Firms To Watch: Internal investigations

Boutique Rosinus Partner, led by Christian Rosinus and Michelle Wiesner-Lameth, offers forensic advice and criminal law expertise in the context of internal investigations.

Internal investigations in Germany

Comprises multidisciplinary capacities in supporting internal investigations into allegations of commercial criminal law.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

With an interdisciplinary team of lawyers, IT and investigation specialists, Hogan Lovells International LLP focuses on mandates in the automotive, life sciences, healthcare, technology, media, telecoms and finance sectors. The group offers additional support via legal tech tools as well as training courses on compliance and internal investigations. Key focus areas are investigations pertaining to civil liability claims, criminal defence as well as cybercrime and supply chain compliance issues. Counsel Dorina Bruns and counsel and Director of Investigations Marcus Busch are experienced in cross-border investigations, while Désirée Maier has expertise in criminal law and focuses on the life sciences. Christian Ritz is well versed in antitrust investigations, while Olaf Schneider focuses on criminal and administrative proceedings. Compliance expert Sebastian Lach heads the practice, which promoted Angelina Leder (compliance and internal investigations) to partner in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Lach

Testimonials

‘Fast, reliable, collegial and experienced in the industry.’

‘Christian Ritz: A lot of experience paired with a high level of pragmatism and extreme solution orientation.’

‘High level of service; Taking responsibility; strong eye for the essential.’

‘Sebastian Lach with extreme efficiency; very responsive; very pleasant cooperation; excellent technical expertise.’

Key clients

BMW AG

Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Alpine

Freudenberg

Hitachi ABB Power Grids

Medela

Motel One

ProSiebenSat.1 Media

United Nations (UNODC)

Volkswagen AG

Work highlights

  • Representation of Dr. Ing. hc F. Porsche AG in internal investigations, including support in searches by authorities and the global coordination of proactive communication with the authorities.
  • Representing BMW AG in the EU antitrust proceedings on car emissions.
  • Advising a leading biotechnology company on legal privilege issues in internal investigations in various European countries.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance offers a wide range of multidisciplinary advice, with companies from the manufacturing industry and the financial market among its client roster. The key topics are money laundering and cum-ex as well as allegations of tax evasion, while the team increasingly advises on data protection, electronic communication with authorities and ESG-related issues. The practice is jointly led by criminal lawyer Heiner Hugger and healthcare expert Peter Dieners. Ines Keitel covers the intersections with employment law and data protection, whereas Thomas Voland has longstanding experience in European regulatory law. David Pasewaldt specialises in criminal law compliance.

Practice head(s):

Heiner Hugger; Peter Dieners

Testimonials

‘Amazing special knowledge and depth of detail of the lawyers for this special field.’

‘They process qualified overarching and detailed questions.’

Gleiss Lutz

Fielding an interdisciplinary team, Gleiss Lutz offers concise expertise in internal investigations, compliance and white collar crime. The team assists with the reappraisal of Cum-Ex matters as well as ongoing diesel mandates and recently advised on data protection and regulatory issues. The group and especially Christian Steinle as well as Martin Raible demonstrate a particular strength at the interface with antitrust law, including associated investigations. Burghard Hildebrandt is a key contact for matters at the interface with foreign trade law and export control. Eike Bicker heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Eike Bicker

Testimonials

‘Good team in the field of investigation.’

‘Eike Bicker is a very good lawyer and very dedicated.’

‘Eike Bicker is an exceptional consultant. Having been approached in crisis situations by two different leading global companies, he has overall impressed with his calm, level headed and clear direction in the face of unforeseen challenges.’

‘Very well positioned and very sophisticated in all areas.’

‘Eike Bicker is extraordinary.’

‘Gleiss Lutz’s investigative team is always a few steps ahead of itself, leading to good results and appropriate recommendations to weather the crisis.’

‘Eike Bicker is a clear leader and mastermind.’

‘Excellent expertise and experience, incredibly good organizational skills.’

