Requirements faced by German companies under the so-called Corporate Compliance are not new. What is, however, new is that companies increasingly have to demonstrate that they have set up and maintain a structured system preventing irregularities or offences within the company itself and that this system is also documented on an ongoing basis. These requirements are, on one hand, imposed by regulatory authorities (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), public prosecutors) and, on the other hand, also by investors and shareholders, becoming increasingly critical. The increasing legalization of commercial activities, the combining of shareholders´ interests in funds, investment companies, shareholder protection associations, etc. as well as the setting up of a test case under the German Capital Markets Test Case Act (CMTCA) play an important role in this area.
Despite of the principles of Corporate Compliance being well established between publicly traded companies, there are still time and again considerable difficulties with their implementation. Actions brought by SEC against Daimler AG in the US, the action of Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office against the ThyssenKrupp subsidiary CSA, the corruption scandals of Media-Markt (Metro), Ferrostaal (MAN), Siemens and many others demonstrate that the actual problem is not the setting up but the practical implementation of compliance structures.
We support our clients in this area by offering preventive advice, implementation controlling, internal training and audit reports based on current national and international statutory and regulatory requirements.