Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s renowned interdisciplinary group is regularly instructed by well-known companies in the automotive, TMT, life sciences, finance and healthcare sectors in the context of alleged fraud. The team consists of lawyers, IT specialists and economists and is well versed in potential money laundering, corruption and tax offenses as well as product safety matters. Other key areas include the communication with relevant authorities, criminal proceedings as well as ESG and cybercrime issues. Renowned practice head (since 2022 also global head of legal tech) Sebastian Lach regularly accompanies FCPA and SEC/DoJ-related matters and cross-border internal investigations, while Désirée Maier is experienced in compliance and investigations, particularly in the life sciences sector. Angelina Leder frequently assists in the context of official searches, communication with relevant authorities and conducting employee interviews, she made partner in January 2022. In January 2023, Sebastian Gräler (internal investigations, compliance and ESG) was also appointed partner. Olaf Schneider recently assisted with several cross-border investigations and Christian Ritz is well versed in antitrust law.
Internal investigations in Germany
‘Extensive experience and high quality – extensive information on current topics and legislation. ‘
‘Angelina Leder: Technically well versed, able to solve difficult situations pragmatically, professionally and quickly. Professional and personal support. ‘
‘Big, powerful squad. ‘
‘Olaf Schneider speaks the language of the clients. Very good presentations. ‘
‘Olaf Schneider’s experience in solving compliance issues is outstanding .’
‘Olaf Schneider is an excellent lawyer with a great feeling for the situation.’
‘Sebastian Lach leads the team with a strong presence. ‘
‘Angelina Leder knows every detail of the case file.’
Currenta GmbH & Co. OHG
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG
ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE
World Wide Fund For Nature
- Advising Currenta GmbH & Co. KG on conducting an internal investigation and the audits in connection with the explosion and fire incident at the hazardous waste incineration plant in Leverkusen on July 27, 2021.
- Representation of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG in internal investigations and the global coordination of proactive communication with authorities.
Clifford Chance is among the top addresses for German and international financial institutions facing fraud and corruption allegations in connection with money laundering, insider trading and cum-ex. The team also acts on behalf of companies in the manufacturing industry and the energy, pharmaceutical, healthcare and technology sectors. The group, led by healthcare and life sciences specialist Peter Dieners and renowned criminal lawyer Heiner Hugger, offers expertise in ESG, antitrust law and product liability and regularly supports clients in employment law investigations; here, Ines Keitel , who is well versed in employment and data protection law is a key contact. David Pasewaldt has compliance and criminal law expertise and supports national and international companies in internal investigations and proceedings.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP follows a cross-locational approach with particularly strong ties to the firm’s US teams. Listed industrial companies as well as banks and other financial service providers frequently draw on the expertise of the White Collar Defense and Investigations team in the context of alleged money laundering, terrorist financing, bribery and violations of foreign trade law, where the interdisciplinary team also covers interfacing criminal and foreign trade law matters. Further capacities include antitrust and data protection law as well as anti-corruption issues, where Benno Schwarz is a key contact for the latter. Finn Zeidler impresses with regulatory and supervisory law expertise and frequently supports investigations in the finance sector. Ferdinand Fromholzer is well versed in D&O liability issues and Kai Gesing covers forensic matters pertaining to data protection and cybercrime.
- Conducting internal investigations and advising the chemical group Clariant on accounting issues.
Gleiss Lutz fields a ‘very good team for internal investigations, also at international level ‘ and supports numerous national and international financial institutions in the processing of alleged cum-ex offenses as well as well-known industrial companies in large-scale investigations pertaining to corruption, money laundering and others cases of alleged fraud. The team frequently assists with cross-border investigations and advises on financial integrity, greenwashing and ESG matters. Forensic issues pertaining to bullying allegations and misconduct are also handled by the group. Practice head Eike Bicker is renowned for his expertise in internal investigations, while Marcus Reischl focuses on dispute resolution and investigations. Associated partner Christoph Skoupil is well-versed in white collar crime and compliance matters and regularly acts in the forensic segment.
‘Consistently high quality at all seniority levels. Transparent billing. Very pleasant cooperation. ‘
‘Marcus Reischl: Extremely pragmatic and goal-oriented at the highest legal level. Seamless support from investigation to litigation in an international context. Great quality as a litigator .’
‘The team is professionally qualified at the highest level, well-rehearsed and extremely experienced through numerous large mandates.‘
- Advising Wirecard’s insolvency administrator as lead counsel for the internal investigation and litigation. Comprehensive advice to the insolvency administrator and representation of the insolvency administrator in D&O liability claims against former board members.
- Advice to the supervisory boards of Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG in dealing with the diesel issue and all related legal issues.
