Dr Sabrina Desens

Dr Sabrina Desens

Dr Sabrina Desens


T +49 341 5299 24850

Certified Specialist in Administrative Law
Industries Real Estate & Infrastructure , Energy

Areas of practice

Sabrina Desens advises both the public sector and industrial enterprises on all matters pertaining to public law, in particular, environmental and fiscal law.

She especially focuses on the area of wastewater and advises the operators of industrial and municipal sewage and wastewater treatment plants and also industrial enterprises on all location-related questions of law, including fiscal issues. Her in-depth knowledge of the industry and excellent network of contacts regularly allow her to find good and sustainable solutions for her clients.

Her legal advisory services further include assisting with approval procedures under building and immission control law for industrial plants and power stations. In addition, she supports international chemicals producers when it comes to setting up locations in Germany, including advising them on related public-law issues (licensing, subsidies, etc.) and helping them deal with public authorities.

Sabrina Desens is experienced in litigating before administrative courts. She is an author and lecturer on topics related to water and fiscal law, amongst other things, and is a member of the environmental legislation committee of Deutscher Anwaltsverein e. V. (DAV), as well as of the urban development committee of Zentraler Immobilien Ausschuss e. V. (ZIA). In The Legal 500, she is now listed as “Name of the next generation” in environmental and planning law.


After spending a year in the USA, Sabrina Desens studied law in Münster (Germany) and subsequently went on to obtain her doctorate from the University of Münster. She then carried out her legal training, which included training periods at the Federal Ministry for the Environment in Berlin (Germany) and at an international business law firm in Dusseldorf (Germany). From 2009 on, she was head of the Freiherr-vom-Stein Institute, the academic research centre of the Association of North-Rhine Westphalian Districts (Landkreistag NRW), and continued to hold a teaching position at the University of Münster until 2015. Sabrina Desens has worked as a lawyer in Leipzig (Germany) since 2012; she joined Luther in November 2014.

Honors and distinctions
  • The Legal 500 Germany 2024: "Future Leaders" award (first award in 2020, "Sabrina Desens: She managed to involve numerous participants from various technical and scientific disciplines, some with different objectives, in such a way that a broad consensus could be achieved. The objective of the assignment was always taken into account. She has enabled the client side, which has an engineering background, to be able to confidently represent legal aspects in-house.") and mention in "City Focus Leipzig" (first mention in 2023)
  • The Legal 500 Germany 2023: Recommendation in the category "Public Law - Environmental and Planning Law" (first mention in 2020)

  • InfraLeuna GmbH – ongoing advice on environmental law issues
  • Providing support during permit procedures for the construction, operation, modification and closure of industrial and energy plants (power stations)
  • Helping international companies in the chemical industry set up operations in Germany
  • Providing environmental law advice to industrial companies (in particular, waste water and waste law)
  • Public sewage companies – advising on the consequences of exceeding monitoring values under waste water tax law and on the optimisation of waste water tax, providing assistance in appeal proceedings and providing representation in court proceedings
  • Mitteldeutsche Braunkohlengesellschaft mbH (MIBRAG) – providing public-law advice in connection with the corporate structuring of recultivation security for future redevelopment of surface mining site

Blog posts

  • Gesellschaft für Umweltrecht e.V.
  • Leipziger Vereinigung für Umwelt- und Planungsrecht der Uni Leipzig e.V.
  • Deutscher Anwaltverein e. V. (DAV) – environmental legislation committee