Many medium-sized and large companies can find themselves confronted with situations with criminal law implications – whether as an injured party or as addressee of fine proceedings for misconduct by employees or management. We advise our clients in all areas of white-collar crime, providing both preventive services and assistance in ongoing criminal and fine proceedings. We assist our clients within the scope of corporate defence, protect their rights as injured parties and advance their interests in an efficient and professional manner. We conduct internal investigations both in Germany and abroad, and are known for our expertise in court as well as our experience in dealing with the relevant authorities.
Gleiss Lutz also covers the full range of criminal law compliance advice. We assess concrete or planned transactions, develop and optimise tailored compliance programmes and customised staff training sessions for companies to help them avoid investigations and to minimise the risk of fines. In M&A deals, we analyse and assess criminal law risks and potential fines and help avoid liability risks on the part of the legal successor.
“One of the top law firms for Criminal Defence”
In the case of misconduct by employees or breaches of duty by management boards, companies can be subject to investigations by regulatory authorities or the public prosecutor‘s office as well as significant sanctions that can threaten a company’s very existence.
We represent our clients in dealings with investigative authorities, cooperating where appropriate but also contesting allegations if necessary. This includes defence in possible investigative and administrative offence proceedings as well as in court. We also take care of the efficient crisis management that is often required in these proceedings.
Representation of victimized companies
In the case of breaches of duty by the management and criminal offences to the detriment of the company, we will clarify the facts and file criminal charges if necessary.
We can advise extensively on the assertion of claims for damages against third parties and against (former) board members and employees as well as on D&O insurance coverage. We also represent companies before the regulatory authorities.
Criminal law compliance
We work closely with our clients to develop compliance programmes that fit their specific needs and assist in implementing these programmes.
We start by identifying the particular risks and provide support in setting up the necessary compliance structures and implementing systems to monitor compliance in day-to-day practice. We also provide workshops to train employees on how to act in the event of searches and how to avoid corruption risks.
To identify weaknesses and flaws in corporate structures or existing compliance systems, we offer screenings and audits that enable clients to optimise the assessment and minimisation of risks.
Internal investigations are often a useful instrument when it comes to uncovering serious infringements within a company and preparing for possible litigations. Engaging external experts to assist with the investigations has the advantage of offering independence, and the best possible confidentiality and credibility, making it easier to cooperate with the authorities, should it come to that.
Workplace accidents and criminal violations of environmental law
In spite of technical progress, companies can never entirely rule out the possibility of workplace accidents resulting in harm to persons or property.
And despite the great efforts made, criminal violations of environmental laws are not altogether avoidable either. We frequently assist our clients in handling and dealing with occurrences of this kind and represent them in their dealings with the competent authorities.
Prevention of money laundering
Even outside the finance and banking industry, many companies have an obligation to implement safeguards to prevent money laundering.
They need to review whether their business falls under the Money Laundering Act and which obligations (notification duties, due diligence and organisational obligations) they need to meet in the course of their business activities. The fines for violations are substantial. We also provide guidance on the design of AML prevention programmes, on whether suspicious activity reports need to be filed or criminal charges brought, and on the employment and civil law consequences of violations, and enforce claims against those responsible.
Full service approach
Our multidisciplinary full service approach ensures that we are able to provide all the advice you need.
Our efficient teams are made up of experts with a high degree of specialisation and a breadth of practical experience in their field. We never lose sight of our clients’ business needs and potential risks to their reputation.
We are well-versed in conducting cross-border internal investigations, bringing in partner law firms in other European countries and beyond for advice on local legislation where needed.
This enables us to work as a one-stop shop to handle all the complexities around compliance and internal investigations.