Corruption criminal law


For years, the fight against corruption has been an important topic to legislators all over the world. Due to stricter national laws and an increased sensibility, the number of criminal proceedings focusing corruption is increasing. Moreover, cases with high media attention have also drawn the public's attention and interest to corruption. Recognized as a major economic problem, new legislation is increasingly creating mechanisms to prevent and combat corruption.


The economic position of Germany in our global world is based on extensive business relations throughout the world. Transparency International's CPI Corruption Perception Index shows, that many business relations were and will continue to be established in countries that are affected by corruption. Such business relationships, although not prohibited, are particularly under observation by authorities.


Nowadays, dinner-invitations, tickets for a soccer match, the sponsoring of an event or gifts are no longer considered appropriate in a business relations. Corruption law sets the framework in this context. The argument that such practice was customary or can be considered appropriate does not protect against punishment.


Often, with regard to corruption, attention is attracted by suspicious facts during a regular audit. In this context, tax criminal law is closely linked, as only in the rarest of cases it is possible to correctly record bribes granted under tax law.


For public officials, corruption is highly sensitive subject. A conviction can have devastating consequences, such as the loss of pension entitlements and dismissal from the service.


The lynchpin for the defence of our clients in such proceedings is often the clarification of the question whether the benefit is still within the scope of what is socially customary and approved by the general public ("social adequacy") or whether the benefit granted exceeds this scope.


We give our clients recommendations for everyday business ("do's and don'ts") und advice on risks involved. We have a lot of experience in consulting on preventive strategies to avoid criminal liability - in particular according to §§ 299ff. and 331 ff. of the Criminal Code (StGB).


We provide services in corruption criminal law across a range of matters, including:

  • Advising and defending individuals at all stages of criminal proceedings;
  • Representation of companies in criminal proceedings (adhesion proceedings, confiscation proceedings and confiscation of assets);
  • Development and implementation of compliance management systems to prevent corruption offences (§§ 299 et seq. StGB and §§ 331 et seq. StGB);
  • Advising and defending companies in administrative offence proceedings due to organisational negligence or breaches of supervisory and control obligations.


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Dr. Susana Campos Nave

Associate Partner

+49 30 8107 9539

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