The Legal 500 – “Bribery & Corruption Country Comparative Guide“

- News

We are glad to announce, that Dr. Marijon Kayßer and Franziska Bergemann from our white collar defense and compliance team authored the chapter for Germany for the third edition of the "The Legal 500 -Bribery & Corruption Country Comparative Guide".

The aim of the "Bribery & Corruption Country Comparative Guide" is to provide its readers with an overview of the law on bribery and corruption in a variety of legal systems in different countries. To achieve this, each chapter of the guide provides information on the current problems affecting bribery and corruption practices in a particular country, and addresses topics such as the definition of bribery, regulation, compliance and liability, as well as insights into upcoming legal changes planned for the respective country.

The authored chapter includes a description of the legal system concerning bribery and corruption in Germany and the possible criminal and civil law consequences which have to be expected. Besides, an overview of current developments and expected changes on bribery and corruption is given.

Of cause this includes an overview of the changes due to the draft bill of the Association Sanctions Act (“Verbandssanktionengesetz”), dated 20th April 2020, which corresponds in the result with the current government draft published 16th June 2020. The Association Sanctions Act will establish a system where corporate entities may be held liable for bribery. So far, the German Criminal Code only holds individuals criminally liable for bribery offences. This change, the stipulated requirements for internal investigations and the associated challenges for companies and the defense lawyers are the reasons why the discussions in Germany are very lively about the draft. Besides it also foresees changes regarding the maximum amount for monetary sanctions in comparison to the Administrative Offences Act (“Ordnungswidrigkeitengesetz”), which currently allows fining a corporate entity for being legally responsible for bribery offences committed on behalf of the entity.

Furthermore the protection of whistleblowers in Germany is highlighted. This includes the Trade Secret Act (“Gesetz zum Schutz von Geschäftsgeheimnissen”), which is in force since 26th April 2019, and also the changes which will result from the necessarily implementation by 17th December 2021 of the so-called “whistle-blower”-Directive (EU-Directive 2019/1937) in Germany.


You can find the German chapter at