PARK | WIRTSCHAFTSSTRAFRECHT. OUR LAW FIRM.
We take an integrated approach in the representation of your business interests. That means that we look not only at our clients’ requests from a criminal law point of view, but we work toward a solution together with our clients that is individually and pragmatically suited to your needs: that includes your business situation as well as your personal situation.
NETWORK OF SPECIALISTS.
Should questions arise that demand an interdisciplinary approach to find a solution, we are able to utilise our excellent network of high profile professionals in legal advice, tax consultancy and auditing to find the best solution for you.
OUR WORK. OUR QUALITY AND PROFESSIONALISM.
We demand of ourselves the utmost quality and professionalism. Constant further training is just as important to us as the involvement in the scientific discussion achieved through publishing extensively in law journals and giving lectures. This way we can assure you that we are always up to the task in hand.
Corporate criminal defence is aimed at minimizing the negative effect for the company when officers or employees are being subjected to investigations by law enforcement agencies. Important aspects of representing the company’s interests are avoiding the seizure of funds, as well as the coordination of the accused’s individual defence counsels.
The defence of individual clients means that we use all our experience and expertise to represent our clients’ interests and to preserve our clients’ legal rights. We will respond aggressively to all charges brought against our clients – if necessary at all stages of the criminal process. In cases where our clients’ interests demand a “quiet” solution to the investigation, this will be our foremost aim.
Immediate intervention is necessary when the preservation of our clients’ interests demand a quick and professional response. This is the case, e.g., when the company’s offices and facilities are being searched by law enforcement agencies, when employees have been arrested or in the case of unwanted media attention. Short reaction times are as equally important to us as well as great commitment and level-headed actions. A great advantage is our extensive experience in handling these kinds of situations. Professor Park has published extensively on the subject and is the author of the legal manual “Durchsuchung und Beschlagnahme” (Search and Seizure), the 2nd edition of which was published in 2009.
Compliance is an integral part of modern and responsible business leadership. A criminal law compliance system means the analysis, evaluation and minimization of criminal law risks of running a business. When giving advice concerning compliance structures, we are aware of the fact that it is not always in the best interest of a business to implement so many rules and regulations that doing business is unreasonably complicated. Our aim is to find the right balance between legally necessary regulations and entrepreneurial freedom. In utilizing our experience and expertise we are able to provide you with a custom made solution for business – efficient and pragmatic.
Internal investigations can be an appropriate way for a business to clarify criminally relevant circumstances without involving law enforcement authorities. Whenever this is deemed in the best interest of the company, we will assist in the process of the internal investigation, especially in questioning employees. On the other hand we also represent clients throughout the questioning procedure during internal investigations being carried out in their companies. In doing so, we make sure that our clients’ rights are preserved and upheld. Internal investigations are not areas immune from the law.
Utilizing the services of ombudsmen has proven to be an efficient system for uncovering cases of criminal conduct in businesses. An Ombudsman is a trusted intermediary between the company and its employees. Employees can refer to the ombudsman when they have suspicions of criminal conduct within the company. As Ombudsmen we take up these reports, investigate and evaluate the facts and then decide in accordance with the company management which steps to take, for example filing a criminal complaint. The whistle-blower is assured anonymity in the process.
Legal opinions can be helpful whenever there is doubt about the legitimacy of certain actions. We will evaluate critical circumstances and by doing so build a solid legal foundation you can rely on when doing business. The highly scientific approach that we take vouches for exceptional quality.
Criminal Complaints can be the appropriate means to serve our clients’ interests when they have become victims of a crime. Whenever our clients have reasonable grounds for suspicion, we will evaluate the facts and give you advice on what steps to take. If we consider a criminal complaint is the next necessary step, we will file it and support the law enforcement agencies in their investigations. Additionally the criminal procedure allows for the freezing of assets of the suspect as well as collecting information that is usually useful for the recovery of lost funds.
