Insolvency and Restructuring16.03.2023 Newsletter

Insolvency & restructuring: Oppenhoff advises before, during and after a crisis

Corporate insolvencies with major consequences, complex restructuring processes and “protective shield” proceedings - many companies are currently in or are facing a crisis. Cases such as Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof demonstrate that insolvencies can also indirectly affect a great many companies, with suppliers fearing for their customers and manufacturers struggling with insolvency. Particularly affected: the automotive sector, energy-intensive industries, the care sector, retail and the clothing industry. Existing or impending crises require the right experts.

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Real Estate Law14.03.2023 News

Oppenhoff advises Bethmann on new lease of Bethmannhof in Frankfurt

Oppenhoff has advised Bethmann Liegenschafts KG on the leasing of the Bethmannhof in Frankfurt. The new tenant of the 7,000 square meter complex opposite Frankfurt's Paulskirche will be the creative center Massif Central.

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Private Clients07.03.2023 Newsletter

German Federal Fiscal Court: capital gains on cryptocurrencies are taxable

The German Federal Fiscal Court [Bundesfinanzhof, BFH] has published the first ruling on the taxation of virtual currencies. With its decision of 14 February 2023, it clarifies that capital gains realised by a taxpayer within one year from the sale or exchange of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero are subject to income tax as a private sales transaction.

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New spousal emergency representation law: end of the lasting power of attorney?

The number of so-called “lasting powers of attorney” (Vorsorgevollmacht) in Germany has been rising steadily for years. Nevertheless, the number of people under guardianship due to illness or physical infirmity is increasing. The German Act to Reform Guardianship Law [Gesetz zur Reform des Vormundschafts- und Betreuungsrechts] now aims to strengthen the rights of people who are no longer able to manage their own affairs.

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Employment Law09.02.2023 Newsletter

Dismissal of the data protection officer from office on grounds of his position as a works council member

The ECJ ruled today on various questions referred by the German Federal Labour Court [Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG] concerning company data protection officers. The decision has been eagerly awaited, as the referred questions concern the fact that a data protection officer was also a member of the works council and the company had justified the dismissal from office due to a conflict of interest. We explain the decision and its implications below.

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Contract structuring: procurement risk in times of crisis

Pandemics, wars and climate change lead to supply bottlenecks and shortages of raw materials. This also raises many legal questions regarding the drafting of contracts: Who bears the risk for goods that have already been sold if an upstream supplier cannot or will not deliver? Can the seller contractually adjust his obligation to deliver or his liability for damages vis-à-vis the buyer? How should he actually structure the contract with his supplier?

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Oppenhoff advises EIC Fund on further investments

Oppenhoff has again comprehensively advised the EIC Fund on its investments in Germany. The fund invested in the biotech start-up iThera Medical and the electro mobility start-up Onomotion.

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Oppenhoff advises MRH Trowe-Group on the acquisition of Lurse AG

Oppenhoff advised Mesterheide Rockel Hirz Trowe AG Holding, the holding company of a leading industrial insurance broker in Germany, on the acquisition of Lurse AG. The sellers Matthias Edelmann and Birgit Horak will both join the group of shareholders of MRH Trowe-Group. Matthias Edelmann will also serve as a member of the management board of Mesterheide Rockel Hirz Trowe AG Holding.

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Employment Law18.01.2023 Newsletter

Chief Restructuring Officer - crisis manager and ... dependent employee

Cost increases, sales slumps, lack of liquidity: these days, companies are facing major challenges. When a company runs into difficulties, it needs experienced people who have knowledge of such situations and are able to support or even assume the management. To this end, companies are increasingly using the services of Chief Restructuring Officers (CROs) again. We explain what tasks the CRO typically takes on and what points need to be considered for this position from a legal perspective.

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Foreign Trade / Compliance12.01.2023 Newsletter

Commission updates EU control list of dual use items

On Wednesday 11 January 2023, the European Commission's Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/66 of 21 October 2022, updating the list of dual-use items contained in Annex I to Regula-tion (EU) 2021/821 (the “EU Dual Use Regulation”), was published in the Official Journal of the EU. With its publication, the updated list comes into force as of 12 January 2023.

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12.01.2023 News

Special gift for Michael Oppenhoff on his 85th birthday: Oppenhoff partnership secures long-term scholarship endowment with 250,000 euros

The commercial law firm Oppenhoff is giving its namesake Michael Oppenhoff a special gift for his 85th birthday: it is endowing the Walter Oppenhoff Foundation with around 250,000 euros, thus securing its long-term future. The Foundation’s name is also being changed to the Walter and Michael Oppenhoff Foundation.

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EU-wide strengthening of cybersecurity: new obligations for affected companies

The dangers in the area of cybercrime have been steadily increasing for years. The risks range from data theft and espionage to IT failures and production stoppages. In view of this, it comes as no surprise that several legislative procedures have already been introduced to raise security standards in information technology. However, with the new NIS-2 Directive, the addressees of the special cybersecurity regulations will increase significantly.

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Employment Law04.01.2023 Newsletter

Energy price brake: obligation to preserve jobs and ban on bonuses

On 20 December 2022, the German Act on the Introduction of an Electricity Price Brake [Gesetz zur Einführung einer Strompreisbremse, StromPBG] and the German Act on the Introduction of Price Brakes for Piped Natural Gas and Heat [Gesetz zur Einführung von Preisbremsen für leitungsgebundenes Erdgas und Wärme, EWPBG] came into force. Both Acts contain the basic principles of the so-called energy price brake and are intended, among other things, to provide relief for companies in light of the exorbitant rise in energy prices.

