Firm Profile > MTR Rechtsanwälte > Cologne, Germany
MTR Rechtsanwälte Offices
Konrad Adenauer Ufer 83
MTR Rechtsanwälte > Firm Profile
The firm: MTR Rechtsanwälte https://www.mtrlegal.com/en is an international law firm with lawyers specialising in business law, commercial law and company law. The attorneys counsel commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses and private individuals worldwide from offices in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Germany. Knowledgeable and experienced.
Responding to clients‘ needs with personalised service is the priority at MTR Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH. The clients can rely on MTR’s guarantee of complete integrity and commitment to their interests at all times.
MTR Rechtsanwälte is dedicated to working towards clients‘ success. Reliable and determined.
MTR Rechtsanwälte provides the comprehensive knowledge necessary to compete in today’s ever-changing and expanding global markets – legal advice and tax advice.
In order to gain a key competitive advantage, it is imperative to receive outstanding, well-rounded interdisciplinary advice based on analysing and optimising available legal, fiscal and economic opportunities. Proactive and multi-faceted.
The firm takes pride in being a client-oriented service provider. Its clients‘ best interests determine every move. With their dedication to reliable, individualised advice they develop customised interdisciplinary and comprehensive solutions.
MTR Rechtsanwälte has access to a complete range of integrated and comprehensive consulting expertise at its fingertips, from legal advice to management consultancy. MTR Rechtsanwälte is therefore able to offer rock-solid and well-balanced success-oriented solutions to national and international companies regardless of their size, legal form, industry sector or complexity of issues. The firm carefully considers all business aspects on the basis of its outstanding specialised knowledge and extensive experience.
MTR has steadily and consistently continued to develop its expertise since the establishment. Today, the team of specialists made up of industry professionals and all of its staff members are working for the client from offices in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart.
|Structured finance and securitisation|
|Banking and finance|
|Corporate and M&A|
|Insolvency and restructuring|
|IP: trade marks|
|Real estate and construction|
|Information technology and outsourcing|
|Mr Michael Below||Civil litigation, Industrial and Intellectual Property law||View Profile|
|Mr Alexander Gottstein||Tax law, Criminal tax law, and Litigation, Banking law, Business law, Family…||View Profile|
|Mr Marc Klaas||Corporate and M&A, Private equity, Company, Commercial law.||View Profile|
|Mr Marius Lieven||M&A, IT law, Civil litigation||View Profile|
|Hilmar Müller||Insolvency law, Corporate law, Real estate law, Trusts and Estates law||View Profile|
|Michael Rainer||Structured finance and securitization, banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A…||View Profile|
|Susan Währisch||Tax law, Family law, Trusts and Estates law, Labor and Employment law,…||View Profile|
|Mrs Charlotte Wendel||Banking, Insurance and Finance, Healthcare, Mechanical and Plant engineering, Media and Entertainment…||View Profile|
|Mr Michael Wiechmann||Civil law, Civil procedure law, Labor and Employment law, Banking law, Litigation.||View Profile|
LanguagesEnglish French German Russian Spanish
MembershipsAmerican Bar Association Arbeitsgemeinschaft Bank -und Kapitalmarktrecht im Deutschen Anwaltverein Arbeitsgemeinschaft Handels- und Gesellschaftsrecht im Deutschen Anwaltverein Cologne Association of Lawyers German-American Lawyer's Association (DAJV) German Chinese Lawyers Association International Bar Association Union Internationale des Avocats Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Internationalen Rechtsverkehr im Deutschen Anwaltverein
OtherOther offices : Berlin Other offices : Bonn Other offices : Düsseldorf Other offices : Frankfurt Other offices : Hamburg Other offices : Munich Other offices : Stuttgart
Press Releases11th November 2019 A beverage manufacturer had a combination of colors registered as an EU trademark. In a ruling from July 29, 2019, the ECJ confirmed that the mark is null and void (Az.: C-124/18 P).
