Dispute Resolution: White-Collar Crime: Germany
Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.
THE FIRM This international legal heavyweight remains a market leader in white-collar crime corporate advisory in Germany. One of the primary areas of focus for the Frankfurt-based team in recent times has been the interface between criminal law and tax law, also relating to cross-border financial services and corruption charges. The group frequently advises on criminal law matters within the scope of corporate, banking, capital markets and real estate law. The team boasts an impressive client portfolio in an array of different industry sectors, such as energy, automotive and financial markets.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Heiner Hugger continues to manage a team of seven in white-collar matters and remains a respected leading figure amongst peers.
THE FIRM This fully integrated practice collaborates closely with its international corporate crime investigations and compliance group, which gives it a distinctly international edge. The team works in harmony with its colleagues in the USA, Asia and the UK on matters such as internal investigations and compliance issues. Leading companies in the pharmaceutical, banking and automotive industries engage the group in anti-corruption, bribery and tax evasion cases. Interviewees regard the practice as among the most established and pre-eminent in Germany for these matters.
Sources say: “They are long-established go-to criminal lawyers.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees award Jürgen Taschke no end of praise for his sound judgement and creativity in the white-collar crime arena. He has an excellent market reputation for corporate advisory and defence work, in which observers mention that “his attention to client needs is truly top-notch.”
THE FIRM This renowned criminal defence boutique is a popular choice for clients operating in the Frankfurt area. In addition to representing clients in litigations, the team offers advice on compliance and corporate governance issues.
Sources say: “Famous in Frankfurt.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees say that Felix Dörr is “not just a good litigator, but also an excellent co-ordinator."
THE FIRM This top-ranking standalone practice receives rave reviews for its expertise in white-collar criminal law. Focusing exclusively on corporate criminal legislation, the team handles a multitude of cases concerning compliance, tax, fraud, bribery and anti-corruption in Germany. In addition, the team has an international outlook and regularly collaborates with other white-collar practices in foreign countries. Clients such as Credit Suisse and RWE engage the firm in various white-collar related mandates.
Sources say: “Brilliant people with brilliant expertise.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Frequently dubbed “one of the most renowned white-collar lawyers in Germany,” Hanns Feigen is certainly a leading figure for white-collar defence matters. He acts as defence counsel for companies such as Stolberg and his legal input is appreciated by clients and peers alike.
Sources deem Walther Graf to be “a stellar lawyer” in both corporate governance and defence counsel roles. He is well known for his expertise in the corporate crime field, and defends clients such as the former CEO of Porsche, Dr Wiedeking.
Peers thoroughly enjoy working with Bernd Gross, who handles corporate criminal cases, particularly within the remit of fraud, breach of trust and corruption.
THE FIRM Responding to growing client demand for advice on cross-border internal investigations and compliance measures, this international powerhouse is increasingly active in the white-collar crime arena. Notable mandates include advising a large German car manufacturer on anti-corruption compliance in its shareholdings under US, UK, Chinese and Russian law in addition to German law, and counselling Deutsche Post on the introduction of its new global whistle-blowing system.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Andreas Fabritius, Norbert Nolte and Christian Duve co-ordinate the firm's German compliance and investigations group.
THE FIRM This three-partner team engages in white-collar crime cases from a multidisciplinary perspective. The group's fully integrated angle awards it mandates with Fortune 300, FTSE and agglomerate companies. The lawyers advise on both foreign and domestic compliance issues under UK, German and US anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies, and the team plays an important role in US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlements concerning companies based in Germany. Its client roster includes such names as Siemens and Allianz.
Sources say: “First-rate service.” "A great culture with top-quality support.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Zimmer is a key contact here. He handles both corporate criminal and labour law.
THE FIRM Deemed to be among the best white-collar criminal practices in Frankfurt, this boutique is widely reputed for its extensive corporate advisory and defence capabilities.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Rainer Hamm is a prominent defence counsel in Frankfurt. He also holds an honorary position as professor at the law school of the Goethe University.
Market sources recognise Regina Michalke as a strong defence counsel. She is well known for her publications and was also chairwoman of the Association of German Defence Lawyers for 14 years.
Wolfgang Köberer brings over 25 years of experience to his practice. He is well versed in white-collar crime and fiscal offences, international penal law and extradition law.