Prof. Dr. Tido Park
Lawyer | Partner
Specialist lawyer for criminal law
Specialist lawyer for tax law
Honorary professor at the University of Münster
Dr. Tobias Eggers
Lawyer | Partner
Specialist lawyer for criminal law
Certified Compliance Officer
Visiting lecturer at the University of Bielefeld
Dr. Malte Cordes
Lawyer | Partner
Specialist lawyer for criminal law
Specialist lawyer for tax law
Visiting lecturer at the University of Münster
The Area of General White Collar Criminal Law covers all the “classic” crimes against the estate like fraud and embezzlement. These kinds of charges are not only brought against people working in finance, but reports on investigations against all kinds of businesses are nowadays to be found amongst the business pages of nearly every newspaper. However, we possess the experience and expertise to ensure a professional and successful defence. Furthermore, we have the necessary skills in corporate law to conduct an effective defence in cases involving fraud in the corporate context. In particularly demanding cases we can rely on our network of law firms specializing in all relevant areas of civil law to assist us in your case.
For the most part, employment offences are addressed at employers. For them especially the laws regarding administrative offences are of importance. However, violations are not only subject to fines, but also to administrative measures that can affect businesses negatively. This includes but is not limited to negative entries in the central register of trade and industrial offences which may result in exclusion from public biddings. All of the above have to be taken into consideration when defending against employment offences as concentrating on the criminal defence alone might not do justice to the clients’ business interests.
When publishing a company’s yearly balance sheet, accounting law regulations must be strictly adhered to while, at the same time, maintaining the company’s best interests. All necessary information has to be included in the company’s statement, without however creating competition-related disadvantages. Accordingly, the defence against charges involving balance sheet offences is often rather complex. We have a lot of experience in these matters. In cases that demand expert knowledge we are able to fall back on our large network of auditors, tax consultants and accountants.
In Germany every insolvency case file is sent to the law enforcement authorities by the bankruptcy court to check for possible criminal offences in relation to the insolvency. This is done because the lack of funds often results in the inability to comply with federal tax and social security laws, for example to pay the social security insurance for the employees. Therefore, effective defence against charges concerning insolvency offences necessitates a thorough understanding of the relevant law as well as business workings. In cases that demand expert knowledge we are able to fall back on our large network of auditors, tax consultants and accountants.
Law enforcement is becoming more and more international. This is especially true in white collar criminal law as globalization leads to business being done globally, uninhibited by borders. In addition, people doing business are at greater risk of being subjected to a criminal investigation abroad. At the same time, lawmakers have created ample tools for law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations internationally – the EU-arrest-warrant may serve as an example here. The latter replaces a long extradition procedure with a swift one that is based on the assumption that other EU countries will conduct criminal proceedings in accordance with the rule of law. We are aware of the fact that international defence is only possible in international teams. We have extensive experience in working together with lawyers from various jurisdictions (such as US, UK, Italy, France, Russia and Poland) to protect our clients in the best way possible. We work as defense counsel as well as advisors in matters of international regulatory compliance.
After the global economic crisis in 2007 that was furthered by certain actions in the capital markets, regulations have been put in place that govern the actions of those working these markets more strictly than before. Also, in the light of the crisis, investors – private and institutional alike – have called for sanctions against market players purportedly responsible for the crisis. Investigations have since been conducted frequently for a wide array of offences including fraud, offences against the law of bonds and securities and offences against banking regulations. Our competence in these fields of law is undeniable. Professor Park is not only the editor and co-author of a legal commentary on capital markets offences (the 3rd edition of which will be published shortly), but he has also published extensively in law journals on the subject.
Ever since Germany’s decision to criminalise the bribery of foreign officials in the late 1990’s investigations regarding corruption offences have occurred more and more often. Partly because of the vague wording of the law, the borderline between legal gifts that are signs of respectful business practices and illegal bribes cannot be drawn sharply. It is much rather subject to circumstance. Our main goal is to give advice to businesses beforehand in order to avoid these kinds of investigations altogether. In this context, the knowledge of public-private partnerships and their workings are essential to identify and thereby avoid said risks.
In larger cases that frequently involve international implications it is of utmost importance to preserve the rights of the corporation involved and to ensure that business can be continued while being affected by the ongoing investigation as little as possible. Additionally, the seizure of funds by law enforcement agencies allegedly obtained through corrupt practices by the law enforcement authorities can be kept to a minimum if the defence is expertly handled.
