Areas of law
Dr. Margarete Gräfin von Galen
Kilian Schaefer
Luisa Spiller
Our activity extends in particular to the following areas
of law:

Along with the criminal offences of fraud, capital investment fraud, credit fraud and embezzlement (which also play a role in capital market law), banking and capital markets criminal law also includes all criminal and administrative offences in breach of the Securities Trading Act (WpHG), Stock Exchange Act (BörsG), the Lending Act (KWG), Anti-Money Laundering Act (GwG), the Stock Corporation Act (AktG) and the Code of Commercial Law (HG).

Investigations into banking and capital markets criminal law are characterised by an intensive collaboration between the law enforcement authorities and the Federal Institute for the Supervision of Financial Services (BaFin). Advice and defence in banking and capital markets criminal law thus requires particular expertise to generate the required counterbalance to government organisations.
Corruption law concerns bribery, corruption and the acceptance and granting of benefits. Bribery is the act of granting benefits to public officials in connection with an illegal action. Granting benefits concerns benefits for a legal discharge of duty.

In addition, granting benefits to private businessmen and women is punishable as an act of bribery and corruption in the course of trade if it is based on a so-called rogue agreement which benefits the business's employees, not the business owner himself.

In international business the culpability for dealing with public officials is limited in this respect, as neither the acceptance nor granting of benefits is punishable. Outside of the EU a person can only be punished for bribery of public officials if the benefit has been granted and thus an unfair competitive advantage has been gained.

In addition to this, culpability for restrictive competition agreements and the related anti-trust law fine proceedings are included. Operational and trade secrets are safeguarded by the criminal and administrative offences of the Code of Unfair Competition (UWG).

We advise and provide defence in all areas of corruption and competition law and thus take into account any consequences aside from criminal law itself, such as a possible entry in a corruption register. This area of law constitutes a significant component of compliance advice, as encountering corruption can scarcely be avoided in most risk countries.
In addition to environmental criminal offences of StGB (§§ 324 et seq. StGB) environmental criminal law includes numerous criminal and administrative offences of related laws. Environmental criminal law is characterized above all by its administrative accessoriness; this means the matter of culpability depends, among other things, on whether certain administrative obligations were breached.
Particular difficulties could arise from the fact that the administrative catalogue of obligations regulates at various levels up to the EU regulations and this is difficult for non-legal specialists to understand. Preventative advice is also becoming particularly significant in this field. The aim of such advice is to always identify risks under criminal law and to avert such damages.
Classic offences against property in general criminal law such as embezzlement, fraud, computer fraud, subsidy fraud, capital investment fraud and credit fraud are a frequent subject of commercial law investigations.
Embezzlement investigations have significantly increased in the last few years. The problem being that the elements of a case involve no personal gain and as a result risk decisions, which later turn out to be misjudgements, can provoke embezzlement investigations. This can result in accusations of inaccurate representations in connection with the accounting or the breach of reporting obligations. In such cases it is recommended to seek early criminal expertise. For complex matters we work together with auditors, tax advisors and lawyers in other specialist areas.
Criminal law for medical professional occupations includes most especially accusations in connection with medical malpractice, such as personal injury and death resulting from negligence, but also includes accusations of fraud, embezzlement and corruption. We provide advice and defence to doctors, therapists, chemists, hospitals, care institutions, drug and medical product manufacturers in all criminal law and professional law matters.

We keep a close eye on statutory developments in this area and are involved as experts.

When advising or defending we pay attention to the possible civil, appropriation and contractual consequences and work with colleagues who are specialised in non-criminal areas.

Preventative advice is also becoming increasingly more important. We offer compliance advice and training for all professional groups in this area.
Insolvency criminal law includes offences in relation to StGB [German Criminal Code] (§§ 283 et seq. StGB) and delayed insolvency proceedings (§ 15a Para. 4 InsO). Criminal offences of withholding and misappropriation of wages (§ 266a StGB), fraud (§ 263 StGB) and embezzlement (§ 266 StGB) also figure frequently within company crises.

Insolvencies must be reported to the Public Prosecutor’s Office by the insolvency court. This means that although early preliminary proceedings are often initiated due to suspected insolvency offences, it is however perfectly possible that the investigation proceedings will actually be terminated before the conclusion of insolvency proceedings.
Criminal law does not stop in the working environment. The withholding and misappropriation of wages and any voluntary irregularities for payment and non-payment of social insurance contributions are punishable within the central regulation in the criminal code. In addition the (partial) non-payment of wages, e.g. for negotiated or statutory minimum wage, constitutes a criminal offence. In such cases a person is not only threatened with punishment but also with substantial arrears payments. For this reason early advice and defence is advisable if the company or sole trader is confronted with looming irregularities in this area.

Numerous further fines and criminal offences belong to the criminal law regarding labour which can be found dispersed among different legislation. For example, offences in connection with illegal employment, the fines and criminal offences of the Act on Combating Clandestine Employment, the Law on Temporary Employment, the Occupational Safety Act, the Works Constitution Act and the administrative offences of the Posted Workers Directive.
Special professional regulations apply to next of kin of those in liberal professions, for example doctors, lawyers, notaries, auditors and tax advisers.  We represent freelance workers in professional proceedings and advise on professional queries.

Individual cases in this area offer interesting possibilities of defence because much is in a state of flux, and regulations limiting liberal professionalism change over time and can be interpreted in new ways.
Tax criminal law not only includes tax law in a broader sense, but also all criminal offences and administrative offences regarding tax, duties and customs duty. We provide advice and defence in all of these areas. Our activities include voluntary self-disclosure advice. We work closely with tax advisers in terms of general tax law.
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Galen Rechtsanwälte|Mommsenstr. 45
D-10629 Berlin|Tel +49 (30) 31 01 82 - 0
Galen Rechtsanwälte
Mommsenstraße 45
D-10629 Berlin
Tel+49 (30) 31 01 82 - 0
Fax+49 (30) 31 01 82 - 20