About Us

Learn More About the Team at Graf & Partners, LLP

The team at Graf & Partners, LLP offers extensive experience in many areas of international law, putting them in a unique position to help American clients who own property in multiple countries or inherit property from loved ones abroad. Our team of European lawyers can advise American clients in German, English, Swiss, and Austrian probate and inheritance law.

Graf & Partners, LLP offers assistance in multiple areas of inheritance and probate law. They assist clients with final Wills and Testaments, develop inheritance models, help mitigate estate taxes, and set up succession arrangements. Their diverse body of experience makes them an asset to testators and beneficiaries alike.


Bernhard Schmeilzl, Esq.

Co-Founder & Managing Partner

Bernhard studied law both in Germany and England. He graduated from Regensburg law school with distinction in 1998. After completing his legal clerkship and obtaining his Master of Laws degree from Leicester University in England, Bernhard was admitted to the Munich bar as a German attorney at law. Bernhard is licensed to practice throughout Germany and also deals with probate cases in other European countries like the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland.

From 2000, he worked for a major German law firm in the corporate law department. In 2003, he decided to start his own law firm, co-founding Graf & Partners, LLP. Ever since, Bernhard and his team of German and English lawyers have been counseling American and British clients on matters of German corporate and business law, international probate, and litigation matters throughout Germany. Among his clients are many international families, high-net worth individuals, professional athletes, and entertainers. 

Even before his legal career, Bernhard has always kept close ties with the USA, spending extended periods of time in America. Bernhard has a passion for baseball and has been a baseball player and coach at various levels for 30+ years now. He is married and a proud dad.


Katrin Groll, Esq.

Senior Partner

Katrin graduated from Regensburg University Law School with distinction and passed the German bar exam in 2003. She was admitted to the Nuremberg bar in 2004 and is licensed to practice law throughout Germany.

Katrin joined Graf & Partners, LLP in 2004 and has been a partner since 2008. She is a highly qualified litigation attorney and represents German and international clients in civil lawsuits at the state court and the federal court level. Her focus is on contentious probate cases, labor law, and corporate litigation.

Katrin lives in Regensburg, is married, and the mother of twins. She is a long distance runner and loves hiking and skiing in the Alps.



Elissa Jelowicki von Grafenstein

Solicitor (English lawyer), Of-Counsel

Elissa is a British and Canadian citizen living in Munich. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) in 2004, obtained her law degree from London BBP Law School in 2007, and was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in England & Wales in 2010. After a few years of working for a niche media firm in London, she moved to Munich where she lives with her German husband and her daughter. 

In Germany, Elissa was admitted to the German bar as a Registered European Lawyer (REL) and provides highly qualified advice as an of-counsel. She specializes in international litigation and arbitration, including contentious probate matters involving the USA, UK, and Germany. Elissa speaks English, German, and French.




Silvia Breundl

Office Manager

Silvia joined Graf & Partners, LLP as a paralegal in 2008. She graduated as a certified paralegal with the Nuremberg Bar Association as best of her class in 2011. While already working full time as a junior case manager with our law firm, Silvia then went on to pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration and Operations (CCI) degree, which she also passed with flying colors.

Since 2015, she is the Graf & Partners, LLP office manager (head paralegal) and keeps the ship on course administratively. While keeping lawyers, clients, and office staff happy, Silvia is also the head case manager for international litigation and international probate cases.

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