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Compliance Lawyers

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)

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Michael Bauer
Dr. Michael Bauer
Part­ner
Head of the CMS Competition & EU Group
Belgium, Brussels
German and European competition law, German and European merger control law, coordination of multinational merger control notifications in the EU and worldwide, state aid, compliance, general EU lawBorn...
Marion Bernhardt
Prof. Dr. Marion Bernhardt
Part­ner
Rechtsanwältin
Germany, Berlin
Marion Bernhardt’s practice covers employment law and compliance. She is widely experienced in advising and representing large and medium-sized companies and groups as well as public enterprises on...
Florian Block
Florian Block
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Munich
Florian Block advises companies in the field of compliance management. He is particularly experienced in advising companies in setting up or expanding adequate compliance structures as well as in the...
Tobias Bomsdorf
Dr. Tobias Bomsdorf
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Frankfurt
Tobias Bomsdorf advises and represents his clients in civil and commercial law disputes before state courts as well as in arbitration proceedings. His clients include companies in the engineering and...
Robert Budde
Dr. Robert Budde
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Cologne
Robert Budde is a commercial law expert, advising companies on their agency and distribution arrangements as well as on related German and EU competition law issues. He specialises in implementing and...
Björn Demuth
Dr. Björn Demuth
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt, Tax Adviser | Fachanwalt für Steuerrecht (Certified lawyer for tax law) | Head of Tax, CMS Germany
Germany, Stuttgart
Björn Demuth’s practice focuses on corporate compliance, succession planning and tax law. He is a tax advisor and certified tax lawyer with long-standing experience advising his clients on the German...
Ralf Dierck
Dr. Ralf Dierck
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Munich
For more than 30 years, Ralf Dierck has been a trusted partner for major, globally operating companies, representing their interests on different panels and platforms. He advises and represents them in...
Peter Endres
Peter Endres
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Munich
With deep insight and expertise, Peter Endres advises his clients on all legal aspects of procurement, production and distribution and also represents them in court in this field. His distribution practice...
Axel Funk
Dr. Axel Funk
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt
Germany, Stuttgart
Axel Funk is an expert when it comes to drafting and negotiating contracts, in particular in the context of special projects and outsourcing transactions. He also advises on all aspects of software development...
Eckart Gottschalk
Dr. Eckart Gottschalk, LL.M. (Berkeley)
Part­ner
Rechtsanwalt | Fachanwalt für Handels- und Gesellschaftsrecht (Certified lawyer for commercial and corporate law)
Germany, Hamburg
With special expertise in the aerospace, defence, finance and infrastructure sector, Eckart Gottschalk advises companies on all aspects of corporate law, including M&A transactions, joint ventures and...