JUVE Law Firm of the year

White Collar Crime

Fresh supply of investigations on the way

Deutsche Bank executives in Munich: not guilty. HSH executive in Hamburg: not guilty. Porsche executives in Stuttgart: not guilty. These proceedings show how difficult it is to impose criminal penalties on those in commerce whose behavior has been condemned by society. But the investigatory authorities and plaintiffs hoping to establish grounds for their civil proceedings will keep on trying nonetheless. For months, the Volkswagen diesel affair has been emerging as a juggernaut investigation, which is causing ever greater ripples in the auto sector and political realm and extends right into boardrooms.

The scandals involving sports clubs and associations and the Anti-Doping Act are opening up an entirely new client group for criminal investigators. On the other hand, criminal lawyers expect little new explosive material from the revelations in the Panama Papers, as many banks and offshore account holders were caught long ago in the proceedings in Switzerland. It is a different story when it comes to dealing with dividend stripping (also called “cum-ex”) and so-called “cum-cum” structures. A band of defense lawyers has now come together to get to grips with the subject matter.

Many fields flourishing

Meanwhile, a renaissance in environmental criminal law, the new Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the new act on healthcare corruption and investigators taking a closer look at investments in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein will also play their part in keeping the criminal law experts at law firms and the judiciary on their toes.

The generation after next is lining up

Though it is the familiar names from the defense scene who continue to dominate in high-profile proceedings, the generation change is emerging. There is a small but noticeable age gap behind the “seniors” because, for a while, young talent was not really being promoted. This is already giving the lawyer generation after next – propelled by the high demand – space to prove its merit. And the developments at Rettenmaier & Adick, the younger generation at Dr. Schneider & Partner and Prof. Dr. Gerson Trüg at Bender Harrer Krevet certainly all show that young lawyers are making the most of this. Establishing themselves for the long term will take time and require more assignments in high-profile proceedings.

This is all the more true as firms with broad setups and young criminal lawyers begin to encroach onto the market, among them AC Tischendorf, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, Kapellmann und Partner and Grub Brugger. Though these do not pose a threat to the criminal law boutiques just yet, they do complicate the already difficult search for new talent: the number of good lawyers wanting to devote their time to white collar crime is small, and the fact that virtually all boutiques and ever more civil law firms are all searching for reinforcements makes the chance of actually hiring a young lawyer something akin to winning the lottery. This is also reflected in the fees. The €374 average found in the last JUVE survey is deceiving: for the leading players in major cities, this figure has long been over €500 – in a number of respects, white collar crime certainly does not pay.

 


 

The following chapter deals with firms which provide advice on white collar crime. Please also see the chapters on ?dispute resolution, ?public law, ?tax and ?tax criminal law. The rankings distinguish between advice and litigation for companies as plaintiffs or parties affected under the Regulatory Offenses Act, and defense of individuals. Multidisciplinary ?compliance advice is covered in a separate chapter. As a rule, client details tend to refer to advice in proceedings ongoing at the time of going to print and constitute allegations that have not yet been proven.


PfeilJUVE Law Firm of the year