Our internal mentoring programme: an experience report


published on January 4th 2024
The new internal mentoring programme at Rödl & Partner started in 2023 and since then 12 tandem pairs have been found. The aim of the programme is for team leads in the role of mentees to be supported for a year by experienced team leads in the role of mentors in their personal development and the professionalisation of their leadership role. At regular meetings, the tandems discuss current issues, develop joint solutions for challenging situations and work on the goals which were set at the beginning. We spoke to Victoria von Minnigerode and Klaus-Peter Kessler to find out more about this new programme.

When did you join Rödl & Partner and in which area? 

Victoria von Minnigerode: I joined Christian Marthol's team in Nuremberg in March 2020 as a lawyer in the field of energy and environmental law. My enthusiasm for public law and my desire for meaningful work in an area that could hardly be more relevant in the context of climate change led me to environmental law at Rödl & Partner. Together with my colleagues, I advise local authorities, energy suppliers and companies on all relevant planning and approval law issues, for example in the realisation of complex projects in the field of renewable energies. I enjoy the interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues from various specialist areas and the challenge of constantly reacting to the conditions of the new legal framework.

Klaus Kessler: I have been with Rödl & Partner for a good 20 years now. I started out in what was then known as the "foreign department". My tasks were/are the development and expansion of our branches in Eastern Europe, whereby this term is very broadly defined. I am directly responsible as Partner and Country Manager for Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia. I have actually built up all of these branches from a "greenfield site" and developed them to their current status. There are currently around 150 colleagues working in these countries. In addition to the traditional support of our clients, this also means a lot of management work, from recruitment to lease negotiations, etc. In the client area, I mainly advise clients on cross-border projects.


Why did you decide to take part in our internal mentoring programme?

Victoria v. Minnigerode: The team spirit at Rödl & Partner never ceases to inspire me. We have a great network of colleagues here who all pursue a common goal in different areas, countries and disciplines - shared success. I see the mentoring programme as an opportunity to learn from the experience of my tandem partner, to develop myself further and to prepare for future steps of development. The programme also offers all participants the opportunity to network with each other and make valuable new contacts with great colleagues.

Klaus Kessler: As the person responsible for several countries, you have to make sure that you do not lose contact with your German colleagues, in addition to the daily contact with colleagues in the various countries. I am also very curious and interested to see how my colleagues are developing with many new and young talents and how perspectives and approaches to different topics are changing and evolving. Finally, I believe that I may also be able to provide valuable input to younger colleagues from the wealth of experience that I now have, but conversely, I will also experience a "breath of fresh air" once again.

How has the programme been going for you so far, how was the launch and what has happened since then?

Victoria v. MinnigerodeKlaus Kessler and I have already met several times since the kick-off event at the head office in Nuremberg. We have visited each other in the offices in Nuremberg and Munich and also met once in Fürstenfeldbruck, where I gave an external presentation. We try to make time at least once a month to talk to each other. The fact that we work in different areas at Rödl & Partner and naturally also have very different levels of experience allows me to think outside the box, which I really appreciate. 

Klaus Kessler: We have met several times at the offices in Munich and Nuremberg and discussed numerous topics and perspectives. I hope I have been able to give Victoria some valuable input. I find the programme fun and enjoyable. Unfortunately, time is always so short in December that we probably will not be able to meet again in person until the beginning of the new year. Sure, we are also "connected" via Teams, but virtual is not the same as face-to-face. I'm a bit "old-fashioned" in that respect.          

How do you benefit from the programme and what do you hope to gain from it in the future?
Victoria v. Minnigerode: The exchange between mentor and mentee is a great added value for me. The discussions we have together give me valuable ideas and, by changing my perspective, I am always able to gain a new perspective on things that concern me in my day-to-day work. We will also have joint networking events as part of the mentoring programme, which will allow mentors and mentees to share their experiences. In the end, I would hope, but I am also confident, that the contacts made during the mentoring programme will outlast the months of mentoring and remain in place afterwards.  

Klaus Kessler: As I mentioned above, I benefit greatly from the contact with "local" German colleagues and also from the fact that I get to know completely new perspectives. It is amazing how people, views, expectations and wishes change within 20 years. I benefit from getting to know new ways of seeing and working and at the same time realising that the core of the work has not changed that much after all. Last but not least, I have the opportunity to get to know great young colleagues and also to expand my internal network. With Victoria, I was fascinated by the interesting new areas of law that have developed over the years and the speed with which new areas of law are becoming established that were not even recognisable 10 or 20 years ago.                

Thank you very much for the interview and good luck for the future!


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Klaus Kessler


+49 89 9287 80 710

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Contact Person Picture

Victoria von Minnigerode


+49 911 9193 3533

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