Hengeler Mueller assists with potential fraud, money laundering, corruption and data protection offenses as well as allegations of tax fraud, in particular with regard to cum-ex transactions. Finance industry players as well as national and international industrial companies draw on the team’s expertise in compliance and criminal law. Vera Jungkind combines data protection and compliance knowhow, while Fabian Quast is experienced in IT forensics. Criminal lawyer Wolfgang Spoerr and Daniel Weiß (compliance, internal investigations, banking and capital markets law, restructuring and insolvency) also belong to the core team. The practice also offers eDiscovery tool Nuix for efficient data review.
White & Case LLP's White Collar Crime and Investigations practice recently accompanied banks in connection with alleged tax offenses, money laundering and the trade of business secrets, both in a national and international context. Among the client roster are companies from the manufacturing, real estate, automotive and media sector. Tine Schauenburg, who is well versed in liability issues, is among the key contacts as well as Nils Clemm, who is well versed in communicating with investigating and supervisory authorities. The Frankfurt-based team was strengthened in May 2022 with Daniel Zapf from DLA Piper, who is experienced in both the preventive and forensic compliance segment. Criminal lawyer and former practice head Karl-Jörg Xylander joined the Munich boutique CCI-LEGAL in March 2023.
‘Prof. Nils Clemm: Very senior, experienced partner. ‘
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP supports German and national financial institutions in internal investigations regarding suspected cum-ex matters and steadily added new clients to its roster, particularly industrial companies from the life sciences sector. The key topics include allegations of accounting fraud, antitrust offences, external staff issues, data protection matters and corruption. Clients also benefit from the cooperation with the eDiscovery team as well as the firm’s international network. Wolf Bussian focuses on internal investigations in the finance sector and jointly heads the practice with Jan Erik Windthorst, who acts across industry groups. Tim Nikolas Müller boasts experience in cross-border investigations by foreign authorities.
Other key lawyers:
Baker McKenzie ‘s Investigations, Compliance and Ethics practice acts across locations and recently assisted with numerous internal investigations pertaining to ethical and moral allegations as well as allegations of fraud, corruption and money laundering. The team is jointly led by Andreas Lohner, who is particularly active in corruption-related investigations, and Nicolai Behr, who frequently assists with allegations of bribery. Recent areas cover #Metoo investigations as well as alleged discrimination and bullying. Further topics include the advice on data protection violations and ESG, where Anahita Thoms (sanctions and export controls) is a key contact for the latter. The client base, consisting of international corporations and DAX30 companies, also draws on the expertise of forensically experienced antitrust lawyer Anika Schürmann.
- Multinational internal investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering for an international medical device group in North Africa involving Baker McKenzie offices in four countries and extensive forensic work following the involvement of law enforcement agencies in North Africa.
- Advising a DAX40 company on a comprehensive international internal investigation into suspected bribery and vertical antitrust violations in an Eastern European country, including extensive forensic work and the involvement of three Baker McKenzie offices.
- Assisting a multinational trading company with an internal investigation in the US into allegations of discrimination and violations of visa regulations.
DLA Piper ‘s forensic compliance competencies reflect in internationally-led investigations and a versatile international client base, which includes leading industrial corporations as well as municipal companies. The team recently assisted with allegations of money laundering, corruption, bribery and social security fraud. Among the key contacts are criminal lawyers Emanuel Ballo and senior counsel Jürgen Taschke, as well as practice head Christian Schoop , who specialises in environmental crime and cyber attacks. Counsel Daniel Zapf (preventive and forensic compliance) joined White & Case LLP in May 2022.
‘Practical solutions by friendly lawyers .’
‘Emanuel Ballo is an outstanding lawyer with particular expertise. Not only is he very well versed in the theoretical matter, he also works with his team to develop practical and interest-based solutions. ‘
‘Highly competent internal investigation/compliance investigation team from planning to completion. ‘
- Cross-border internal investigation at a US subsidiary of a mechanical engineering company after the change in management regarding possible compliance violations by former executives and after receipt of a whistleblower’s tip on allegations of misconduct by a site manager.
- Conducting an internal investigation for a waste disposal company into allegations of bribery to the detriment of the client. Advice on criminal and public law in relation to investigations by the public prosecutor’s office, including against a member of management and other persons on allegations of false suspicion and bribery as well as corruption.
Linklaters ‘ Crisis Management and Compliance team offers expertise in both preventive and forensic matters. Recently led investigations pertain to sexual harassment and cum-ex issues. Companies in the finance, automotive and technology sectors primarily instruct the multidisciplinary team, which also handles cross-border investigations, particularly with a UK and US connection, thanks to its global network. Corporate lawyer Hans-Ulrich Wilsing focuses on supporting governing bodies and jointly heads the practice with Kerstin Wilhelm, who is well versed in cross-border investigations. Jens Blumenberg is experienced in internal investigations in connection with tax law and Daniela Seeliger advises on antitrust matters.
