Individual defence briefs
German criminal law is geared towards the personal accountability of individuals. The defence of individuals is therefore one of the focus areas of our law firm. This means that we are steadfastly committed to safeguarding and asserting the rights of our clients vis-à-vis the investigating authorities. After all, the stress that is part and parcel of criminal investigations by the prosecution is enormous and its very existence alone can have serious repercussions for the person being investigated. From the onset, our aim is therefore to resolve all such proceedings as quickly as possible before charges are brought, with as little publicity as possible. In situations, where accommodating the investigating authorities is not likely to be beneficial to our client, we have the wherewithal to substantiate our client’s position. This applies all the more in situations where a trial cannot be avoided. We possess many years of trial experience, which has equipped us to defend our clients – whenever necessary – across all stages of the trial and appeal process.
Companies are often the subject of investigations by BaFin, the customs and merger control authorities, tax investigators or the public prosecutor’s office. Investigating authorities regularly search business premises and production sites alike, seize documents as well as electronic data. Apart from these sometimes considerable disruptions, companies are also exposed to further risks, particularly if assets are to be disgorged and monetary fines are being threatened.
We advise and represent a wide variety of corporate clients in all proceedings related to white-collar crime, tax criminal law or legal sanctions. One of the foremost core competencies of our firm is the coordination of complex large-scale proceedings involving a large number of company staff or managers that have fallen under the prosecuting authorities’ scrutiny.
Moreover, we offer comprehensive expertise in the area of preventive advice in criminal law matters. We advise many large corporations on the implementation of customised compliance programmes and conduct training sessions for their staff.
Internal investigations now form an integral part of the criminal-law advisory services provided to corporates. If ever allegations prove to be justified, the active investigation of the facts and collaboration with the authorities may prove to be an effective defence strategy. As a general rule, the thorough appraisal of the set of facts also forms the basis of any successful defence against unwarranted allegations.
What’s more, internal investigations may be necessary to effectively end ongoing non-compliance and enable aggrieved companies to determine the extent of damage or loss suffered as well as the parties responsible in order to assert their own claims.
As one of the few law firms specialising in commercial criminal law, we have the expertise as well as the technical and human resources to provide our clients with solutions from a single source, should this be required. At the core of our advisory approach is a commitment to conduct targeted internal investigations – independently and efficiently – only in those situations where this might offer a strategic advantage. Against this background, our many years of experience in complex large-scale proceedings as well as our ongoing dialogue with law enforcement authorities ensure usable results while at the same time avoiding unnecessary measures and preventing any wasting of time or resources.
Our specialised team conducts both selective enquiries as well as complex investigative projects. Within the highly dynamic field of IT forensics, we handle the entire investigation process, from data acquisition through to the process-appropriate documentation for our clients. The data analysis is then performed on established review platforms. What’s more, our team also has extensive expertise in the use of AI applications in large-scale proceedings to evaluate even large data volumes efficiently.