11th November 2019 A lot of investors have experienced a crash landing when it comes to their financial investments. If the bank gave flawed investment advice, it is possible to assert claims for damages.
11th November 2019 A joint will in which both parties mutually appoint each other as sole heir is popular among spouses. However, they need to be mindful of its strong binding effect.
11th November 2019 Repayment of a shareholder loan can potentially be contested by the insolvency administrator even if the amount circuitously ends up in the company’s account again.
11th November 2019 A seller of real estate who fraudulently conceals defects cannot invoke a contractually agreed disclaimer of warranties. That was the verdict of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Frankfurt, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (Az. 29 U 183/17).
11th November 2019 Commercial agents are entitled to an indemnity following termination of the contractual relationship. As a prerequisite, however, their work for the company as a commercial agent must have been their main occupation.
11th November 2019 International law is no longer confined to regulating relations between states. Today, it also plays an increasingly important role in business and private law.
12th November 2019 The OLG Stuttgart, Stuttgart’s Higher Regional Court, has ruled in connection with what has become known as the “truck cartel” that an aggrieved buyer is in principle entitled to claim damages from Daimler AG (Az.: 2 U 101/18).
12th November 2019 Although a pair of jeans may fit perfectly and look good to boot, this does not in and of itself confer copyright protection. That was the verdict of the ECJ in a ruling from September 12, 2019 (Az.: C-683/17).
13th November 2019 Caution is advised in relation to “best price” advertising claims. These may give a misleading impression of occupying a leading position in the market and violate competition law.
13th November 2019 The European Commission has published a recommendation for an internal compliance programme (ICP) for trade in dual-use items. The guidelines are not binding on businesses.
13th November 2019 An heir inheriting property from his or her parents has a period of six months in which to personally occupy it for residential purposes in order to avoid it being subject to estate tax. That was the verdict of the Bundesfinanzhof (BFH), Germany’s Federal Fiscal Court.
13th November 2019 The costs incurred by an heir in correcting the testator’s tax return reduce the estate tax burden. That was the verdict of the Finanzgericht (FG) Baden-Württemberg, the Fiscal Court of Baden-Württemberg (Az. 7 K 2712/18).
21st November 2019 Financial information was automatically exchanged once again on September 30, 2019. Those with unreported income in foreign accounts can still submit a voluntary declaration leading to immunity from tax evasion charges.
21st November 2019 Ready-made software solutions no longer cut it in many businesses whose needs require dedicated software. In this context, attention needs to be paid to how the project contract is drafted.
22nd November 2019 Strategic litigation is essential to enforcing one’s rights in national and cross-border legal disputes.
22nd November 2019 The courts have been grappling for years with the extent to which sampling pieces of music breaches copyright. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has now ruled that sampling is permissible within narrow parameters.
22nd November 2019 If websites make use of social plugins, the ECJ has ruled that the provider and the operator of the site are jointly responsible for the collection and transfer of personal user information.
22nd November 2019 The Steinhoff accounting scandal has shaken investors. Those who have incurred losses can join the ongoing model case proceedings pursuant to the German Capital Markets Model Case Act, the Kapitalanleger-Musterverfahrensgesetz (KapMuG).
22nd November 2019 The Bundesjustizministerium, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Justice, has submitted draft legislation designed to combat corporate criminality. The bill provides for, among other things, significantly harsher penalties.
22nd November 2019 Germany is the county of origin for fruits and vegetables harvested in Germany, even if prior to this the fruits or vegetables were grown in another country. That was the verdict of the ECJ.
26th November 2019 Consumers must not be deprived of information material to their decision whether or not to make a purchase. This constitutes a breach of competition law, as demonstrated by a ruling of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Hamm, the Higher Regional Court of Hamm.
26th November 2019 A purely plant-based product can be promoted as an alternative to cheese. The Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Celle, the Higher Regional Court of Celle, ruled that this kind of advertising is neither unfair nor misleading to consumers.
