12.07.2021 Newsletter

Data transfers to third countries - new “travel rules”

Travel has long since ceased to be the sole preserve of people, goods and commodities. Data are also being sent off on their “travels” from A to B. The pandemic has caused passenger travel to be subject to numerous new regulations. New EU standard contractual clauses are also bringing reforms for the "travel" of data to third countries. We are introducing you to the most important new features and simultaneously providing you with the appropriate tool to easily compile the appropriate clauses.

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Compliance09.07.2021 Newsletter

Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG) and compliance management systems

On 25 June 2021, the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act [Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz – LkSG], better known by the less unwieldy term "Supply Chain Act", was also approved by the Bundesrat. Thus, as of 1 January 2023, initially companies with their registered office or a branch office in Germany and over 3,000 domestic employees will be obliged to observe human rights and environmental due diligence obligations in their supply chains in an appropriate manner. From 1 January 2024 onwards, the obligation also extends to companies with over 1,000 employees.

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07.07.2021 Newsletter

Update on the Transparency Register

The Transparency Register is becoming a full register. This results in new notification obligations for many companies - registration in another public register is now no longer sufficient to also fulfil the notification obligations to the Transparency Register. At the same time, many other privileges are being abolished, for example for listed stock corporations or for share deals. Affected companies should review their notification obligations in the near future. If there is no beneficial owner, the legal representatives have to be entered (fictitious beneficial owners).

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Automotive and Mobility06.07.2021 Newsletter

Autonomous driving

Driverless vehicles on the road - in regulatory terms, the German legislators are clearing the way. The pending Act is an interim solution that is not convincing on all points. The goal is to achieve an international legal framework. Our expert Dr. Angela Busche ex-plains the new regulations and points out the omissions.

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Retail and Consumer Goods06.07.2021 Newsletter

New BGB contract law - focus on goods with digital elements and digital services

Far-reaching changes to the German Civil Code will come into force on 1 January. Companies in the retail and consumer goods sectors in particular will be affected by this. Just under six months are left before their implementation. Additionally, all (in-house) lawyers should familiarise them-selves with the new definition of defects in sales law. Patrick Vapore and Jörn Kuhn have sum-marised the main changes.

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Succession, Wealth and Foundations02.07.2021 Newsletter

Fundamental reform of the law on foundations adopted

The reform of foundations law is on its way: at last, there is going to be a uniform German law on foundations and several legal uncertainties that have existed to date will be eliminated. However, a central Foundations Register is also going to be introduced, which will bring this hitherto very non-transparent legal form much more into the public eye - this has both advantages and disadvantages. Founders and the executive bodies of foundations should use the time available until the law takes effect to check whether they need to act. Our experts have summarised the most important changes for you in our newsletter.

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Compliance02.07.2021 Newsletter

Sometimes less is more - requirements for an "appropriate and effective" compliance system

It looks like the prayers of compliance officers, legal departments and managing directors have finally been heard: Within the scope of this year's amendment of German antitrust law (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen - GWB), the legislator has expressly stipulated for the first time in the new § 81d (1) No. 4 GWB that already existing compliance systems can be taken into consideration when determining fines with the effect of reducing sanctions. Outside of antitrust law, however, legal offenders are denied the consideration of preventive compliance measures (for the time being), now that the Coalition buried the German Corporate Sanctions Act (Ver-bandssanktionengesetz - VerSanG) this summer.

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Employment Law01.07.2021 Newsletter

Update: Corona Occupational Health and Safety and how to handle the home office

On 1 July 2021 an amendment to the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance [SARS-CoV-2-Arbeitsschutzverordnung] came into force, which allows more freedom whilst still containing clear requirements. With the end of the obligation to work from the home office, companies face the increasing risk that employees will establish a permanent individual claim to home office work if they continue to work from home. Our partner Jörn Kuhn has compiled an overview of the current framework conditions under occupational health and safety law and of home office situations.