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel for the global internal investigation and litigation for Wirecard’s insolvency administrator.
  • Conducting internal investigations into Cum-Ex and comprehensive civil law advice to various financial institutions and banks.
  • Comprehensive advice to the supervisory boards of Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Dr. Ing. hc F. Porsche AG in dealing with the diesel issue and all related legal issues.

Noerr

In close cooperation with its criminal law practice, Noerr supports clients in suspected cases and investigations. Sophia Habbe is experienced in complex regulatory and internal investigations and, together with Torsten Fett, heads the team, whose expertise in stock corporation and capital markets law complements the service spectrum. Bärbel Sachs is a key contact for issues pertaining to export control and foreign trade law, while Christian Pelz often assists clients with criminal investigations. In January 2021, Karolin Fitzer (anti-corruption) made associated partner and the team was also strengthened with the addition of associated partner Stefanie Bischof from DLA Piper. Bischof focuses on cross-border and regulatory investigations.

Practice head(s):

Torsten Fett; Sophia Habbe

Key clients

Adler Modemärkte AG

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH

Deutsche Bahn AG

Deutsche Börse AG

Fresenius Kabi AG

Fujitsu Technology Solutions GmbH

Hella GmbH & Co. KGaA

Philipp Morris GmbH

Schaltbau Holding AG

Zimmer Biomet Holdings

Work highlights

  • Accompanying two German subsidiaries of a European pharmaceutical company in investigations by the Italian antitrust authorities and the Federal Cartel Office and in the subsequent internal investigation.  

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP focuses on the financial, automotive, media and manufacturing sectors and advises on money laundering, corruption and embezzlement issues. Clients also draw on the team’s interface expertise such as banking regulation, corporate, IP, data protection and capital markets law as well as the close cooperation with the criminal tax law experts, who frequently assist with mandates in the cum-ex and cum-cum context. Thomas Helck handles matters pertaining to allegations of fraud and tax evasion, while Nils Clemm and practice head Karl-Jörg Xylander act at the interface between compliance and criminal law. Tine Schauenburg supports clients in defending against and the enforcement of claims for damages against corporate bodies.

Practice head(s):

Karl-Jörg Xylander

Baker McKenzie

DAX30 companies and international corporations instruct Baker McKenzie's team on allegations of money laundering and corruption as well as antitrust issues. In addition to legal tech tools and numerous training courses, the group also offers a forensic team assisting with eDiscovery, among other things. During the reporting period, data protection, whistleblower systems, the corporate criminal liability act and ESG issues were among the key advisory topics. For international investigations, the firm can draw on its global network expertise. The practice is headed by legal tech experts Nicolai Behr and Andreas Lohner, who regularly advises corporate bodies on D&O liability. Anahita Thoms is a key contact for ESG issues. Other key figures are employment lawyer Steffen Scheuer and criminal lawyer Annika Schürmann, who made partner in summer 2021.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Lohner; Nicolai Behr

Work highlights

  • Advising a MDAX company on an extensive internal investigation and advice in connection with product safety risks and possible discrimination against whistleblowers.
  • Accompanying a Swiss group in investigating suspected corruption and fraud in connection with large-volume mask purchases.
  • Accompanying a listed US pharmaceutical company in a comprehensive internal investigation in the area of export controls against the background of investigations by the public prosecutor and criminal proceedings.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper 's full-service approach primarily appeals to global corporations and listed companies. The team has a strong connection with the criminal law practice, evident in the expertise demonstrated by Emanuel Ballo, Senior Counsel Jürgen Taschke and practice head Christian Schoop. Schoop also has specialist knowledge in the field of environmental crime and cyber attacks. Guido Kleve covers regulatory matters and also advises on environmental crime. Counsel Daniel Zapf focuses on cross-border investigations and anti-money laundering compliance. Counsel Stefanie Bischof (cross-border and regulatory investigations) joined Noerr in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Christian Schoop

Testimonials

‘Christian Schoop is very knowledgeable and has extensive practical experience in compliance and criminal law as well as in internal investigations. Of course, this experience and his considered and calm manner are of particular benefit to the clients.’

‘Very pleasant cooperation, high competence of the lawyers (also in the international network).’