26th November 2019 Pension payments to a shareholder with a controlling stake who also draws a managing director’s salary do not necessarily constitute hidden profit distributions according to the Finanzgericht (FG) Münster, the Fiscal Court of Münster.
26th November 2019 Liquids for e-cigarettes must not be promoted using the slogan “Genuss ohne Reue” (enjoyment without regrets). That was the verdict of the Landgericht (LG) Essen, the Regional Court of Essen, in a ruling from October 25, 2019 (Az.: 41 O 13/19).
13th December 2019 While it is not possible to completely shut out other market participants from indications of origin, a trademark’s reputation must not be unduly exploited according to the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Stuttgart, the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart.
13th December 2019 The BFH delivered a ruling on Sept. 3, 2019 facilitating the sale of owner-occupied accommodation that has been rented out for a short time (Az.: IX R 10/19).
23rd December 2019 The OLG Naumburg ruled in judgments from November 7, 2019 that a violation of the General Data Protection Regulation may also constitute an antitrust infringement (Az.: 9 U 6/19 and 9 U 39/18).
7th January 2020 Fruit nectar is not the same as fruit juice and therefore must not be promoted as such. The OLG Rostock has ruled that this kind of advertising is misleading and in breach of competition law.
7th January 2020 The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) once again purchased a tax CD at the end of November. The storage medium in question is supposed to contain information on tax evasion. It is still possible to submit a voluntary declaration for tax evasion.
21st January 2020 Balsamic vinegar can also come from Germany. According to a judgment of the ECJ from December 4, 2019, “balsamico” is not a protected term (Az. C-432/18).
31st January 2020 Balsamic vinegar can also come from Germany. According to a judgment of the ECJ from December 4, 2019, “balsamico” is not a protected term (Az. C-432/18).
11th February 2020 Inadequate data protection measures can prove costly. Following a recent case involving a real estate business, a telecom provider is the latest business facing a heavy fine.
14th February 2020 Germany’s Bundeskartellamt has fined three steel producers and three people in positions of responsibility to the tune of some 646 million euros for illegal price rigging.
24th February 2020 Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, has imposed fines totaling approx. 100 million euros on three car manufacturers for anticompetitive practices in relation to the procurement of long steel.
5th March 2020 Profits from the sale of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are subject to tax. That was the verdict of the Finanzgericht Berlin-Brandenburg in a ruling from June 20, 2019 (Az.: 13 V 13100/19).
11th March 2020 The use of seals of approval that are protected trademarks is not permitted without corresponding licensing agreements. That was the verdict of Germany’s Federal Supreme Court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), on December 12, 2019 (Az.: I ZR 173/16, I ZR 174/16, and I ZR 117/17).
11th March 2020 A medical practice that does not provide overnight accommodation for patients is not a Klinik and is not allowed to style itself as such. That was the verdict of the Landgericht (LG) Hamburg in a ruling from November 15, 2019 (Az. 315 O 472/18).
16th March 2020 Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, has imposed fines totaling around 154.6 million euros on seven pesticide wholesalers for entering into illegal, anticompetitive price-fixing arrangements.
24th March 2020 A company’s legal form as a GmbH is a key piece of information for consumers. Withholding information from advertisements about its legal form constitutes an antitrust violation according to a ruling of the LG Berlin.
24th March 2020 The coronavirus pandemic is turning employment law on its head. The protective measures – some of which are recommendations and others mandatory in nature – designed to contain and curtail the strain of coronavirus and respiratory disease known as COVID-19, have far-reaching consequences for all aspects of life. Schools and kindergartens have been and remain closed, as are pubs, and sports and fitness facilities. Production chains are being disrupted because parts cannot be delivered. All of this has significant implications for employment law. Working parents have to look after their children, the conditions for a functional home-office environment need to be created, and employers are already struggling to cope with the existential threat posed by losses in revenue.