Medical criminal law is a rather wide-ranging field of law as it includes not only the criminal aspects of medical malpractice but also cases involving health insurance fraud by medical professionals or pharmaceutical product liability. A doctor treating his national health patient is not only obliged to treat that patient appropriately, but at the same time also has to consider the interests of the national health insurance system. Violation of this duty may be prosecuted as fraud. The administrative aspects of criminal cases against medical professionals are to be taken into consideration as well since these may lead to the revocation of the licence to practise medicine.
The sale of faulty products can itself be a criminal offence according to the prevailing case law in Germany. This means a considerable risk to the manufacturer’s employees and managers alike. However, the company itself may be subjected to severe sanctions if products, whether negligently or by a breach of due diligence, cause harm to the consumer. Additionally, the side-effects created by a criminal investigation can be particularly harsh in these cases, as media attention and negative publicity tend to damage the company’s reputation. This can adversely affect your company’s earnings and stock market value.
As the last and often the only remedy against criminal convictions, the criminal appeal on points of law has an extraordinary status among the remedies in criminal procedure. Because of its limited scope exclusively on points of law, the appeal can often not meet all expectations of the accused. However, a skilled lawyer will be able to secure the highest possible success rate in the appeals process by utilizing the proper tools and, most importantly, by complying with the strict formal rules governing the appeals process. We have the necessary experience and procedural skills to reverse a criminal conviction on appeal.
Sport is no longer just about athletic competition. It has become a large, serious business with a great deal of money involved. There is the risk of some participants trying to gain an unfair advantage by utilizing unfair means. There are parties who try to garner a share of the money by illegally influencing the outcome of sports events. The use of performance-enhancing drugs has a criminal dimension as well.
Prosecutors will not hesitate to investigate purportedly criminal behaviour by players and officials and charge them without regard for their public personae. Only lawyers, who are aware of the special situation a player or official is in, can facilitate an appropriate defence. The public dimension of the investigation should be followed closely and media outlets should be carefully monitored in order to ensure that the client is later able to resume his or her sporting career, regardless of the outcome of the investigation.
Club officials must be aware that they are business leaders and that they must obey the same duties and regulations like any other business officer. This includes for instance paying taxes in the transfers of players.
The law regarding fiscal offences has become increasingly strict in recent years. Tax evasion is no longer seen as a trivial offence. The acquisition of stolen bank data from Liechtenstein and Switzerland by the German authorities has shown in particular that the law enforcement agencies have adopted a harsher approach to fiscal offences. In these circumstances it is increasingly difficult for a criminal defence attorney to uphold the rights of his client. In order to do so, the defence counsel has to have sound knowledge not only of criminal law and criminal procedure, but also of the relevant tax law. Additionally, we are able to help our clients to formulate a voluntary disclosure leading to tax amnesty. Professor Park has not only published extensively on this subject, but regularly holds lectures at the University of Münster, where he is an honorary professor for law regarding fiscal offences among other areas of law.
The protection of natural resources and the environment has recently been incorporated into the German constitution. This indicates the high regard in which these goals are held by the German legislator. Today, the focus has shifted from imposing administrative duties and overseeing their fulfillment by businesses to imposing administrative fines and criminal punishments on violations of environmental laws. Environmental criminal law investigations therefore not only demand thorough expertise in criminal law, but also in environmental administrative law. Additionally, the focus may be shifted to the prevention of investigations by implementing compliance systems and preparing employees for crisis situations such as the company being searched by the law enforcement authorities.
The area of Competition Criminal Law is rather wide-ranging as it encompasses cases of industrial espionage, the illegal poaching of employees and the illegal use of industrial property rights as well as cases of illegal downloads of copyrighted material from the internet and criminal advertising practices. Another part of Competition Criminal Law are offences concerning bid-rigging and, in a broader context, corruption offences.
Dr. Tobias Eggers is a visiting lecturer at the University in Osnabrück and teaches about competition law offences as part of the Masters Program.
PARK | Wirtschaftsstrafrecht.
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