Europe

Germany

Dispute Resolution: White-Collar Crime


Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Dispute Resolution: White-Collar Crime - Germany

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Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 counsel
- 7 associates

What the team is known for Widely acknowledged as a market leader for advising major corporates and banks on compliance and internal investigations. Well integrated with the firm's healthcare, energy and financial regulatory teams, offering clients interdisciplinary advice covering Germany and a range of other jurisdictions. Acclaimed for its ability to assist with complex cross-border investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Clifford Chance has been very successful in winning significant cases."

Notable practitioners  

Described by competitors as "one of the most savvy players in the financial sector," Heiner Hugger is frequently instructed in relation to major internal investigations. His services are hugely in demand, with clients saying: "If a large German-based enterprise needs advice on compliance, one of its first phone calls will be to Mr Hugger."

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Growing in prominence thanks to its presence on a number of widely reported major internal investigations. Highly recommended for compliance reviews and preventative advice, and frequently collaborates with its strong US practice to offer international advice. Clients highlight its experience and ability to handle issues sensitively as particular strengths.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Debevoise was able to understand the details of the business without causing too much disruption to our employees. Everything was done sensitively."

"Lots of practical experience in compliance - you can really tell that the team has worked with international businesses extensively before."

Notable practitioners

Thomas Schürrle heads the department and is the main contact for the team.

What the team is known for Exclusive focus on white-collar crime, defending individuals as well as representing domestic and international companies in criminal investigations. Viewed as a growing force in the German market. 

Notable practitioners  

Interviewees describe Alfred Dierlamm as a highly visible figure in the market, noting his work defending prominent individuals against allegations of white-collar crime.

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 associates

What the team is known for Recommended for its broad practice and international reach. Works closely with colleagues across Europe, Asia and in the USA to provide advice on complex investigations with cross-border aspects. Offers interdisciplinary advice on anti-corruption and bribery as well as tax evasion issues in conjunction with the firm's employment, tax and litigation teams. Clients are drawn from a diverse range of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, insurance, media and manufacturing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I think the DLA team is very good to work with. It has an excellent client base and the lawyers are quick and intelligent, with a very pragmatic approach."

Notable practitioners 

Jürgen Taschke stands out for his experience in both corporate advisory and defence work. Market observers say: "He goes through files very thoroughly, knows the law, and is very well connected on the international scene."

What the team is known for Widely acknowledged as one of the leading criminal defence boutiques in the German market. Popular with clients from the banking sector, and is regularly seen representing financial institutions in major proceedings. Also active on behalf of individuals, with recent mandates including the defence of board members in criminal liability proceedings.

Notable practitioners  

Sources are quick to praise Felix Dörr, saying: "We are very, very impressed with his work and ability to find a solution, and would definitely pick him for technically complex issues." Another adds: "He is an excellent team player and it is really a pleasure to work with him."

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- approximately 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Outstanding white-collar defence boutique with excellent cross-border capabilities. Regularly visible on the most high-profile cases in the market, advising individuals and companies from sectors such as financial services, energy, insurance and transportation.

Work highlights Defended the CEO of Deutsche Bank against tax evasion allegations.

Notable practitioners  

Market commentators describe the renowned Hanns Feigen as "an excellent lawyer and a tough guy." He is a regular fixture on prominent and widely reported cases, recently providing advice on tax evasion charges to the CEO of Deutsche Bank.

Sources say of Walther Graf: "What we see from him is very impressive." In addition to providing compliance support to CEOs and board members, he is a highly regarded defence counsel. His recent work includes defending Korean business executive Man Ki Kim against allegations of fraud and embezzlement during the development and construction of the United Nations World Conference Center in Bonn.

Interviewees describe Bernd Gross as "a very reliable lawyer who does excellent work." His recent mandates include defending a high-profile executive against obstruction of justice charges.

Significant clients Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, RWE, Bayer, Sal. Oppenheim.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners

What the team is known for Highly recommended for large cross-border investigations, offering an outstanding international network and sizeable global team. Well equipped to support clients in both internal and external investigations, and active in establishing and reviewing compliance management programmes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I have been extremely impressed with the entire German white-collar team. The lawyers are very smart, practical and efficient, and are able to handle a very large matter with severe time constraints and pressures and enormous document review needs quite effectively. Sometimes a major white-collar matter requires strong project management skills, and this has also proved to be one of the firm's big assets. It could easily handle any size of matter." 

What's new? Two former public prosecutors recently joined the team.

Notable practitioners

Christian Duve, based in the Frankfurt office, is a key contact for the department.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Extensive experience advising German-based companies on their compliance with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as offering expertise in the UK Bribery Act and German tax, administrative and penal codes. Offers advice on compliance management systems and internal investigations, and represents corporates in criminal and administrative proceedings brought by German and European enforcement bodies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent from a technical legal perspective – the team takes a strategic approach and is very pragmatic." 

Notable practitioners

Benno Schwarz, Michael Walther and Mark Zimmer are the main contacts for the firm's white-collar defence and investigations group.

