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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Germany > White-collar crime > Advice to individuals > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. White-collar crime: Advice to individuals
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Felix Dörr - Felix Dörr (Dr) & Kollegen
    • Hanns Feigen - Feigen · Graf Rechtsanwälte
    • Daniel Krause - Krause & Kollegen
    • Anne Wehnert - Thomas, Deckers, Wehnert & Elsner

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Philipp Gehrmann - Krause & Kollegen
    • Ulf Reuker - Park Wirtschaftsstrafrecht
    • Thomas Richter - HammPartner Rechtsanwälte
    • Daniel Travers - Krause & Kollegen

Who Represents Who

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The team at Dr. Felix Dörr & Kollegen handles a broad range of white-collar crime work and demonstrates particular expertise in accounting and tax law proceedings, as well as in defending clients against allegations of accounting fraud, customs and foreign trade offences. Felix Dörr acted for former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn in dieselgate market manipulation investigations, defending him against allegations of having failed to pass on information in time about possible financial consequences arising from the exhaust gas scandal. The recommended Christian Schubert is experienced in representing individuals in criminal litigation and penalty proceedings, most notably those including scientific and technical elements.

Recognised by clients and peers alike, Feigen · Graf Rechtsanwälte is one of the leading law firms for white-collar crime. Its fine reputation is based on its frequent representations of CEOs and managing directors of well-known companies in prominent proceedings on one hand, and, on the involvement of highly regarded ‘shining light’ Hanns Feigen on the other. Together with Walther Graf, he represented ex-Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking in criminal proceedings before the Regional Court of Stuttgart, defending him against allegations of market manipulation resulting in an acquittal. The client was accused of having deceived the markets and, so doing, having bought VW shares for a lower price. In equally noteworthy work, the team defended the former managing director of the construction company Imtech Deutschland against bribery allegations before the Regional Court of Cottbus. Bernd Groß is also recommended.

HammPartner Rechtsanwälte stands out for its broad white-collar crime expertise on one hand, which includes criminal product liability, medical criminal law, foreign trade and environmental criminal law, and its well-balanced age structure on the other, whereby younger partners are equally well established in the market and routinely represent physicians and executives from the manufacturing and credit industries. Together with Bea Rath, who left the firm and joined the civil service, Rainer Hamm defended a former steel industry manager in criminal proceedings pertaining to the rail cartel before the Regional Court of Bochum. In environmental criminal law, Regina Michalke and Thomas Richter represented one of seven defendants against allegations to have illegally disposed 900,000 tonnes of waste into the Vehlitz clay surface mine. Stefan Kirsch is recommended.

Utilising its comprehensive criminal law expertise, kempf schilling Rechtsanwälte GbR defends clients at all stages of criminal proceedings. Recently, the ‘immensely experienced’ Eberhard Kempf represented Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller in preliminary proceedings for possible capital markets manipulation, which was initiated by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and based on the suspicion that the provision of information to investors about the possible financial consequences stemming from dieselgate was deliberately delayed. Hellen Schilling is recommended.

As well as its expertise in representing individuals such as directors, managers and CEOs, boutique firm Krause & Kollegen is also well versed in assisting companies with criminal law matters including preventative measures. Daniel Krause and Alexandra Wagner are names to note, while Philipp Gehrmann and Daniel Travers are also recommended.

Dierlamm Rechtsanwälte has the representation of auditors, tax advisors, lawyers, notaries and physicians at its core; this expertise led to several recent defence mandates: the team acted for two Ernst & Young-employees, and, with ‘experienced’ defence lawyer Alfred Dierlamm in the lead, it defended several consultants in Cum-Ex-related proceedings. The team also receives regular instructions from bank directors and employees in the face of fraud and breach of trust allegations as well as tax, corruption and insolvency criminal law issues. Eva Racky is recommended.

Leitner & Partner is frequently called upon to defend board members, supervisory boards and other individuals in leading positions in a number of criminal proceedings and was recently able to attract attention by representing several well-known sports sector clients: the team continues to act for Franz Beckenbauer in matters pertaining to possible irregularities occurring during the process of awarding the World Cup to Germany, and provides regular advice to FC Bayern München and several of its players. As well as its expertise in defending clients including lawyers and tax advisors against breach of trust and corruption allegations, the team often acts in criminal tax and foreign trade law proceedings, while putting significant emphasis on preventative advice. In criminal tax law, the team has been assisting a number of well-known clients with Cum-Ex-related matters. Founding partner Werner Leitner is a name to note.