27th March 2020 Violations of antitrust law are subject to rigorous sanctions. In 2019, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, imposed fines totaling around 848 million euros in response to illegal agreements.
31st March 2020 Businesses across the world are feeling the strain of these difficult times brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Yet business goes on and businesses must come to terms with the situation. We at the commercial law firm MTR Rechtsanwälte offer legal advice on a wide range of issues currently affected by the coronavirus.
29th April 2020 Germany’s federal government has drawn up various measures in an attempt to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including tax relief measures.
29th April 2020 Employers are obligated to pay social security contributions for their employees. With the outbreak of the coronavirus, they now have the option to defer these contributions.
29th April 2020 The spread of the coronavirus has now also led to restrictions on the right to terminate rental agreements. These apply to both private and commercial rental agreements.
29th April 2020 Businesses can introduce short-time work as a means of weathering economic hardship caused by the coronavirus crisis. Germany’s federal government has therefore moved to relax the conditions for applying for short-time allowance.
29th April 2020 Germany’s Federal Ministry of Justice has made plans to suspend the obligation to file for insolvency due to the coronavirus. The measure is designed to protect businesses that have gotten into difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
29th April 2020 Businesses whose existence is threatened by the crisis surrounding the coronavirus are to be lent a helping hand. Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, has legislated for the suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency.
29th April 2020 Businesses whose existence is threatened by the crisis surrounding the coronavirus are to be lent a helping hand. Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, has legislated for the suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency.
The coronavirus pandemic is putting a strain on economic relations throughout the world. In many cases, it is either no longer possible to perform contracts as agreed or performance is completely impossible.29th April 2020 The coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on national and international business relations, it no longer being possible in many cases to perform contracts as agreed due to the coronavirus crisis. This has led to the increased prominence of the term “force majeure”. However, it cannot be invoked in every instance of defective contractual performance. The coronavirus has not generally rendered contracts obsolete. We at the commercial law firm MTR Rechtsanwälte note that the parties often have a right to insist on contractual performance.
29th April 2020 Germany’s federal government has unveiled a vast package of measures that provide financial support to businesses and the self-employed to ensure they are able to weather the crisis.
29th April 2020 Germany’s federal government has put together a comprehensive aid package to compensate for the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. This includes making it easier to apply for short-time allowance – referred to as “Kurzarbeitergeld” (or “KUG” for short).Germany’s federal government has put together a comprehensive aid package to compensate for the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. This includes making it easier to apply for short-time allowance – referred to as “Kurzarbeitergeld” (or “KUG” for short).
29th April 2020 Apples that were merely packaged in Germany must not carry the designation of origin “aus Deutschland” / “from Germany”. That was the verdict of the Landgericht (LG) Freiburg – the Regional Court of Freiburg – in a ruling from January 14, 2020 (Az.: 12 O 88/19 KfH).
29th April 2020 A product that is not protected by a trademark may nevertheless benefit from protection against imitations under competition law. That was the verdict (Az. 6 U 82/19) of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Köln – the Higher Regional Court of Cologne.
19th May 2020 On March 25, 2020, Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, approved a multi-billion-euro aid package to manage the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis and gave the green light to the supplementary budget.
24th May 2020 Anyone seeking to register a trademark should actually intend on using it. According to a ruling of Germany’s Federal Supreme Court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), holding a trademark with the sole intention of asserting claims against third parties represents an abuse of the law.
13th June 2020 The impact of the coronavirus pandemic extends to German stock corporation law. To ensure that businesses remain capable of functioning effectively, stock corporations can now also hold virtual general meetings.
13th June 2020 The legal father and the biological father may not be the same person. This has tax implications, as only legacies and gifts from the legal father fall under tax bracket I, the most favorable tax bracket.
18th August 2020 Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, has thrown its weight behind suppliers faced with demands for excessive discounts, and a furniture store chain has had to come to terms with limitations being imposed on its demands by antitrust law.
