurt, Paris and Düsseldorf as a member of the world-class Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group, he represented clients in numerous complex disputes before German and foreign courts and arbitral tribunals. In addition, he headed Clifford Chance Germany’s Nordic Group from 2012 onwards, being responsible for the strategic relationships with firms and clients in Northern Europe. In recognition of his achievements, he was promoted to Counsel in 2014.
Stefan left Clifford Chance in 2017 to found KRD as a high-end boutique providing dispute resolution and risk management. Within the first year since its inception, KRD’s innovative concept of using digitalisation and smart office solutions to offer top-notch service without unnecessary overhead costs was acclaimed at the PMN Management Awards 2018 – long before the corona pandemic.
In parallel, KRD gained the attention of well-funded international litigation financiers, which had just started to explore the German market at that time. Recognising the potential of dispute funding as a game changer to the legal services industry, Stefan positioned himself as one of the first seasoned counsel to advise third-party funders on their investments in continental Europe.
In 2019, Stefan accepted an offer from his then client Nivalion to join its management as Head of Germany & Nordics. In the following years, he played a key role in establishing the Swiss funder as a now top-ranked legal finance provider in Europe and beyond. Having built an international team of experienced underwriters that reviewed hundreds of large-scale investment opportunities and successfully concluded, inter alia, the first defence financing in Germany, Stefan subsequently headed Nivalion’s global origination activities from 2022 onwards. Being responsible for product and business development during this time, he particularly devised and implemented the concept of the Nivalion Legal Finance Summit, which by now has developed into a leading forum for law and finance in continental Europe.
With the market for legal finance increasingly evolving beyond traditional funding solutions, Stefan returned to KRD in 2023. As an independent advisor, he helps his clients explore new opportunities in the legal finance space while maintaining his high-end practice as a litigator and arbitration counsel.
Stefan is recognised as a Thought Leader in Third Party Funding by Who’s Who Legal and as one of Lawdragon’s 100 Global Leaders in Litigation Finance. He is a regular speaker at conferences and has been an Adjunct Lecturer for International Litigation at the University of Regensburg since 2015.
Besides German, Stefan is fluent in English, French and Swedish.
© 2024 KRD Kirsten. Risk & Disputes