‘Emanuel Ballo: Competence, working style, availability and flexibility.’

‘The team around partner Christian Schoop has a criminal law focus and therefore sees compliance issues primarily from this perspective. This can be helpful for management in terms of risk avoidance .’

Key clients

H&M

HNA Airport Group

Work highlights

  • Advising a MDAX group in connection with the internal clarification of possible breaches of contract by two contracting parties of a joint venture.
  • Advising the HNA Airport Group on an internal investigation and defense against suspected tax evasion, breach of trust and subsidy fraud.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

The team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP combines its expertise in compliance, criminal and antitrust law to assist with internal investigations and manoeuvre crisis scenarios in national and international settings. The group has a particularly strong connection to the firm's offices in North America. Among the key contacts of the German team are compliance expert Benno Schwarz , criminal lawyer Markus Rieder as well as Finn Zeidler, whose industry focus includes high-tech, finance and automotive. Antitrust expert Kai Gesing made partner in January 2021 and covers data protection and cybercrime in the context of investigations.

Hengeler Mueller

With combined compliance and criminal law expertise, the Hengeler Mueller team covers a wide range of subjects, including support in fraud and bribery allegations as well as issues in the cum-ex space. For cross-border mandates, the team relies on a network of best friend firms. Fabian Quast is experienced in compliance and internal investigations as well as in IT forensics. Daniel Weiß has expertise in financial regulatory law and Vera Jungkind covers the interface between data protection and compliance. Sven Henrik Schneider , Wolfgang Spoerr and Constantin Lauterwein, who are experienced in criminal law, are further key contacts.

Testimonials

‘Hengeler Mueller is characterized by consistently high quality in almost all areas of law. In addition, the law firm has an excellent network.’

‘Fabian Quast is characterized not only by his excellent specialist knowledge, especially in the area of internal investigations, but also by his ability to penetrate complex issues in a short time and to process them legally. In addition, he is well versed in the field of IT forensics and can therefore advance (international) investigations quickly and in a focused manner.’

Linklaters

The Linklaters team handles compliance violations, antitrust investigations and D&O liability issues in the context of internal investigations. The group assists players from the financial industry as well as companies from the technology, automotive and manufacturing industries. Criminal and fine proceedings as well as matters in the cum-ex context complement the service offering. The practice is jointly led by corporate law expert Hans-Ulrich Wilsing, who increasingly advises management bodies on corporate governance, and Kerstin Wilhelm, who is well versed in criminal law and dispute resolution and also has experience in cross-border investigations. Other team members are tax lawyer Jens Blumenberg and Daniela Seeliger, who covers matters at the interface with compliance and antitrust.

Testimonials

‘Good cooperation, even in a large team without friction losses.’

‘High technical know-how.’

‘The Linklaters team is headed by Dr. Kerstin Wilhelm. She has access to significant personnel capacities within the Linklaters law firm.’

‘Miss Dr. Kerstin Wilhelm is a lawyer and partner who has a wide range of experience, particularly in the field of international internal investigations, and is characterized by excellent specialist expertise.’

‘I mainly work with Dr. Daniela Seeliger. Her particular strength is conveying legal content and compliance issues convincingly and in a way that is easy to understand, even to operationally active clients without any previous legal knowledge. Ms. Seeliger is very responsive and bills very fairly.’

Allen & Overy LLP

Internal investigations led by Allen & Overy LLP frequently pertain to antitrust violations, corruption and data protection offenses as well as cum-ex transactions. The client portfolio primarily includes banks and financial institutions, but also global industrial companies and corporations. Both practice heads, Jan Erik Windthorst and Wolf Bussian, are highly active in contentious civil law proceedings. Börries Ahrens is experienced in antitrust matters and Gottfried Breuninger is well known for his extensive tax law expertise. Ellen Birkemeyer, who joined the group in spring 2021 from KPMG Law in Germany, also focuses on tax law issues. David Schmid frequently assists with cross-border investigations and made counsel in May 2021. Data protection expert Ulrich Baumgartner left the firm in September 2020 and now works independently.

Key clients

Google, Inc.