18th August 2020 Compliance is an important topic not only for large corporations but also small and medium-sized enterprises that want to avoid breaking the law and incurring penalties as a result.#
18th August 2020 The courts are not the only venue for settling legal disputes. Arbitration proceedings are a good alternative in many domestic and international cases.
18th August 2020 Marc Klaas at MTR Rechtsanwälte has been featured in this year’s ranking of Germany’s best lawyers in the category of mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
19th August 2020 The 2019 Hague Convention is supposed to greatly facilitate the cross-border enforcement of foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters.
19th August 2020 Ship funds have long been considered a safe capital investment. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, many investment companies were forced to file for insolvency and investors lost a lot of the money they had invested.
19th August 2020 The coronavirus has made it painfully clear how important it is for agreements to be as detailed as possible and to account for exceptional circumstances in order to avoid legal disputes.
19th August 2020 The courts are not the only venue for settling legal disputes. Arbitration proceedings are a good alternative in many domestic and international cases.
19th August 2020 Tax evasion is constituted by sharing inaccurate or incomplete information with the authorities. This also holds true during the coronavirus crisis, tax relief notwithstanding.
19th August 2020 The sale of goods and services requires an efficient distribution system that complies with complex domestic and international legal frameworks.
19th August 2020 Intellectual property is just as worth protecting as tangible assets. IP law covers the protection of rights pertaining to trademarks, designs, patents, copyright, and related rights.
19th August 2020 A prenuptial agreement may not be romantic, but it does afford protection to spouses and allow all the major issues – including, of course, financial matters – to be clarified when times are good.
19th August 2020 There are a number of material differences between commercial tenancy law and tenancy law as it applies to private sector housing. The way in which leases for commercial premises are formulated is therefore a matter of particular importance.
19th August 2020 Marc Klaas at MTR Rechtsanwälte has been featured in this year’s ranking of Germany’s best lawyers in the category of mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
19th August 2020 With the increasing internationalization of many areas of life, international procedural law is playing an ever more important role in legal disputes.
19th August 2020 A lot of real estate funds were hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis. Today, many investors are faced with the question of how stable their holdings in real estate funds are given the crisis surrounding the coronavirus.
19th August 2020 The coronavirus crisis marks the beginning of difficult times for many commercial agents. It also raises a number of legal issues in connection with commission payments, claims for compensatory adjustment, etc.
25th August 2020 Investors who acquire new shares in the course of a corporate spin-off are not required to pay withholding tax on this. That was the verdict of the Finanzgericht (FG) München, the Fiscal Court of Munich (Az.: 8 K 981/17).
1st September 2020 COVID-19 – Substandard Quality of Masks and Other Protective Equipment The coronavirus pandemic is not over. Respiratory masks and other protective gear remain vital. However, the issues of quality and outstanding invoices are also increasingly taking center stage.
1st September 2020 People wearing protective masks have become a common sight since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Yet the quality of some of these masks and the outstanding invoices are becoming a source of frustration.
1st September 2020 In the event that an heir waives their right to the statutory share in the estate and opts to defer claiming compensation, the deferral interest is subject to income tax. That was the verdict of the Bundesfinanzhof, Germany’s Federal Fiscal Court (Az.: VIII R 22/17).
21st September 2020 In rulings from July 23, 2020, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) – Germany´s Federal Supreme Court – confirmed that three-dimensional forms, including the shape or packaging of goods, are capable of benefiting from trademark protection (Az.: I ZB 42/19 and I ZB 43/19).
21st September 2020 There is a desire for the process of issuing patents within the EU to be made more efficient. The idea of establishing a Unified Patent Court is seen as a positive step in this direction. The Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz (BMJV) – Germany´s Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection – has submitted a new bill as part of a second attempt to do so.
21st September 2020 The accounting scandal facing Wirecard AG has ended in insolvency for now. Those who invested in Wirecard stocks and bonds find themselves faced with the question of whether they can claim damages.