Criminal law boutique Thomas, Deckers, Wehnert & Elsner is dedicated to white-collar crime and criminal tax law and acts for an extensive client roster consisting of individuals from the business and political sectors and freelance professionals alongside commercial and manufacturing companies and banks; regular instructions include defending clients in criminal proceedings and providing preventative compliance advice. As well as its criminal tax expertise, the team also advises on matters pertaining to medical and environmental criminal law alongside mandates involving foreign trade and customs offences. Highly regarded founding partner Sven Thomas, who retired in early 2017 but still acts as counsel, and Udo Wackernagel represented former Arcandor CEO Thomas Middelhoff in breach of trust proceedings before the Higher Regional Court of Hamm, defending him against the allegation of having made payments from Arcandor to the University of Oxford shortly before leaving the company. Anne Wehnert is another name to note.

VBB Rechtsanwälte has expertise in handling defence mandates for individuals as well as companies and is well equipped to advise clients on compliance matters. This leads to regular instructions from board and supervisory board members, managing directors and freelance professionals to act in accounting fraud proceedings and litigation pertaining to alleged capital investment fraud and insolvency offences. Markus Berndt and Malaika Nolde were involved in rail cartel-related criminal proceedings before the Regional Court of Bochum, and Renate Verjans represented the sports official and former DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach before the FIFA ethics committee.

Despite Wessing & Partner’s focus on advising and representing companies, the team is also adept at assisting individuals with white-collar crime and criminal tax law proceedings and compliance matters - the latter being an area of growth for the practice - as well as internal investigations. Regular instructions include representing board members, senior executives and managing directors in breach of trust, corruption and fraud proceedings, and defending clients against allegations of the betrayal of trade and company secrets. In the medical criminal space, the team benefits from Matthias Dann’s deep expertise; he frequently defends physicians against allegations of accounting fraud, among other accusations. Jürgen Wessing also acts in accounting fraud procedures, while Heiko Ahlbrecht is the main contact for corruption and criminal tax matters, including cross-border instructions such as Cum-Ex proceedings. Ingo Bott was made salaried partner.

Frankfurt-based criminal law boutique Dannenfeldt & Rumpf Rechtsanwälte defends clients at all stages of criminal proceedings, which frequently cover allegations of bribery, corruption and customs offences, while also advising companies on criminal tax and compliance matters. Eva Dannenfeldt specialises in medical and environmental criminal law alongside foreign trade law and is experienced in representing clients in corruption and breach of trust proceedings; she represented a client in preliminary proceedings by the public prosecutor’s office of Bremen on the suspicion of corruption at Atlas Elektronik. In other significant work, the team defended a former Deutsche Bank employee against tax fraud allegations regarding CO2 certificate trading techniques; the client was accused of having assisted a group of fraudulent CO2 certificate traders with cheating the tax authorities. Alexander Rumpf is another key figure of the team; he predominately acts for executives from mid-sized health and renewable energy sector companies, as well as capital investment and insurance industry players.

Eisenmann Wahle Birk & Weidner is particularly well established in southern Germany, where the team provides clients with extensive criminal law advice and represents them in litigation. As a prominent instruction, the team represented Lars Schlecker, son of drugstore chain founder Anton Schlecker, in proceedings before the Regional Court of Stuttgart, defending him against allegations of bankruptcy and delaying insolvency proceedings as well as fraud. Eberhard Wahle, Uwe Holzapfel and Olaf Hohmann are recommended.

With an office in Berlin, Freyschmidt Frings Pananis Venn continues to put its geographical focus on the capital city but the team has recently also been able to expand its reach to the rest of the country. The team’s core strengths include acting in defence against allegations of bribery, breach of trust and fraud, as demonstrated by Guido Frings’ representation of a former division manager of an airport operator company before the Regional Court of Cottbus, in defence against the allegation of having accepted bribery payments amounting to €150,000. In other regular work, Uwe Freyschmidt acts for registered and employed physicians against accounting fraud allegations, and Panos Pananis assists clients with contentious banking matters. Nikolai Venn is another key member of the team.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek is one of few major law firms that managed to establish itself in the individual defence space; an area otherwise dominated by boutiques. Andre Szesny’s team, which gained further impetus with the arrival of Hanno Kiesel from Ernst & Young, represents managing directors and executive boards of large and medium-sized corporations in various criminal tax and white-collar crime proceedings: recently, the team defended a former board member of a financial institution in preliminary proceedings for tax evasion initiated by the public prosecutor’s office of Düsseldorf, and, also on the defence side, it acted for a former member of the supervisory board of a trading and tourism company in a criminal procedure for breach of trust with respect to various bonus payments granted to members of the executive board. In other work, a private exchange trader instructed the team to act in various criminal, penalty and sanction-related proceedings, in defence against allegations of market manipulation brought by the public prosecutor’s office of Frankfurt, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the sanctions committee of Eurex. Susanne Stauder defended a managing director in preliminary proceedings for gang and commercial smuggling.

