White Collar & Criminal Compliance
Drawing on our extensive experience in the field of White Collar & Criminal Compliance, we advise and represent companies and their executives in various criminal law matters and circumstances.
Engaging in entrepreneurial endeavors entails the potential exposure to criminal and regulatory charges. Criminal and administrative sanctions are increasingly being utilized as tools of economic policy. There is a growing trend of legislative bodies in criminal law exerting influence over economic processes.
Navigating criminal and regulatory proceedings necessitates the provision of proficient legal guidance, excellent understanding of the legal subject matter, and a wealth of experience in criminal, fine, and regulatory proceedings. The lawyers in our White Collar & Criminal Compliance Practice are among the most eminent practitioners in the field of white collar criminal defense, as demonstrated by their receipt of several accolades from reputable industry publications such as JUVE, WirtschaftsWoche, Chambers, Legal500, and Focus Spezial.
Legal advice and defending executives
Our firm advises and represents executive board members, general managers, and other executives in various criminal law matters and circumstances. Whether searches, main hearings, or appellate proceedings: Our criminal defense lawyers effectively counter allegations brought forth by prosecutorial authorities pertaining to instances of commercial and criminal misconduct on behalf of their clients.
Corporate executives are exposed to a dual liability risk:
- personal liability
- internal liability towards the company, including financial losses suffered and corporate penalties imposed
The presence of these constraints and the evolving legal landscape necessitate the involvement ofknowledgeable professionals when official investigations are initiated by entities such as the public prosecutor’s office, the tax investigation department, or customs agencies. Hence, it is imperative to seek legal counsel in instances of criminal law crises to effectively implement proactive preventative steps as well as responsive countermeasures.
We defend executives and board members
- executive board members of listed corporations
- sales managers
- general managers of enterprises of varying sizes and of municipal companies
- supervisory board members
- advisory board members
Corporate defense: our clients and their industries
Despite the absence of an independent corporate criminal code in Germany, it is nonetheless feasible to impose sanctions and carry out asset seizures on companies.
Criminal and regulatory investigations typically have a broad impact, extending beyond the executive level to encompass the entire organization. Criminal proceedings possess the potential to exert a profound influence on the organizational framework and potentially jeopardize a corporation’s continued existence.
Practice note: The provision outlined in Section 30 Administrative Offenses Act grants criminal courts the authority to levy fines on companies in cases when its executives personally engage in criminal or administrative offenses and breach their duties. The act of violating supervisory duties, as stipulated in Section 130 Administrative Offenses Act, may also be considered a breach of duty as defined in Section 30 of the same Act. Consequently, executives may face subsequent prosecution for such violations as well. Instances of breaching one’s duty may lead to a corporate penalty amounting to a maximum of EUR 10 million per specific occurrence, in addition to the process of asset recovery.
As an illustration, our team of criminal defense lawyers actively support various organizations across diverse industries in legal proceedings aimed at imposing corporate fines and asset forfeitures.
Our customer base encompasses a wide range of groups:
- German and international financial institutions
- companies engaged in international trade
- mechanical engineering firms
- steel and armaments groups
- real estate firms
- securities trading firms
- investment firms
- family-owned businesses
- service providers in several industries
- organizations operating at the municipal level
Preventive counseling and assessment in criminal law
We conduct assessments to ascertain if your project entails criminal or other legal liabilities, and afterwards devise strategies to mitigate these risks. We provide support in various aspects of ensuring legal compliance, ranging from preventing corruption, particularly in relation to invites and gifts, to facilitating the secure sale of shares, with a specific focus on preventing insider trading.
In addition, we draft expert opinions on intricate matters pertaining to criminal law, where applicable in conjunction with corporate law, tax law, or other legal fields. The quality of our expert opinions is upheld by rigorous adherence to scientific principles, the demonstration of doctorate-level proficiency, and our lawyers’ extensive research and teaching experience, which includes repeated presence at university institutes.
Witness assistance: support and aid to individuals during their interactions with law enforcement agencies, the court system, and the public prosecutor’s office
The entitlement to legal representation for witnesses involved in white-collar criminal cases is explicitly governed by Section 68(1) Code of Criminal Procedure. Witnesses are duly apprised of their legal rights and responsibilities, and we provide them with necessary guidance and support throughout their involvement in questioning by police, public prosecutors’ offices, and in court hearings. Our role encompasses safeguarding witnesses against any potential self-incrimination and ensuring the adherence to established procedural norms throughout the entirety of the legal proceedings. We also provide support to witnesses in supervisory proceedings and internal company investigations.
Guidance on voluntary disclosure: the act of voluntary disclosure and the statement of correction
In numerous instances, legal frameworks stipulate the responsibility to rectify errors once they are identified. The rectification of prior information may even lead to the resolution of criminal charges. Voluntary statements in the domains of tax law, international trade law, and social security law result in the exemption from penalties and fines.
We provide assistance in the process of voluntary disclosure, which grants exemption from fines and penalties. Additionally, we act as your representatives in dealings with supervisory and prosecution agencies. The expertise and work quality of our team are derived from an extensive analysis of numerous voluntary disclosure instances pertaining to both domestic and foreign banks.
Compliance and Internal Investigations
Compliance management systems serve the purpose of ensuring adherence to legal and ethical standards by employees, hence mitigating the risk of rule violations. Conversely, whistleblower systems are employed to detect potential instances of misconduct at an early phase. Our legal professionals specializing in White Collar & Criminal Compliance offer comprehensive guidance and expertise in matters pertaining to compliance and internal investigations.
Sustainable business with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Our Corporate Social Responsibility Task Force advises companies, public institutions, and organizations with regards to corporate practices, environmental sustainability, and human rights issues.
Search and Seizure
Search and seizure are typical investigative measures in criminal proceedings. They are faced by accused or unsuspected individuals and companies. Our brief explanatory film shows how to better deal with searches.
White Collar & Criminal Compliance
JUVE Handbuch Wirtschaftskanzleien 2023/2024
Juve Handbuch Steuern 2023
brand eins Top Wirtschaftskanzleien 2023
Leaders League 2023
Legal 500 Germany 2023
JUVE Handbook Commercial Law Firms 2022/2023
FOCUS Top Wirtschaftskanzleien 2022
brand eins Top Wirtschaftskanzleien 2022
Juve Handbuch Steuern 2022
Legal 500 EMEA 2022
WirtschaftsWoche: TOP Kanzlei 2022
Legal 500 Germany 2022
JUVE Handbook Commercial Law Firms 2021/2022
FOCUS Top Wirtschaftskanzleien 2021
brand eins Top Wirtschaftskanzleien 2021
Leaders League 2021
Legal 500 EMEA 2021
WirtschaftsWoche: TOP Kanzlei 2021
Legal 500 Germany 2021
JUVE Handbook Commercial Law Firms 2020/2021