21st September 2020 The scale of the accounting scandal besetting Wirecard AG continues to grow. Wirecard’s running assumption is that 1.9 billion euros supposedly held in escrow accounts likely never existed. The company has experienced a dramatic drop in the value of its shares.
22nd September 2020 The Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office has conducted a search of Wirecard’s head office in Aschheim near Munich on suspicion of market manipulation.
14th October 2020 Rocket Internet has decided to delist its shares, with the shareholders having approved the buyback offer at the extraordinary general meeting held on September 24, 2020.
14th October 2020 With Wirecard AG now insolvent, investors are potentially facing severe losses. Shareholders and investors in Wirecard bonds and derivatives can assert claims for damages.
16th October 2020 The golden color of a chocolate Easter bunny is not protected as a color mark. The Oberlandesgericht (OLG) München – the Higher Regional Court of Munich – found that the producer in question did not enjoy any trademark rights in relation to the color.
22nd October 2020 Wird eine KG auf eine GmbH verschmolzen, ist der Einbringungsgewinn steuerpflichtig. Das hat das Finanzgericht Münster mit Urteil vom 19. Mai 2020 entschieden (Az.: 13 K 571/16 G,F).
22nd October 2020 Der Automatische Informationsaustausch von Finanzdaten (AIA) ist ein Mittel Steuerhinterziehung konsequent zu bekämpfen. Steuersünder können noch immer eine strafbefreiende Selbstanzeige stellen.
26th October 2020 Furniture and fittings do not count towards capital gains from the sale of real estate. That was the verdict of the Finanzgericht (FG) Münster – the Fiscal Court of Münster – in a ruling form August 3, 2020 (Az.: 5 K 2493/18).
30th October 2020 Anyone promoting products or services using the accolade “Testsieger” (test winner) must also provide a source reference for the test. Important information is otherwise being withheld from consumers according to the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Köln – the Higher Regional Court of Cologne.
13th November 2020 Insolvency proceedings concerning Wirecard AG were opened on August 25, 2020 (Az.: 1542 IN 1308/20). Creditors had until October 26, 2020 to register their claims with the insolvency administrator.
BFH on taxable income from interest in connection with transfer of house along with plot of land in return for annuity payments3rd December 2020 According to the Bundesfinanzhof (BFH) – Germany’s Federal Fiscal Court – transferring a plot of land at a discount in the context of anticipated succession in return for annuity payments gives rise to taxable income from interest.
9th December 2020 The Landgericht (LG) München – the Regional Court of Munich – recently delivered a judgment requiring an insurance company to pay out on a business closure insurance policy. The restaurant owner in question will now receive substantial compensation because of the closure of his premises due to COVID-19.
10th December 2020 An insurer was forced to indemnify a Munich restaurant for its closure due to COVID-19. The owner’s claim was successful before the Landgericht (LG) München, the Regional Court of Munich (Az.: 12 O 5868/20).
6th January 2021
6th January 2021 The Bundestag and Bundesrat – Germany’s lower and upper houses of parliament respectively – have passed a law designed to promote fair competition, with the legislation expected to curb misuse of warning notices significantly.
7th January 2021 There has been a limited extension until December 31, 2020 to the suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, this only applies to cases of over-indebtedness, not illiquidity.
15th January 2021 The demolition of your parent’s home post-inheritance may lead to a retrospective loss of tax-exempt status. That was the verdict of the Finanzgericht (FG) Düsseldorf – the Fiscal Court of Düsseldorf – in a judgment from January 8, 2020 (Az.: 4 K 3120/18 Erb).
21st January 2021 The Landgericht (LG) München – Regional Court of Munich – has ruled that consumers were not being misled by two manufacturers promoting their fish products using a captain, and that the advertisements in question therefore did not violate competition law.
