We advise and represent our clients on the full spectrum of internal investigations and white collar-government enforcement matters. In addition to the conventional areas of white collar-crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement or (public) corruption, this also includes such as
- tax crimes,
- financial crimes,
- antitrust enforcement issues,
- economic sanctions and export control issues,
- crime in healthcare business,
- anti-money laundering issues,
- privacy and data security issues,
- insolvency and bankruptcy issues,
- intellectual property crime as well as
- sports crime and disciplinary proceedings in sports.
VBB Rechtsanwälte pursues a comprehensive consulting approach before, during and after criminal or administrative offence proceedings. Our core competencies include in particular
VBB Rechtsanwälte provides full strategic support and defense of clients from the beginning of investigations to criminal trial or appeal.
The approach of VBB Rechtsanwälte consequently aims for an efficient, swift and discrete termination of the criminal proceedings.The broad experience, high degree of specialization and personal commitment of our lawyers form the basis for achieving the best possible results for our clients.
Our understanding of professional criminal defence is the personal, comprehensive and far-sighted advice to our clients, also considering ramifications of a criminal proceeding in the form of tax, professional or civil law consequences, including
- questions of confiscation of assets
- entries in registers (e.g. Federal Central Criminal Register, Central Register of Trade and Industrial Offences/Central Register of Companies, Corruption Register)
- bans from profession or activities (so called inhability) as well as
- issues of reliability (e.g. concerning hunting, weapon or aviation law)
as early as possible. VBB Rechtsanwälte has a multidisciplinary network of competent professionals at home and abroad at their disposal allowing to call in multifaceted expertise if required.
Another focus of the activities of VBB Rechtsanwälte is advising and representing companies in a criminal law ‘crisis’, i.e. situations of criminal proceedings against company executives or the company itself.
Companies are increasingly confronted with criminal proceedings which are not only directed against employees and executives, but also against the company as such. Although a corporate criminal liability in the strict sense does not (yet) exist in Germany, the possibility of imposing a fine on a company as well as the skimming of profits – in addition to the risk of a loss of reputation coming along with such proceedings – is an economic risk for the company, which in some cases can endanger its existence.
In recent years, compliance advice rapidly gained significance for companies and their managers.
Our consulting approach does not just start with the beginning of a criminal investigation but rather aims to prevent or at least mitigate the consequences of corporate-related criminal proceedings by installing an efficient compliance system.
VBB Rechtsanwälte relies on a high degree of experience based on its multi-faceted client portfolio from medium-sized companies and municipal enterprises, public-sector companies up to quoted global players to detect company-related risks at an early stage and take adequate preventive measures. Besides a profound risk analysis this includes especially developing respective corporate standards, provision of trainings and implementing a monitoring mechanism.
Furthermore, VBB Rechtsanwälte coordinates a persuasive solving and persecution of intra-corporate legal and compliance infringements by internal investigations as well as possible subsequent measures, such as the filing of criminal complaints or support with recovering lost belongings.
To complete corporate compliance management systems VBB Rechtsanwälte implements and runs whistleblowing and compliance hotlines for their clients.
In order to better assess and at best avoid criminal liability risks, decision-makers in companies are required to first obtain a well-founded legal assessment in the event of risk-oriented decisions. Those responsible in the company are - particularly with regard to the so-called "Business Judgement Rule" and the resulting obligations to obtain information - under certain circumstances even obliged to first obtain a legal opinion from an expert advisor in such cases. This also applies in the case of the intended filing of a criminal complaint, which does not always prove to be a suitable measure and the opportunities and risks of which must therefore be weighed up on a case-by-case basis.
VBB Rechtsanwälte does not only endeavour to point out existing risks, but also to develop suitable solutions together with the client in order to on the one hand avoid its own criminal risk and on the other hand to assert the interests of the company. VBB Rechtsanwälte provides objective, strategic and comprehensive advice on a scientific level. This claim is manifested by the academic teaching activities and the numerous publications of our lawyers in the field of commercial and tax criminal law as well as criminal procedural law.
In the event of a conviction by the Regional Court (Landgericht), the review of the conviction by way of appeal is the only and last chance to escape a possibly long prison sentence. The courts of appeal, either the competent Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) or mostly the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), examine the judgment in a strictly formalised procedure, however, only for possible procedural errors and errors in the application of law. The successful conduct of a criminal appeal therefore requires - in addition to extraordinary legal knowledge, in particular in the area of procedural law - many years of practical experience in the application of law and knowledge of the rulings practice of the court of appeal as well as a feel for the right focus.
With Prof. Dr. Jürgen Graf, the long-standing deputy chairman of the First Criminal Senate of the German Federal Court of Justice and the author of numerous standard works in the field of commercial and tax criminal law as well as procedural law, VBB Rechtsanwälte has as a proven expert in the field of criminal appeals. The combination of the experience of the Federal Court of Justice's own long-standing rulings practice with the proven expertise in commercial and tax criminal law can be described as unique throughout Germany.