The highly respected Stefan Kirsch impresses the market with his in-depth technical knowledge of white-collar crime and international criminal law.
THE FIRM Based in Mainz, this criminal defence boutique provides advice on investigations and compliance matters. It represents clients in the full range of commercial and criminal law issues, including corporate and commercial law, data protection, employment, and financial and competition criminal law.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Founding partner Volker Hoffmann is a former public prosecutor. In addition to his work as defence counsel, he provides external ombudsman services to high-profile clients such as Lidl and Kuka.
THE FIRM The large German team of this global firm advises clients on the full range of white-collar crime matters, such as civil, criminal and insolvency law liability risks, cross-border internal investigations and the establishment of effective compliance systems. The group also works closely with other departments, such as privacy and data security, corporate and commercial, making up its extended German compliance practice.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Following Wendelin Acker's recent departure from the firm, Düsseldorf based partner Jürgen Johannes Witte is now the main contact for all queries concerning internal investigations and compliance.
THE FIRM A market leader within white-collar crime defence in Germany, this Frankfurt-based criminal law boutique remains at the forefront of this market. Interviewees enthuse about the group's established reputation as well as its consistently high-level service.
Sources say: “A famous firm with very good lawyers, just brilliant.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Focusing exclusively on criminal law, name partner Eberhard Kempf remains a well-reputed leading figure within this legal market.
THE FIRM Based in Berlin, this criminal law boutique attracts outstanding feedback for its advice to and representation of defendants in white-collar crime and tax fraud proceedings.
Sources say: “An absolutely top firm.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Founding partner Daniel Krause is “absolutely fantastic," say peers. Clients admire his leadership and project management abilities, but single out his formidable analytical skills for particular praise: “He's a very clever guy, exceptional in analysis, always goes into the details of a case, and makes good points for the defence."
THE FIRM The German white-collar crime team of this international giant is proud to advise multinational organisations on a global scale, as well as carrying out strong domestic work. The group displays notable strength in traditional white-collar crime matters, such as data protection law, antitrust law and accounting enforcement.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Described by market observers as “an excellent litigator,” Finn Zeidler represents clients in corruption investigations carried out by domestic and foreign authorities.
THE FIRM Formerly known as Eckstein Leitner, this Munich-based firm recently restructured in order to focus exclusively on corporate criminal law and white-collar crime. The highly regarded team represents the defendants in corruption, fraud and breach of trust matters, and also advises on corporate compliance and internal investigations. Clients name the firm as their first choice for criminal defence mandates in Bavaria.
Sources say: “Passionate, accurate and understands how we do our job.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients appreciate Werner Leitner's long-standing practical experience, extensive network of contacts and English and Spanish language skills. “He's smart but calm, doesn't try to overdo things or turn them into PR for himself, but acts discreetly and clients appreciate that a lot.” Another interviewee says: "He is reliable and trustworthy; whenever he's at the prosecutor's office people know this is a defence lawyer to rely on.”
THE FIRM This team is increasing its stronghold in the white-collar crime arena with key additional team members. The six-strong practice regularly assists clients with compliance issues, internal investigations and other issues including corporate crime on both a domestic and international level.
Sources say: “Noerr plays a great role in the market.” “The perfect firm for German mid-size clients.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Market observers recognise Christian Pelz for his international presence. He is highly active in the white-collar crime field, where he handles tax evasion, forensics, asset recovery and other general commercial criminal matters.
THE FIRM This criminal law boutique continues to be a recognised market player in white-collar crime. Recommended by interviewees for its strength in criminal law and related compliance issues, this niche firm focuses on white-collar crime defence, criminal compliance and internal investigations. Clients benefit from the scientific expertise the practitioners are able to bring to their work.
Sources say: “Members of Roxin are eligible speakers at law events and conferences, they are publishing in high-quality law journals, and some of them are known as leading scientists who are conducting courses at leading German law schools.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Managing partner Alexander Schemmel is active in most of the team's significant deals in this area. One particularly impressed client enthuses that “from the beginning we were highly impressed by him; he has shown great ability for compliance and investigation issues. Moreover we are always able to get in touch with him easily on the phone or in person.”
