The term “commercial criminal law” is not defined in German law. Rather, it is a collective term for the manifestations of criminal law that have their starting point in the commercial activity of a person or company. The manifestations of commercial criminal law are thus as diverse as commerce itself.
The spectrum ranges (not exhaustive) from fraud and breach of trust to tax, corporate, medical, pharmacy, environmental, insolvency, accounting and corruption criminal law, as well as banking and capital market criminal law, foreign trade criminal law and antitrust law. Generally, what all these cases have in common is their high level of complexity, which is reflected in a correspondingly large volume of files.
The Munich law firm ECKSTEIN & KOLLEGEN is active in all areas of commercial criminal law. We provide advice in the run-up to entrepreneurial decisions and check them preventively for possible criminal law risks. Furthermore, we advise and defend individuals at all stages of criminal proceedings. In such proceedings, we also represent the interests of the company concerned as a corporate lawyer – for example, to defend against fines and by coordinating the defence in proceedings against several employees of a company. Likewise, ECKSTEIN & KOLLEGEN represents employees as witness counsel in official or judicial investigation proceedings, but also in internal investigations.
Entrepreneurial activity is inevitably directed toward the future and thus is per se fraught with imponderables and the risk of failure. In addition, the ever-increasing legalization of society has in no way bypassed business life. Especially in recent years, there has been an unmistakable legislative tendency to counteract actual or alleged wrongdoing with the means of criminal and administrative offence law. There are good reasons to doubt whether this is sensible and expedient in all cases. It is a fact, however, that every type of entrepreneurial activity is now covered by countless rules and prohibitions to an almost unmanageable extent. Under these conditions, each entrepreneur performs hazardous work.
What’s more, law enforcement agencies have completely shed their reluctance to deal with commercial criminal law cases. High-profile searches at internationally active companies and investigative proceedings against executives are now part of everyday life. Today, the companies themselves too are the focus of the authorities’ interest, as evidenced by fines and profit absorption measures amounting to millions of euros.
In addition to the topics described under “Areas of law”, ECKSTEIN & KOLLEGEN is also active in the following other areas of business criminal law:
Corporate criminal law
Foreign trade criminal law (Foreign Trade and Payments Act (AWG) violations)
Criminal banking law
Data and data network crimes
Criminal food law
Trademark and copyright law
Environmental criminal law
Customs criminal law