Legal advice and Legal Tech from a single source: Heuking develops WhistleFox, a proprietary whistleblower system
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, one of the major German commercial law firms, is the first law firm in Germany to develop its own whistleblower system. It aims to support businesses, authorities, municipalities, and associations with a comprehensive range of legal and technical services to meet the requirements of the EU Whistleblower Directive and of the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. The system also offers strategic responses to the numerous challenges associated with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Heuking has developed WhistleFox, a tool that digitally reflects the receipt of notes, legal case management, and reporting. The law firm legally supports the entire reporting and case management process, thus raising clients’ early awareness of legal risks, duties, and steps to be taken.
Heuking’s tool offers businesses, authorities, municipalities, and associations a complete solution for legally compliant transposition of the Whistleblower Directive, so that they are not forced to set up internal organizational structures or face costly implementation on their own servers.
One of the numerous advantages of this solution is the hosting of all case-related data of a report on the law firm’s own servers in Germany. The system meets above-average privacy and data security requirements since there is no additional transmission between Heuking and the whistleblowers or Heuking and its clients. Any collection of metadata by third parties is therefore excluded. Heuking’s digital innovation WhistleFox offers its clients 100 percent data sovereignty in this sensitive area.
WhistleFox – Heuking bridges traditional whistleblower system and Legal Tech
“For us, innovation signifies combining the legal expertise of numerous bright minds, each with many years of industry experience and digital expertise,” said Dr. Johan Schneider, Managing Partner for Organization, Business Processes and Digitalization. “The bottom line is that digital tools must always support our clients’ business objectives.” WhistleFox is a Heuking solution at the interface of legal advice and business processes that ensures cost-effective, high-quality results in modern compliance management. “It allows companies of all sizes to gain the economic benefits of a trust-based approach to compliance,” Dr. Johan Schneider added.
According to JUVE, Chambers, Legal500, WirtschaftsWoche, and Focus Spezial, Heuking is one of the Top Law Firms in Compliance. For many years, Heuking’s Compliance specialists have been working as legal confidants and ombudspersons for renowned companies in all industries, both nationally and internationally. As a neutral authority, they receive reports from whistleblowers about possible legal violations. Whistleblowers and employees can thus be certain that they are protected by the lawyers’ duty of confidentiality and that their anonymity is preserved. It is further ensured that their reports are taken seriously and have an impact on the company: “In cases of suspected compliance violations and in the event of official proceedings, company management needs to quickly become aware of the extent of possible misconduct to be able to react,” said Dr. André Szesny, Head of the White Collar & Criminal Compliance practice group. “As a full-service law firm, we offer comprehensive, cross-disciplinary advice on all aspects of compliance, conduct internal corporate investigations in cases of suspicion, and support our clients in implementing whistleblower systems.”
Businesses are facing fines of millions of euros each year, reputational damage, or sanction-related losses caused by unethical behavior. Long before the introduction of legislative measures, many companies realized that considerable financial loss may be averted if employees have the opportunity to anonymously report violations of corporate rules.
The EU Whistleblower Directive requires all enterprises with 50 or more workers, all public bodies and authorities with more than 50 employees, and all municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants to set up a whistleblower system. This system is intended to make it possible to report possible wrongdoing (anonymously if desired) in a secure manner. Transposition into national law is expected shortly and will affect more than 80,000 companies in Germany.
As of January 1, 2023, companies with 3,000 or more workers will additionally be required to set up a whistleblower system to report wrongdoing throughout the supply chain.
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek launches WhistleFox, the first self-developed product in the Legal Tech area. The Legal Tech division was formally organized as a unit in 2020 and rapidly expanded under the leadership of Rahel Skau, Head of Legal Tech. In 2022, Heuking will introduce yet another product.
For more information click here: whistlefox.heuking.de