Scout24 AG

SGS

Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA

Evonik Industries AG

Work highlights

  • Conducting an extensive internal investigation for a large auditing company to determine the facts in connection with the audit of an international group.
  • Advising Google, Inc. in connection with the German sector inquiry into online ads and in connection with investigations by various antitrust authorities.
  • Advising and representing an international investment bank in court in a claim for damages by investors in connection with investing in a risky tax model.

CMS

In the crisis management arena, CMS predominantly advises clients from the regulated sectors energy, defence and healthcare. Internationally-oriented corporations and companies are able to draw on the firm’s global network as well as legal tech solutions. The team is headed by Harald Potinecke, who, in addition to product liability law, also has extensive experience in internal investigations and compliance violations. Strategic crisis manager Joachim Kaetzler, criminal lawyer Daniel Kaiser and corporate governance expert Eckart Gottschalk are other key contacts. Florian Block frequently oversees the development and expansion of compliance management systems, while counsel Laura Blumhoff increasingly represents companies in criminal and administrative offence proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Harald Potinecke

Testimonials

‘Practical.’

‘Very competent, fast-reacting contact persons.’

Work highlights

  • Conducting an internal investigation at a German family company due to serious allegations of fraud and manipulation of invoices.
  • Conducting an internal investigation at a strategy and consulting company due to violations in the area of labor law, social security law and HR compliance.  
  • Internal investigation at a real estate and construction company from Great Britain due to allegations of bribery against the company’s own employees when awarding contracts.  

Latham & Watkins LLP

With strong intersection capabilities in banking supervisory, antitrust, employment, sanctions and commercial criminal law as well as corporate law, Latham & Watkins LLP primarily supports large German companies and international corporations in crisis situations, including cross-border investigations, evident in regular collaborations with the international network. Tobias Larisch and Thomas Grützner are the key contacts for interfacing matters with corporate and commercial criminal law. Tim Wybitul is experienced in data protection and Stefan Bartz is well versed in litigation.

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Bartz

Key clients

Deutsche Wohnen

BayWa AG

Scholz Holding GmbH

Pohlmann & Company

Pohlmann & Company is experienced in cross-border investigations, particularly issues pertaining to the United States. Clients are mainly from the regulated industries, such as infrastructure, energy and healthcare. Board members and other management bodies regularly instruct practice head Andreas Pohlmann, who focuses on compliance and corporate governance matters, while Nicole Willms has additional expertise in corporate law. Counsel Tim Uschkereit primarily focuses on administrative and environmental law issues. Dominique Abrokwa (compliance and internal investigations) left the team in Spring 2020 and now works for Hitachi.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Pohlmann

Key clients

Andersch AG

Celanese-Gruppe

Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Dr. Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co. KG

ESWE Versorgungs AG

GEA Group AG

International Chemical Investors Group S.E.

Krones AG

Paul Hartmann AG

Rentschler Biopharma SE

Ticona (jetzt Celanese Services Deutschland GmbH)

VTG

Zalando

Work highlights

  • Conducting internal investigations and providing comprehensive advice to Zalando SE on compliance and corporate governance issues of all kinds.  

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP 's corporate governance and compliance group assists with money laundering and data protection issues as well as financial disputes, often drawing on expertise in investigative and criminal matters. Practice head Rolf Hünermann focuses on corporate and criminal law and Counsel Philip Schmidt is experienced in capital markets law and transactional matters. Christian Stempfle (litigation and commercial criminal law) left the group in September 2021 and joined Peters, Schönberger & Partner.

Practice head(s):

Rolf Hünermann

Other key lawyers:

Philip Schmidt

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

In cooperation with the dispute resolution practice, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP handles litigious issues, offering comprehensive advice on sanctions and allegations of bribery and tax evasion. Clients also benefit from the team’s experience in working with the supervisory, tax and law enforcement authorities in Germany and the US. Practice head Bernd Mayer and Counsel Jens König are experienced in internal investigations. European counsel Michael Albrecht complements this offer with specialist expertise in European financial sanctions. Anke Sessler regularly assists with cross-border projects and covers the dispute resolution interface.

