Home / Expertise / Compliance
photograph of safety deposit boxes



CMS Compliance & Forensic Services – qualified and experienced in prevention and crisis management

Compliance is an indispensable part of good corporate governance. A compliance structure that is adapted to a company’s specific requirements not only helps to avoid legal violations, it can also minimise liability risk in a crisis.

The CMS Compliance & Forensic Services team comprises more than 60 compliance experts from every area of commercial law. Our broad-based practice and high degree of specialisation enable us to cover all facets of compliance and identify risks rapidly and efficiently. We can provide the necessary legal support for both prevention and investigation.

Our services range from advising on the establishment and optimisation of compliance programmes through internal investigations for detecting violations of the law to assisting with preliminary proceedings and asserting claims for damages.

Prevention is better than cure: our proactive compliance advice

When establishing and implementing a compliance system designed to meet the exact needs of the individual company, we apply a Prevent – Identify – Respond philosophy.

Our Compliance team offers assistance with:

  • Developing, implementing and optimising compliance programmes
  • Risk management (compliance due diligence, business partner screening, compliance clauses in agreements)
  • Setting up and managing reporting systems (whistleblower hotline, ombudsman)
  • Establishing compliance guidelines and conducting training (e.g. on anti-corruption, competition law, prevention of money laundering, IT security and data protection, capital markets law, product safety, procurement law and export control)

Managing the crisis: our Forensic Services in compliance situations

A crisis can affect a company in many ways – and it usually catches management unawares. A crisis situation limits the company's capacity to act and, in a worst-case scenario, may jeopardise the company's very existence. If the company also comes under pressure from business partners, politicians and the media, quick, efficient and legally robust crisis management is required.

The Forensic Services experts at CMS adopt an integrated approach when dealing with crises. As the largest German commercial law firm, we can provide you with the required number of highly qualified lawyers and tax advisors within a very short period of time to handle major internal investigations. For companies in a compliance crisis, we also bring together specialists from various other disciplines: defence lawyers, e-discovery providers, crisis PR consultants, auditors and private investigators. Their role is typically to help detect and resolve violations as part of an internal investigation.

The crucial advantage for you is that CMS Forensic Services act as a single point of contact with an overview of all the relevant compliance issues, guiding you efficiently through the crisis.

Our Forensic Services comprise:

  • Informing management and the relevant supervisory bodies of their duties in a compliance crisis situation and developing a crisis management plan
  • Planning, managing and conducting internal investigations
  • Establishing the facts of the matter, searching documents and e-mail messages with the aid of forensic tools, interviewing employees
  • Return of assets and tracking of payment flows
  • Developing resolution strategies and identifying immediate steps to be taken
  • Managing defence lawyers, auditors, e-discovery providers, private investigators and crisis PR consultants
  • Advising on cooperation with the investigating authorities
  • Coordination and negotiation of the investigation with the works council
  • Development of amnesty programmes and crown witness arrangementsLegal support before and during an official investigation (dawn raid)
  • Contingency plans for correct conduct during dawn raids
  • Dawn raid training
  • On-site support during the investigation. Our international CMS Dawn Raid Network enables us to provide suitable lawyers worldwide with minimum delay, either from one of our 71 CMS offices or from the offices of our partner firms
  • Representation in subsequent official or court proceedings

What others say about us

"CMS performs ‘outstanding work’ and its practice groups work closely together to deliver a comprehensive approach to advice at the preventative and investigative level."
(The Legal 500 Germany, 2015)

"Wide-ranging advice on organisational structure, also establishment and operation of (international) hotlines and investigations. Broad-based capability, including international trade."
(JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms, 2014/2015)

Deployment of external staff
Read more Read less
May 2019
CMS Com­pli­ance Ba­ro­met­er 2018
The sur­vey is based on com­puter-aided B2B tele­phone in­ter­views with 177 com­pli­ance of­ficers from large Ger­man com­pan­ies in the in­dus­tri­al, real es­tate, auto­mot­ive, re­tail, health­care, ICT and fin­ance / in­sur­ance sec­tors. The an­onym­ous in­ter­views by mar­ket re­search in­sti­tute Ipsos GmbH were con­duc­ted in au­tumn 2018. They were based on a struc­tured set of around 40 ques­tions, cov­er­ing (i) or­gan­isa­tion, (ii) risks/chal­lenges, (iii) tools, (iv) cul­ture and (v) di­git­isa­tion.A com­pli­ance of­ficer was defined as any seni­or em­ploy­ee who is qual­i­fied to com­ment on the to­tal­ity of tools and pro­cesses set up with­in the com­pany to en­sure com­pli­ance with rules and reg­u­la­tions. The total pop­u­la­tion com­prised around 5,700 ma­jor leg­ally in­de­pend­ent com­pan­ies in Ger­many, of all sizes in terms of sales and num­ber of em­ploy­ees; an al­most en­tirely pro­por­tion­al ran­dom sample based on the sev­en sec­tors was used.We be­lieve that the fourth edi­tion of the CMS Com­pli­ance Ba­ro­met­er will provide use­ful in­sights for your work. We would be pleased to re­ceive any sug­ges­tions about the sur­vey and your per­son­al views on the evolving role of com­pli­ance.560340ht­tps://youtu.be/tLkR­cvqLkEM1al­waysIf you would like to re­ceive the com­plete study in PDF format, please con­tact us.Press Re­lease >>