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HealthPrivate Equity29.12.2022 Newsletter

Expected amendments of the Medical Device Regulation will most likely increase the attractiveness of investments in the sector

Investments in the health care sector are very popular since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Germany, there has been a particular interest in the strong German medical technology sector during the last years, not only from strategic but also from private equity investors.

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Retail and Consumer Goods28.12.2022 Newsletter

New obligations for take-away food as of the beginning of the year

In packaging law, both European and national legislators are clearly picking up the pace. The obligation to offer reusable packaging comes into effect on 01 January 2023. Restaurant owners, delivery services, fast-food restaurants, fresh-food counters and other providers of take-away food now need to familiarise themselves with the new provisions of the German Packaging Act [Verpackungsgesetz, VerpackG] if they are to avoid fines.

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Employment Law27.12.2022 Newsletter

Default of acceptance wages after dismissal – welcome decision for employers

Just as the year draws to a close, there is one more piece of good news for employers: it was often the case to date that employees registered with the employment agency as unemployed after being dismissed by their employer. There, claims to default of acceptance wages were asserted. Frequently, either no or insufficient efforts to apply for jobs were made in such cases. In its decision of 30 September 2022 - 6 Sa 280/22, the Regional Labour Court [Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG] of Berlin-Brandenburg "certified" that an employee had made insufficient efforts to apply for a job and dismissed his claim to default of acceptance wages.

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Compliance23.12.2022 Newsletter

Bundestag passes Whistleblower Protection Act

On 16 December 2022 - and thus exactly three years after the EU Whistleblower Directive came into force - the Bundestag passed the new, long overdue German Whistleblower Protection Act [Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz, HinSchG]. Previously, the Legal Affairs Committee had made significant last-minute changes to the bill.

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Chile and the European Union modernize its Association Agreement with great impulse for the climate-transition critical industries of green hydrogen and lithium

German and European investors in the energy and commodities sector with an eye on the exchange between Chile and the EU - two like-minded regions sharing common democratic values and ambitious climate-change targets - can be pleased at the end of this year with the conclusion of negotiations on the modernization of the 2002 Association Agreement between Chile and the EU, which, among others, sets forth express provisions to secure European investors, offtakers and consumers access to green hydrogen, green ammonia, e-fuels and lithium in a sustainable way.

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22.12.2022 News

Continuity in growth: Oppenhoff management re-elected

The Oppenhoff partners have re-elected the management team for the next three years. The firm’s chairwoman Myriam Baars-Schilling, Dr Harald Gesell and Dr Jürgen Hartung are thus starting their second joint term of office and, together with COO Jörg Overbeck, will continue to form the firm's Executive Board.

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Employment Law20.12.2022 Newsletter

BAG on the expiry and time-barring of holiday claims: employer’s indication decisive

Today the ECJ ruled that a statute of limitations and a forfeiture of claims to (payment in lieu of) holiday could only come into consideration if the employer had fulfilled its cooperation obligations with regard to the holiday claim.

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Foreign Trade / Compliance19.12.2022 Newsletter

EU adopts 9th sanctions package against Russia

In response to targeted attacks by Russia against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, the European Union intends to increase pressure on Russia further with the ninth sanctions package. The package entered into force on 17 December 2022 and supplements the existing sanctions.

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Employment Law19.12.2022 Newsletter

Focus on Labor Law – 4th Quarter 2022

A year ago, our Newsletter took a look at the coalition agreement signed by the new so-called traffic-light coalition at the beginning of December 2021. Not much of the labour law aspects of this agreement has been implemented to date. And this, despite the fact that "working time recording” is a most pressing topic for companies. This is fuelled not least by the surprising decision of the German Federal Labour Court [Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG] of 13 September 2022. As things currently stand, the government is likely to introduce its first draft legislation on the recording of working hours in the first quarter of next year. In the current issue of Focus on Labour Law, you will find the usual overview of the most important labour court decisions, news regarding the minimum wage, and the social security calculation parameters that will apply from 01 January 2023. Finally, we would like to draw your attention to our new Legal Tech Tool, which allows you to quickly and easily check online the compliance risks associated with your company’s use of external personnel. We wish you and your families a relaxing holiday period and all the best for the year 2023!

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IT Law and Data Protection15.12.2022 Newsletter

Focus IT&C – 4th Quarter 2022

Find out more about our IT law & data protection practice group - now regularly summarised for you at a glance! On a quarterly basis, we will be presenting you with the most important developments in IT law and data protection. In addition to informing you of the latest draft laws and developments in the field, we advise you on classic IT law, data protection law and new media. Please also feel free to contact us for audits, IT project support and consulting, including cloud computing, e-commerce topics and social media issues.

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Private Clients14.12.2022 Publication

English inheritance law violates German public order because children have no right to a compulsory portion

In its ruling of 29 June 2022, the German Federal Supreme Court affirmed that the application of English inheritance law to the estate of a person living in Germany has to be regarded as a violation of German public order insofar as it deprives children of the deceased of their claim to a compulsory portion which, according to the case law of the German Federal Constitutional Court, is irrevocable and independent of need. The decision means that, in future, in cross-border succession planning with a connection to Germany, even more attention must be paid than before to whether beneficiaries of the compulsory portion are being ignored.

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Julia Witte

Julia Witte

Communications Manager

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