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Employment Law29.06.2021 Newsletter

Focus on Labor Law - 2nd quarter 2021

The pandemic is currently losing some of its momentum in our day-to-day social and business life due to the progressing vaccination programme and seasonal peculiarities. However, with the usual delay, individual and collective law issues in connection with the pandemic are now increasingly the subject of labour court decisions

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Corporate Law29.06.2021 Newsletter

The German Act to Modernise the Law on Partnerships (Gesetz zur Modernisierung des Personengesellschaftsrechts - MoPeG) - amendments and the need for companies and partners to act

The German Act to Modernise the Law on Partnerships (MoPeG) - long overdue and in planning for over a year. It was established at the end of last week: the new regulations will enter into force on 1 January 2024. The new Act extensively adapts the legislative text to the state of the art in case law and contractual practice. A need for action nevertheless exists, especially for civil law partnerships (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts - GbR), but also for general partnerships (Offene Handelsgesellschaft - OHG) and limited partnerships (Kommanditgesellschaft - KG).

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28.06.2021 News

Oppenhoff: Almost every second lawyer distinguished as Best Lawyer 2022

38 lawyers of the leading commercial law firm Oppenhoff have been distinguished as Best Lawyers in Germany 2022. The ranking is based on a peer-group procedure in which recommendations are made by colleagues from other law firms.

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Compliance18.06.2021 Newsletter

The COVID-19 pandemic poses new challenges for compliance management systems

As the number of vaccinations increases and the number of infections continues to decrease, it is time to come to terms with the crisis and structure New Work. Risks that were previously accepted may now no longer be acceptable. Companies suspect that problems exist. This has been shown by a survey by Deloitte ("The future of compliance 2020 - higher risk of future violations"). However, the risks expected according to the study do not cover all of the actual compliance risks. This article offers a first interdisciplinary overview of the compliance risks triggered by the pandemic and increasing digitisation, especially through the home office and the like. The risks necessitate an adjustment of existing compliance management systems.

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Employment Law11.06.2021 Newsletter

Short-time work benefit and bridging aid extended until the end of September

Despite falling infection rates and progressive vaccination, many companies are still heavily burdened by pandemic-related restriction measures. On 9 June 2021, the Federal Cabinet therefore adopted the Third Ordinance Amending the Short-Time Work Benefit Ordinance to extend the facilitated access to short-time work benefit and full reimbursement of social security contributions until 30 September 2021. At the same time, the Cabinet approved the extension of Bridging Aid III until the end of September 2021 as well as a restart premium for companies.

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Compliance09.06.2021 Newsletter

Implementation of the EU Whistleblower Directive - The new Whistleblower Protection Act affects almost all employers

The EU Whistleblower Directive, which sets uniform standards to better protect whistleblowers, already came into force on 16 December 2019. The EU member states have until 17 December 2021 to transpose the requirements into national law. The German Federal Ministry of Justice [Bundesministerium für Justiz] has presented a corresponding draft bill in the form of the so-called Whistleblower Protection Act [Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz - HinSchG], albeit that the coalition partners have not yet been able to agree on it, as it extends far beyond the requirements of the EU Directive.

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Aerospace and DefenceEuropean State Aid Law26.05.2021Frankfurt am Main News

Oppenhoff represents Lufthansa in a successful legal action against airport state aid

Oppenhoff has represented Deutsche Lufthansa in a successful action before the General Court of the European Union (T-218/18). In a judgment of 19 May 2021, the Court annulled a decision of the European Commission by which the authority had authorized the state of Rhineland-Palatinate to cover operating losses of Hahn Airport of up to 25.3 million euro in the time period from 2017 to 2021.

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Employment Law25.05.2021 Newsletter

Works Council Modernisation Act - over-regulation and cost increases included

Last Friday, 21 May 2021, the Bundestag passed the German Works Council Modernisation Act [Betriebsrätemodernisierungsgesetz]. Core issues of the Act are the strengthening of the work conducted by works councils and digitisation. There has been and is plenty of criticism of the changes. In particular, the legislator has failed to address the question of whether the co-determination criterion for introducing and using technical devices to monitor conduct and performance need to be modified in view of the ongoing digitisation of corporate processes.