THE FIRM The German white-collar crime practice of this global firm represents the victims of white-collar crime in internal investigations and corporate compliance, as well as advising on preventative measures such as the implementation of whistle-blower hotlines. Clients include RWE, E.ON and ThyssenKrupp. The firm continues to assist Hitachi with internal fraud investigations, and is also currently representing a financial services provider in connection with a breach of postal and telecommunications privacy regulations.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff is the firm's international head of dispute resolution, where he covers contentious and non-contentious issues relating to both employment and white-collar crime.
Sascha Kuhn continues to build his caseload, having joined the partnership in 2011. He offers an international perspective to the practice and has particular expertise in insurance litigation.
THE FIRM Displaying strength in both corporate advisory as well as defence counsel work, Thomas Deckers Wehnert Elsner is praised for the impressive quality of its white-collar crime work. Based in Düsseldorf, this niche firm receives instruction from clients within the commerce, banking and service sectors.
KEY INDIVIDUALS With expertise in economic criminal law and criminal tax law, the "fantastic" Sven Thomas is continually referred to by peers as "one of the most standout defence lawyers in Germany."
A renowned practitioner in this field, Anne Wehnert continues to impress market observers, who describe her as "extremely impressive."
THE FIRM Known for its work as defence counsel in white-collar crime, this established German firm continues to represent individuals and companies in white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement from its Düsseldorf and Essen offices. Matters handled by the regional firm includes criminal insolvency, compliance and corporate criminal law.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Renate Verjans draws praise from market peers as a strong and reliable defence practitioner.
THE FIRM Displaying a definite market prominence in defence counsel as well as corporate advisory proceedings, this Düsseldorf-based practice is increasingly focused on cartel administration matters. Recognised by market competitors as a real player in this field, the white-collar crime group receives instruction from its clients in all matters pertaining to criminal law and related legal cases.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jürgen Wessing remains a leading figure in both defence counsel and corporate advisory. Clients describe him as “a brilliant lawyer with a brilliant strategic attitude.”
Sources view Heiko Ahlbrecht as an "excellent younger lawyer." As well as his legal career he also lectures on criminal tax and criminal defence economy at the University of Hanover.
THE FIRM This firm's white-collar crime practice advises high-profile domestic and overseas corporate clients on all stages of complex criminal investigations and civil enforcement proceedings relating to fraud, bribery and corruption. In response to client demand, the team has renewed its focus on compliance and internal investigations. Recent mandates include implementing a group-wide compliance management system in a listed company, and advising an oil and gas company in foreign investment compliance issues.
KEY INDIVIDUALS “Prominent” Nils Clemm has been advising major companies on compliance matters in the past twelve months.
Former public prosecutor Jürgen Detlef Klengel regularly leads internal investigations and fraud investigations, frequently relating to bribery and embezzlement charges. He also advises corporate clients on the implementation of compliance systems. Peers admire his strategic thinking and long-standing experience in the field.
of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek continues to focus on the areas of white-collar crime, compliance and tax law.
Clients see Wiesbaden-based Alfred Dierlamm
of DIERLAMM Rechtsanwälte as an “excellent lawyer with considerable experience.”
A peer says: “He is very active and does a good job.”
Sources hold “top-notch”
former public prosecutor Thomas Knierim
of Knierim & Kollegen Rechtsanwälte in high regard for his work in criminal defence and internal investigations.
Sole practitioner Kai Hart-Hönig
advises companies on internal compliance measures and criminal investigations.
Leading defence counsel Franz Salditt
of Prof Dr Franz Salditt specialises in tax fraud cases.
of Schiller & Kollegen is frequently seen representing clients in prominent banking cases in the Frankfurt area.
Peers describe sole practitioner Klaus Volk
as a "pre-eminent defence counsel"
on the basis of his ongoing representation of industry-leading companies.
Sources consider Eddo Compart
of Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Compart & Schmidt to be "a very discreet and efficient defence counsel, and one of the best team players you could have."
Defence counsel Otmar Kury
of Otmar Kury Rechtsanwalt is a highly visible figure in the Hamburg market. "A brilliant lawyer in a small firm,"
of Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Prof Dr Holger Matt is currently chairman of the European Criminal Bar Association. He also advises the EC on criminal law and criminal procedural law matters.
of Wagner Rechtsanwälte handles white-collar crime matters relating to insolvency, corruption and competition law.
recently joined Görling Acker & Partner from Hogan Lovells, where he headed the white-collar crime practice. He has a strong focus on compliance matters, as well as commercial litigation.
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