8th February 2021 In the event of a dispute between a taxpayer and the tax authorities regarding the allocation of the fair market value of land and buildings in real terms, the fiscal courts are required to obtain an expert opinion. Appraisals of the fair market value of buildings and land in real terms are often contentious. While an allocation of the purchase price to land and buildings is common in cases involving a contract for the purchase of real estate, the tax authorities often do not go along with the outcome based on the assumption that the allocation does not reflect the economic reality but is instead aimed at securing tax benefits, with only the building portion being depreciable for wear and tear.
8th February 2021 A company is not in breach of competition law if it reports illegality by a competitor on an online e-commerce platform and the allegations are true. That was the verdict of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Hamm – the Higher Regional Court of Hamm. Antitrust infringements are a persistent feature of the e-commerce landscape. Large online platforms have for this reason put in place reporting systems for these kinds of violations, with offers being delisted when flagged accordingly. Of course, this is not meant to give rise to unwarranted complaints against competitors that hinder their business operations. We at the commercial law firm MTR Rechtsanwälte note that unwarranted complaints are contrary to the German Unfair Competition Act (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb, UWG) and represent antitrust infringements in and of themselves.
8th February 2021 Turkey is the latest country to sign up to the automatic exchange of information as part of efforts to combat cross-border tax evasion. It is still possible to submit a voluntary declaration for tax evasion. There are now more than 100 countries participating in the automatic exchange of (financial) information (AEOI). Former tax havens such as Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein have already signed up, and Turkey is now following suit. The process involves countries committing to mutually exchange the banking information of taxpayers who reside in another country, making it increasingly difficult to conceal untaxed income from foreign accounts from the exchequer. We at the commercial law firm MTR Rechtsanwälte can report that this now applies to accounts in Turkey as well.
18th February 2021 The insurer behind a D&O policy is liable for payments made after the onset of insolvency. That was the verdict of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) – Germany’s Federal Supreme Court – in a judgment from November 18, 2020 (Az.: IV ZR 217/19).
1st March 2021 Groups deemed to be at risk can redeem vouchers for FFP2 masks. Pharmacies that waive the two-euro personal contribution are violating competition law according to a ruling of the Landgericht (LG) Düsseldorf – the Regional Court of Düsseldorf.
3rd March 2021 The Bundeskartellamt – Germany’s Federal Cartel Office – has imposed fines totaling approx. 175 million euros on five aluminum forging companies and ten employees responsible for engaging in anticompetitive arrangements.
9th March 2021 A retailer is allowed to lower the net rent (exclusive of heating, lighting and other service costs) by 50 percent on account of its store having to close due to COVID-19. That was the verdict of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Dresden – the Higher Regional Court of Dresden – in a ruling from February 24, 2021 (Az.: 5 U 1782/20).
15th March 2021 As part of efforts to combat cross-border tax evasion, it appears that Turkey has yet to provide Germany with any financial information. This means that the individuals concerned still have the opportunity to submit a voluntary declaration.
15th March 2021 According to a ruling of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) – Germany’s Federal Supreme Court – property buyers can potentially reclaim the commission they paid to the real estate agent if the latter fails to inform them about their right of withdrawal and provides no guidance on the issue.
9th April 2021 In a ruling from February 19, 2021, the Landgericht (LG) Düsseldorf – the Regional Court of Düsseldorf – held that the provider of business closure insurance has to pay out for bars closing in connection with the coronavirus (Az.: 40 O 53/20).
9th April 2021 In a remarkable ruling from February 18, 2021, the Landgericht (LG) Berlin – the Regional Court of Berlin – declared a million-euro fine imposed in response to a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) invalid.
19th April 2021 As was to be expected, the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufischt (BaFin) – Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority – has determined that compensation is payable to Greensill Bank’s depositors, as the bank is no longer able to repay all of its customers’ deposits. Insolvency proceedings have also been initiated against the bank with the Amtsgericht Bremen, the District Court of Bremen (508 IN 6/21).