Practice head(s):

Bernd Mayer

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP ‘s client portfolio predominantely includes industrial and commercial companies, technology companies and investors as well as private equity funds. The firm’s US offices are frequently involved in collaborations on corruption, compliance violations, data protection and cyber security. International counsel Friedrich Popp heads the group and is active in litigation matters.

Practice head(s):

Friedrich Popp

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Schürrle

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP ‘s group is experienced in crisis management, offering corporate defence, representation of injured parties and advice on criminal law. Mandates often pertain to allegations of breach of trust, corruption and money laundering and, thanks to the international network, are handled with cross-border expertise. Practice head Dirk Seiler often advises at the interface between criminal and civil law. Enno Appel is regularly instructed by banks and international corporations and made counsel in May 2021. Counsel Friso Heukamp is experienced in white collar crime and dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Dirk Seiler

Testimonials

‘Proactive and constructive engagement with a high success rate in court. Always looking for solutions. Little input needed to bring things to a close.’

‘Dirk Seiler has a background as a criminal defense attorney and has particular experience in prosecuting claims for damages against white-collar offenders.’

‘Experienced team around Dirk Seiler and Enno Appel; know their trade; benefit in particular from their criminal law background.’

‘Dirk Seiler and Enno Appel: Both highly recommended and know how to conduct internal investigations.’

‘The experience with Dirk Seiler and Jin-Bum Yoon has been extremely positive. The practice team I have worked with so far is also very reliable, friendly and well organized.’

‘Dirk Seiler and Jin-Bum Yoon: We are very impressed by the tactical approach as well as the reliability, accessibility and persistence as well as the quality of the briefs.’

‘The entire team has many years of experience and is specialized.’

Key clients

Microsoft Deutschland GmbH, Microsoft Corporation (USA)

Ford-Werke GmbH

Pfizer Inc. (USA), Pfizer Products Inc. (USA), Pfizer GmbH (Deutschland)

Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG

Work highlights

  • Conducting an internal investigation for an international automobile manufacturer in the so-called diesel emissions scandal.  
  • Conducting an internal investigation for a company in the energy industry due to suspected compliance and criminal law violations.
  • Accompanying an investigation for a German company from the infrastructure sector in a corruption case.

Jones Day

Integrated into the firm's compliance practice, Jones Day primarily advises DAX companies and international players on tax, antitrust, employment and data protection law matters arising from crisis scenarios. Practice head Thomas Preute is experienced in D&O liability as well as antitrust and competition law. Thomas Mahlich handles commercial and civil law disputes, while of counsel Martin Kock focuses on corporate and M&A and associated investigations. Compliance specialist Karin Holloch left the team in January 2021 and now works independently.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Preute

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Mahlich; Martin Kock

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing a client in connection with the third investigative committee of the German Bundestag.
  • Conducting an internal investigation and advising the client on cooperation with law enforcement authorities at a listed global pharmaceutical company.
  • Conducting several cross-border internal investigations on various topics at a German, internationally active company.

Morrison Foerster

Integrated into the global network and with close ties to its North American offices, Morrison Foerster supports clients in internal investigations. The expertise mainly focuses on corporate, foreign trade, public procurement and antitrust law matters and clients are primarily from the banking and finance industry. Roland Steinmeyer heads the group and is experienced in corporate governance and criminal law issues. Patrick Späth focuses on compliance and corporate disputes.

Practice head(s):

Roland Steinmeyer

Testimonials

‘Very experienced.’

‘Good integration and cooperation between the different areas. Particularly good at coordinating international cases.’

‘Very well integrated into the international unit.’

‘Patrick Späth: A lot of experience and judgment!’

‘Very experienced, internationally networked senior partner in tandem with very client-oriented young partner, internationally positioned, extensive practical experience from numerous US law firms.’

‘Patrick Späth is very experienced in internal investigations, also in connection with advice in arbitration proceedings.’

 

Key clients

Daimler AG

Hamburg Commercial Bank AG

Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale Anstalt des öffentlichen Rechts (Helaba)