‘Speed with extremely high quality .’
‘High level of expertise.‘
‘Team led by Dr. Kerstin Wilhelm large enough for all relevant compliance tasks. The expertise on offer enables coverage of all potentially relevant legal issues and process tasks.‘
- Advising an international asset management company on conducting an internal investigation into various allegations of sexual harassment and bullying.
Noerr 's interdisciplinary compliance practice regularly demonstrates its expertise in internal investigations, where the criminal law interface is particularly prominent. Sophia Habbe frequently assists with cross-border investigations into ESG compliance regarding diversity and inclusion and jointly heads the team with Torsten Fett, who specialises in stock corporation and capital markets law and also assists with forensic matters. Criminal lawyer Christian Pelz is experienced in internal investigations pertaining to corruption, fraud and embezzlement.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team focuses on the client’s requirements and has a very good understanding of the specifics and complexity of the mandate.’
‘No barriers in the communication, very good analytical skills; clear and realistic feedback.’
‘Solution-oriented and practical; a very good legal basis.’
Boxine GmbH (tonies GmbH)
GEMÜ Gebrüder Müller Apparatebau GmbH & CO. KG
- Advising a DAX40 company in connection with allegations of misconduct in communication by a member of the board of directors, including clarification of the facts, legal analysis and submission of recommendations for action.
McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP offers support with internal investigations since September 2022, when corporate lawyer Rolf Hünermann, who is experienced in corporate governance and compliance as well as corporate lawyer Philip Schmidt, who has transactional expertise, joined the firm; both were previously at Reed Smith LLP, where Hünermann was also practice head. Among the client roster are national and international listed companies from the life sciences, technology and insurance industries as well as the manufacturing sector. The team frequently advises on cross-border matters and assists with allegations of corruption, fraud and negligence.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team always works in a goal-oriented, practical and unobtrusive manner with excellent expertise. ‘
‘Rolf Hünermann is very pragmatic, very friendly and has excellent knowledge and a wide range of experience.‘
‘Rolf Hünermann is extraordinarily focused and creates a perfect balance between absolute thoroughness and clear announcements. Especially in the context of cross-border investigations, he manages to take cultural characteristics into account. ‘
CMS ' forensic capacities cover violations under employment and social security law as well as internal investigations into the disclosure of trade secrets and allegations of money laundering and fraud. Clients benefit from the interdisciplinary team's expertise in addition to various legal tech tools such as CMS Evidence. Harald Potinecke heads the Compliance and Forensic Services practice, which includes Joachim Kaetzler, who is experienced in preventive money laundering and corruption matters, and criminal lawyer Daniel Kaiser. Charlotte Dobers-Koch, who is well versed in corporate compliance, and corporate lawyer Peter Rempp, who is experienced in internal investigations, were appointed counsel in July 2021 and January 2022, respectively.
‘Competent, client and solution-oriented. ‘
‘Technically flawless, concise and very responsive .’
- Advising, representing and supporting a German credit institution with an internal investigation in connection with extensive allegations of fraud.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP ‘s Corporate Crime and Investigations team impresses with its combined expertise in white collar crime, forensic and preventive compliance, which is routinely called upon by large companies in the automotive, finance, technology and infrastructure sectors. Dirk Seiler is experienced in both criminal law and compliance and heads the team, which assists with investigations into alleged corruption, negligence, embezzlement and money laundering as well as fraud and trade secret disclosures. The practice frequently handles cross-border mandates not least due the firm’s international network. Counsel Enno Appel focuses on the finance sector and assists industrial companies in internal investigations.
Other key lawyers:
‘HSF has a strong team with in-depth knowledge of the industry.’
‘The team provides client-oriented and transparent advice on the prospects of success in legal disputes.’
‘Availability at all times .’
Microsoft Deutschland GmbH, Microsoft Corporation (USA)
Pfizer Inc. (USA), Pfizer Products Inc. (USA), Pfizer GmbH (Deutschland)
- Advising and defending an international bank (one of its senior employees) in cum-ex proceedings and with regard to the conduct of internal investigations.
- Advising and defending an international automotive manufacturer in the diesel emissions scandal against allegations of alleged illegal defeat devices and conducting internal investigations.
- Internal investigation and corporate representation of an automotive manufacturer in a complex corruption, breach of trust and fraud case.
Latham & Watkins LLP ‘s compliance workload covers forensic matters, where the team recently supported German and international companies in investigations pertaining to allegations of insider trading and money laundering. The key contacts are corporate lawyer Tobias Larisch, data protection expert Tim Wybitul and Thomas Grützner, who is well-versed in commercial criminal law. A multidisciplinary approach results in regular cooperations with the firm’s other teams such as antitrust law, sanctions and embargoes, banking supervisory law, employment law and litigation, while cross-border matters are handled with the help of the global network.
