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RITcode – the Code of Conduct of RITTERSHAUS


„Rittershaus has always been different…


...a different kind of cormmercial law firm with a different view of the legal world.” As much as we value professionalism and however dedicated we are to what we do, that does not mean that we don’t appreciate the importance of respecting social and ecological values and acting in a socially responsible manner.


Based on those beliefs we are committed to a free, inclusive, sustainable, and socially engaged working environment.



Respect and interactions that are free from discrimination start with our use of language, the most import tool of expression. Addressing and representing people in the same way irrespective of their sexual identity is part of who we are. These days, gender-inclusive communication has become the sine qua non of any non-discriminatory treatment of people whatever their sex/gender. It offers us the opportunity to clearly demonstrate our commitment to gender equality, which is reflected in this Code of Conduct.


A respectful, inclusive use of language is, however, also possible without always making gender visible and is something that we pay a great deal of attention to in all our work-related documents as well as within the context of our internal and external communication.



We have created a working environment that gives everyone the space to grow professionally as well as personally within an open-minded and free atmosphere. Respectful interaction between one another is the basis of our cooperation. When it comes to recruitments, it is the professional qualification only that counts, however always on the proviso that the applicants are ambitious and committed persons of integrity.


Accepting people for who they are also means respecting as well as supporting different ways of life and life experiences. As signatories of the Diversity Char­ter we commit ourselves to the convictions and goals comprised therein.


Equal opportunities for and the promotion of women is of considerable importance to our firm. One out of three of our lawyers is a woman. While this is quite a respectable number in our industry, it still falls short of our ambition. By offering various solutions such as individual part-time schemes for men and women – even for management positions – or by working together with the pme Family Service we actively support our employees and help them combine parenthood with a labour-intensive and intellectually challenging job without missing out on career opportunities.


Rittershaus has been offering equal opportunities to LGBT­QIA+ persons long before such acronyms even existed. Irrespective of whether employees have been open about their sexual identity or whether they consider it a private matter, they are all treated the same way by our firm and protected against unfair or unequal treatment.


Cultural diversity is also shaped by internationality and a background of migration. We are as international as our clients. We have staff whose language skills cover virtually all European countries, the US and Japan. To us, diversity is not simply a question of tolerance or acceptance – we consider it an enrichment that requires and promotes respectful interaction with one another. It is something that enriches us, our work, and our clients.

Environmental policy


We insist on a responsible use of natural resources. While we may not manage to change everything overnight, we are continuously striving towards greater environmental awareness and sustainability. We are aware of the environmentally harmful and climatic impact of our work and introduce measures whenever we see scope for ecologically sensible ways of improvement.


We believe in the climate protection goals defined in the Paris Climate Agreement signed on 12 December 2015 and do everything we can to reduce emissions. The largest carbon footprint is left by our business trips. In order to avoid unnecessary flights and car travel, we make, wherever possible and sensible, full use of any collaborative options provided by video conferencing and switch to rail travel for work-related journeys.


Wherever our offices are located, we pay particular attention to our energy consumption and undertake all necessary site- and building-specific measures to achieve a reduction. Furthermore, our electric devices and IT hardware are maintained and inspected on a regular basis so that their life cycle is prolonged, and resources are spared. When it comes to office consumables, we choose the ecologically best option. Drinks and food are predominantly sourced from regional producers or organic farmers.


Preserving our environment for future generations is a key concern to us. Several of our lawyers have a proven track record in specific, sustainability-related topics. We are one of the first corporate law firms in Germany to have established a team that specialises in fields involving sustainable corporate management, investments, and financing. That way we not only help our clients on the path to greater sustainability, but our sus­tai­n­a­ble in­vest­ment and finance team also takes care of the continuous improvement of our firm’s in-house environmental strategy.


In order to avoid environmental pollution and to conserve natural resources as much as possible, we have implemented an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001 and are certified since March 2023. With our Code of Conduct and the regular setting of environmental targets, we ensure compliance with legal requirements and continuous improvement of our environmental output. 

So­cial Aspects 


“Shaping the future in a fair and responsible manner” is one of the guidelines of Rittershaus. What we consider important when it comes to our relationship with clients, applies equally to our employees and others we interact with within the context of our firm.


We foster social en­ga­ge­ment and actively involve ourselves – culturally, socially, and politically – in the civic life of the regions where our offices are based.


Making a contribution in the form of charitable donations is part of who we are. When it comes to making suggestions and choosing initiatives or institutions to be supported by us, we deliberately involve all our employees and, by doing so, encourage their personal commitment.


Rit­ters­haus is also passionate about training people. Whether it is apprentices who are training to become paralegals or notary’s assistants or law students on summer internships or completing their studies during their legal clerkship, they all form part of our “Fohlenstall” pool of up-and-coming talents and are made most welcome. We consider them to be our future. The engagement of our lawyers also extends to universities where many of them deliver lectures.


To show our commitment to the promotion of a sustainable, social, and inclusive economy, we have joined “ese­la – the le­gal net­work for so­ci­al im­pact”, an international association of lawyers, investors, institutions, and scientists who specialise in legal topics that are specifically related to sustainability. ese­la is involved in the shaping of politics and the law to promote the development of a sustainable economic order at international level. As part of that commitment, we also support the OECD (Or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on for Economic Cooperation and Development) when it comes to theoretical questions concerning the German legal system – only one of the many other pro bo­no engagements of our colleagues.