Significant clients Allianz, Transparency International, Lawyers Without Borders.

What the team is known for Frankfurt-based criminal defence boutique with strong focus on white-collar crime. Provides advice to both companies and individuals on issues such as investigations and money laundering allegations within the banking sector, and is also well equipped to handle environmental issues, cartels and medical liability offences.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent criminal defence lawyers." 

Notable practitioners  

Sources recommend founding partner Rainer Hamm for his work defending financial institutions in Frankfurt. He publishes widely on white-collar crime topics and is a member of various professional associations.

Interviewees highlight Regina Michalke "as an extremely intelligent practitioner" who is becoming increasingly visible in the market. Her areas of focus include environmental offences and corporate crime.

Stefan Kirsch's main areas of activity are white-collar crime and international criminal law. He has previously acted as defence counsel before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague, as well as at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

What the team is known for Respected boutique handling a range of criminal defence and compliance work, based in Mainz. Represents companies and individuals in criminal proceedings and investigations, as well as covering matters requiring expertise in employment, data protection and tax law.

Notable practitioners  

Volker Hoffmann is a former public prosecutor specialising in economic crime. He regularly defends clients in large white-collar cases, and also acts as external ombudsman for various prominent German companies.

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Sizeable team with a strong focus on cross-border investigations. Benefits from strong links to other departments at the firm, including corporate, employment and privacy, as well as to other offices across the worldwide network. Also advises on antitrust and anti-corruption compliance measures.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The group has a very practical approach – not too theoretical. It is very solution-oriented and has good, in-depth contact with supervisory bodies in Germany."

"Very good service; the team is highly capable. The lawyers are quick to answer questions, and can also give statements in English."

Notable practitioners 

Sources praise Tim Wybitul for his experience in the financial services industry, saying: "He knows how banks work and how processes and decisions are made, and is also aware of what you have to comply with during investigations." He is regarded as particularly strong in data protection law and receives further praise for the practical nature of his advice.

Significant clients TÜV Rheinland, Xella International.

What the team is known for Acknowledged by interviewees as one of the leading German criminal boutiques. Provides in-depth advice on all areas of white-collar crime, including embezzlement, corruption, tax and seizure of assets. Experienced advising both individuals and businesses affected by criminal activity. 

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" Eberhard Kempf maintains his reputation as one of the most distinguished criminal lawyers in the German market. He publishes and lectures extensively on criminal law, and has an active role in various professional organisations.

What the team is known for Top-ranked criminal defence team which assists individuals and companies accused of white-collar crime at each stage of criminal cases. Also represents lawyers, auditors, tax consultants, doctors and other professionals in disciplinary proceedings.

Notable practitioners  

Sources consider Daniel Krause a "super" defence counsel. He is highly recommended for his English skills and ability to work well with foreign clients.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highlighted for in-depth knowledge and experience in the financial services industry, as well as for its ability to collaborate with colleagues internationally. Issues covered include anti-corruption measures and compliance system design, as well as those linked to securities and antitrust law. Frequently called upon to represent clients in high-profile investigations brought by public bodies and governmental agencies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The lawyers were very professional in terms of the way they grasped the underlying problem and in terms of their analysis of the situation. I could trust their judgement. They are also very well known in the market and accustomed to advising US companies."

Notable practitioners  

Clients praise Finn Zeidler's language skills and commercial awareness, saying: "His level of English is very good, and he understands the problems we have from a business perspective very quickly."

What the team is known for Highly regarded boutique in the Munich area. Broad practice spanning the full range of white-collar criminal defence and corporate advisory matters, with experience advising on corruption, fraud and compliance. Advises large corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as individuals.

Notable practitioners

Founding partner Werner Leitner has an excellent reputation in the Munich market. He chairs the executive committee of the German Bar Association's criminal law working group.

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Widely recognised for its excellent compliance group, which focuses on advising corporates on preventative measures as well as active matters, working closely with the firm's litigation department. Clients highlight its broad coverage of the German market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Noerr has a great compliance department and really understands how banks work."

What's new? Two new associated partners joined the team.

Work highlights Advised Germany’s Ziegler Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of fire-fighting vehicles and fire-fighting equipment, on compliance matters.

Represented Eurofighter in connection with an investigation by public prosecutors in Munich and Vienna regarding suspected corruption involved in the sale of aircraft to Austria.

Notable practitioners  

Christian Pelz moves up to the top band thanks to outstanding market feedback. Sources say: "He's very measured and commercial, and looks at things in a multi-jurisdictional context. Lots of experience, and an excellent technical lawyer."

Significant clients Ziegler Group, Eurofighter, Audi, ThyssenKrupp.

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly rated criminal defence boutique moving up in the rankings as a result of excellent feedback from clients. Advises key individuals in DAX and MDAX listed companies on a broad range of issues connected with white-collar crime, including corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, fraud and antitrust.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We appreciate the team's technical capabilities and collegiality."