‘Good cooperation in the team and with the client.’
‘Good understanding of the authorities. ‘
- Advice to Strabag on an extensive ongoing investigation in connection with the procurement procedure for public tenders in Austria.
Pohlmann & Company
Pohlmann & Company assists clients from various industries with internal investigations in addition to its strong experience in preventive compliance. Practice head and name partner Andreas Pohlmann regularly advises governing bodies on compliance and corporate governance issues, while key contact Nicole Willms specialises in monitorships, whistleblower systems as well as internal investigations and disciplinary measures. Julia Kahlenberg covers both preventive and forensic compliance matters and impresses with Asia-related expertise. In November 2021, the team strengthened its criminal law capacities with the arrival of Martin Schorn from Noerr.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Dr. Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co. KG
Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA
GEA Group AG Krones AG
Rentschler Biopharma SE
Telefonaktiebolaget L. M. Ericsson
Wacker Chemie AG
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP ‘s corporate governance and compliance team focuses on the prevention and investigation of fraud, corruption and money laundering offenses and regularly cooperates with locations in Europe and the US as part of the global cross-border investigations team. The group is well versed in communicating and cooperating with German and American supervisory, tax and law enforcement authorities. Among the client base are companies from the finance, TMT, consumer goods, transport and automotive sectors, which also benefit from various legal tech tools in crisis situations. Bernd Mayer is experienced in both preventive and forensic compliance matters.
- Advising the Supervisory Board of Continental AG on an internal investigation in connection with diesel emissions and related corporate governance issues.
Jones Day 's German division of its global Investigations and White Collar Defense practice is led by Thomas Preute and focuses on investigations into employment law-related crime, discrimination, misconduct, negligence, corruption, account and record falsifications as well as trade secret matters. In addition to forensic expertise, Preute also has experience in compliance-related crisis management and liability issues. Of counsel Martin Kock advises on corporate law issues and is well versed in forensic matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Jones Day’s compliance team behind practice head Thomas Preute is exceptionally friendly and quick.’
‘The office is quick and always available.’
‘Thomas Preute is a very likeable person and very intelligent, so he understands everything and acts quickly.’
‘Meetings are kept short and to the point, making it easier for us to move forward with legal issues. ‘
PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited
- Advising a private equity company on the conduct of an internal investigation and advising the client with regard to possible organizational fault and possible breaches of duty of care by the management of a portfolio company of the client in connection with a catastrophic loss event.
- Advising an international construction and real estate group on conducting internal investigations into misconduct by executives, on data protection law, labor law, on representation in court and on cooperation with law enforcement authorities.
Morrison Foerster recently increasingly assisted with matters pertaining to cum-ex in addition to the support on potential corruption, sanctions and environmental crime offenses. The group also assists with cross-border mandates thanks to the cooperation with the global network, particularly the locations in the US and UK. Practice head Roland Steinmeyer covers the interface between corporate governance and criminal law and has a strong focus on internal investigations; the latter is also a key strength of Patrick Späth, who boasts experience in corporate law disputes. Counsel Felix Helmstädter specialises in regulatory compliance, including investigations in the context of foreign trade, public procurement and antitrust law, while counsel Jakob Tybus focuses on German and cross-border investigations.
‘A lot of experience in large international proceedings.’
‘The firm has an excellent network, is highly specialized and very experienced, both in the legal content and in advising a large, international industrial company.’
‘The client comes first, response times are excellent and the advice is at a very high professional level. ‘
‘Prof. Dr. Steinmeyer: Very experienced partner with a lot of practical experience and an excellent network.’
‘Coordination of clients and other law firms across national borders is excellent. The legal advice is “to the point” and can be put into practice immediately .’
‘Morrison & Foerster can be reached at any time, always explains complex issues objectively and in a way that laypeople can understand, and their legal advice is absolutely clear and sharp.’
‘It is only thanks to Morrison & Foerster that my organization feels that we are always well advised and protected on difficult legal terrain when it comes to sanctions. ‘
‘They are very friendly, available 24/7 and absolutely sound and clear in their legal advice. ‘
Hamburg Commercial Bank AG
Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale Anstalt des öffentlichen Rechts (Helaba)
Mercedes-Benz Group AG
- Advising Helaba on the processing of stock transactions close to the dividend date.
- Advising the Supervisory Board of Mercedes-Benz Group AG on all areas of diesel emissions.
- Advising Hamburg Commercial Bank AG on the coordination, assertion and enforcement of claims in connection with tax-driven transactions.