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Corporate Law / Mergers & Acquisitions / Private Equity / Tax Law20.05.2021Frankfurt am Main Publication

Oppenhoff advises on IPO of hGears

Oppenhoff has advised the private equity house Finatem on the IPO of its portfolio company hGears AG. The manufacturer of mission-critical high-precision gear parts and components with a focus on e-cars and e-bikes aims to use the issue proceeds of around EUR 62 million to further promote organic growth in the e-mobility sector.

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Storing digital works in the blockchain: the hype about Non-Fungible Tokens

Today, RIMOWA is auctioning four so-called Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) of works of art. NFTs are digital certificates stored in the blockchain that serve as proof of ownership of digital and real products. In March 2021, a digital work of art was already sold as an NFT for a record sum of over 69 million euros. Real products can also be linked to NFTs. With all the hype surrounding NFTs, this raises legal questions.

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17.05.2021 Newsletter

Whistleblower protection: danger to trade secrets or an appropriate balance of interests?

With Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons notifying violations of Union law (Whistleblower Directive), the member states have agreed on a uniform protection of whistleblowers insofar as they expose violations of EU law. The Directive is to be implemented into national law by the end of this year.

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Employment Law14.05.2021 Newsletter

Dealing with vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees at the workplace - Is the employer allowed to ask about vaccination status and deploy its employees differ-ently depending on the answer?

In many companies in Germany, company doctors are all set to vaccinate employees against Covid-19. The official go-ahead for this is imminent and employers now have cause to hope for the "return" of their workers from home office and a normalisation of company procedures. At the same time, however, this gives rise to very important questions of labour law and data protection law, which we would like to answer for you below:

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Antitrust Law and Merger Control12.05.2021 Newsletter

German Federal Court of Justice permits lump-sum cartel damages clause

According to a recent ruling of the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) (judgement of 10 February 2021, file no. KZR 63/18), general terms and conditions that award the customer of a cartel participant lump-sum damages in the amount of 5 to 15 % are valid under certain conditions. This landmark ruling is not only relevant for ongoing cartel damages litigation. It also provides a blueprint for the permissible drafting of lump-sum cartel damages clauses in supply contracts and could thus make it much easier for cartel-affected companies to quantify damages in future civil proceedings.

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Oppenhoff advises shareholders and TIMETOACT on the acquisition of a majority stake by Equistone

Oppenhoff has advised TIMETOACT Software & Consulting GmbH and the two shareholders Felix Binsack and Hermann Ballé on the acquisition of a majority stake by the private equity investor Equistone Partners. TIMETOACT shareholders Felix Binsack and Hermann Ballé will remain operationally active as managing directors and hold a significant stake in the company.

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Antitrust Law and Merger Control04.05.2021 Newsletter

Rail freight cartel: EU Commission fines DB, ÖBB and SNCB

The European Commission has imposed fines of €48 million on Deutsche Bahn (DB), Austrian Railways (ÖBB) and the National Company of Belgian Railways (SNCB) for cartel agreements in freight transport involving "blocktrains." All three companies have admitted their involvement in the cartel. Customers of the rail companies should check at an early stage whether they are entitled to damage claims for excessive freight costs against the three companies.

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29.04.2021 News

Update FAQ: Employee testing and occupational corona vaccination

Are companies obliged to have their employees tested? Is the works council to be involved in the case of compulsory testing? Can companies oblige their employees to be vaccinated? Our labour law experts will answer these and other questions.

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Oppenhoff advises Trulo on the entry of the investor Flavour Warehouse

Oppenhoff has advised Trulo GmbH and its shareholders on the entry of Flavour Warehouse as an investor. Following the death of a Trulo shareholder, his heirs have now transferred their shares to Flavour Warehouse.

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Julia Witte

Julia Witte

Communications Manager

Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 23
50668 Cologne
T +49 221 2091 342