"Its advice is discreet and realistic, and very precise legally speaking."

"Really highly regarded for its abilities in the criminal law field."

What's new? The firm recently promoted a number of new partners.

Work highlights 

Managing partner Alexander Schemmel is highly active in white-collar criminal defence cases. Sources commend his responsive approach and experience advising both medium-sized companies and large-cap multinational corporations.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises DAX 30 and global companies on compliance issues including the implementation of international whistle-blower hotlines and ombudsman systems. Further areas of activity include internal investigations and tax evasion, as well as matters requiring expertise in other legal areas such as data protection, employment and antitrust.

Notable practitioners  

Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff heads the firm's international dispute resolution group as well as the German white-collar crime practice. He offers corporate compliance advice, as well as being notably active advising clients who have been victims of white-collar crime.

The multilingual Sascha Kuhn speaks English, French and Italian in addition to his native German. His practice covers data protection as well as white-collar crime, where he frequently represents companies in criminal proceedings against former employees.

Significant clients RWE, E.ON, Praktiker, Vossloh.

What the team is known for Düsseldorf-based boutique covering various aspects of criminal law. Best recognised for its defence counsel work but also active advising on corporate advisory and compliance matters. Frequently instructed to represent clients in high-profile criminal proceedings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"An extremely well-known law firm. Very strong on the criminal defence side."

Notable practitioners  

Sven Thomas is one of the most respected defence counsel in the German market. His recent mandates include defending the former CEO of insolvent company Arcandor against embezzlement charges, a case which has been widely reported in the press.

Anne Wehnert's broad practice covers criminal law advice to domestic and foreign companies and banks, as well as the defence of individuals. Highlights from the past twelve months include defending Porsche's former head of finance against allegations of fraud.

What the team is known for Criminal defence specialists working from offices in Essen and Düsseldorf. Regularly seen representing individuals and both domestic and international companies in white-collar proceedings, including criminal tax cases. Solid reputation in the market.

Notable practitioners  

Interviewees describe Renate Verjans as a "very experienced lawyer." Her recent work includes defending the ex-CFO of Ferrostaal against allegations of embezzlement. 

What the team is known for Advises German and international clients on matters including fraud, bribery and corruption, extradition, insider trading and money laundering. Also active in compliance and criminal corporate law. Highly visible defending prominent individuals against white-collar crime allegations.

Notable practitioners  

Sources say Jürgen Wessing is "a very well-known practitioner with a strong practice." He is respected for both advisory and defence mandates, and his recent highlights include defending the ex-CFO of the Nürburgring against embezzlement charges. 

Heiko Ahlbrecht is a respected lawyer who has experience of issues including risk assessment and crisis management around criminal proceedings.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Top-ranked international firm with in-depth experience advising and defending major global corporations and financial institutions in criminal proceedings. Handles external investigations and civil enforcement proceedings as well as internal investigations and compliance reviews. Strong relationships with the relevant authorities and able to draw on the expertise of colleagues in banking, capital markets, insolvency, tax and public law.

Notable practitioners  

In recent months, Nils Clemm has continued to focus on advising companies affected by fraud committed by their own employees or external parties. He has also handled major tax-linked issues in the finance sector.

Former public prosecutor Jürgen Detlef Klengel frequently represents clients in preliminary proceedings and investigations into issues such as corruption, corporate espionage and VAT fraud. He also regularly leads internal investigations into bribery, embezzlement and general compliance breaches.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Sole practitioner Kai Hart-Hönig has long-standing experience advising German and international companies on white-collar crime cases. His practice covers issues such as fraud, breach of trust, embezzlement and money laundering.

Former public prosecutor Thomas Knierim of Knierim & Kollegen Rechtsanwälte draws praise from sources for his ability to understand the needs of corporate clients, as well as his specialist knowledge of criminal defence. One interviewee reports: "He is an excellent practitioner whom I would trust with my defence if I were in trouble."

Interviewees describe Hamburg-based defence counsel Otmar Kury of Otmar Kury Rechtsanwalt as a "really excellent lawyer."

Klaus Volk of Prof Dr Dr h.c. Klaus Volk regularly features as defence counsel in prominent commercial cases. Sources say: "He is great – very eloquent. A very famous defence lawyer."

Sole practitioner Franz Salditt maintains his leading reputation for tax-linked defence work.

Sole practitioner Holger Matt comes highly recommended for white-collar crime and tax cases. Sources say: "He has an excellent standard of English, and is very good with clients. A great strategic thinker."

Eddo Compart of Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Compart & Schmidt is best known for handling white-collar criminal defence matters connected with fraud, corruption and insolvency.

Defence counsel Wolf Schiller of Schiller & Kollegen is frequently seen acting on behalf of major clients from the financial services sector, and is recognised for his expertise in banking law. 

Rolf Hünermann leads Willkie Farr & Gallagher's German compliance group from Frankfurt. He regularly advises US and European companies on anti-bribery legislation, including the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and has experience of conducting internal investigations.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.