19th April 2021 The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufischt (BaFin) – Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority – has closed down Greensill Bank’s business operations with its customers and filed criminal charges. Private investors as well as institutional investors and municipalities fear losing their money at the bank.
23rd April 2021 Short-time working – Kurzarbeit in German – refers to a government scheme that allows businesses experiencing economic difficulties to temporarily reduce their employees’ working hours, with the state making up for all or part of the lost wages. Many firms have had recourse to this program for reasons related to COVID-19. The Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Düsseldorf – the Regional Labor Court of Düsseldorf – has now ruled that short-time work also entails a reduced entitlement to vacation leave (Az. 6 Sa 824/20).
29th April 2021 Black Forest ham (Schwarzwälder Schinken) may be referred to as such even if it is not sliced and packaged in the Black Forest. That was the verdict of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Supreme Court (Az.: I ZB 72/19).
7th May 2021 Bonuses for night work and working on Sundays are only tax exempt if they are awarded on an individual and not a flat-rate basis. That was the verdict of the Finanzgericht (FG) Düsseldorf – the Fiscal court of Düsseldorf – in a judgment from November 27, 2020.
1st June 2021 In a judgment from April 1, 2021, the Kammergericht (KG) Berlin – the Berlin Court of Appeal – ruled that commercial rent can be lowered by 50 percent in response to a closure related to COVID-19 (Az.: 8 U 1099/20).
2nd June 2021 The Bundeskartellamt – Germany’s Federal Cartel Office – has imposed fines totaling around 6 million euros on two foundries for entering into anticompetitive agreements regarding prices and discounts.
2nd June 2021 In a judgment from January 14, 2021, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) – Germany’s Federal Supreme Court – overruled its own legal precedent on the forfeiture of trademarks (Az.: I ZR 40/20) in finding that failure to make use of a trademark means forfeiting trademark protection.
27th July 2021 Germany’s Federal Minister of Finance, Olaf Scholz, has purchased a CD from Dubai that contains confidential information pertaining to possible tax evaders. A number of taxpayers – including quite a few from Germany – ought to be concerned that their tax evasion will be discovered.
2nd August 2021 The automatic exchange of financial information is supposed to assist countries in their efforts to tackle cross-border tax evasion. Turkey is now among the countries that share information with the German tax authorities.
11th August 2021 Advertisements that feature test verdicts must include a reference to the source that is clearly visible to consumers. That was the verdict of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) – Germany’s Federal Supreme Court – in a ruling from April 25, 2021 (Az.: I ZR 134/29).
31st August 2021 If a testator has committed tax evasion, the costs incurred from obtaining tax advice in relation to the supplementary tax return can be deducted from tax as estate planning costs according to a ruling of the Bundesfinanzhof (BFH), Germany’s Federal Fiscal Court (Az.: II R 30/19).
13th September 2021 In a judgment from February 10, 2021, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) – Germany’s Federal Supreme Court – found a clause providing for lump-sum compensation in response to damages claims lodged on the basis of unlawful cartel arrangements to be lawful (Az.: KZR 63/18).
Legal Developments26th July 2019 Heirs are obligated to amend or subsequently file the testator’s incomplete or missing tax returns.
13th November 2019 A Chinese manufacturer of motor scooters is not in breach of an Italian competitor’s intellectual property rights. That was the verdict of the General Court of the European Union (EGC) in a ruling from September 24, 2019 (Az. T-219/18).
13th November 2019 In the case of mass dismissals, an employer is allowed to go ahead and sign termination notices before the notice of collective dismissal has been received by Germany’s Federal Employment Agency, the Agentur für Arbeit. That was the verdict of the Bundesarbeitsgericht, Germany’s Federal Labor Court.
13th November 2019 While M&A deals were still booming in Germany in 2018, the trend has since been downward. Apart from the state of the economy, stricter controls may also be responsible for this.