Show only
April 2020
Check­list M&A and GDPR
The scope of the EU Gen­er­al Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion (GDPR) ex­tends to M&A trans­ac­tions. Sanc­tions for in­fringe­ments of data pro­tec­tion rules in­clude, amongst oth­ers, a fine of up to EUR 20 mil­lion or 4% of world­wide an­nu­al turnover...
02 July 2020
EU agrees new class ac­tion re­gime for con­sumer dis­putes
After a long gest­a­tion, on 30 June 2020 the Coun­cil of the EU pub­lished the text for the col­lect­ive re­dress dir­ect­ive (the “CR Dir­ect­ive”) (text avail­able here). This le­gis­la­tion is in­ten­ded to bet­ter...
April 2020
CMS Sur­vey – for ef­fi­cient man­age­ment of sur­vey pro­cesses
CMS Sur­vey is a di­git­al sur­vey and data con­sol­id­a­tion product that sim­pli­fies the pre­par­a­tion and pro­cessing of leg­al sur­vey in­form­a­tion as well as its eval­u­ation and ana­lys­is. The whole pro­cess is handled with­in one product ap­plic­a­tion...
19 June 2020
Can con­sumer pro­tec­tion groups claim for GDPR in­fringe­ments?
Since the Gen­er­al Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion (“GDPR”) came in­to force, there has been con­tro­versy in Ger­many as to wheth­er third parties not dir­ectly af­fected by data pro­cessing, can claim if the...
CMS ad­vises Al­li­anz on EUR 214 mil­lion ac­quis­i­tion to ex­pand Mu­nich of­fice...
Al­li­anz Real Es­tate has ac­quired the NM28 of­fice build­ing in Mu­nich from Ber­tels­mann for EUR 214 mil­lion in a sale-and-lease­back trans­ac­tion. By mak­ing this ac­quis­i­tion, Al­li­anz is seek­ing to fur­ther ex­pand its foot­print in Mu­nich’s dy­nam­ic of­fice sec­tor.
02 April 2020
Ger­many pro­tects busi­nesses against in­solv­ency dur­ing pan­dem­ic
The Ger­man gov­ern­ment has moved quickly and de­cis­ively to pro­tect busi­nesses from the short-term im­pact of the Cov­id-19 pan­dem­ic. A new law was passed by par­lia­ment us­ing re­mote vot­ing pro­ced­ures and...
CMS ap­points four new part­ners at start of year
Com­mer­cial law firm CMS Ger­many has ex­pan­ded the part­ner­ship at the start of the year by ap­point­ing four new part­ners from the Cor­por­ate/M&A, Bank­ing & Fin­ance, Cor­por­ate Crim­in­al Li­ab­il­ity/Com­pli­ance and Real Es­tate & Pub­lic di­vi­sions at its Düs­sel­dorf,
30 March 2020
Food and hy­giene in the coronavir­us crisis
We out­line the hy­giene meas­ures that Ger­man pro­duc­tion and trade should take and why a state­ment from the Ger­man Fed­er­al In­sti­tute for Risk As­sess­ment in­spires cau­tious con­fid­ence. Food pro­duc­tion and...
CMS ad­vises ERIKS on the sale of its sub­si­di­ary Siek­mann Eco­n­o­sto
An in­ter­na­tion­al CMS team headed by Lead Part­ner Dr Ernst-Markus Schuberth provided ERIKS with com­pre­hens­ive leg­al ad­vice on all as­pects of the sale of Siek­mann Eco­n­o­sto GmbH & Co. to Ne­way Valve (Su­zhou) Co., Ltd...
10 March 2020
EU Com­mis­sion's White Pa­per on Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence stresses ex­cel­lence...
Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) has now reached al­most all areas of life: mo­bil­ity, trade and health, to name but a few. As a res­ult, the EU Com­mis­sion has sum­mar­ised its vis­ion for the fu­ture of AI and...
CMS ad­vises GPE and capiton on ac­quis­i­tion of NIC­OLAY Group
A CMS team headed by lead part­ner Dr To­bi­as Schneider ad­vised GPE and capiton on all leg­al as­pects of the deal. capiton is a long­stand­ing cli­ent of CMS Ger­many. The same CMS team that has now ad­vised on the ac­quis­i­tion of the NIC­OLAY Group also ad­vised ca
25 February 2020
Pro­tect your con­sumers or pay the price: mega fines for breaches of con­sumer...
Novem­ber 2019 saw the ad­op­tion of the En­force­ment and Mod­ern­isa­tion Dir­ect­ive which amends four ex­ist­ing con­sumer-fa­cing European dir­ect­ives: the Un­fair Com­mer­cial Prac­tices Dir­ect­ive, the Con­sumer Rights...