Prosecuting alleged corruption offences has reached outstanding importance in the investigation practice of public prosecution departments in recent years. Many public prosecutors and police headquarters have set up specific departments focussing on these offences and mass media shows particular interest when following corruption charges. Investigators look into conventional bribery offences as set forth in Sections 331 et seq. of the German Penal Code which normally concern accusations against office holders for receiving benefits when awarding public orders.
But corrupt practices concerning purely the private business sector are also given increasing prominence in the activity of public prosecutors not least after bribery and passive bribery in business transactions was included as an offence in the German Penal Code (§ 299). In this context, particular legal problems occur at the intersection of public official and employee bribery as more and more state-owned companies are being privatised.
In addition to civil servants and other employees of government and local communities, a rising number of managerial employees, general managers, executive and supervisory board members of private-sector companies are attracting the attention of anti-corruption investigators. Apart from the so-called bribery of employees, where most investigations are initiated for accusations of breach of trust, penal law related to competition covers, in particular, the offences listed in the German Federal Law Against Unfair Competition (e.g., disclosure of business secrets).
Counsels from this law firm are ready to represent alleged offenders both during preliminary investigations and during proceedings in court. But they are also available to companies for providing consultancy on prevention which carries particular weight in the field of bribery and corruption today.