Ignor & Partner GbR is best known for handling proceedings in the political space, which includes Alexander Ignor’s advice to the German Bundesrat (Federal Council) on proceedings concerning the prohibition of the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), but the team is also considered to be a good contact for criminal law and penalty proceedings. Main contacts for medical criminal law Jörg Rehmsmeier and Annika Dießner routinely act for clients faced with accounting fraud allegations.

With particular expertise in white-collar crime, accounting and criminal tax law, Knierim und Krug Rechtsanwälte receives regular instructions from management board members and other senior executives as well as physicians. Recently, Björn Krug defended two managing directors of an energy company against allegations of corruption, and defended a managing director of a consultancy firm against tax fraud allegations. Similarly, a Deutsche Bank employee instructed the team, this time with newly promoted salaried partner Astrid Lilie-Hutz in the lead, to act in tax fraud matters. In other significant work, the practice defended one of Maple Bank’s managing directors against Cum-Ex-related allegations, while the frequently recommended Thomas Knierim represented a shareholder of a holding company in proceedings pertaining to insider trading. Anna Oehmichen was elevated to the partnership and of counsel Claudius Geisler joined the team from the University of Mainz.

Park Wirtschaftsstrafrecht’s team led by Tido Park is best known for the representation of individuals and companies in corruption, breach of trust and criminal tax law proceedings and in defence against allegations of capital markets offences. In significant work, the team acted for an advisor in Cum-Ex-related matters, and defended Herbert Diess, chairman of the Volkswagen passenger cars brand, against market manipulation allegations. Ulf Reuker is recommended.

Prof Dr Salditt’s one-man practice is experienced in handling criminal tax law and white-collar crime work, as recently demonstrated by representing Carl Friedrich Janssen, ex-chairman of the now-liquidated Arcandor Group, in breach of trust proceedings, defending the client against allegations of having unjustifiably made bonus payments to Thomas Middelhoff.

Schiller & Kollegen predominately represents employees and board members from the manufacturing and financial industries in breach of trust, fraud and corruption proceedings and defends them against alleged tax, accounting and customs law offences. Dealing with unauthorised employee leasing matters and insurance-related proceedings constitutes another key element of the practice. Wolf Schiller is the key figure.

The team at Compart & Schmidt GbR is jointly led by Eddo Compart and Konrad Schmidt, who handle a wide range of criminal tax, white-collar crime and environmental criminal law work including the representation of individuals against allegations of illegal price fixing, corruption, breach of trust and bribery. The team recently demonstrated this expertise in representing a Ford employee in corruption proceedings stemming from a freight forwarding contract between DB Schenker and car manufacturer Ford. Allegedly, Russian customs officers received bribes to speed up the transport of car parts to the plant near St. Petersburg.

Specialising in criminal law, Fachanwälte für Strafrecht am Potsdamer Platzhas a good reputation in Berlin’, is ‘very reliable’ and ‘directs its attention to the essentials’. It represents individuals in commercial criminal and criminal tax law proceedings, while Sebastian Vogel brings medical criminal law capabilities to the team. Recently, the team defended a compliance officer of a German defence company against allegations of illegally intercepting the communications of the chief executive officer of the foreign parent company, and Rainer Frank, who ‘reacts quickly in critical situations and is pleasant to deal with’, represented Gabriela Leyh, managing director of Barmer GEK Berlin-Brandenburg, in preliminary proceedings covering the allegation of bribery pertaining to KV Berlin’s risk structure compensation benefits. While court representations form a significant portion of the team’s workload, preventative advisory instructions including compliance mandates are on the increase. The ‘pleasant, knowledgeable and service-oriented’ Niklas Auffermann represented a former customs officer in preliminary proceedings and in defence against allegations of customs offences.

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